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Abbaye aux Hommes

Esplanade Jean Marie Louvel | Caen City Hall, 14027 Caen, France
+33 2 31 30 42 81
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The Men's Abbey : A masterpiece of medieval art and 18th century. William the Conqueror 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-Étienne. 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-Étienne in Caen. Abbey Church of Saint-Étienne 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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Travelers talk about
“city hall” (11 reviews)
“guided tour” (13 reviews)
“red door” (4 reviews)
Closed Now
Hours
Hours Today: 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
LOCATION
Esplanade Jean Marie Louvel | Caen City Hall, 14027 Caen, France
CONTACT
Website
+33 2 31 30 42 81
Ways to Experience Abbaye aux Hommes
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"city hall"
in 11 reviews
"guided tour"
in 13 reviews
"red door"
in 4 reviews
"final resting place"
in 9 reviews
"grand building"
in 2 reviews
"wonderful building"
in 2 reviews
"interesting features"
in 2 reviews
"small exhibition"
in 2 reviews
"beautiful resting place"
in 2 reviews
"historical place"
in 2 reviews
"thousand years"
in 3 reviews
"buried here"
in 4 reviews
"stained glass"
in 3 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 6 reviews
"mont saint michel"
in 2 reviews
"tomb"
in 51 reviews
"conqueror"
in 69 reviews
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1 - 10 of 169 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

I didn't pay for the tour of the rest of the building such as the cloisters, but the main building is just a very large and old ecclesiastical building. Architecture buffs would probably appreciate its proto-gothic style, though. The thing that lifts it out of...More

Thank Hornado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Responsable relations publiques at Abbaye aux Hommes, responded to this reviewResponded 2 days ago
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Bonjour. Merci d'avoir pris quelques instants pour commenter votre passage à l'Abbaye-aux-Hommes. Nous sommes ravis de savoir que vous avez...More

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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We were keen to see the final resting place of William the Conqueror, buried at the east end of the great church attached to the abbey he had founded in 1062/3. There are numerous signs indicating that the guided tours start at the city hall,...More

Thank Julie A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Responsable relations publiques at Abbaye aux Hommes, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago
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Bonjour, Merci à vous d'avoir pris quelques instants pour rédiger ce commentaire suite à votre visite à l'Abbaye-aux-Hommes. Nous sommes...More

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Reviewed May 8, 2018 via mobile

We made a special effort to get to the abbey ten minutes early, in time for what was advertised as a 2:30 pm guided tour. However when we got there, we were told that the only tours were in FRENCH. The women at the front...More

Thank TravelerMike9999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 2, 2018 via mobile

I participated in an informative tour here, which I would recommend, almost ten years ago and had only been back for business at the town hall until now. There was a very good exhibition about Charlotte Corday, a fascinating character of the Revolution. The exhibition...More

Thank dragonflytw65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Responsable relations publiques at Abbaye aux Hommes, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago
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Bonjour, Merci à vous d'avoir fait part de votre satisfaction sur la qualité de votre visite à l'Abbaye-aux-Hommes. Nous sommes...More

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Reviewed February 11, 2018

Nice and impressive historical place. Just forget about hundreds of years passed and feel XIth century breath. Tomb of Guillelmi - just stay over it for few minutes. Mention that is placed in more sacred place than altar itself - where can you feel more...More

Thank ralex65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Responsable relations publiques at Abbaye aux Hommes, responded to this reviewResponded March 22, 2018
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Bonjour, un grand merci à vous d'avoir pris quelques instants pour rédiger ce commentaire suite à votre visite à l'Abbaye-aux-Hommes....More

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Reviewed February 6, 2018

We were on a personal William the Conqueror tour and wanted to stop by his desecrated tomb. We parked in the underground lot beneath the plaza and walked to the entrance of the Hotel de Ville. When we arrived at the door there was a...More

Thank JohnGalt2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Responsable relations publiques at Abbaye aux Hommes, responded to this reviewResponded February 8, 2018
Google Translation

Bonjour, un grand merci à vous d'avoir pris quelques instants pour rédiger ce commentaire suite à votre visite à l'Abbaye-aux-Hommes....More

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Reviewed January 15, 2018

My teenage son and I strolled through this impressive Abbey and enjoyed it. We sort of fumbled upon it as we strolled the lovely shops and cafes in the town. We were thrilled to see the final resting place of William the Conq. - Grounds...More

Thank kewood99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Responsable relations publiques at Abbaye aux Hommes, responded to this reviewResponded January 25, 2018
Google Translation

Bonjour, un grand merci à vous d'avoir pris quelques instants pour rédiger ce commentaire suite à votre visite à l'Abbaye-aux-Hommes....More

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Reviewed December 9, 2017

Nice to walk through on a self guided basis. No audio guide available, but there are some placards with historic information in a couple of places. The day we were there (weekend), they seemed to be running a revolving door of weddings with wedding party...More

Thank JDW25Wisconsin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2017

An impressive cathedral that has William the Conqueror's tomb at the front altar. a quiet and contemplative place.More

Thank RMHMT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Responsable relations publiques at Abbaye aux Hommes, responded to this reviewResponded November 22, 2017
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Bonjour, Merci d'avoir pris quelques instants pour rédiger ce commentaire. Nous apprécions toujours les retours de nos visiteurs sur leur...More

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Reviewed October 17, 2017

Entrance to the abbey church (St.Etienne) is free, through a small door out of sight around the curved end of the church. To view the fine cloisters go into the large building to the left of the church - where the monks used to live...More

Thank MulderWickford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Responsable relations publiques at Abbaye aux Hommes, responded to this reviewResponded November 22, 2017
Google Translation

Bonjour, Merci à vous d'avoir fait part de votre satisfaction sur la qualité de votre visite à l'Abbaye-aux-Hommes. Nous espérons...More

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Questions & Answers
frankenkat
July 6, 2017|
Answer
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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