Saint-Paul de Mausole Monastery

List of Countries » France » Saint-Rémy-de-Provence » Saint-Paul de Mausole Monastery


Near the Roman ruins of Glanum, in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence (Southern France), there was a monastery in which monks devoted themselves to help people struggling with mental issues. When the convent was nationalized in 1789, it was sold to Dr. Mercurin, who founded a psychiatric asylum. When he died the asylum was inherited by his heirs. In 1906, one of them, Mr. Aubert of the Castille donated it to the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Vessaux in Ardeche, as long as the building maintained the original purpose. From 1919 to 1964, the medical director was Dr. Edgar Leroy, who helped to make the clinic an institution particularly appreciated by his colleagues and patients all over the world. Until 2014, the Sisters of Saint Joseph Community participated in the care teams for the sick and the elderly. In buildings that are owned by the Association "The Friends of St. Paul", are operated several activities for vocation and psychiatric orientation. Managed by the "1901 Vivre Et Devenir-Villepinte-Saint Michel".



The Saint-Paul de Mausole Monastery has an astonishing Romanesque bell tower with two floors of square plan topped with a pyramidal roof. On the inside, there is a magnificent Romanesque cloister attributable to the 11th and 12th century.
At the center of the pathway, a flower garden contributes to its beauty. The patients can enjoy an incredible atmosphere of tranquility, serenity conducive to reflection and meditation.



The painter Vincent Van Gogh checked himself into Saint-Paul de Mausole from 8 May 1889 to May 16, 1890. Thanks to the humanity and innovative methods of Dr. Peyron's treatment, the artist was able to continue his work during his stay in Saint-Paul de Mausole. In fact, many of his masterpieces were made there. Van Gogh occupied for 53 weeks a room in the "men's pavilion", whose reconstruction you can discover at the top of the Romanesque staircase. Van Gogh was able to benefit from a second room which served him as a workshop, and a third to store his paintings. He will occupy them until his departure on May 16, 1890.



Near Van Gogh's room there is now an art therapy workshop, which was established by the Valetudo association, whose purpose is to combine art and medical treatment. Valetudo is constituted by the caring volunteers and the patients needing psychiatric care. The art therapy programme consists of four weekly sessions of a painting workshop that are organized with an art therapist supervised by the referring psychiatrist of the workshop and assisted by a psychologist. The selected works, made by patients, are exhibited in the Valetudo gallery of the cultural center of the cloister Saint-Paul. Additionally, Valetudo has been organizing in partnership with the prestigious New York School of Art "School of Visual Arts" an exhibition of photographs and paintings in the cloister of the building.

  • Photos by Rebecca Ventura and Antonio Esposito @ (February 2013 and September 2015)
  • Main Text by Antonio Esposito and Rebecca Ventura
  • Locate the item on this Google Maps


  • EDGAR LEROY. Saint-Paul-de-Mausole a Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Syndicat d'Initiative, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, 1948.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License