Taize Community, Taize

#10 of 50 in Historic Sites in Saone-et-Loire
Must see · Religious Site · Tourist Spot
The Taizé Community is an ecumenical Christian monastic fraternity in Taizé, Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy, France. It is composed of more than one hundred brothers, from Catholic and Protestant traditions, who originate from about thirty countries across the world. It was founded in 1940 by Brother Roger Schütz, a Reformed Protestant. Guidelines for the community’s life are contained in The Rule of Taizé written by Brother Roger and first published in French in 1954.
Taizé has become one of the world's most important sites of Christian pilgrimage, with a focus on youth. Over 100,000 young people from around the world make pilgrimages to Taizé each year for prayer, Bible study, sharing, and communal work. Through the community's ecumenical outlook, they are encouraged to live in the spirit of kindness, simplicity and reconciliation. The community's church, the Church of Reconciliation, was inaugurated on 6 August 1962. It was designed by a Taizé member and architect, Brother Denis. Young Germans from Action Reconciliation Service for Peace, created for reconciliation after World War II, assumed the work of building it. Owing to the founder's commitment, since its inception the community has evolved into an important site for Catholic–Lutheran ecumenism. A Catholic, Brother Alois, succeeded as prior after his predecessor's death in 2005.

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Taize Community reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
144 reviews
  • Taizé is the best place for mediation and for meeting new human beings on a earthy level and the kindness over succeed the personal expectations. The food and the concept of Taizé which is similar to....  more »
  • While traveling to Burgundy my wife and I attended the Eucharist Service (Catholic mass) on a Sunday morning. Filled with young people from all over the world the mass was celebrated through a very.....  more »
  • Heaven on earth! A beautiful community where you see true Christian values. A great place to meditate and commune with people who seek one thing in common - God. I especially was impressed that the monks there engage the young people to lead the community. I wish I could go there every year.
  • 1 star reviews are mainly from people who do not seem to appreciate that Taizé is NOT a well funded resort or luxury holiday camp. (Also from anti-religious/anti-Christian obsessives.) You must also appreciate that the place is mainly geared to youth (teenagers and young adults 16-30 years) and to adults of all ages who are seeking respite and silent retreat. Therefore it is extremely important that you make arrangements in advance and don’t just show up unexpectedly, because there are safeguarding issues! (The Taizé community are very serious about addressing physical abuse and sexual exploitation, even when the perpetrators are their own Brothers!) Likewise families with small children may find it uncomfortable/unwelcoming, including if your babies disturb the service. They simply aren’t equipped to support you. 😢 HOWEVER, if you are a young person or adult looking for a place of simplicity and tranquility, you are in for a treat! ACCOMMODATION: You have a choice of camping or shared dormitories. Under-30’s are separated from over-30’s. Camping is what you make of it, most people travel very light. Dormitories are six bunk beds with a rack for luggage. You have a thin but relatively comfortable mat on a strong bed frame, and a clean fitted sheet. You are also given a very tiny pillow and a blanket, sometimes fleece but sometimes scratchy wool. I advise that you bring a spare sheet and your own pillow, and possibly more bedding if you are prone to discomfort or if it is a cold part of the year. FOOD: I have posted many photos of the meals you can expect. Always very simple, and portions are limited. Breakfast is a roll, butter, and jam or a stick of chocolate, and hot-ish/warm water to mix with instant coffee, powdered chocolate, powdered milk, and/or powdered lemony-tea. Lunch is usually a hot dish, dinner can be hot or cold, and these usually consist of a dish with a carbohydrate (like rice, potatoes, or pasta), a protein (usually beans, sometimes a tiny bit of chicken or fish), and some veggies, possibly some cheese or yoghurt on the side, and always a piece of fruit and plenty of bread and a small sweet thing to finish. IF there are leftovers and if you are quick you can snag a second helping of one thing or another! And water to drink. In the afternoon there is also a chance for a small snack and some cold citrus tea. ((There is a cafe on the edge of Taizé called OYAK but I will write a separate review for that!)) I am very picky about food and I found the meals to be very tasty and filling! ACCESSIBILITY: I saw many people in wheelchairs (all powered though, not manual) and plenty of people with other mobility devices. There are many paved areas and ramps, but also some rough ground in certain areas. Also the lighting in most places is poor and contrast isn’t great. There are very good accessible toilets and showers available. I do not have a disability so I can’t say from experience, but I think if you have concerns or access needs you can communicate with the Brothers ahead of time and work out an accommodation. DAILY LIFE: I have posted a picture of the daily schedule; meals are served at specific times, and prayer services are three times a day. As far as I know there is no one checking that you attend any services, so if you need to sleep in or whatever you can, but if you don’t plan to attend services why have you come to a Christian monastery?!?? When you arrive you are also assigned a work group. Once a day you join your group for a chore - it might be serving food or cleaning up after a meal, it might collecting rubbish or cleaning the toilets. Young people can also help out during the services or cleaning the church or other parts of the grounds, or working in the gardens, etc. Be ready to work, don’t let your team down, take joy in whatever you do! You also join a small study group, with whom you discuss certain topics or bible passages, usually related to the set liturgy, or assigned by one of the brothers during a morning collective bible study.

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