The creation of the Fontfroide monastery is an excellent example of a “monastic city” as envisioned by Saint Benedict. The monastery, as an ideal city, was built to meet the requirements of a community that had shut itself off from the outside world. Everything should be contained within the complex, which will allow the activities to take place. The consistent plan of the many purposes of the structures, however, is what distinguishes the monastery. They constitute the monastic square, which provides the monks with their own living space that is tailored to the monastic community’s strict standards.
When you’ve seen everything else, you can take the “regular” approach to the gardens. The rose garden is the great attraction. We were fortunate enough to visit throughout the summer. The smell of roses was very strong in the garden, even if the word rose garden could make you think of a few more roses than the ones in the images. Lavender and mint, too. The cypresses were back, and they “framed” the area in a sense.