Departing from Caudebec-en-Caux, Norman Abbeys in the Seine Valley, back Caudebec-en-Caux (10 hours)
Saint-Wandrille-Rancon abbey in the Seine-Maritime department (76), in Normandy
Saint-Pierre abbey of Jumieges in the Seine-Maritime department (76), in Normandy
Photo : Franz Golhen / Public domain
Saint-Georges abbey of Boscherville in the department of Seine-Maritime (76), in Normandy
The maritime bridge of Brotonne spans the Seine river upward of Caudebec-en-Caux, in Normandy
Photo. : © Transversales-Transports.fr
Notre-Dame abbey of Bec-Hellouin in the Eure department (27), in Normandy
Photo : © Abbey of Bec-Hellouin
You are staying in Caudebec-en-Caux or in one of the neighboring towns and you are looking for a circuit to discover the Norman centuries-old abbeys in the Seine Valley, between Rouen and the Seine bay (Honfleur on the south and Le Havre on the north). Norman centuries-old abbeys such as :
Abbeys of Saint-Wandrille-Rancon, Jumieges, Saint-Georges of Boscherville and Bec-Helluin
To book, you go down to the bottom of this page,
- In "Select Tour" you chose : " Caudebec, norman abbeys in Seine valley..."
- In Pick Up Location, you chose the "Caudebec, River Cruise Terminal". If you are not a Cruise Passenger, you can specify your stay address in the Field "Additional Information" later in the booking process just before the payment final step,
- You specify the number of people (between 2 and 4 max), the number of luggage if necessary,
- The desired Departure Date and Time and you click on "See Price",
- The following window is a summary of your previous selections to check,
- "See Price" a second time after verifying your entry,
- You select the desired vehicle by clicking on "Book Now",
- In the window that follows you enter your contact details, your address if you are not a cruise passenger. To the right of your contact details, a final summary of your order and then you pay (CB or Paypal) after entering a prior captcha.
And you book on line !
- Attention to the duration of the circuit between brackets in the title,
- For Cruisers held by a return schedule, it is this return schedule that will govern the departure time of the last abbey, knowing that it takes around 60 minutes of transport (excluding July / August) to get back to Caudebec,
- When you have selected all the options of the first screen, by clicking on "See price", you will arrive at a description of the tour chosen previously. As long as you do not click a second time on "See price" (you are still in step 1 of the booking process materialized by the line above "Select Service Type"), you can still change all the options that you wish.
- If you stay in Caudebec-en-Caux or in one of its bordering communes and want to leave directly from your place of residence, you will find later during the process of reservation a field entitled "Additional Information" : use it to specify your exact starting point (as well as your place of return whether different in the municipality of Caudebec-en-Caux and neighboring).
- If you are fond of itinerant holidays, you can be dropped off in one of the communes of the described tour for the same price. You can leave your belongings in the vehicle with confidence during visits.
Other towns that have the same postal code than Caudebec (76490) for which this tour / rate is valid :
Anquetierville, Louvetot, Maulevrier-Sainte-Gertrude, Saint-Arnoult, Saint-Gilles-de-Cretot, Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Haie, Saint-Wandrille-Rançon, Villequier
See you soon onboard our vehicles !
We will leave Caudebec-en-Caux by the right bank of the Seine, we will follow it passing under the Bridge of Brotonne, second of the three bridges in maritime format built over the Seine, then we will branch off just after the bridge to reach the edge of the Brotonne forest along a small stream , the Fontenelle.
The circuit optimized in transport time consists in making the circuit in the following order : Saint-Wandrille-Rancon, Jumieges, Saint-Georges of Boscherville and Bec-Helluin (as shown here above).
But if you want to do the tour in a different order, just tell the driver.
If in above mentioned order, the lunch break is at Jumieges, but if you want to have lunch elsewhere, please let the driver know.
