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Abbaye de Senanque - Warning - Strict Dress Code

Abbaye de Senanque - Warning - Strict Dress Code

Old Jul 12th, 2006, 06:44 PM
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Abbaye de Senanque - Warning - Strict Dress Code

We parked in what we realized later was the overflow parking lot- a good hike from the closer parking lot. Then we walked ten minutes more to get to the ticket desk only to find out that the lady there thought my daughters shorts were too short. Trust me, they were conservative compared to what lots of kids wear.

We were turned away. We saw three other folks turned away for other various transgressions- spaghetti straps, torso showing etc.

When you see what the monks wear you can see why.

They could at least place a warning at the first sign, but then they might lose dollars at the gift shop.

Thought you'd want to know.
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Old Jul 12th, 2006, 06:56 PM
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Maybe if you'd bought more at the gift shop there wouldn't have been a problem with attire. It isn't as if established religions are against money per se.
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Old Jul 12th, 2006, 07:08 PM
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I thought it was pretty common knowledge to expect to cover knees and shoulders before entering most any European church..?
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 01:52 AM
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I'm with you Travelnut. Its not about their gift shop. Its about respect for their beliefs. I have been there before and we all dressed accordingly for the visit and had no issues. Managed to locate the correct parking lot too.
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 02:50 AM
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The abbey also makes the existence of a dress code perfectly clear on its website.
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 02:56 AM
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Remember it's a living religious community, and it's entirely correct that they demand an appropriate standard of dress of their visitors.
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 03:23 AM
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I have to agree with Alec & the others.
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 06:33 AM
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OK, whatever.
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 07:57 AM
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This is simply part of what I stress as the responsibility of every person who travels to any country!! You are a guest...act as a guest!! Check the customs and practices of the country, as well as store hours, dress..learn some basic words to use in the country. In France it is customary for a salutation upon entering a store, also a merci, au revoir or better yet, a bientot, when leaving.

All this is simple common courtesy and manners that you must have been taught by your parents!!
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 08:19 AM
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Wow.

The horses that some of you are sitting astride are so high that I can only make out your smirking faces with a set of binoculars.

Ou sont votres manieres? Disparu?

MariaCallas was merely offering her fellow travelers a useful bit of advice. In return, she is lectured and ridiculed.

Good manners should be exercised at home (read: online!) as well as abroad.
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 08:38 AM
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Sorry, I didn't mean to denigrate the message, I really have seen it mentioned numerous times over the years on this forum and also in guidebooks. My husband was 'reminded' to remove his hat when we entered the cathedral at Cologne - we were so blown away, I imagine our mouths were hanging open. He had totally forgotten about wearing the hat inside. So reminders don't hurt.
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 08:41 AM
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True enough dcdilettante, "I told you so" is never nice but, come on, this is not late breaking news on Fodor's. It was generous and brave of mariacallas to share her story because this topic has been done many times and the answer is always the same; when in doubt, cover up.
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 08:50 AM
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Dil, I couldn't agree with you more. I started coming here just a few month ago at the urging of my boss, who is a regular poster. I thought I would get a few pointers about a planned trip to Italy next year. I am so terrified of asking any advice because you get your arm torn off here if you offend any of the sensibilities of the "europhiles." America is not good enough for them; our way of life is wrong. You had better kow-tow to European customs, or else.

Christine
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 08:54 AM
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Well I felt like the statement "They could at least place a warning at the first sign, but then they might lose dollars at the gift shop" was out of line and therefore merited a harder response.
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 09:28 AM
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Oh, please...this has nothing to do with America's not being good enough for people who travel to Europe. It's about respect for a place of worship, especially when there's a working religious community at the place you're visiting. It never hurts to err on the conservative side.

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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 09:28 AM
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I did a search to see if the dress code at L'abbaye had ever been mentioned here and posted only because I had found nothing there or on L'abbaye's website.

I've posted many offerings of help here over the years and have received worlds more, so I try to offer what insight I can.

Perfunctory head thumpings from the haughty aren't my idea of thanks. But then we've learned to expect that from some here in cyberspace.

C'est la vie.
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 09:43 AM
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I, for one, appreciate the original post. Lots of places of worship have dress code policies - some are strictly enforced, others moderately, others are ignored. It's nice to know which ones are strictly enforced.

I noticed that some of the churches in Italy had these blue paper ponchos that people could wear if their clothes were deemed inappropriate. (Of course, I found those more distracting than shorts or camisoles, but they make the rules.)
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 10:09 AM
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Nawww...when you post, we can read, and when the post ends with a very clear hit which applies to France and the religious establishment, i.e.-intimating that they are in it for your almighty American dollar (a concept that quite a few individuals use from time to time), you have insulted a place and a religious establishment. Why then would anyone expect a response that ignores that insult?
One can post, and most do, without the concomitant insult, whether implied, deceitful or just direct as some do also.
This is a forum for critical analysis and information. As Henry Kissinger once intoned: ...If I seem as if I have been insulted, you can take it that I have been........words that apply here in a relative way.

There are and always will be people that seek out message boards for placement of their own derisive messages of political, racist and anti-something rhetoric. Avoidance of these phrases and inuendoes is obviously and logical the best way to avoid an equal and opposite reponse.
The fact is, the original post was not all sugar and spice, and for my opinion, could have and may have been placed to elicit the very thing that it did. Humans are interesting animals.

Those that have insecure problems in their own lives tend to perturbate the lives of others for their enjoyment and resolution of inadequacy. Or shout others down, insult or otherwise demean in order to build themselves up. Sad but a reality.
The solution is to avoid posting with an insult, rant or other quaint subtlety. Especially if it makes the poster appear to be a person that doesn't care about respecting religious establishments to begin with.
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 10:40 AM
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My post was not a direct response to this particular post by mariacallas, but to so very many who seem to leave their manners at home! You are a guest and should check customs etc...there are many with an attitude that no one knows them, so what difference does it make! Many of us don't like that attitude from fellow Americans.
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 10:50 AM
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I can personally vouch for the fact that Mariacallas is as respectful and polite a person as they get.

Her post was just meant as a head's up for future visitors to the Abbey and in that spirit, I'll just add that people should know that to visit the cloisters and the rest of the interior (aside from the gift shop) you must be with a guide and the tours are only at certain hours and only in French. The interior is very beautiful and well worth the visit, but if you don't speak French be aware you may find the visit a bit tedious.

In any case, the real beauty of the place is the site itself and it is best approached on foot via the trail that winds it's way up the canyon from Gordes. Takes about an hour and it is a fantastic hike.

-Kevin

p.s.: they have a fantastic book shop.
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