Maubuisson, Abbey of

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A former French abbey of cistercian nuns, located in the Diocese of Versailles. Maubuisson Abbey was founded and richly endowed by Queen Blanche of Castile in 1236 and illustrates the finest style of French Gothic. The queen was buried there. The nuns came from the nobility, and its abbesses from the highest French aristocracy. Being near Paris, the abbey enjoyed royal patronage; King philip iv (12851314) often used it as his residence. The convent was badly damaged during the Hundred Years' War. After 1543 the appointment of the abbesses by the kings of France for personal or dynastic reasons resulted in the rapid decline of morals, especially when King henry iv installed as abbess Angélique d'Estrées (15971618), the sister of his mistress. Subsequent reform under the influence of Angélique Arnauld (d. 1661), abbess of port-royal, brought only temporary improvement. Maubuisson was suppressed in 1791 and looted. When it was sold to private owners, both the church and cloister were demolished. Only ruins survive.

Bibliography: u. chevalier, Répertoire des sources historiques du moyen-âge. Topobibliographie, 2 v. (Paris 18941903) 2:187576. o. verge du taillis, Chroniques de l'Abbaye Royale de Maubuisson (Paris 1947). l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 193539) 2:179091.

[l. j. lekai]