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Abbaye aux Hommes (Men's Abbey), Caen
(4.3/5 based on 420+ reviews on the web)
In repentance for marrying, cousins William the conqueror and Mathilda of Flanders ordered Abbaye aux Hommes (Men's Abbey) built along with its neighbor, Abbaye aux Dames ("Ladies' Abbey"). The men's monastery was dedicated to St. Stephen. Each church is considered one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, both churches had the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France, added to them in about 1120. The current Hôtel de Ville, or town hall, of Caen is built onto the building’s South Transept. To visit Abbaye aux Hommes (Men's Abbey) on your trip to Caen, use our Caen vacation trip planner.
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31 days in Europe BY A USER FROM FRANCE November, culture, relaxing, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, culture, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 4 days in Caen BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 28 days in Europe BY A USER FROM BELGIUM January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Caen BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, outdoors, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Caen BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in Caen BY A USER FROM ARMENIA November, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: November, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 24 days in France BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 32 days in Europe BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Caen & Chania Prefecture BY A USER FROM GREECE November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Caen & Bayeux BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, fast-paced, hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 22 days in France & Luxembourg City BY A USER FROM CANADA September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 10 days in Europe BY A USER FROM EGYPT January, culture, outdoors, popular PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Very interesting abbey in the heart of Caen, especially its history during medieval times and during WW2. 
  • 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 ! 
  • Beautiful historic Abbey which is certainly worth the visit. Car can be parked in the neighborhood. Trek there for about an hour to get the correct impression.
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Google
  • Very interesting. Worth doing a guided tour!
  • The Abbaye-aux-Hommes (Abbey for Men) was founded by William the Conquerer in the 11th century. Its abbey church, the Romanesque Église St-Etienne, is the finest in Caen. The church of the Abbaye aux Hommes is made from local Caen stone (also used for Canterbury Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and the Tower of London) and is a Norman Romanesque masterpiece, with a severe unadorned facade flanked by twin Romanesque towers topped with Gothic spires. Rising 84m (276 ft.) high, these helped earn Caen the nickname "city of spires." There is another Romanesque tower over the crossing. Inside is a long Romanesque nave of the 11th century with a sexpartite vault (a transitional vault on the way to Gothic), an 11th-century transept, and a 13th-century Gothic choir with ambulatory. An inscribed marble slab in the choir marks the site of William the Conqueror's tomb. Other notable sights include the hand-carved wooden doors and elaborate wrought-iron staircase. Adjoining the church on the south are the abbey buildings, which were rebuilt in the 18th century. After the Revolution they were occupied by the Lycée Malherbe and now house the Town Hall. The abbey rooms are richly decorated with wrought-iron banisters, fine paneling, and the town's collection of paintings. There is also a large refectory. The cloisters provide a nice view of the church towers.
  • It is a beautiful building. But no more. There is nothing to see. And they also ask entrance for. Wasted money.
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  • Warning, do not pay admission without going on a guided tour. For admission without tour we got to see a staircase, cloister and an art exhibition that was not especially interesting. The Church, however, has free entry.
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  • Very beautiful, very large. Majestic and splendid. Nice example of Norman Romanesque art. A visit without hesitation. Take the guided tour, even if it is pay: rooms that can be seen are well worth a few euros.
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