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This abbey is often referred to as St. Wandrille and is, in fact, located in St. Wandrille on the north bank of the Seine. It is a living, working community of monks so the entire area is not open to visitors. However, the ancient ruined abbey church (spectacular) is open. The monks purchased a Tithe Barn and moved it to the abbey grounds for their church and except during services, it is open to the public. There is also a small, charming chapel by the monks' cemetery that is open to the public.
Just down the street is a very nice gift shop. There are products from several different monastic communities available. There is also a charming rural scene with a barn, a stream and sheep across from the gift shop if you enjoy rural photography.
They are renovating the church until Christmas of 2010 so services have been moved. There is a notice on their web site listed below.
Updated Jul 8, 2011
Address: 2, rue Saint Jacques, Saint-Wandrille-Rançon
Phone: +33 (0)2 3596-2311
In the village of Saint Wandrille you can see a couple of Half timbered houses that now are restaurants.
Written Jul 30, 2007
In proximity of the entrances of the abbey there is a Romanesque church with some beautiful glass door and statues.
Written Jul 30, 2007
The visit of the abbey is very interesting. The visit begins from the guesthouse where is possible to know the Benedictine monks. Walking in the beautiful garden you reache the rests of the abbey in which is possible to recognize the three aisles. From the dimensions of the pillars you can imagined as the church was originally. Of its magnificence you can see the left transept in which remain the beautiful columns and the stupendous glass door.
Updated Jul 30, 2007
The abbey was erected in 649 by St. Wandrille and the original structure was destroyed by the Viking in the ninth century. In 1031 a new church was consecrate and the donations of William the Conqueror allowed to grow the importance of the abbey. With the war of the one hundred years the abbey was abandoned and in the next centuries it was widened up to the French Revolution. The Benedictine community returned to the abbey in 1931.
Written Jul 29, 2007
L'Abbaye St-Wandrille is located in the pretty village of Saint-Wandrille-Rançon. The Benedictine Abbey is home to a community of 50 monks. It was founded in 649, but the original buildings were destroyed a couple of times, by Vikings and fire. Most of today's structure is from the 17th & 18th centuries.
When you enter the Abbey grounds you will come across the remains of the old Abbey church. You can then continue through the grounds to the new chapel and see the small cemetery and a cute little church.
Guided tours of the Abbey are available each afternoon and they are lead by one of the monks. You can also visit in the mornings to hear the monks sing traditional chants. For those so inclined, you can also stay in the Abbey, but you must write to the monks in advance to request this.
The Abbey closed for 1 hour from 1-2pm. The church bells will start to chime at this time and continue on for a good 5-10mins. We happened to still be visiting the Abbey at 1pm and one of the monks told us we had to leave. It was pretty cool though to catch a glimpse of the monks.
Written Jul 7, 2006
After our visit to the Abbey, we popped into Creperie de la Caillouville for lunch. There was only a couple of food options in this small village, and the Creperie looked like the better choice.
It is much lovelier than it looks like from the front….it has a delightful courtyard garden at the back, which was filled with lunching locals when we arrived, plus a larger indoor area. We pulled up a seat in a shady area outside.
The atmosphere was good, though service was a bit slow as there was only one waitress working, though she was working as quickly as she could!
Favorite Dish: For lunch I had a Galette (buckwheat pancake) with Ham, Egg, Tomato & Cheese. Chris had some sort of meat pizza and Alex had a delicious pizza with plenty of Asparagus, Ham & Egg. A small beer helped the food go down just right ; )
Written Jul 7, 2006
Address: 5 place de l'Eglise, Saint-Wandrille-Rançon
Phone: 02 35 96 22 94
In June/July 2006 we had a 9 day driving holiday in France. We caught a car ferry from Dover to Calais, drove down through Normandy, popped into Brittany and then caught the ferry back to Dover from Boulogne-sur-Mer.
We chose to take our own car over, as the cost of the ferry and petrol was significantly cheaper than flying from London and hiring a car in France. I also feel a lot more comfortable travelling in our own car as opposed to a hire car.
The only negative thing about driving our car in France is that it is a right hand drive car, and French cars are left hand drive, which means that tolls/tickets machines etc are on the wrong side of the car for the driver to operate…luckily I was able to assist in these duties from the passenger seat, but I do feel sorry for the solo traveller in these situations.
Driving in France is great. The roads are good and the sign posting is excellent. You can hoon along on the wide tollways/freeways, or travel along pretty coastal roads, soaking up the atmosphere of the French countryside. Just remember which side of the road you have to drive on if you come over from the UK.
Updated Apr 4, 2011