Premonstratensian Abbey in Pont-à-Mousson
the impressive Sainte-Marie-Majeure Abbey arose from the smaller Sainte-Marie-aux-Bois, located approximately 10 kilometres from Pont-à-Mousson. At the beginning of the 17th century, Servais de Lairuelz, abbot of Verdun and reformer of the Premonstratensian Order, founded the abbey with the help of local Jesuits, the Jesuit University had turned Pont-à-Mousson into a religious and intellectual centre that very quickly became a bastion of the Catholic faith. The Premonstratensian Abbey, as it is known today, started to be built in 1705 under the reign of Duke Leopold I of Lorraine. Thomas Mordillac, whose work was strongly inspired by classic-style architecture, laid the first stone. But it also bears the signature of Nicolas Pierson, who completed the abbey in 1711, giving it a distinctly sober Baroque touch. With the death of Duke Stanislas in 1766, the Duchy of Lorraine was incorporated into the Kingdom of France by royal edict and the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Order) was suppressed.