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IMEC: a living memory of writing, publishing and creating

Just outside of Caen, Ardenne Abbey rises about the farmlands that it cultivated for so many years. Founded in the 12th century, this abbey of the fields has preserved, inside of its enclosure, all of its spaces, its tithe barn, press, mill, etc. It was part of the Premonstratensian order of regular canons, and in the 16th century it became the order’s first abbey in Normandy.

As the theatre for many dramatic episodes during the Liberation in June 1944, the abbey came out of the war virtually in ruins, and thereafter a new purpose for the site was sought, once its buildings were classified as historic monuments and urgent restoration work was undertaken.

It regained a major intellectual and cultural role in 1996 when the Institut Mémoires de l’Edition Contemporaine moved in, with the mission of bringing together and breathing life into archival fonds entrusted to it by publishers, artists, authors and researchers working in this field. The institute opened in 2004 after several years of extensive renovations, the most important of which is the library, which was installed in the abbey church. It offers a model for how to integrate contemporary creation into heritage sites. In addition to tours, a number of events (exhibits, colloquia and meetings) are open to the general public.

Practical InformationAddress : Abbaye d’Ardenne IMEC Abbaye d’Ardenne 14280 Saint-Germain-la-Blanche-Herbe
: 02 31 29 37 37
: Contact
Website : View Website

Free visit of the exteriors from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. from Tuesday to Friday. And from Wednesday to Sunday, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. for exhibitions.

Guided tours : Wendesdays and Thursdays at 2.30 p.m. and 4 p.m. from 12/04 to 4/05 and from 5/07 to 28/09.


Abbaye d'Ardenne
Norman Abbeys
Norman Abbeys

Abbayes de Normandie - Route historique
28, rue Raymond Aron
BP 52
76824 Mont-Saint-Aignan Cedex

+33 (0)2 35 12 41 60
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