Martin M. Miles

Martin M. Miles

Posted on 09/04/2014

Photo taken on July  1, 2013


Abbey Sainte-Trinité
Mathilde de Flandre
William I of England
William the Bastard
Reine Mathilde
Abbaye aux Dames
William the Conqueror
conseil régional

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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.

Most of the former conventual buildings like the former cloister now houses the offices of the "conseil régional" for the "Basse Normandie".