Founded by Saint Louis in 1228, Royaumont is the finest abbey in the Ile de France. Situated 35 km north of Paris and 12 km from Chantilly. Founded by the King, it was established as a place of eternal rest for the remains of the royal family.
The cloister is associated with the Cistercian order, and the monastery combined both the Cistercian austerity with the nobility of the royal family.
Dating back to Louis IX, who requested in his will that an abbey be founded on his death it was two years later, in 1228, the young Louis IX and Saint Louis moved to build Royaumont Abbey. Saint Louis decided the abbey would be Cistercian. The abbey church was consecrated in 1235.
The galleries of the cloisters are an example of what is called the rayonnant style of vaulting the came from Paris when Louis IX reigned.
Royaumont's greatest period of was during Saint Louis’ lifetime when it had about 140 monks. The Abbaye was always special to Saint Louis who had three of his children buried here. But as with all special relationships, when Saint Louis died, so did the royal favours.
The 100 Years War and subsequent famines all lead to the downfall of the Abbaye.
Around 1549, Royaumont was placed under the abbots appointed by the King. The abbaye became a place of personal amusement. As a court abbaye there was succession of guests and celebrities.
In 1790 it was turned into a mill, much of the abbaye destroyed, stones carried away and used to build homes etc. During the first World War it was used to look after the injured. It was eventually used for musical events and that theme is retained as the Royaumont Foundation now looks after the abbaye. It is open year round for visitors.