Imprimer

Restoration works

The Belleperche abbey was extremely run down when the General Council purchased it. The courtyard of the cloister was being used as farmyard filled with concrete block barns; the galleries had been walled up and partitioned for use as stables, barns or garages... One third of the building was abandoned and the roof had partially collapsed. The central part was deteriorating. As for the hostel, it had remained inhabited until 1998, although its roof was threatening to fall in.

The cloister

The restoration works began with the spectacular work on the cloister in the spring of 1993. Half of the north wing was rebuilt, making it possible to close off the interior courtyard at the back of the cloister, to support the gallery with tie-rods and restore its original volume along the 13th century passageway, the original entrance to the cloister.


The cloister The cloister
The cloister The cloister

The supporting walls

After the initial renovation of the medieval supporting walls on the banks of the Garonne, 1996-1998, the final third was entirely restored in 2008/2009; this was essential for ensuring the stability of the whole.


The supporting walls

The supporting walls


The hostel

From 2001 to 2002, the succession of reception rooms in the hostel was restored to its original glory. The brick floors, faded to pink, recovered their deep red colour after treatment. The plasterwork decorations created between 1762 and1765, tarnished and cracked, were cleaned, refurbished and painted in white limestone wash

The hostel L’hôtellerie
The hostel L’hôtellerie

The grain store

At the same time, the large grain store, where the monks kept everything they needed for daily life, was also restored. Before 1999, it was impossible to realise how big this room was, because an apartment covered almost all the northern nave. The entrance to the grain store was through a cart door created in 1920 in the 13th century facade, and closed off with a plastic rolling shutter. The work undertaken in 2001 resulted in a genuine metamorphosis.

The grain store The grain store
Le grenier Le grenier

The gardeners' wing

Built upon earlier structures in the first half of the 18th century, the gardeners' wing was redesigned in the 1760s and then modified in 1796 or 1797 with the inclusion of a staircase. During the first half of the 20th century the roof collapsed. The restoration was part of the last phase of flood-proofing work in the abbey. The windows opened up in the 19th century were sealed and, in order to consolidate the building, a reinforcing belt and tie-rods were integrated into the cornice.

The gardeners' wing The gardeners' wing
The gardeners' wing The gardeners' wing

The refurbishment of the abbey will continue from 2010 to 2013 in the former hostel, on the east side of the main body of the building. At the end of the work, beginning with the restoration of the two staircases leading to the upper floor, the public will finally be able to admire the old guest rooms and the huge gallery "of graffiti", which was exceptionally opened in 2008 for the Tarn-et-Garonne bicentennial celebrations.