Dear Abbaye-aux-dames: Happy 950th B-day !

Hi there, today is a special one for Caen, because 950 years ago was built l’Abbaye-aux-Dames(Women’s Abbey)! Matilda, spouse of William the Conqueror, was the one who initiated its construction. It was founded in 1062, then consecrated in 1066, the same year her husband conquered England.

When William left Normandy to conquer England, he entrusted the task of governing Normandy to his beloved wife Matilda. She took it pretty seriously as she is among the witnesses of many ducal acts during this period, and also she did a lot to support religious institutions thanks to her immense wealth. Matilda is clearly one of the most important personalities of his time. William was devastated by her death in November 1083, as their couple was strong and united. She was buried in the core of the Abbaye-aux-Dames under a special black marble headstone where she still remains despite historical upheavals after almost a thousand years.

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