A place of pilgrimage and healing for all those living in the Alsace region, the Mont Sainte-Odile Monastery has been an extremely popular spiritual center since it was founded. Established in the 8th century around the tomb of Sainte-Odile, a blind princess who recovered her sight when baptized, the monastery is firmly anchored into Alsatian history. Continually destroyed and rebuilt, and confiscated and resold during the French Revolution, the cathedral town of Strasbourg subsequently bought the monastery by public subscription. Hidden away in the forest and nestled against a promontory, it was enlarged over the years following a logic dictated by the need to provide accommodation for visiting pilgrims.
The latest renovation gives the site a new coherence by organizing routes and functions without mixing uses or activities. The entrance courtyard has been centered on the driveway lined with 100-year-old lime trees leading to the gatehouse. The traditional reception hall has been given a new interpretation and now offers cultural and spiritual information on the monastery and its history to visitors, pilgrims and tourists. Beyond this hall, focused on a glory cross lie a number of dining rooms (accommodating up to 800 covers) and meeting rooms giving either onto the courtyard with its lime trees or a vertiginous view of the Vosges mountains. The fit outs of the various rooms and the made-to-measure oak furniture units with their two-tone waxed finishes pay homage to Alsatian traditions. The overall impression is one of contemporary restraint, in harmony with the setting.