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Keywords

vandalism
Mathilde de Flandre
William I of England
William the Bastard
Abbey of Saint-Étienne
iconoclast
Abbaye aux Hommes
William the Conqueror
Caen
Calvados
Basse-Normandie
France
14
Calvinist


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Caen - Abbaye aux Hommes

Caen - Abbaye aux Hommes
Caen was a settlement already in Roman times, but prospered, when
William the Conqueror (aka "William the Bastard") built a castle here. When William married Matilda of Flanders (~ 1051) a papal ban was issued at the Council of Reims on the grounds of consanguinity. In 1059 Pope Nicholas awarded dispensation, after William and Matilda agreed to found to monasteries as penance.

William founded the Abbey of Saint-Etienne (aka "Abbaye aux Hommes"), Matilda founded the Abbey Sainte-Trinité (aka "Abbaye aux Dames"). The erection of both abbeys started in Caen around 1060.

The "Abbaye aux Hommes" was suppressed during the French Revolution, the Benedictine monks left. The church became a parish church after the revolution.

Most of the nave is Romanesque, while already within the 13th century the Romanesque choir got replaced by this Gothic one. This small carving, depicting a flexible male person, can be found in the nave. It was found obviously by iconoclastic Calvinists, who vandalized the abbey-church in the 1560s.

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