Le-Bec-Hellouin is another of France's most beautiful villages. This very pretty Village lies in a valley, and has a small river which runs through the village. The Village has Norman architecture, lots of half-timbered homes, and lovely gardens.
Quiet and tranquill, I could wander to my hearts content, happily snapping away and not being worried about a car running me over. It was a small area to cover, so I wasn't worn out either!
As the Church was open, I went inside for a look. Of importance here, are the remains of Herluin which were reburied in this "new" Abbey Church. This building was used as the refrectory during the eighteenth century.
The Tomb of Herluin [ founder of the Abbey] is located in the centre of the Church. His relics were placed in their current resting place by the monks of the abbey in 1959.
What a way to arrive, but by car on a high road overlooking the valley where the Abbey was situated.
We parked our car in the car park by the Abbey, plenty of parking was available and walked in through the gates. It is FREE to wander in around the Abbey, but there are guided tours if you wish.
The Abbey has had quite a life!
It is very old, built where it stands today in 1039 by the Knight Herluin, (born 995, died 1078), This man was a Norman knight who left the Army to devote his life to Religion. He began his life as a hermit, later was joined by other disciples including a man named Lanfranc in 1042, who was later to become Archbishop of Canterbury from 1070 until 1089 during the reign of the first Norman king of England, William the Conqueror. This Abbey supplied three arch-bishops of Canterbury as well as Bishops of Rochester.
During the Hundred Years War, the English army attacked and pillaged the abbey in 1418. After the war was over, reconstruction began on this beautiful Abbey. It has been used as Military Stables and occupied by Troops, then abandoned after 1945.
Most of the "very Old' buildings have gone, just ruins now. Due to the Revolution, most of the monastery buildings are recent but still standing is the beautiful 15th century St. Nicholas Tower.
Since 1948, the buildings have been occupied by a community of Olivetan Benedictine monks who make and sell Pottery. A wander around the grounds admiring this Abbey was so peaceful and pleasant. I liked the colour of the stone, and especially, the tall Bell-Tower.
Guided tours run.....June–Sept Mon & Wed–Fri 10.30am, 3pm, 4pm & 5pm, Sat 10.30am, 3pm & 4pm, Sun & hols noon, 3pm & 4pm; Oct–May Mon & Wed–Sat 10.30am, 3pm & 4pm, Sun & hols noon, 3pm & 4pm; 4
More info can be found on this website, but it's only in French.... www.abbayedubec.com
Benedictine Abbey of Bec is situated in the Eure district in Normandy.
Brionne is located only 4kms away from Le-Bec-Hullouin .
Some interesting sights we saw were the preserved "Norman keep" that overlooks the town and the Hotel De-Ville which is an impressive looking building.
The Church of St. Martin is very old, dating back till 1030. It have been built and destroyed many times, so it is not the old Church that is still standing, but contains parts of the original Churche's dating back to the 13th & 15th centuries.
If you need a Toilet, then look for the timbered little building in my photo. We didn't realize it was a Toilet!
Food, no problem, as there is an excellent Patisserie in Town., the photo may make your mouth water.
The website is in French