Solignac, Abbey of

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SOLIGNAC, ABBEY OF

Former benedictine monastery of St. Peter and St. Paul, on the Briance River, in the Diocese and arrondissement of Limoges, Haute-Vienne, France. Solignac (Lat. Solemniacum ) was founded in 631 at the request of St. eligius of noyon (d. 659), a minister of King Dagobert. The first monks came from luxeuil; St. Remaclus, who later became bishop-abbot of stavelotmalmÉdy, was Solignac's first abbot (632642). The abbey soon grew to 150 monks. In 675 it founded Brageac in the Diocese of Clermont-Ferrand. Solignac was plundered several times and had to be restored in 840 and 1100. Its dependent priories included Arton (Haute-Vienne) and Agumont (Corrèze). In 1571 it was ravaged by the Calvinists. Though incorporated into the Congregation of Saint-Maur in 1619 (see maurists), the abbey had only nine monks in 1768. It was suppressed during the French Revolution, but the buildings were preserved, and sheltered in succession a boarding school, a porcelain factory, and finally a major seminary of the oblates of mary immaculate. The abbey church, a masterpiece of romanesque art, has been made a national historical monument.

Bibliography: Gallia Christiana, v.113 (Paris 171585),v.1416 (Paris 185665) 2:566575. beaunier, Abbayes et prieurés de l'ancienne France, ed. j. m. l. besse, 12 V. (Paris 1905-41) v.5. l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 193539) 2:3058-59. "Solignac," Bulletin de la société archéologique et historique du Limousin 77 (1937) 155179. p. morel, "Les Archives de S.," ibid. 84 (1953) 169180. f. baix, "L'Hagiographie à Stavelot-Malmédy," Revue Bénédictine 60 (1950) 120162.

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