Located between the Garonne and Dordogne, in the Entre-Deux-Mers region, the abbey is named after the big forest, or "Silva Major", which characterised the surrounding landscape. It was soon at the head of priories spread from England to Aragon, and then became a stop on the Saint James of Compostela pilgrimage route.
After the Revolution, all that was left was a grandiose ruin exploited as a stone quarry. Classified as a historic monument in 1840, it served as a teacher training college before being acquired by the state in 1960.
The Grande-Sauve is one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture and sculpture in South-Western France. From its bell tower, it offers a unique view over the landscape of the Entre-Deux-Mers region.
On a mesmerising site, spread over some 3 hectares, the ruins of the monastic buildings and the cloister are adjacent to an abbey church, famous for its capitals, which illustrate sacred texts and the mediaeval imaginary.
It has a lapidary museum and is a haven for those who enjoy going for a stroll.