Centre Val De Loire

St Cosme Priory - Loire Valley - Ronsard

This page was updated on: Thursday, December 26, 2019 at: 4:24 pm

St Cosme Priory in St-Cosme-en-l'Isle

St Cosme Priory is located on the western outskirts of Tours, near La Riche district.

When the priory was founded in 1092 on a small island, hence its official name St-Cosme-en-l'Isle. The island was attached to the mainland after the construction of the Grande Levée d'Anjou.

Henry II Plantagenêt, King of England and Count of Anjou, commissioned the  construction of the dyke during the 12th century.

Sadly, St Cosme Priory fell into disrepair at the French Revolution and the remaining buildings were further damaged during WWII.

However, the vestiges of the 11th century church's chancel and the 12th century refectory were restored.

Vestiges of the church

Pierre de Ronsard, commendatory prior of St Cosme

Pierre de Ronsard was commendatory prior of St Cosme, in other words, a lay outsider. Appointed by the king, he received the revenues generated by the priory.

Along with six other poets, he co-founded the PléiadeThis literary group revived French poetry during the French Renaissance.

The other two influential members of the Pléiade were Joachim du BellayandJean-Antoine de Baïf. They adopted the name Pléiade as a reference to the seven stars of the Pleiades star cluster.

The name refers also to a 3rd century BC literary group composed of seven Alexandrian poets and tragedians known as the Alexandrian Pleiad.

The number and quality of Ronsard's poems, but also his charisma made him the undisputed leader of the Pleiade.

St Cosme Priory, the resting place of Ronsard

Pierre de Ronsard was born at the Manoir de la Possonnière, in the little village of Couture-sur-Loir in the Loire Valley.

The young aristocrat was educated at home until the age of nine. He was then sent to study in Paris, where he later became attached to the service of King Charles IX.

Sadly, incurable deafness soon led him to abandon his diplomatic career. Ronsard therefore devoted his time to studies and court life.

Between 1550 and 1552 he published his Odes, which became famous for the poem The Rose from the Amours de Cassandre. The book is dedicated to the 15-year old Cassandre Salviati.

In the years that followed, the aggravation of his disability forced Ronsard to quit court life and retire to St Cosme Priory. The last years of his life were sadly marked by the death of his friends of La Pleiade.

The sharp deterioration of his health worsened alarmingly by the end of 1585. Pierre de Ronsard died at St Cosme Priory and was buried on December 27, 1585 near the altar.

The Rose by Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585)

To Cassandre

See, Mignonne, hath not the Rose,
That this morning did unclose
Her purple mantle to the light,
Lost, before the day be dead,
The glory of her raiment red,
Her colour, bright as yours is bright?

Ah, Mignonne, in how few hours,
The petals of her purple flowers
All have faded, fallen, died;
Sad Nature, mother ruinous,
That seest thy fair child perish thus
'Twixt matin song and even tide.

Hear me, my darling, speaking sooth,
Gather the fleet flower of your youth,
Take ye your pleasure at the best;
Be merry ere your beauty flit,
For length of days will tarnish it
Like roses that were loveliest.

Department of Indre-et-Loire - City of Tours - La Riche district
Coordinates for St Cosme Priory: Lat 47.389114 - Long 0.651208

Photo via Wikimedia Commons: Vestiges of the church
Loire Valley - Gabare

April 6 2017

Loire Valley, the Royal Valley

The Loire Valley is also known as the Royal Valley because of the many chateaux the kings of the French Renaissance and their vassals built along the river
Aerial photo of the Chateau de Chinon

December 17 2016

Chateau de Chinon – Loire Valley – History

Chateau de Chinon, restored ruins of the fortress built by Henry II of England where Joan of Arc came to serve King Charles VII during the Hundred years War
Cycling along the Loire River

October 28 2016

Cycling along the Loire River

The best cycling routes along the Loire River, a series of trails that follow the river from its spring in Auvergne downwards to its mouth in the Atlantic
Chateau de Villandry and gardens

May 26 2016

Villandry Renaissance Chateau – Gardens

The Renaissance Chateau and gardens of Villandry in the Loire Valley, fully restored by Joachim Carvallo, and today registered as UNESCO's World Heritage

Sign up to our newsletter

Travel France Online will use the information you provide on this form to keep in touch with you and to provide updates via our newsletter. By selecting the boxes on the form you confirm your acceptance to receive our newsletter.

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at admin@travelfranceonline.com

We will treat your information with respect. For more information please visit our privacy policy page