Soissons - Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes

Picardy / Picardie


A collection of photos taken over the years. They just all have in common, that they were taken in Picardy (departements Aisne (02), Oise (60) and Somme (80)), that now is part of Hauts-de-France.

Soissons - Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes

01 Apr 2013 1 1 183
The Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes was founded by Hughes Le Blanc for a community of Augustinian Canons in 1076. The Romanesque structures of the early years got replaced by buildings erected in Gothic style from the 13th century on. During the Hundred Year´s War, the abbey got heavily fortified. The town was looted and burned down by the troops of Charles VI of France (aka "Charles the Mad") in 1415. About a century later the town suffered severely, when it was under siege of the armees during the Wars of Religion. Prussian troops conquered Soisson in 1814. The Franco-Prussian War (1870/71) creating a lot of damage, shell fire in WWI destroyed again most of the Soissons. The towers of the Abbey were not hit at that time. The abbey was already ruined earlier. After the French Revolution the nave of the church was used as a quarry. Other buildings of the former convent got converted into barracks. An explosion inside the ammunition dump in 1815 left the facade in the state seen (from east) today. To the left are the ruins of the cloister - and the undamaged refectory.

Soissons - Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes

01 Apr 2013 172
The Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes was founded by Hughes Le Blanc for a community of Augustinian Canons in 1076. The Romanesque structures of the early years got replaced by buildings erected in Gothic style from the 13th century on. During the Hundred Year´s War, the abbey got heavily fortified. The town was looted and burned down by the troops of Charles VI of France (aka "Charles the Mad") in 1415. About a century later the town suffered severely, when it was under siege of the armees during the Wars of Religion. Prussian troops conquered Soisson in 1814. The Franco-Prussian War (1870/71) creating a lot of damage, shell fire in WWI destroyed again most of the Soissons. The towers of the Abbey were not hit at that time. The abbey was already ruined earlier. After the French Revolution the nave of the church was used as a quarry. Most of the other buildings of the former convent got converted into barracks. An explosion inside the ammunition dump in 1815 destroyed most of the buildings. Two (damaged) galleries of the former cloister still exist.

Soissons - Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes

01 Apr 2013 1 157
The Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes was founded by Hughes Le Blanc for a community of Augustinian Canons in 1076. The Romanesque structures of the early years got replaced by buildings erected in Gothic style from the 13th century on. During the Hundred Year´s War, the abbey got heavily fortified. The town was looted and burned down by the troops of Charles VI of France (aka "Charles the Mad") in 1415. About a century later the town suffered severely, when it was under siege of the armees during the Wars of Religion. Prussian troops conquered Soisson in 1814. The Franco-Prussian War (1870/71) creating a lot of damage, shell fire in WWI destroyed again most of the Soissons. The towers of the Abbey were not hit at that time. The abbey church was already ruined earlier. After the French Revolution the nave of the church was used as a quarry. Most of the other buildings of the former convent got converted into barracks. An explosion inside the ammunition dump in 1815 destroyed most of the church but the Gothic facade (seen from west). Adjoining to the right is the undamaged refectory building to the right.

Soissons - Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes

01 Apr 2013 1 185
The Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes was founded by Hughes Le Blanc for a community of Augustinian Canons in 1076. The Romanesque structures of the early years got replaced by buildings erected in Gothic style from the 13th century on. During the Hundred Year´s War, the abbey got heavily fortified. The town was looted and burned down by the troops of Charles VI of France (aka "Charles the Mad") in 1415. About a century later the town suffered severely, when it was under siege of the armees during the Wars of Religion. Prussian troops conquered Soisson in 1814. The Franco-Prussian War (1870/71) creating a lot of damage, shell fire in WWI destroyed again most of the Soissons. The towers of the Abbey were not hit at that time. The abbey church was already ruined earlier. After the French Revolution the nave of the church was used as a quarry. Most of the other buildings of the former convent got converted into barracks. An explosion inside the ammunition dump in 1815 destroyed most of the church but the Gothic facade and the refectory, seen here. A wonderful two aisled room, an architecture that was common in Cistercian abbeys. The refectory is 36m long and 10m wide.

Soissons - Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes

01 Apr 2013 152
The Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes was founded by Hughes Le Blanc for a community of Augustinian Canons in 1076. The Romanesque structures of the early years got replaced by buildings erected in Gothic style from the 13th century on. During the Hundred Year´s War, the abbey got heavily fortified. The town was looted and burned down by the troops of Charles VI of France (aka "Charles the Mad") in 1415. About a century later the town suffered severely, when it was under siege of the armees during the Wars of Religion. Prussian troops conquered Soisson in 1814. The Franco-Prussian War (1870/71) creating a lot of damage, shell fire in WWI destroyed again most of the Soissons. The towers of the Abbey were not hit at that time. After the French Revolution the nave of the church was used as a quarry. Most of the other buildings of the former convent got converted into barracks. An explosion inside the ammunition dump in 1815 destroyed most of the church but the Gothic facade and the refectory. Thousands of soldiers lived in the barracks for some decades - and they had the time to cover all the walls around with numerous graffiti.

Soissons - Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes

01 Apr 2013 150
The Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes was founded by Hughes Le Blanc for a community of Augustinian Canons in 1076. The Romanesque structures of the early years got replaced by buildings erected in Gothic style from the 13th century on. During the Hundred Year´s War, the abbey got heavily fortified. The town was looted and burned down by the troops of Charles VI of France (aka "Charles the Mad") in 1415. About a century later the town suffered severely, when it was under siege of the armees during the Wars of Religion. Prussian troops conquered Soisson in 1814. The Franco-Prussian War (1870/71) creating a lot of damage, shell fire in WWI destroyed again most of the Soissons. The towers of the Abbey were not hit at that time. After the French Revolution the nave of the church was used as a quarry. Most of the other buildings of the former convent got converted into barracks. An explosion inside the ammunition dump in 1815 destroyed most of the church. Thousands of soldiers lived in the barracks for some decades - and they had the time to cover all the walls around with numerous graffiti.