Photo opposite : © Abbey of Saint-Wandrille-Rançon
At that time known under the name "Fontenelle Abbey", this abbey knew the Vikings invasions, their looting and fires, but it is still there ! And it has reached us in a much better condition than its neighbor, Jumieges Abbey. Because after the Vikings, there were the Wars (Hundred Years and Religion), then the unstable period of the French Revolution.
Founded by Benedictine monks in the 7th century, it is still Benedictine monks who perpetuate its existence today.
It is the dean of the abbeys of this circuit and its influence over the centuries has been matched only by that of the Notre-Dame du Bec-Hellouin abbey, a few centuries later, even if intense, it was shorter than that of our dean.
The abbey site is located on plots owned by King Dagobert in a personal capacity since 638, crossed by a stream, the Fontenelle. It was in 650 that Saint-Wandrille obtained legal enjoyment, a year after the foundation of the abbey. Saint-Wandrille dies within the walls of the abbey 29 years later after having supervised and participated in the construction of 7 churches, a library and several common buildings...!!
Saint-Anbert becomes the new abbot of Fontenelle at his death in 678 for 12 new years. He will build a hospital for 12 poor and 16 sick and he will rebuild buildings that have become too small or unsuitable.
"The originality" of Fontenelle Abbey for the time is to accept no other gift than that (the dowry) with which a monk enters the abbey !
Saint-Gervold, abbot of Fontenelle from 787 to 805, will also be a close adviser to Charlemagne. He will have the commons rebuilt once again. When he died, Fontenelle Abbey was the third abbey in the Duchy of Normandy behind that of Saint-Ouen (Rouen) and Saint-Evroult (Orne).
Ansegise de Fontenelle, became abbot of Fontenelle in 823, and was a...
To read more about this history of this abbey, please follow the tag here under.
The Fontenelle / Saint-Wandrille-Rançon abbey is classified MH on the lists of 1862, 1914 and 1995.
Photo opposite : Franz Golhen / Public domain
The Benedictine Abbey Saint-Pierre of Jumieges was founded by Saint-Philibert around 654 on an area of the royal fisc (gift of Clovis II) where there were already vestiges of worship from the Carolingian era. Unlike many other religious sites "reused" in history, this establishment was done respecting what pre-existed and trying to agree with the best possible. In this the Jumieges site is exceptional, at the Norman level, as at the national level.
Saint-Philibert, trained by a disciple of Colomban de Luxeuil, brought 70 monks to make the lands of the abbey bear fruit. In doing so, Jumieges Abbey also becomes one of the most important literary centers in Normandy. At the height of its influence, long after the death of Saint-Philibert (684), around 700, there would have been up to 900 monks and 1500 servants !
On May 24, 841, the Vikings set fire to the Carolingian monastery before returning and pillaging it. The monks decide to go into exile in front of the persistence of the Viking threat : some leave for the priory of Haspres near Cambrai from where an administrative continuity of the abbey is organized, while others opt for St. Gallen in German-speaking Switzerland, one of the largest Benedictine monasteries in Europe at the time.
Once the Vikings settled in Neustria / Normandy (911), two monks of the priory of Haspres are restored by...
To learn more about this abbey, please follow here under tag.
The Jumièges abbey was classified MH in 1862 before being decommissioned in 1888 !
In 1918, new but partial MH classification of buildings making up the site.
It will be necessary to wait until October 1947, so that the whole of the abbey of Jumieges is again the object of a complete protection via MH classification.
This abbey was founded on a site already dedicated to worship in the 1st century in the Gallo-Roman era, a site which continued to be used for this purpose thereafter until the foundation of the current Romanesque abbey of Saint-Georges de Boscherville. A community of canons was first installed in a chapel by Raoul-le-Chambellan, father of Guillaume of Tancarville, in 1055. It was Guillaume of Tancarville, chamberlain to King Henri I Beauclerc, who initiated the construction in 1112 of the current abbey to replace the chapel. Henri I Beauclerc is the last of the Sons of William the Conqueror.
The most prosperous period for this abbey is linked to the family of Tancarville and to its privileged links with the powerful of the Viking Dynasty, who assured it gifts of all kinds: cash, land, port rights, properties of all kinds, etc...
