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A model of norman romanesque architecture

Cerisy-la-Forêt Abbey dates back to the 6th century, when Vigor, one of the first evangelists of the Bessin region and bishop of Bayeux, had a monastery built around the year 510 and dedicated it to Saints Peter and Paul. After it was destroyed during the Viking invasions of the 9th century, a foundation charter was issued in 1032 by Robert the Magnificent, Duke of Normandy, to build a new abbey dedicated to Saint Vigor.

The abbey church dates from the reign of Robert’s son, William the Conqueror, but it was completed only at the end of the 11th century. A major example of Norman Romanesque architecture, it contains all the elements that would serve as a model for the building of a number of churches in England after the Conquest: huge volumes, clarity of the interior, three-level design, and a square lantern tower rising high over the transept. From a later period, the apse, with its three levels of windows, is unique in the world, and despite the destruction of part of the nave in the 19th century, the church retains its exceptional power.

Above the entrance to the abbey, the abbot’s chapel, or Saint Gerbold’s Chapel, is a Gothic building from the late 13th century. Evoking a smaller version of Sainte Chapelle in Paris, it has painted decorations from the 15th century.

Practical InformationAddress : Abbaye de Cerisy-la-Forêt rue Sangles 50 680 Cerisy-la-Forêt
: 02 33 57 34 63
: Contact
Website : View Website

Annual opening 2021:

from Wednesday May 19 (to be confirmed) to Saturday

October 31. Details of schedules to inquire. Guided tours on Wednesdays at 3:00 p.m. from July to September

To find out more about the timetables: or on

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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