Quirky experiences- normandy

Unusual visit : Caen Men’s Abbey, by night !

Hi there, because of Halloween’s period, you might have thought while reading the title that I had visited Men’s Abbey in Caen by night for the occasion? Well no, I did it during the European Heritage Days, which took place last September, so no zombies, but still a special atmosphere!

For about 3 hours, I had the pleasure of strolling in the various buildings of the Abbey:

  • 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 (an incredible architectural innovation), but also the chapter house and its beautiful woodwork. Important point: in one of the room dedicated to the political life of the town hall, I manage to sit in the same sofa where Elizabeth II sat few years ago (the story was worth to be highlighted, isn’t it?!)


  • Saint Etienne Abbey is the oldest part: 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: with its impressive floor and wooden beams. The building is now used for council meetings. There are worse places to meet…right?!


  • Ducal Palace: the Men’s Abbey was also a hotel and a farm. The Palace is now used to expose Art(I’ll talk t 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 Abbeyafter? I told you about it here, when it as its 950th birthday!

More information here, to visit the Men’s Abbey.

Boujou (the Normand way to say XOXO) !

Infos pratiques :


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