On the death of the last Tancarville in 1305, the "autonomy" of the Abbey of Saint-Georges de Boscherville was gradually diluted in favor of the Abbey of Saint-Evroult (in the Orne) which had always seen a evil eye the favors received and the "derogations" granted through his "protective" family. However, the "protective families" who will take over, Harcourt then Orleans-Longueville, are not among the least influential in France... In the decades that follow, the abbey must sell goods received in the past to cope at its current and maintenance costs, the number of monks is constantly decreasing. Then came the Hundred Years War, a period during which the abbey's lands were constantly ravaged.
To learn more about the history of this monument, click on the tag here under.
Certain parts of the church as well as the chapter house are classified MH under the lists of the years 1840; 1862; 1875; 1989.
The Saint-Georges de Boscherville abbey was listed MH in 1989 (full protection).
Photo opposite : © Abbey of Bec-Hellouin
In addition to being known for hosting a famous abbey, Bec-Helluin is also known for being the holder of the "Plus Beaux Villages de France" label. Perhaps a short walk after the visit to the Abbey ?
The first church and its outbuildings of the Notre-Dame of Bec-Hellouin abbey, initially built in 1034 "a little too much" near the Bec river, its permanent occupation, including during the wet seasons, was in undeniable insalubrity. In the century of its foundation, it eventually migrated a few hundred meters to a place suitable for its permanent occupation, and did not move.
The fame of the abbey was mainly due to a man of the church, who came specially from Italy to take responsibility for the development of the nascent abbey : Lanfranc of Pavie who was later replaced by one of his disciples, another Italian from Aosta, Anselm of Aosta, so called upon his arrival. It was then known as Anselme of Bec, due to the growing fame of Bec-Hellouin Abbey. Then he ended up being called Anselm of Canterbury, when he became Archbishop of Canterbury Cathedral in England. [Then Doctor Anselm by Pope Clement XI a few centuries later (1720)]. As Archbishop of Canterbury, he replaced in 1093... Lanfranc of Pavie appointed by the Norman Duke William the Conqueror in 1070. The teaching of the Bec school as initiated by Lanfranc of Pavie was not based solely on scriptures and religious practice. Many subjects were taught there under the names Trivium and Quadrivium. Trivium : grammar, rhetoric and dialectic ; the Quadrivium : arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy. Of course, literature also occupied a prominent place in the lessons given.
It is precisely this very broad teaching, which cheerfully went beyond the extremes of the classical religious teaching of the time, which allowed the development in such a short time of such renown at the national, even international, level (Germany, Flanders, Italy, England), the Powerfuls of the time sending their children to a renowned education… and largely financing the works of extension of the abbey at the same time.
It is not less that what we call today in France, the "French soft power".
It takes about an hour to reach Caudebec-en-Caux from Bec-Helluin (outside the summer period), i.e. a departure from Bec between 5.30 p.m. and 6 p.m.
We will arrive from the south of Caudebec-en-Caux, and therefore from the Seine, which we will cross via the Bridge of Brotonne
What is included in the price: :
- The different waiting times during the visits and the lunch break within the overall package. You can leave your stuff in the vehicle without fear. Or take them back according to your needs throughout the day. The driver does not leave the vehicle.
- Return to your starting point or any other point in the departure city, as you wish.
- the rental of vehicle (s) according to specified category,
- road expenses,
- the driver guide,
- individual water bottles,
What is not included in the price :
- paying visits. All visits of this circuit are chargeable. Jumieges and Boscherville are subject of a joint commercial offer from the Seine-Maritime department.
- lunch break.
Additional Information :
It is perfectly possible to visit these four abbeys in the time allotted on one condition : no gourmet lunch (more than an hour and a half !). Otherwise, you will need to delete one abbey, depending on your preference.
Saint-Wandrille abbey website :
Saint-Pierre of Jumieges abbey website :
Saint-Georges of Boscherville abbey website :
Bec-Helluin abbey website :