Lavaudieu - Sanctuary

In search of his wife and son Tell just left Albion with a mercenary chasing him.

Lavaudieu is a commune in the Haute-Loire department in south-central France. The buildings include the Romanesque Lavaudieu Abbey, otherwise Lavaudieu Priory (Abbaye

Saint-André de Lavaudieu), built by St. Robert, the first abbot of La Chaise-Dieu, in the 11th century, which was at first a Benedictine priory, and later a house of secular canonesses

from the Auvergnat nobility. It was raised to the status of abbey in 1719. Tell leaves his shattered hometown and meets brother Gregory in the tavern at 'Albion' (both Chateau Epierre).

Scene: Episode 6 Albion ends with a shot of Dantes. It'was hard to say if Tell was hit or not. Location: Epierre castle, French Alps.


The start of episode 7 'Sanctuary.' -  Location: at Senouire river, Lavaudieu.


Also the river Dante's men following Tell's trace.

                                        Lavaudieu on the map                                                                               The abbey is attached to a field next to the Senouire river. See the yellow circle.


Sanctuary - The monastery of Lavaudieu

Well...episode 7 started with quite a shock effect. Who is buried here?

1986                                                                                                 2015

 You might think this could be the grave of her husband, William Tell. Katrina believes Matthew is buried here and

she heard her husband was the shooter. Gessler's soldiers bring in a coffin and Katrina believes Matthew is in it.


The stairs to the garden

                                 1986                                                                                                        2015                           



The beginning and the goodbye scene is on this spot. This stairs leading to the garden with a view over the river.

1986                                                               2015 Nothing has changed.                                                           2015


The goodbye scene. Tell went away looking  for Matthew. He promised to bring him back to her. Unfortunately that moment never comes.


1986  The last time Tell sees Katrina.                                                                           2015                      


Senouire river

Tell goes through the Senouire river. Tell on his way' to the Abbey of Lavaudieu. But he is still in the saddle of Guitano. 

1986 The exact location: Look at the small house next to the Senouire river2015                                                                                                               

The riverside Dantes and his men travel in search of Tell. Tell crosses this river to find help. He falls off his horse between the monastery and the riverside

(north side of the river). You can see the bridge of Lavaudieu behind him. Right picture taken in 2015 looking to the west side of the Senouire river.


The riverbank and the bridge

Scene: The non in the garden hears something and takes a look. Location: Behind the abbey, here are many small gardens nowadays.



Lavaudieu bridge is in the back. It has been reconstructed, there used to be a clear edge (1986) over the top of the bridge.



We don't like seeing the hero like that.



The reunion scene

These rooms are no longer accessible to the public. But the monastery church (with many fresco's), garden and courtyard are open to the public. You can admire it via a guided tour. 
below the kitchen. A few steps higher on the monumental staircase, to extend to a second floor which may have housed a boarding school for young girls. The Abbess's home is up here.
  Traces of the fortified wall dating from the 11th or 12th centuries which formed the basis, it has become frozen in history as a Louis XIV-style house in the 18th century.

No visitors allowed inside.. Sorry I don't have photos yet from this kitchen, hall and room. But I know someone who might have.

Scene: While mother superior taking care of the wounded, she asked where he came from. When she hears the name and the town,

she asked his name. Then she realizes this must be Katrina's husband. She makes Katrina bring him the food. Katrina hardly believe she sees Tell again.

They finally see each other again.


Dantes at Senouire river.

Dantes is held up by a badly injured mate. He said 'he would take good care of him.' Takes on a different meaning.


Dantes gave his mate some water and said goodbye. Then hekilled him, out of sight of his other mates. Senouire river.



Katrina liked to hear Tell's side of the story. Meanwhile, Tell's horse is found at the riverside.

Dantes is on Tell's track. The mercenaries wanted Gessler's reward for handing over Tell.

Scene: Katrina is happy to see her husband but she is still confused about Matthew's fate.  'You killed my baby,' she says emotional and she takes William to Matthew's grave.


Story update of the series: Red thread of the story of tell and his family

Episode 7 Santuary: Matthew is in the Citadel, but Tell doesn't know that yet. Tell finds out in episode 9. The Governor of Ursen ('he was in The Banquet and The Bet) told him Matthew is taken by Prince

Martin to the Citadel .  Episode 3 The Little Soldier: He hears from Isabel what is happening in the country and families are going through, but appears not to realize yet that the same has happened

to his village. Episode 5, The Reunion: Stefan told Tell: "Don't you know that yet? When the rebellion started Clermont was the first town Gessler destroyed."  Episode 18, The Four Horsemen: Tell

visits the festival at the Citadel to make sure Matthew is in there. He is. Stefan they are going to see old friends who can help them get Matthew out. Episode 24 Rebirth: never a reunion with Katrina again.


