camaldolese monks

The estate is located in 6 hectares in the heart of the Sarthe area. On top of the village grounds an abbey was built in the XVII century. From the hill the Camaldolii friars could pray having the peaceful view over the hills & forests overlooking the valley of the small Braye river. The château was built on the site of the church at the end of the XVIII century. The friars outbuildings remained and are now the gîte itself. The peacefulness of the place remains!

In 1659 was created the ermitage Gavolerie. Gilles Renard , a local “gentilhomme”, received the estate from his father and he enjoyed to go and rest there far away from the busy life of Paris. At the court of King Louis XIII, he was in charge of the king’s guards and he received a ground of theBastion des Tuileries , near the actual Orangerie Museum in Paris. Covered by magnificent flowers it is said that each morning a bouquet was brought to Anne d’Autriche in the Palais du Louvre. Built as a military place, it became a green space, ideal for walks and breaks. Gilles Renard had opened a small cabaret in which he owned a large collection of fine arts, mainly paintings and tapestries. He had a hectic life and he tried to make God forgive his life by founding an abbey in Bessé in 1659. He chose the stric order of the Italian camaldolii , already installed at the neighbour castle of La Flotte in Lavenay. The building of friars rooms were started in July 1660 and the church started to be built from March 1661. Gilles Renard died not long after the end of the buildings in April 1670. Generations of friars lived on the grounds until 1786. During the French revolution , the monestary was sold as national estate property. Tapestries and paintings collected by Gilles Renard were spread away.In 1793 the friars buildings were destroyed in order to build the actual castle. Only the building were the gïte is, remains from these times.

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