The beauty and peace of Bonnevaux´s 65 hectares (160 acres) reflects the contemplative life lived there from its foundation as a Benedictine monastery in 1119 until the French revolution. The land has over 20 different habitats, some of which are of heritage value. The community see themselves as stewards of this fertile place.
The goal of this retreat center is to bring in harmony with nature in its rural setting. The surrounding landscape will reflect Bonnevaux’s heritage “to serve as a place of peace and contemplation.”
Bonnevaux is set in a small valley which has a river (La Rune) running through the middle and feeding into a central lake. It comprises woods, meadows, grazing lands and fields. Much of the property is wooded and consists of many ancient oaks trees. The grounds are home to wild boar, small game, deer and a great diversity of bird life.
Although some fields were cultivated about twenty years ago, the land was converted to organic farming early on and it has not been treated with any phytosanitary products for fifty years.
The community is continuing this policy as a living witness to the link between ecology and the human spirit. We are developing an integrated permaculture project to include vegetables, fruit and grapes.