Crevasses are cracks that form in glaciers and can range from just a few inches across to over 40 feet (12 m.), and can be over 100 feet (30.5 m.) deep.
Crevasses usually run horizontally on a steep slope, and more parallel with the flow of the glacier in the more open, flatter areas. The very large horizontal crevasse at the upper end of a glacier is called a bergshrund. These glacial “dead-fall traps” often get covered with snow, making them impossible to see, which only makes glacier travel all the more hazardous.
* As far as rescue, avoidance and safety goes — you have no business venturing onto a glacier without professional guidance and instruction.
Louis the Pious (aka “Louis I the Fair)”, King of Aquitaine, the only surviving adult son of Charlemagne, had a castle here.
When in 898, the monks of Saint-Maixent (Poitou) fled the norman invasion, they found shelter in that castle. With them they had carried the relics of Saint-Leger and Saint Maixent, being probably the most valuable possesion they had. The castle was given to the monks by Louis´son, opponent and successor Lothair and transformed into a monastery. Between the 10th and the 13th century, the very large abbey church was erected. Through the pilgrimage to the valuable relics, that were on display here, the abbey got pretty important in medieval times.
Times changed over the centuries. In 1744 “Abbe Sade”, uncle of the Marquis de Sade got this abbey as a prebendary. The abbey was financially ruined. Already in 1768, years before the Revolution, the abbey was given up and old buildings were used as a hospital.
The doors, leading from the narthex to the nave, have some romanesque iron works including two different lion-heads. Above the entrance are three sculptures of the former tympanum, these were found buried under the floor of the church in 1860.