Martin M. Miles

Martin M. Miles

Posted on 09/03/2014


Photo taken on July  1, 2013



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Keywords

beard
Abbey Sainte-Trinité
Mathilde de Flandre
William I of England
William the Bastard
Anglo Saxon
Reine Mathilde
Abbaye aux Dames
William the Conqueror
Caen
Calvados
Basse-Normandie
France
mustache
norman
14
Edward the Confessor


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Caen - Abbaye aux Dames

Caen - Abbaye aux Dames
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 two monasteries as penance.

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

The community of nuns was suppressed by the French Revolution. In 1823 the local authorities transferred the ancient Hôtel-Dieu to the former cloister for use as a hospital, and the canonesses regular established themselves there. The canonesses continued to operate until 1908 when the facility was transferred into a nursing home.

The former abbey church Sainte-Trinité now serves the parish.

Here are three capitals from the nave of Sainte-Trinité.

Many faces here have bulging eyes and extraordinary beards / mustaches. Was this a "Norman" fashion? Most Normans seen on the Bayeux Tapestry (aka "Tapisserie de la reine Mathilde") are clean shaven. William the Conqueror has no beard, but his opponent Edward the Confessor wears a beard, as well as Harold II (aka "Harold Godwinson"), Edward's successor. So maybe these beards were fashion of the Anglo Saxons, beaten by William in the Battle of Hastings.

Antony Cairns has particularly liked this photo


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