France, Abbey Jumiège

France, Abbey Jumiège

The remains of the ancient abbey Jumiez saved the state from final destruction by buying it after the Second World War from a private owner and opening a museum in it. Local rumor attributes to the writer Victor Hugo a great love for this abbey – allegedly he liked to come to these places from Rouen and walk along its stone walls, reflecting on the plots of his works.

The first monastery on the site of the abbey was built in the VII century. It was founded by St. Philibert – a monk, a native of Gascony, who received a land plot as a gift from King Clovisburg, on which the monastery was built. After the expulsion from Jumiège, Philibert founded another abbey – Noirmoutier, in which he was buried.

By the 40s of the 9th century, the monastery of Jumiež was considered one of the largest in Normandy, but it was plundered by the Vikings. The abbey was restored, and in the XI-XIII centuries it reached the zenith of its well-being, flourishing under the auspices of the dukes of Normandy. The restored abbey was consecrated in 1067 in the presence of Duke William I the Conqueror.

The period of decline for the abbey began in the era of the Hundred Years War – it was again destroyed, this time the Huguenots. Then the monastery was rebuilt again, and even a new church was consecrated, but after the Great French Revolution, the abbey was nationalized, sold, and turned out to be abandoned. In subsequent years, the monastery buildings were carried away to the stones, therefore, half of the destroyed towers and walls have survived from the abbey. A large monastic library is now stored in Rouen Town Hall.

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The monastery is located in the bend of the Seine, 40 kilometers north of Rouen. Currently, the abbey ruins are an open-air museum, which is included in the program of cruises on the Seine.

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