Ma Touraine… Marc-Olivier Gribomont

Ma Touraine… Marc-Olivier Gribomont Marc-Olivier Gribomont, abbaye royale de Bois Aubry
An early memory

A natural, poetic site situated in the Richelais region, on which stood a majestic, 12th century building which was crying out to be saved from the unforgiving plundering of time and the elements – the Abbey of Bois-Aubry.  A family, a tent as our only shelter, a Benedictine building in ruins, floods, ice cold winds, winter snow, the arduous red tape…And yet at the same time so much life and passion! 

A place 

The abbey itself… - situated in the peaceful hamlet of Bois-Aubry, at an equal distance from three towns famous for their tourist appeal: Ile Bouchard (apparitions), Richelieu (walled town, park, museum) and Ste Maure de Touraine (AOC Cheese) - divine, peaceful, and quintessentially romantic, where notions of time and space no longer exist. A place of culture where history (monarchism, hundred years’ war, intervention of Louis XI, wars of religion, etc.), art (Romanesque, gothic), and the old stones intertwine. A place where the sun and the moon, day and night, take turns in gently caressing the tuffeau.

A face/ an encounter 

A simple, honest, generous man, as free as the wind, hunched over his labours in the herb garden, who kindly lifted his head to greet these strangers and, unbeknown to him, gave them the opportunity of acquiring this treasure. Here, we call him “J.F” and he is a legend…Everyone knows him. We thank him for his gesture. And then there is the unexpected! Yul Brynner… Yes! The famous Hollywood actor, as mysterious as he was generous, who went from Russia to China, from China to France, from France to England, from England to the USA, before finally coming back, via New York and Criqueboeuf, to rest once and for all in the Abbey’s peaceful cemetery.   

An unforgettable moment

Not one, but four. Yes! The four seasons at the abbey…this marvellous climate enjoyed uniquely by the inhabitants of Touraine - the winter snow silently covering these Romanesque ruins like a white shroud … The sweet frenzy of the birds and the chorus of fragrant roses when spring arrives, adding to the lapping of our beautiful fountain (pigeon bath); summer when the sun is at its zenith, preventing the weary shadow of the 15th century bell tower from bathing in the emerald waters of our pool; and then the autumn leaves, strewn over the cloister and whispering in the wind like monks practising their psalms… Four unforgettable shows, four in one, a show of shows. 

A pleasant surprise

The beaches and the open air cafés on the water’s edge, kayaking (Marcilly-sur-Vienne), the little gourmet markets (Chaveignes) and their local produce…Not forgetting the magnificent sites to visit and revisit - Richelieu, the châteaux, religious buildings (Tavant, Ste Chapelle de Champigny-sur-Veude, St Cosme Priory), writers’ homes (La Devinière, Descartes museum), the memorial museum (Maillé), gardens (Villandry, La Chatonnière, Le Rivau), and other treasures…Wonderful climate, wonderful region, wonderful food!

A flavour

The taste of the fresh cheeses of Ste Maure to be enjoyed with the palate flushed crimson by the chinons of Cravant…The fresh bubbles of the sparkling Montlouis and Vouvray.  

A photo to take

In the cloister, the rows of gemel windows and small columns of the chapter room … With, in the foreground, against the backdrop of white tuffeau, blue sky and green grass, you, your partner, your children, your friends…In other words, your loved ones! 


The Royal Abbey of Bois-Aubry, in Luzé.

It was together as a family that the Gribomonts decided to bring back to life the former Royal Abbey of Bois-Aubry, an architectural treasure tucked away in the heart of the Richelais region. Two gites, “La Porterie” (“gatehouse”) and the “Grenier à grains” (“grain attic”) await guests at the foot of a 15th century building listed as a historical monument and whose grounds boast the particularity of housing the grave of the famous Hollywood actor Yul Brynner. A magical place, with an enthralling atmosphere.    


Royal Abbey of Bois Aubry Gite

M and Mme Gribomont

 Tel: +33 (0)2 47 58 37 11

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The E.U. supports tourist sites’ Quality approach