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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 - An architectural masterpiece of medieval art and 18th century Guided tours or self-guided tours of the monastic buildings (City Hall) In the 11th century, William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, King of England, transformed Caen into one of the most powerful cities of its time, which the Men's Abbey is one of the most striking buildings from this period. 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-Etienne. 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-Etienne in Caen. Abbey Church of Saint-Etienne 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.
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  • Average12%
  • Poor1%
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Travellers talk about
“city hall” (10 reviews)
“red door” (4 reviews)
Opens in 10 min
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Hours Today: 08:00 - 17:00
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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Reviews (519)
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11 - 20 of 152 reviews

Reviewed 7 May 2017

The abbey itself is free to visit, and contains the tomb of William the Conqueror. It has the same ghostly atmosphere that most really old churches have and seemed to have monks singing piped (at least, I couldn't see any real people doing it!). To...More

Thank Twelvesticks
Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Responsable relations publiques at Abbaye aux Hommes (Men's Abbey), responded to this reviewResponded 7 June 2017
Google Translation

Bonjour Twelvesticks, Un grand merci à vous d'avoir pris quelques instants pour rédiger ce commentaire suite à votre visite à...More

Reviewed 26 April 2017

Free to enter the Cathedral. Visited with my 2 children (6 and 8) after preparing them with a visit to the Bayeaux Tapestry and stories of castles, sword, shield and bow and arrow battles. If you love the grandeur, workmanship and shear breathtaking experience of...More

1  Thank Nathanael W
Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Responsable relations publiques at Abbaye aux Hommes (Men's Abbey), responded to this reviewResponded 7 June 2017
Google Translation

Bonjour Nathanael, Merci d'avoir pris quelques instants pour commenter votre passage à l'Abbaye-aux-Hommes. Nous sommes ravis de savoir que vous...More

Reviewed 23 April 2017

I had hoped for more from this and its sister Abbey. The ceilings are indeed beautiful but apart from the Grave of William the Conqueror not a lot to see. The Town Hall is using one of the buildings on site. The whole site on...More

Thank Stebham
Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Responsable relations publiques at Abbaye aux Hommes (Men's Abbey), responded to this reviewResponded 7 June 2017
Google Translation

Bonjour Stebham, Un grand merci à vous d'avoir pris quelques instants pour rédiger ce commentaire suite à votre visite à...More

Reviewed 17 April 2017

it is amazing that with all the carnage around Caen in the war, that this abbey was nearly untouched, yet many of the surrounding area was flattened. the interior is less ornate than one would have thought, but the stonework and masonry I first class

Thank jmcwwta
Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Responsable relations publiques at Abbaye aux Hommes (Men's Abbey), responded to this reviewResponded 23 April 2017

Hi, Thank you for taking a few moments to comment on your visit to the Men's Abbey. We are delighted to know that you enjoyed your visit. We hope to see you again at the Abbey

Reviewed 12 April 2017 via mobile

Resting place of William the Conqueror. Place of refuge for public during the battle of Normandy. A must destination.

Thank Malillysr
Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Responsable relations publiques at Abbaye aux Hommes (Men's Abbey), responded to this reviewResponded 22 April 2017

Hi Mallilysr, Thank you for taking a few moments to comment on your visit to the Men's Abbey. We are delighted to know that you enjoyed your visit. We hope to see you again at the Abbey

Reviewed 17 January 2017

I have been here many times and love it. The views change at different times of the day depending on the light. I've even caught Organ Practice there a couple times..my private concert. I am always drawn to the pictures of the WWII era when...More

1  Thank docprof001
Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Responsable relations publiques at Abbaye aux Hommes (Men's Abbey), responded to this reviewResponded 16 February 2017

Hi, Thank you for taking a few moments to comment on your visit to the Men's Abbey. We are delighted to know that you enjoyed your several visits. We hope to see you again at the Abbey

Reviewed 9 November 2016

Very interesting abbey in the heart of Caen, especially its history during medieval times and during WW2.

1  Thank Huy N
Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Responsable relations publiques at Abbaye aux Hommes (Men's Abbey), responded to this reviewResponded 6 December 2016

Hi Huy N, Thank you for taking a few moments to comment on your visit to the Men's Abbey. We are delighted to know that you enjoyed your visit. We hope your trip in Caen was enjoyable. See you soon at the Abbey

Reviewed 9 November 2016

A beautiful monument either the church or the abbey. William the Conqueror has been buried in the church but only a part of bone remain. Nowadays it's an important place to visit !More

3  Thank Cygne-d-etang
Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Responsable relations publiques at Abbaye aux Hommes (Men's Abbey), responded to this reviewResponded 6 December 2016

Hello Cygne-d-etang, Thank you for taking a few moments to comment on your visit to the Men's Abbey. We are delighted to know that you enjoyed your visit of the Saint Stephen Abbey chruch and of the monastic buildings. We hope you envoyed your stay...More

Reviewed 6 November 2016

Easy walk from the centre of caen. Just go and see it all, the tomb of William the Conqueror is here, steeped in history, a must see.

1  Thank TravelTrax1
Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Responsable relations publiques at Abbaye aux Hommes (Men's Abbey), responded to this reviewResponded 6 December 2016

Hi TravelTrax1, Thank you for taking a few moments to comment on your visit to the Men's Abbey. We are delighted to know that you enjoyed your visit. We hope your stay in Caen was enjoyable. See you soon at the Abbey

Reviewed 6 November 2016

A must during this 950th anniversary of Williams win in England. Very moving to see. The marker is simple and understated. You may be disappointed if you expect it to be like those at St Dennis in Paris.More

Thank RivardNM
Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Responsable relations publiques at Abbaye aux Hommes (Men's Abbey), responded to this reviewResponded 6 December 2016

Hello RivardNM, Thank you for taking a few moments to comment on your visit to the Men's Abbey. We are delighted to know that you enjoyed your visit. Admittedly, the architecture may seem very simple, but it fits perfectly Norman style ... Sober and efficient...More

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frankenkat
6 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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