Gessler's trick

Mother superior told Katrina, the soldiers brought in a coffin, they told her it was Matthew who was in.

Tell refuses to believe it and he thinks they hide him.  Tell asks if someone has seen Matthew.


Mother superior didn't look in the coffin. Tell is convinced Matthew is alive. Actrors: With Anne Lonnberg, Elisabeth Kaza.


The Front of the Abbey of Lavaudieu

   Danger is approaching. Dantes is on his way...

1986                                                                                    2015


                                                1986                                                                2015  In front of the abbey                                                                         2015                                                    


You can enter the door with the iron fence. Behind this fence is a beautiful alley that leads to the cloister garden. See below.

Scene: One of the nuns returns, after fetching fresh water. While she opens the gate Dantes gets in.

The alley with the iron gate. While walking through the alley you pass the lattice door.


                          1986                                                                                                               2014                          

It's impossible to watch through these door nowadays...perhaps it was too easy to get in the monastery with only a half open door made of wood.


                           1986                                                                                         2014                                                                     2014


Scene: Everything seems peaceful...  Tell is just saying goodbye while the mercenary gang walks in.


                                                            1986                                               Saying Goodbye                                                2015                                                                        


The attack of the monastery

You are free to visit the courtyard, the church and monastery, but unfortunately the interior is private. I have no photos of it and they can't be found on the internet.








There comes another one (Dantes team is a mix of actors and stuntmen, in this case you see stuntman Marcel L'Abbaye).


A number of mercenaries appear. They went outside for a swordfight duel.


Tell has no choice and has to fight against huge Dantes, with one arm.





The interior and stairs

Unfortunately I don't have photos from the interior and stairs nowadays. In 2014 it was impossible to get to the top of the monastery. The rooms and the special staircase

must also not be visited.  Several people live upstairs. However, the church and the courtyard can be visited. Someone sent a photo of the stairs, you can see below.


Scene: Nothing could stop Dantes




                                    1986                                                                      Nowadays



                                                                                                                Finally Tell is enclosed by two dangerous weapons and the giant Dantes.


                                                                                                             1986                                                                        The door they went through.   



Katrina craps her chance.



1986                                                                                                   Nowadays still the same


                                                                                   2014                                                                                                     1986                                           



With special thanks to Anne Lonnberg who provided the left photo and Mr. Lyman who sent us the right photo.   1986 Fight choreography          


The last goodbye




             1986 Tell leaves to find Matthew.                                        2015



They were walking in the monastery gardens (1 level up).


Extra Photos

The abbey located at the heart of the village of Lavaudieu and founded in 1057 by St. Robert, the founder of the Chair-God, the abbey St. Andrew of Comps received nuns

Benedictines up to Revolution.  There remains principally the unique, Romanic cloister in Auvergne, and the refectory, adorned with a big fresco of Byzantine influence there of

the XIIth century, and sheltering a Romanic Christ of a moving beauty. The church St Andrew receives remarkable set from the wall paintings of the Italian School (XIVth century):

stages of Passion, unique and only curious allegory of Black Death.


The only one in Auvergne to have escaped destruction. Admire its small columns, either single or twinned, wreathed, cylindrical or polygonal, their capitals adorned with sculpted

foliage and animals. The canopy on the upper floor is supported by oak posts. In the refectory, a 12C mural covers the entire back wall. The abbey church, its nave decorated with

fine 14C frescoes, is also worth a visit.





The church of Lavaudieu


The Cloister garden - Pictures of the pillars





The abbey seen from the riverside










                                                                                                                                      The streets of Lavaudieu


The small museum in the hall








The first floor

The ground floor is made of beautiful cobblestones. See above and the courtyard.
The first floor had a wooden floor in it, now it has tiles or both. The right photos showed both floors, wood and tiles.


 Above and below: Wooden floors or tiles? I don't remeber during my visit in 2014. Now that I look at the photos I suddenly see the difference.

                                                                                                                                               Close call



The angel is giving the peace sign, Lauvaudieu.