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.