We drove and saw a 5th century church that has been added to over the centuries. It boggles my mind how such an old building can still stand because most buildings in Calgary are no older than 50 years. Originally we weren’t going to go into the Prior’s House but we spent 3 hours there. It is the last of its kind and has been beautifully restored. It was for noble men to stay at on their religious pilgrimage. We chatted with the 84 year old woman who bought it when she was 30. It was a ruin and no one wanted it. My favourite room was the cellar because it was full of old pots and now is just used for storage. That is funny because it has such history but here it is part of everyday life. – Alexandra
My first impression of the place was amazing, it was built in the 400’s! Each floor we went up, everything got even more interesting. My favourite room was the library. Most of the stuff was probably an antique, and people just come in and read books or leave some on the shelves! The cellar was definitely old, the floor is cobblestone and the doors have extreme character. – Isaac
The backside of the priory is seen on the far right of this pic. Romainmôitier is situated along one of the pilgrimage routes leading to Saint-Jacques de Compostelle. More than 1000 mansions were erected along these axes to receive noble guests and high-ranking religious officials. It’s believes the priory house is the last of these mansions remaining.
These ancient public water basins are everywhere in Europe
They hold concerts in this church and the acoustics are supposed to be amazing
This tiny narrow staircase leads upstairs to another small chapel inside the church.
The outside of the Prior’s House. The front room and courtyard are used as a teahouse.
This pillar, in the Hall of Knights, supports the whole building.
The Bernese Hall served as a courtroom, and has a ceiling painted with children’s faces.
This is the the hall above the Hall of Knights, which is still used for receptions. The timber pillar, carved from one piece of wood, rests on the cement pillar below.
Backyard complete with gypsy caravan
The library, where people from the community can come and read, and take or leave books
The attic was full of treasures, like old beds, partially finished tapestries and ancient looms
The cellar used to be the stable and dates to the 5th century
Katharina von Arx and her cat Fatsly. She was a journalist and world traveller herself, but when she was going to have a child with her photographer husband, they settled down in the only place they could afford. She said it was so worn down, no one wanted it, so it was dirt cheap. She said her parents were horrified. When they were trying to renovate it to make it livable, they came across frescoes from the middle ages. So she contacted experts and eventually the truth and historical significance of her new home was revealed. We were so lucky to meet her and get the story firsthand.