Between 1883 and 1888, exiled Empress Eugenie, widow of Napoleon III, commissioned the construction of an abbey and a mausoleum in Farnborough, a town on the Hampshire-Surrey border in south central England, to inter and memorialize her husband and her deceased son, Prince Imperial Louis. Today, the Benedictine monks of St. Michael's Abbey, in the monastic tradition of contemplative scholarship and liturgical celebration, honor the beauty and the glory of their "basilique imperiale" by sharing its art, architecture, and history with the world via the Web. Their impressively designed site provides historical narratives about the abbey and its famous crypt, accompanied by arrays of high-quality thumbnails; an inside look on monastic life at St. Michael's; and an extensive virtual reality tour of the church. Together, these elements effectively recreate the atmosphere of life within the abbey as well as evoke its rich history. Note: users must use a Java-enabled Web browser version 4.0 or higher to appreciate the technology used at this site.
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