Tintern abbey is one of my favourite places on earth. It is Wales...that certainly helps!
It is a Cistercian Abbey founded in 1131, the second Cistercian abbey in Britain and the first in Wales.
By the 15th century it was the wealthiest and largest monastic foundation in Wales.

Now I know that there are all sorts of negative things associated with some monastic practices - however, when I am there I am reminded of Paul saying in Philippians 1: "15It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice."
For hundreds of years whether out of evil motives or good motives the name of Christ has been lifted up in that place and perhaps that's why I love it.

I also love it that Wordsworth wrote a poem there.
In fact he might have written it by this chapel overlooking the valley.

Catherine and I and a friend, Jessica, drove early to the abbey and climbed the hills to see the mist lift off the valley. While we were up there i was able to catch the sun breaking through the ruins.

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