News from Lagrasse Abbey

The Abbaye Sainte-Marie de Lagrasse (Lagrasse Abbey) is undergoing a renaissance – a restoration that goes far beyond the preservation of cultural heritage. Below you can stay up-to-date with the latest news and restoration progress:

Frequently asked questions

Project Revive is an ambitious 5-year campaign with a $6.7 million fundraising goal to raise the necessary funds for the restorations projects. Learn more and how can I help

To ensure that the Abbey continues to thrive and to allow its canons to increase the spiritual and social help they offer to the community at large, Lagrasse Abbey is undergoing a renaissance, implementing important restoration projects that go beyond the preservation of cultural heritage. 

These ambitious works will renew and restore the historic monument and expand Lagrasse Abbey’s influence, writing the next chapter in the Abbey’s illustrious story.

Revive Lagrasse Abbey has 3 phases:  


  1. Restore the Bell Tower
  2. Restore the South Transept
  3. Restore the Abbey Church

Restoration of the 16th century bell tower:

  • Restoration of damaged pinnacles, gargoyles, sculptures
  • Waterproofing and roof repairs
  • Reconstruction of collapsed intermediate floors
Timeline: Currently ongoing, 18 months (2019-2020)
Budget: $1.6 million

The south transept unifies the body of the church to the bell tower. Most of the transept has collapsed after suffering the ravages of time and neglect. All that remains is a semicircular arch that stands exposed to the elements, along with two restored Roman 11 th century apsidioles.

Without the transept intact, the church is cut off. To make it whole once more, the transept must be restored, the arches rebuilt, the frame and the roof reconstructed. This phase includes:

  • Restoration of missing semicircular arches and vaults
  • Reconstruction of the roof and building frame
  • Installation of stained-glass windows
  • Reopen the transept onto the church’s nave
Timeline: 2 years (2021-2022)
Budget: $2.6 million
Lagrasse Abbey’s Gothic church dates back to the 14 th century. Phase 3 will completely restore the church from the floor to the roof, complementing the work on the transept. It will offer a magnificent setting for worship and prayer to the ever-growing number of visitors. Phase 3 includes:
  • Restore the church frame and roof
  • Restore the masonry
  • Restoration or replacement of stained-glass windows
  • Update the church interior (sanctuary furniture, electricity, floor heating)
Timeline: 2 years (2023-2025)
Budget: $1.8 million

Abbaye Sainte-Marie de Lagrasse is located in the South of France about 20 miles south-east of Carcassonne, in the Aude department of Languedoc-Roussillon. View on Google Maps

Abbaye Sainte-Marie de Lagrasse was founded in the 8th century, the Abbey presents great diversity in architectural styles up until the 18th century. The Abbey was brought back from abandonment and desolation when the current community of canons took up residence and began the daunting task of restoring the Abbey. Read more here

Yes, people live in Abbaye Sainte-Marie de Lagrasse! In 2004, the community of canons took up residence at Lagrasse Abbey. This young community – the average age of the canons is 43 years old – brought the Abbey back from abandonment and desolation, shining new light on its architectural beauty and elevating its soul with their Gregorian chants. Today, they need your help!

Your generous contribution to American Friends of L’Abbaye de Lagrasse, LLC is deductible as provided in Section 170 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. You make the restoration of Lagrasse Abbey possible. Donate online now

Contributions by check should be made payable to the order of “American Friends of L’Abbaye de Lagrasse, LLC” and mailed to:

American Friends of L’Abbaye de Lagrasse, LLC
Attn: Jennifer Herlein
14 East 60th Street, Suite 605
New York, NY 10022