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The Abbaye aux Dames is the musical centre (cité musicale) of Saintes. The Festival de Saintes, the Jeune Orchestre de l’Abbaye (JOA), Musicaventure, artists’ residences and a unique architectural heritage are at the heart of a rich cultural array. Discover a site teeming with culture that encourages dialogue and discovery and fuels innovation. With walls that stand open to the city, the Abbaye aux Dames invites anyone and everyone to learn about heritage, music and history in a constantly changing setting that is free from convention.

Specific receptions and activities

To delve further into your Musicaventure experience, the Abbaye aux Dames, cité musicale, invites you to co-create specific activities focusing on different themes. With the abbey’s network of music and heritage professionals, you can participate in workshops, sing with a choir, meet musicians…

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Share an exceptional, cross-cutting musical and heritage experience with your pupils by planning your visit through the offers you will find in these pages…

Artistic and cultural education activities: primary and junior high

Artistic and cultural education activities: senior high

Acoustic Journeys

Music and history, the cornerstones of the abbey’s influence, echo each other throughout an itinerary marked by high-tech acoustic stations. The Musicaventure experience can be enjoyed in groups from primary three.

Delve more deeply into the experience: discover binaural sound, listening activities, the fantastic mediaeval bestiary, story-writing, historical frescoes…

The Carrousel Musical

A fun, sensory approach to music. Sheltering under a vast shell of silvery mirrors, an immense “Bazilik”* houses, in its body, a gigantic digital instrumentarium that is truly one of a kind. With the Carrousel Musical, explore bows, keyboards, harps, electro-acoustic instruments and vocal cords. The ride ends in the collective production of an interactive piece. With a poetic, fairground dimension, the Carrousel Musical is an extraordinary, stimulating ride that calls upon the senses of touch, hearing and sight. It is a new approach to music.
* In reference to the basilisk, mythical creature of the Roman bestiary.

The Jeune Orchestre de l’Abbaye (JOA)

Young musicians from all over the world come to Saintes to complete their musical training with the JOA. They also participate in musical outreach activities. These experiences, based on practice and listening, enrich all concerned: the musicians, who are in contact with audiences unfamiliar with music that they must win over to their cause, and the participants, who have the opportunity to meet the musicians, try singing and/or a musical instrument and be transported by music.

Choir singing

The Abbaye aux Dames, cité musicale, has always placed choir singing at the heart of its cultural outreach activities.

In a school and after-school setting, the abbey develops choir singing courses, stays abreast with existing practices, supports teacher training, encourages and organises meetings between children’s and young people’s choirs, develops programmes for prestigious choirs and creates workshops for vocal practices, among other activities.

Outreach resource centre

With over 15 years of experience, the Abbaye aux Dames develops and perfects modules initiating participants in musical outreach. Today, this skill is a must for professional musicians.
Supported by a network of partners in the cultural, tourist and social sectors, the Abbaye aux Dames conducts research on outreach and gives it a great deal of thought. This activity now extends to all of Europe.

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