The Abbay was built between 1175 and 1220. Itwas built for wish of Richard the Lionheart and it was the most important place of pilgrimage before the construction of Le Mont Saint-Michel. The believers were called by the miraculous arrival in the town of a trunk of fig tree that contained a drop of the blood of Christ. In the exact point in which the trunk touched earth, a fountain gushed out and the monks of the abbey took it under their custody.
The church of St Etienne is in the middle of the town. The oldest part is the choir, which dates from the 11th century, which was quite widely restored, in the 19th century. The church suffered badly during the invasion of the Vikings but it has since been restored.
The pebbled beach at Fecamp is a little uninspiring but is clean and long. The weather was not good during our stay so we only spent a short while here but in the summer it is packed with people.
Palais Benedictine is a well know landmark in Fecamp. Home to the famous liqueur it is a magical Gothic style building and I must admit the architecture and design inside interested me more than the production of the drink. I did however say yes to a free sample at the end of the visit. The palace is split into different sections. There is a fine arts museum, a selection of some of the counterfeits, the distillery itself and at the end a beautiful conservatory type area where you can sample a taste of the famous drink either neat or like me in a cocktail.
This was such a refreshing change from the average museum!
Once you're marvelled at the architecture, enter and pay the free - 5,80€ and I believe 2, 00€ if you're a student. The attendant will give you a plastic red 'seal' on your entry to use at the end of your tour, valid for one free tasting of bénédictine!
The museum has a double vocation - both for art and for the production of bénédictine.
As you wander through the magnificent palace, you will find each room is a world different from the last... you will see a room full of paintings from the French, Italian and Flemish schools of the 15th and 16th centuries (tip: take one of the english "helpcards" that tell you about the paintings - they are both informative and often unintentionally funny in their translation), a room full of spices with wonderful aromas, a room which has a pyramid of bénédictine bottles from all over the world, and of course the distillery. My favourite room was full of old chests with magnificently intricate locks on them, each looking like a pirate's treasure chest!
At the end of your visit you can trade in your red seal for a free bénédictine cocktail and sit in the pretty little café to drink it, then visit the store and buy a bottle or a poster.
The Bénédictine Palace is a museum as well as a destillery. It dates back to 1881 although the Bénédictine liquor itself is much older. You will get a guided tour through the building where you will see old flamish paitings and many items about the history of the liqour as well as information about the distillery. Finally, of course, you may try a small glass of Bénédictine liquor. There was also a small exhibition about spices, but I am not sure if that was temporary or permanent.
The Bénédictine name comes from the former monasteries in this area. The liquor itself is well known around the world and the recipe is kept secretely.
After visiting Fecamp try to visit the cliffs. Its a beautifull view and you should take a lot of pictures.
The Hotel de Ville (City Hall) is located in the ancient dormitory of the Abbatiale de la Sainte Trinitè.
In front of the abbey you can see the ruins of the castle built by the dukes of Normandie between the 10th and the 11th century.
At the far end of the beach near the casino you can also visit the Musee des Terre Neuvas et de la peche, a modern building which is dedicated to the New Foundland fishermen and their history.
Opposite the abbey church, are the remains of the Ducal Palace, which was reconstructed by Henry II, King of England and the Duke of Normandy at the end of the 12th century.
Set in a beautiful building the tourist information office is opposite the Benedictine Palace. It has plenty of information to hand and the guy behind the desk is very informative indeed.
When you go out the town (left or right don't make any difference.) you see amazing views every where
Always nice to sit down and enjoy the waves which make a special sound on a rocky beach, with the cliffs of Fécamp to the right & Etretat to the left