When I see the old wash-house, I am pretty thankful for my laundry room, even if it is off of the garage and freezing. I bet it's much less freezing than this would be!
The Longpont Abbey once housed some 400 monks.
The abbey was largely dismantled after the French revolution, and many of the stones taken to build nearby houses. It also suffered some damage during WWI. This is a view from what would have been inside the church before it was destroyed.
The kids had drawing pads along with them - Benjamin made pages and pages of notes and drawings.
This was the furnace room of the abbey. The fireplace was in the center, and the monks would walk around the room to warm up when taking their constitutionals. They only lit fires when water froze, so cold as it was the day we went, there wouldn't have been a fire. (Good thing, since there are 25 K-2nd graders standing in it at the moment.)
After lunch, we visited François 1er's castle in Villers Cotterets. That was a bit of a disappointment, as there weren't many areas of the castle we were allowed into. The state owns it, but doesn't keep it up, so they've just walled off large portions of it. We saw some stairwells, the "jeu de paume" court, and the chapel.