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Abbaye aux Hommes (Men's Abbey)

Esplanade Jean Marie Louvel | Caen City Hall, 14027 Caen, France
+33 2 31 30 42 81
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The Men's Abbey : A masterpiece of medieval art and 18th century. William the Conqueror Born in Falaise in 1027, William was the son of Robert the Magnificent, the future Duke of Normandy, and Herleva, a tanner’s daughter. Upon his father’s death, William became the designated sole heir to the ducal throne. His succession to the throne was challenged by the barons, who considered William to be Robert’s illegitimate son. William quashed the rebels once and for all in 1047 and became the undisputed Duke of Normandy. Towards 1050, William married his distant cousin Matilda of Flanders, despite opposition from Pope Leo IX. The Church forbade their marriage, so Matilda and William sought atonement by founding the Abbayeaux- Dames, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, and the Abbaye-aux-Hommes, dedicated to Saint-Étienne. Work began on the Abbaye-aux-Hommes in 1066, the year that marked the Norman conquest of England. Edward, the King of England, had named William, the Duke of Normandy, to be his successor. Upon Edward’s death and betrayed by Harold, Edward’s brother-in-law, William took up arms to assert his claim to the throne. William defeated Harold at the Battle of Hastings on 14th October 1066. William was crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey on 25th December 1066, whereupon he became William «the Conqueror». On 9th September 1087, he died in Rouen. According to his wishes, he was buried in the Abbey Church of Saint-Étienne in Caen. Abbey Church of Saint-Étienne Consecrated in 1077, the abbey church represents the oldest part of the site, with most of the features dating back to the 11th and 13th Centuries. The choir was redesigned in the 13th Century to reflect the prevailing Gothic style and is home to the tomb of William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy and King of England. Monastic buildings The monastery was erected in the 11th Century, but destroyed during the First War of Religion (1562-63), before being rebuilt in the 18th Century. The monastic buildings are built around a Tuscan-style cloister epitomising the classical Italian style. The buildings are today headquarters of Caen City Hall. Together with the recently refurbished Place Saint- Sauveur, the Abbaye-aux-Hommes represents a unique heritage site. Medieval buildings and agricultural buildings The abbey also used to be a farm and an inn. It still houses a cider press, a carriage house and a bakery. Two 14th Century buildings bear witness to the abbey’s former role as a place of refuge and a political venue. - Palais Ducal, which was restored between 2012 and 2013, now hosts the city’s art library and its collection of contemporary art. - The Guardroom, where City Council meetings take place
  • Excellent50%
  • Very good36%
  • Average12%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“city hall” (10 reviews)
“red door” (4 reviews)
“guided tour” (12 reviews)
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Hours Today: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
LOCATION
Esplanade Jean Marie Louvel | Caen City Hall, 14027 Caen, France
CONTACT
Website
+33 2 31 30 42 81
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1 - 10 of 164 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

My teenage son and I strolled through this impressive Abbey and enjoyed it. We sort of fumbled upon it as we strolled the lovely shops and cafes in the town. We were thrilled to see the final resting place of William the Conq. - Grounds...More

Thank kewood99
Reviewed 10 December 2017

Nice to walk through on a self guided basis. No audio guide available, but there are some placards with historic information in a couple of places. The day we were there (weekend), they seemed to be running a revolving door of weddings with wedding party...More

Thank JDW25Wisconsin
Reviewed 25 October 2017

An impressive cathedral that has William the Conqueror's tomb at the front altar. a quiet and contemplative place.More

Thank RMHMT
Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Responsable relations publiques at Abbaye aux Hommes (Men's Abbey), responded to this reviewResponded 23 November 2017
Google Translation

Bonjour, Merci d'avoir pris quelques instants pour rédiger ce commentaire. Nous apprécions toujours les retours de nos visiteurs sur leur...More

Reviewed 18 October 2017

Entrance to the abbey church (St.Etienne) is free, through a small door out of sight around the curved end of the church. To view the fine cloisters go into the large building to the left of the church - where the monks used to live...More

