Le complexe monastique de St. Maurice. Photo/Foto: TES.

The Abbey of St. Maurice

The Abbey of St. Maurice (canton of Valais), the oldest monastery in the West, an uninterrupted functioning abbey and laus perennis (perpetual hymn), was founded in 515 by Sigismund (? – 524), king of the Burgundian kingdom (443-534).

The martyrdom of Saint Maurice and his Christian companions of the Roman Theban legion lies at the origin of this holy place of Christianity.

The abbey church and the church of Martolet, built at the foot of the cliff, the baptistery and the abbot’s palace are part of a vast monastic complex from the 6th century, which shows the religious importance of the abbey.

The presence of a palace also testifies to its political power. The Aula, with an area of 400 m2, represented the abbot, the bishop and the (Burgundian) king.

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