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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Back to Normandy: Jumièges




Let's go back to France for a bit. There's still so much I haven't shared yet. I love history, and I hope you do, too. One of our excursions while on the river cruise was the Normandy Abbey Route. We visited two abbeys, one a ruin and one still operating. This post is about the ruin. 


The first monastery was built here in 642. Mind-boggling. A few centuries later, however, the Vikings came a-rampaging and destroyed the monastery. 


It didn't take too long before the Vikings themselves converted to Christianity and began building their own monasteries. Duke William of Normandy, aka William the Conqueror, aka King William of England, attended the consecration of the newly constructed abbey in 1067.

The towers still stand, reaching into the blue, blue sky. Our guide pointed out how different they are - deliberate asymmetry.  


Jumièges was an important place of learning in medieval times, and was also well-known for caring for the poor. 


Some of the early paint colours can still be seen in the vaults and arches. 


How lovely it was to wander freely through these ruins, to imagine the life of the monks, to stretch my neck back to see the tops of the ruins. 

Alas, the Abbey became a victim of religion - in the 16th century, the Huguenots destroyed much of the abbey. It was partially rebuilt, but after the French Revolution, destroyed once more. 


These are some of the beautiful details, mostly reproductions, seen in and around the abbey.



The Abbey was sold in the 19th century to a Frenchman who used the old buildings as a quarry, selling off the stones and bricks. This horrified others, who managed to purchase the site before it was totally decimated.



As with most buildings, renovations were carried out over the centuries. These two windows are probably the oldest there.


The grounds are extensive and peaceful for walking. It's preserved now as an historic site, as are other abbeys in the area. If you go to Normandy, take the time to visit one of the abbeys and take a tour. We were so glad we did. 


This pretty house sits outside the abbey walls and I couldn't resist taking a photo. Doesn't it look like something from a fairy tale? 

Linking with Mosaic Monday, hosted by Maggie of Normandy Life. 

33 comments:

  1. How lovely it was to discover a part of our own "department" that we've not visited yet, it was so interesting to wander through the ruined monastery with you as my guide, merci beaucoup! Happy MM.

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  2. What a deep blue sky! Great photos Lorrie!

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  3. Looks like an amazing place. I love old ruins. Such beautiful photos and blue skies! B X

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  4. I love architecture like this, even if it was partially destroyed. I am surrounded by medieval architecture at work and it always strikes me that they people that originally built these miracles of architecture are now but dust. Have a lovely week Lorrie xx

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  5. It reminds me a little of Tintern Abbey in Wales, a beautiful ruin set in grass land.

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  6. The pretty house does indeed look like it is from a fairytale, very sweet indeed x Thank you for a very interesting post, I am so glad that there is something left for visitors to enjoy and explore

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  7. Did you ever get the sense that a wall could come tumbling down? ( I get that sense every time I mow my lawn under the ancient oak trees. )

    It is incredibly beautiful there. Perhaps even more beautiful than the monastery itself would have been. Yes, that house is charming beyond words. I'd love to peek inside.

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  8. Such a beautiful structure, just think of the history there it is mind boggling.
    Meredith

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  9. Hello, beautiful images. I would love to explore the ruins. The Abbey is beautiful. I love the cute little house too. Great photos. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week ahead!

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  10. Lovely photos of what was once a very lovely place. Thank you for sharing your trip.


    What is with MEN in all generations, that they feel they have to tear down & destroy another's work????

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  11. We certainly don't know what "old" is in our country… wonderful images and thanks for adding the little house at the end. Would love a visit there to peek inside.

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  12. A lovely tour of the ruins, so much history over the years. Disappointing that someone tried to make a profit from tearing apart this historical place of interest.

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  13. What a beautiful spot! If the walls could talk ... what it has seen. So glad it was saved before it totally disappeared. Lovely post.

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  14. I love history, too, and love to tour ruins. I like to imagine the life that was lead there and who might have been in these places working or visiting.

    Beautiful photos, Lorrie.

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  15. Thanks to walk through the spot. It looks good :)

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  16. Oh Lorrie your photos are just amazing! I adore that storybook house. I hope you have a wonderful week!

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  17. I've enjoyed reading about your trip and love your photos!

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  18. Wonderful photos and interesting history. I love old architecture and am glad someone preserved what was left of these structures.

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  19. Such beauty is so wonderful to see in person. You really had a nice trip. Hope you have a good week.

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  20. Lovely images...the architectural details really are worthy of capturing on film.
    Enjoy your French scenes as they take me back to my trip...would love to return sometime...but until then I live vicariously through your snapshots!

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  21. Delightful photos, Lorrie, and an efficient and lively sketch of the history behind them Thanks!

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  22. It's humbling, isn't it, to look up into that blue, blue sky and see those towers that represented the highest structure for hundreds of miles - indeed, the highest structure that would be seen there for hundreds of years to come. Such an interesting post!

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  23. Yes, the house does look like a fairy tale. I do love walking among ruins. How sad that different generations felt the need to destroy.

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  24. I, too, have trouble wrapping my head around the incredible and and history of these ruins. Thanks for sharing these fantastic images!

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  25. That was a really nice tour Lorrie. Thank you. I love visiting Europe. The history there is so rich and the architecture simply amazing. That little house IS adorable. Have a great week Lorrie. Christa

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  26. It's so wonderful to take photos and have those to preserve some of this history. Nothing lasts forever and nature can reclaim old buildings too. I would love to wander around and just let my imagination wander too. Thanks for sharing these photos with us. Sweet hugs, Diane

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  27. There's just something about ruins - romantic, wondrous, thought provoking, comforting. Lost in the quietude one can
    imagine all the life that has gone before among those beautiful stones. We took the other trip that day - I must post on that when time permits. I loved Normandy, it was full of surprises.

    Mary -

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  28. Oh my goodness, Lorrie, what wonderful photos of the architecture you've shared with us. It's hard to believe the date of 642, isn't it? Walking through the ruins must've evoked such a sense of history. As always, your photos are A++++!

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  29. Hello Lorrie. I see you've been travelling, gardening, grand mothering, celebrating and enjoying life. Your photos are just beautiful! Many a travel journal would like to use them I'm sure.
    We've moved and renovated and finally feel settled.
    Here's to a wonderful school year to you!

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  30. The antiquity of Europe astonishes me. You have photographed them beautifully. I'd say Hansel and Grettel style cottage. Very nice.

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  31. I can't even imagine how wonderful it is to see all this beauty in person..
    your photos are the best. And, that adorable little house at the end...the icing on the cake.
    xo

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  32. What gorgeous ruins! It's fascinating to hear about the former life of these places. Imagine selling off the stones as a quarry! Quite amazing that anything remains of the walls and towers.
    Wendy

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  33. There is something so romantic and mysterious about these ruins - Love all the beautiful stonework and arches. It's so wonderful that it has been preserved for future generations to enjoy. It must have been amazing to see in person. A lovely post. x Karen

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