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On the paths of Mont Saint-Michel..

There begins the bay and its vast marshy expanses known as the grasslands. It is an end of the world, motionless and silent, but also a promise, the starting point of one of the ancient routes of pilgrims to the Mount, whose silhouette, like an apparition, punctuates the horizon wherever you go. find. On a promontory overlooking the bay, the priory draws its origins from the Merovingians, when Leodovald, the “Lion of the Forest” future Saint Leonard, first bishop of Avranches (540-630) from a Frankish family, gave his name to the land of his birth. Stronghold of William the Conqueror, including a manor house, saltworks operated until the 19th century, fishing and kelp activities, the estate was bequeathed on his death in 1087 to the Benedictines of the Saint-Etienne de Caen abbey who erect a priory with a square courtyard of buildings. The commendation marks its decline in the 17th century, the small monastic community leaving the premises now maintained and managed by a local farmer. Having become national property during the revolution, an individual acquired it and transformed it into a farm. The church remains today, whose square bell tower indicates the existence in the center of the village. This mainly 12th century Romanesque building, made of granite and schist, was restored in the 1980s. The bell tower was erected after a first church, as evidenced by the vault supporting it and obstructing the older openings of a with an opus spicatum appliance. The saddleback roof of the tower, the frieze of sculpted corbels supporting the roof, are characteristic elements of rural religious architecture in Lower Normandy. The interior is lit by contemporary stained glass windows from the Loire workshop, their tones suggesting the alliance of the sea, sand and sun. A beautiful 15th century statue of Saint Leonard is placed in an angle. The visit of the church is free, and events, exhibitions or concerts are organized there from time to time. There are also accommodation possibilities on the property for groups wishing to stay in the bay.

Practical InformationAddress : 1 route du Fréchot 50300 Vains
: 02 33 70 86 98
: Contact
Website : View Website

Free entrance


The priory chapel is open all year round from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Access is via the north door.

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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