In the 17th century, Abbey Escaladieu experiences a new internal organisation: the commendature. Control is then entrusted to a commendatory abbot, appointed by royal authority, who is not resident there, resulting in a less strict observance of the rules during that period.
If the system of the Commende plays sometimes a destabilising role on the spiritual level, it also leads to architectural changes in Escaladieu. In the 18th century, a new wing is constructed on the north-east side, providing apartments for commendatory abbots. On the first floor of the wing was a large square salon and a gallery opening on 5 other salons, all generously lit by the large bays and bull’s eye windows.
Stucco decorations start developing above fireplaces. Far removed from the precepts of the first Cistercians, these decorations borrow from the old-style vocabulary ubiquitous in the interior decor of the eighteenth to the nineteenth centuries: fluted pilasters topped with Corinthian capitals, Diana the Huntress …