Hi there! Because of Halloween’s period, you might have thought while reading this title that I had visited the Men’s Abbey by night for this occasion?! Well no! I did it during the European Heritage Days, which took place every September! So no zombies, but still a special atmosphere!
What to see during the Men’s Abbey visit?
The visit last approximately 3 hours. During this visit you wander in the various buildings of the Men’s Abbey. There are 4!
The monastic buildings
They were built in the 11th century, but as Norman history is rich, they had to be rebuilt and renovated several times. Today this part is dedicated to Caen City Hall. You can admire the amazing staircase that was made of Caen stones (What else ?!) with a very special technique ( and an incredible architectural innovation), but also the chapter house and its beautiful woodwork. Important gossip : in one of the room dedicated to the political life of the town hall, I managed to sit in the same sofa than Queen Elizabeth II. This story was worth to be highlighted, isn’t it?!
Saint Etienne Abbey
Its architecture is also impressive with its 2 spires (highlighted by night with a clever play of lights). Its Norman Romanesque architecture is kind of well-known, because this style was used for a number of abbeys and churches in England … as Westminster abbey in London. You can also find there William the Conqueror’s tomb since 1087.
The Guards Room
You will definitely love its impressive floor and wooden beams. The building is now used for council meetings. There are worse places to meet…right?!
In the past, the Men’s Abbey was also a hotel and a farm. The Palace is now used to expose Art (I’ll talk to you about it a little bit later).
And because I don’t want anyone to be jealous, what do you think about visiting the Women’s Abbey after? I told you about it, when it was its 950th birthday!
Boujou (the Normand way to say XOXO) !
|Address: Esplanade Jean-Marie-Louvel, 14027 Caen
Price: free during the European Heritage Days, otherwise €5.50 per adults
Opening hours available here