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A great founding abbey

Founded by Saint Vital in the early 12th century, Savigny Abbey is at the origin of an important congregation (the Savignacian order), which founded many abbeys in France and, above all, in England. At the end of the century, it joined the Cistercian order. It is hard today to imagine the importance of this community, which enjoyed royal protection and could claim five monks who were later canonised.

After being sold as a National Asset during the French Revolution, the abbey became a stone quarry, like so many others, and seemed destined for complete destruction. Large stone walls now bear witness to this powerful, yet devastated, construction, whose cut stone and sculpted elements have all disappeared. The exception is the famous “door of Saint Louis”, which was saved from destruction by Arcisse de Caumont, the great Norman historian who founded the French Archaeological Society in 1833. In the past few years, the federated towns of Saint-Hilaire du Harcouët have undertaken archaeological digs as well as work to protect the ruins and showcase the site. In 2012, an interpretative tour was set up, and an interesting scale model of the abbey estate prior to its destruction can now be viewed near the site of the church.


Practical InformationAddress : Abbaye de Savigny-le-Vieux 50 600 Savigny-le-Vieux
: Office de tourisme Place du Bassin 50600 Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouët 02 33 79 38 88
: Contact
Website : View Website

Free entrance


Site freely accessible all year round (parking, picnic table). Interpretation trail about the ruins on site.
Guided tours in summer (July and August), Wednesday to Sunday at 11 am, 2:30pm and 4:30pm

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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