Abbaye aux Hommes

Abbaye aux Hommes, Caen

Abbaye aux Hommes
4.5
Points of Interest & Landmarks • Religious Sites
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
About
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
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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4.5
819 reviews
Excellent
402
Very good
295
Average
105
Poor
11
Terrible
6

TheSkeptik
Paris, France252 contributions
great guide
Oct 2020
an absolutely stunning building when seen from the esplanade. The guided tour is worth the ticket and the time. The guide lady speaks clearly (in French; I don't know about her mastery of English), interesting details about the history of the William, Duke of Normandy, the building's history.
By the way: puy the city pass that includes the memorial, the Abby and the great Castle! A great savings of >10€/person
Written 25 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

nickyhill2015
Carlisle, UK214 contributions
Great picture
Jul 2020
What a building and very impressive and well worth a visit if only to take a picture but if you take time out to walk around the place it is very grand
Written 23 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

r0landbrunner
Zurich, Switzerland1 631 contributions
impressive
Jul 2020
an impressive site by its dimensions and its history, even if almost all of the nowadays buildings is rather recent, as like many other places the previous and original buildings were destroyed it the wars (mainly the war of 100 years). still it is a nice site, especially the courtyard. to visit the church, you will have to use another entrance so. this here is only for the former monastery.
Written 3 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sandra J
Faaborg, Denmark17 contributions
What a breath of history
Mar 2020 • Friends
The Abbey itself is one of the most stunning I have ever witnessed. I could feel the history all the way through, what a beautiful atmosphere.
A bit strange to read on the homepage you had to pay entrance, then follow the signs to ticket office at the location just to be told at the counter to go back and just enter the church
Written 4 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

CCR_GR
London, UK105 contributions
If you like your history this is a must
Sep 2019 • Couples
The fact that King William is buried here is the main reason we visited the Abbey.

It is quite apparent the difference between an abbey and a cathedral. The building is grand but sparser on the inside than your typical Normandy Cathedral - example Bayeux. The only real noticeable colour was the reddish granite on William's tomb.

Have a read up on Wiki about the tomb as it would appear there is not much of the King's remains left here.
Written 27 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Bonjour. Merci d'avoir pris quelques instants pour commenter votre passage à l'Abbaye-aux-Hommes. Nous sommes ravis de savoir que vous avez apprécié votre visite. Nous espérons que votre escapade caennaise fut agréable. A bientôt à l'Abbaye !
Written 23 January 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

jep252
Shrewsbury, UK53 contributions
A place of solom reflection
Oct 2019
If you want to see the grave of William the Conqueror, then this is the place to come. Fully Accesible for those with impaired mobility. Well worth a visit.
Written 17 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Bonjour. Merci d'avoir pris quelques instants pour commenter votre passage à l'Abbaye-aux-Hommes. Nous sommes ravis de savoir que vous avez apprécié votre visite. Nous espérons que votre escapade caennaise fut agréable. A bientôt à l'Abbaye !
Written 23 January 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Bubbles73uk
Weedon Bec, UK726 contributions
Where William the Conqueror is buried
Sep 2019
The Mens' Abbey is an architectural masterpiece erected by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, after his marriage to Matilda of Flanders. Their marriage went against the Pope's advice due to a distant family connection, so they needed to make it up to the Church.
William's tomb is in the abbey.
The only thing I would say is the signs to get in point to the town hall when in fact the entrance is around the corner via a small red door with no signs on it at all.
Written 6 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Bonjour, un grand merci à vous d'avoir pris quelques instants pour rédiger ce commentaire suite à votre visite à l'Abbaye-aux-Hommes. J'espère que vous avez passé un agréable séjour dans notre belle ville. Au plaisir de vous y revoir un jour avec famille et/ou amis.
Written 23 January 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

815addiel
Kootwijkerbroek, The Netherlands95 contributions
Interesting historical place
Aug 2019
Building (old monastery) is interesting story. When we visited nice exhibition about WW II and how city survived.
Written 5 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Bonjour. Merci d'avoir pris quelques instants pour commenter votre passage à l'Abbaye-aux-Hommes. Nous sommes ravis de savoir que vous avez apprécié votre visite. Nous espérons que votre escapade caennaise fut agréable. A bientôt à l'Abbaye !
Written 23 January 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sue77777
United Kingdom155 contributions
Excellent exhibitions and great Value
Aug 2019
We have been here twice to see two separate exhibitions. One on Vietnam war and this year Caen and life in the town during the war before and after. Excellent on both occasions.

Your 4 euro entrance also allows you access inside the Abby forecourt and other rooms to visit and explore. Also a permanent exhibition on the war affecting the citizens of Caen . We spend 2 hours inthere.

Toilets too
Written 2 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Nadav S
Thursday Island, Australia30 contributions
Holocaust and killing of the Jews by the Nazis are not to be mentioned
Aug 2019
The abbaye of course has nothing to do with WWII. And it is magnificant. No real need to buy a ticket to visit. However, in the city hall there is a display of caen during the war. There the Jews simply do not exist. They were never there, never taken, never killed. Only that they were- taken by the Nazis in 1942 to the death camps- and mostly murdered there
Written 25 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Abbaye aux Hommes

Abbaye aux Hommes is open:
  • Mon - Thu 08:00 - 18:00
  • Fri - Fri 08:00 - 17:00
  • Sat - Sun 09:30 - 18:00
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