Thank MulderWickford
Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Responsable relations publiques at Abbaye aux Hommes (Men's Abbey), responded to this reviewResponded 23 November 2017
Google Translation

Bonjour, Merci à vous d'avoir fait part de votre satisfaction sur la qualité de votre visite à l'Abbaye-aux-Hommes. Nous espérons...More

Reviewed 16 October 2017

Wonderful building full of history, well worth a visit the architecture is so interesting, our group took a trip round this and the special exhibition which was on at the time.More

Thank Ghislaine334
Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Responsable relations publiques at Abbaye aux Hommes (Men's Abbey), responded to this reviewResponded 23 November 2017
Google Translation

Bonjour, Merci à vous d'avoir fait part de votre satisfaction sur la qualité de votre visite à l'Abbaye-aux-Hommes. Nous espérons...More

Reviewed 5 October 2017

A truly grand example of a classic Norman place of worship. The architecture is simple yet magnificent, with many interesting features including alcoves with beautiful original paintings. Of course it is also the resting place of arguably on of the greatest influences in our history...More

Thank Ian M
Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Responsable relations publiques at Abbaye aux Hommes (Men's Abbey), responded to this reviewResponded 14 October 2017
Google Translation

Bonjour, Merci à vous d'avoir fait part de votre satisfaction sur la qualité de votre visite à l'Abbaye-aux-Hommes. Nous espérons...More

Reviewed 19 September 2017 via mobile

We went for a walk early in the morning. We had the pleasure to experience the Abbey as the fair was taking place, in one of the annex. It was so beautiful to sit and listening to the voices of the choir. You must experience...More

Thank Heidi N
Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Responsable relations publiques at Abbaye aux Hommes (Men's Abbey), responded to this reviewResponded 14 October 2017
Google Translation

Bonjour, un grand merci à vous d'avoir pris quelques instants pour rédiger ce commentaire suite à votre visite à l'Abbaye-aux-Hommes....More

Reviewed 14 September 2017

Gloriously located next to the brilliant Hotel de Ville Caen, inside the Abbaye is not only eye filling, but history-laden. William the Conqueror is buried inside, at the altar. By the way, the remnants of the foundation of his fortress are to be seen in...More

Thank Christopher P
Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Responsable relations publiques at Abbaye aux Hommes (Men's Abbey), responded to this reviewResponded 14 October 2017
Google Translation

Bonjour, Un grand merci à vous d'avoir pris quelques instants pour rédiger ce commentaire suite à votre visite à l'Abbaye-aux-Hommes....More

Reviewed 11 September 2017

The highlight of this visit for us was seeing the tomb of William the Conqueror, however, the interior is worthy of a visit alone, the stained glass was simply beautiful.More

Thank JnVSydney
Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Responsable relations publiques at Abbaye aux Hommes (Men's Abbey), responded to this reviewResponded 14 October 2017
Google Translation

Bonjour, un grand merci à vous d'avoir pris quelques instants pour rédiger ce commentaire suite à votre visite à l'Abbaye-aux-Hommes....More

Reviewed 8 September 2017

We plumped for the self-guided tour and were disappointed by how little there was to see in the Abbaye. It's seem almost entirely 18th century and if you've seen monasteries and cloisters before you could probably save the money and time. The big ticket item...More

Thank AllanJGJ
Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Responsable relations publiques at Abbaye aux Hommes (Men's Abbey), responded to this reviewResponded 14 October 2017
Google Translation

Bonjour, un grand merci à vous d'avoir pris quelques instants pour rédiger ce commentaire suite à votre visite à l'Abbaye-aux-Hommes....More

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frankenkat
7 July 2017|
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Response from Malillysr | Reviewed this property |
church 9.30am-1pm & 2-7pm Mon-Sat, 2-6.30pm Sun, cloister 8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri, 9.30am-1pm & 2pm-5.30pm Sat & most Sun
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