Koad Malouen Abbey

Contemporary arts off the beaten track

Founded in 1142, the former Cistercian abbey is now a centre for contemporary arts

The abbey of Koad Malouen was founded in 1142 by Alan Le Noir, Duc de Richmond, son-in-law of the Duc de Bretagne Conan III. It was attached to the abbey of Bégard, itself a dependency of the abbey of Cîteaux.

It has lived through the tumultuous history of abbeys in France. From the 17th century, the reformation of the Cistercian order resulted in restoration works, most notably under the abbacy of Monseigneur Languet, Archbishop of Sens, from 1710 to 1750. This is why we can today admire the 18th century vestiges of a 12th century abbey.

The abbey was still intact after the Revolution, however its first purchaser demolished part of it and built a manor house in Trégrom near Lannion.

Since 1993, the Friends of Koad Malouen Abbey have undertaken restoration works and introduced a programme of guided tours, exhibitions, theatre and concerts which take place in the former stables (1710). The only parts of the building to remain standing are the church and the west facade of the guest building.

The church was rebuilt in the 18th century, as evidenced by its severe classical lines.  Its facade presents a triangular pediment. On the door of the church can be seen the scallop shells of the pilgrims to Santiago de Compostella. The west facade, which is open to the sky, gives glimpses of the architectural magnificence of the reconstruction. Foundations uncovered during excavations have been consolidated, and the standing remains have been restored.

It’s now possible to understand the site as a coherent and impressive whole.