Here are some photos from a recent visit to the Abbaye de Fontevraud, originally constructed to be something of a utopian city (ruled by women, no less) by Robert d’Arbrissel. Throughout the trajectory of its history, however, the micro-city took on a motley variety of identities, as the site of a royal tomb (housing the remains of Henry II, Richard the Lion Heart, and Eleanor of Aquitaine), monastic city, penitentiary (until 1985!), cultural center, and UNESCO world heritage site.
(the nearby Chateau de Montsoreau)
(champignonerie (mushroom-erie) built into the rocks of Montsoreau)