St Maurin (47270) is the only village in France with this name. It was named after the saint to whom the village's 11th-century Abbey is dedicated. The village is located in a lush valley at the edge of the small Escorneboeuf stream. The village is truly sleepy for most of the year. It has, however, an ancient charm that hints at its long and often turbulent past.
The ruins of its Cluniac Abbey stand in the centre of the village. This abbey built on the tomb of the martyr Maurin and consecrated in 1097. Originally built by Benedictine monk, it was later destroyed during the Albigeois war, then rebuilt. It was ravaged once more in the 14th century by the English, this time during the 100 Years War.
After it was rebuilt in the 15th century its problems were still not over as it was attacked then by the Hugenots.
The Abbey passed into the ownership of the village in 1645 and was never rebuilt. Many of the walls were demolished as a source of building stone but a good portion of the main arch is still standing. The monks' garden exists and also the stables which are now houses. Other things to note are the stone carvings in the archway which portray the martyr Maurin having the top of his head cut off and his brain spooned out!
The Abbey is now a Monument de France and is being restored.
The village is arranged around a central square under a covered market hall dating from the 17th century. It is easy to park in the village centre. Strolling through the streets, you can find half-timbered houses, the village’s old well and the Abbey’s chateau with its interesting tower.
There are few facilities in the village. Other than a museum (village centre) and a small general shop which is located on the way out of the village, but there are currently no cafes or banks.
You can contact the tourist office on
photo credits (unless otherwise stated are to the Office de Tourisme, Porte d’Aquitaine en Pays de Serres.