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You are here : Home » Discover » Abbeys » Notre-Dame Abbey, Bernay

The origins of romanesque architecture in normandy

The abbey church of Notre-Dame de Bernay is the oldest surviving Romanesque church. Building work began around the year 1010, at the initiative of Judith, wife of Richard II of Normandy, and it continued until the end of the 11th century under the supervision of Guillaume de Volpiano, renowned abbot-builder of Saint-Bénigne in Dijon and instigator of the restoration of the Abbey of the Holy Trinity in Fécamp.

This treasure is located in the town centre, but it can be easily overlooked, since its exterior elements and its environment have been greatly changed. The façade was rebuilt in the 17th century, as were the cloister buildings, which currently house municipal offices and the town museum.

However, after entering, visitors are immediately impressed by the special atmosphere in the church, with its austere walls and its narrow openings. They must get used to the darkness, illuminated only by sparse artificial light; then, out of the shadows, details emerge, making Bernay an exceptional monument, with small twin openings separated by a little column, and several sets of capitals decorated with plant and animal motifs, one of which – highly rare – is signed “Izembardus”.

Practical InformationAddress : Abbaye de Bernay Musée des Beaux-Arts place Guillaume de Volpiano 27300 Bernay
: 02 32 46 63 23
: Contact
Website : View Website

Free entrance


Opening :

Beginning of May to end of September Tuesday to Sunday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Closed May 1.

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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