Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

(Altacomba, Altæcombæum)

A Cistercian monastery near Aix-les-Bains in Savoy, Diocese of Chambéry (formerly Geneva); founded about a. d. 1101 in a narrow valley (or combe ) between hills near the Lake of Bourget by hermits from Aulpes, in the Lake of Geneva. About 1125 it was transferred to a site on the north-western shore of the lake under Mont du Chat, granted to it by Amadeus, Count of Savoy ; and shortly afterwards it accepted the Cistercian Rule from Clairvaux. The first abbot was the saintly and learned Amadeus de Haute-Rive, afterwards Bishop of Lausanne. Two daughter-houses were founded from Hautecombe at an early date, one, Fossa-Nuova (afterwards called For Appio), in the Diocese of Terracina, in 1135, and the other, S. Angelo de Petra, close to Constantinople in 1214. Celestine IV and Nicholas III have been claimed as alumni of Hautecombe, but this is disputed by Janauschek, the historian of the Cistercian Order. The chief interest of Hautecombe, apart from the beauty of its situation, arises from its having been for centuries the burial-place of the Counts and Dukes of Savoy. Count Humbert III, known as "Blessed", and his wife Anne were interred there in the latter part of the twelfth century; and about a century later Boniface, Archbishop of Canterbury (1245-1270), son of Count Thomas I, was buried in the sanctuary of the abbey church. He had come out from England with King Edward I to accompany him in a crusade, but died at the castle of St. Helena in Savoy. The last abbot, Anthony of Savoy, a son of Charles Emmanuel I, was interred there in 1673. The abbey was restored (in a debased style) by one of the dukes about 1750, but it was secularized and sold in 1792, when the French entered Savoy, and was turned into a china-factory. King Charles Felix of Sardinia purchased the ruins in 1824, had the church rebuilt and re-constructed, and restored it to the Cistercian Order. He and his queen (Maria Christina of Naples ) are buried in the Belley chapel, which forms a kind of vestibule to the church. Some 300 statues and many frescoes adorn the interior of the church, which is 215 feet long, with a transept 85 feet wide. Most of the tombs are little more than reproductions of the medieval monuments.


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Gospel, John 11:19-27
19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 29th, 2014 Image

St. Martha
July 29: "Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus." This unique ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter