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Abbaye de Sainte Croix in Salon de Provence, France

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Abbaye de Sainte Croix in a Nutshell
Abbaye de Sainte Croix in Salon de Provence, France

Ancient trees, ivy-covered walls, a pot of geraniums, and a view that stretches for miles.

© Susan Breslow Sardone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
As the car climbs higher and higher from Salon de Provence, and the blanket of olive groves and green meadows is revealed below, couples sense that they are coming to an extraordinary place.

Abbaye de Sainte Croix is more than a unique Relais & Chateaux property in the heart of Provence; it's an immersion into ancient history.

The first Christians arrived in the area in the 4th century, and ruins above the hotel are the earliest still-extant structures. The current abbey was founded in the 9th century. It served as a religious retreat for hundreds of years, welcoming penitents and sheltering the ill who made their way up the mountain.

Operated as an actual monks' abbey until the mid 19th century, The Abbaye de Sainte Croix inn retains much of the look of its original purpose, with stuccoed walls, vaulted ceilings, and a bell tower. With loving care, it has been transformed into a peaceful and romantic retreat for lovers.

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The Abbaye is accessible from both the Avignon and Aix-en-Provence TGV stations.

 

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