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Jumièges Abbey

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HISTORY

In 654, King Clovis II and his queen Balthild donated some land on which a Benedictine monastery and the Abbey were built, which from the second abbot prospered and soon became home to around a thousand monks. In the year 942 and in 1067 a new church was consecrated in the presence of Guilherme the Conqueror. The abbey then became a major religious and learning center, which reached the height of fame in the 11th century, considered a model for all other monasteries in the province. The church was enlarged in 1256 and restored again in 1573. The Abbey suffered a strong blow from the English invasion of the 15th century, but then it recovered and maintained its prosperity. It was the French Revolution that ended its existence as a monastery and reduced the abbey to ruins.

 

WHY THIS PLACE

The ruins include the church, with its beautiful twin towers and western facade, and part of the cloisters and library. In the middle of the old cloister, there is still a 500-year-old yew tree. The Nobel Prize-winning French novelist Roger Martin du Gard dedicated his dissertation to an archaeological study of these ruins. After all, it is a monument that stands out for its lightness and clarity and invites you to raise your thinking. Ideal to elevate any wedding to a true work of art turned to the divine.

CURIOSITIES

• In the 9th century, the monastery was looted and burned by the Vikings, but it was rebuilt on a large scale by William Longespee, Duke of Normandy.
• One of his most famous students, the historian William de Jumièges, was known mainly for his charitable activities and was called by the poor “Jumièges the Chaplain”.

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