Soissons - Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes

01 Apr 2013 174
The Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes was founded by Hughes Le Blanc for a community of Augustinian Canons in 1076. The Romanesque structures of the early years got replaced by buildings erected in Gothic style from the 13th century on. During the Hundred Year´s War, the abbey got heavily fortified. The town was looted and burned down by the troops of Charles VI of France (aka "Charles the Mad") in 1415. About a century later the town suffered severely, when it was under siege of the armees during the Wars of Religion. Prussian troops conquered Soisson in 1814. The Franco-Prussian War (1870/71) creating a lot of damage, shell fire in WWI destroyed again most of the Soissons. The towers of the Abbey were not hit at that time. After the French Revolution the nave of the church was used as a quarry. Most of the other buildings of the former convent got converted into barracks. An explosion inside the ammunition dump in 1815 destroyed most of the church. Thousands of soldiers lived in the barracks for some decades - and they had the time to cover all the walls around with numerous graffiti.

Soissons - Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes

01 Apr 2013 164
The Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes was founded by Hughes Le Blanc for a community of Augustinian Canons in 1076. The Romanesque structures of the early years got replaced by buildings erected in Gothic style from the 13th century on. During the Hundred Year´s War, the abbey got heavily fortified. The town was looted and burned down by the troops of Charles VI of France (aka "Charles the Mad") in 1415. About a century later the town suffered severely, when it was under siege of the armees during the Wars of Religion. Prussian troops conquered Soisson in 1814. The Franco-Prussian War (1870/71) creating a lot of damage, shell fire in WWI destroyed again most of the Soissons. The towers of the Abbey were not hit at that time. After the French Revolution the nave of the church was used as a quarry. Most of the other buildings of the former convent got converted into barracks. An explosion inside the ammunition dump in 1815 destroyed most of the church. Thousands of soldiers lived in the barracks for some decades - and they had the time to cover all the walls around with numerous graffiti.

Soissons - Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes

01 Apr 2013 2 170
The Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes was founded by Hughes Le Blanc for a community of Augustinian Canons in 1076. The Romanesque structures of the early years got replaced by buildings erected in Gothic style from the 13th century on. During the Hundred Year´s War, the abbey got heavily fortified. The town was looted and burned down by the troops of Charles VI of France (aka "Charles the Mad") in 1415. About a century later the town suffered severely, when it was under siege of the armees during the Wars of Religion. Prussian troops conquered Soisson in 1814. The Franco-Prussian War (1870/71) creating a lot of damage, shell fire in WWI destroyed again most of the Soissons. The towers of the Abbey were not hit at that time. After the French Revolution the nave of the church was used as a quarry. Most of the other buildings of the former convent got converted into barracks. An explosion inside the ammunition dump in 1815 destroyed most of the church. Thousands of soldiers lived in the barracks for some decades - and they had the time to cover all the walls around with numerous graffiti.

Soissons - Saint-Gervais-et-Saint-Protais

01 Apr 2013 1 185
The "Cathédrale Saint-Gervais-et-Saint-Protais", seen from the Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes. The cathedral is 116m long! The construction was begun about 1177, replacing a preceding Carolingian church, that was set on fire by soldiers of Hugh the Great, Hugh Capet´s father, in 948. The choir was completed in 1211, but work slowed down due to the Hundred Years' War. he cathedral got finally consecrated in 1479. It got looted and vandalized during the Wars of Religion, when the Huguenots had occupied Soissons. Rebuilt again, but then severely mutilated by revolutionists end of the 18th century. During the time of Napoleon I, gunpowder was stored inside, what ended in an explosion. A "historic monument" since 1862, the structure was severely damaged again by shell fire during WWI.

Soissons - Saint-Pierre

01 Apr 2013 2 195
This is, what is left of one of the most important, medieval nunneries in Northern France. The abbey Notre Dame was founded by the Merovingians around 660. Charlemagne´s sister Gisela was abbess, his daughter Rotrude was nun here. In 789 under Louis the Pious the abbey in Herford (about 600kms northeast), the oldest nunnery in the Duchy of Saxony, was founded as a "filia" of this convent. The abbey once had three churches and was widely known for the holy relics, kept here. The collection got lost and all buildings were demolished after the French Revolution. Only this small Romaneque structure, once part of a transept, just opposite Soisson´s large cathedral can still be found.

Soissons - Saint-Gervais-et-Saint-Protais

01 Apr 2013 156
The construction of the "Cathédrale Saint-Gervais-et-Saint-Protais" was begun about 1177, replacing a preceding Carolingian church, that was set on fire by soldiers of Hugh the Great, Hugh Capet´s father, in 948. The choir was completed in 1211, but work slowed down due to the Hundred Years' War. he cathedral got finally consecrated in 1479. It got looted and vandalized during the Wars of Religion, when the Huguenots had occupied Soissons. Rebuilt again, but then severely mutilated by revolutionists end of the 18th century. During the time of Napoleon I, gunpowder was stored inside, what ended in an explosion. A "historic monument" since 1862, the structure was severely damaged again by shell fire during WWI. The northern tower was never completed, due to lack of funds. None of the many statues has survived the vandalism of the centuries. The facade actually has strong parallels to that one of Notre-Dame de Paris, where all lost and destroyed statues got replaced in the 19th century.

Soissons - Palais du Vêtement

01 Apr 2013 190
It was a noble palace in bygone times. By now, it is just another shoe shop..

Prémontré - Abbey

01 Apr 2013 163
In 1120 Saint Norbert of Xanten founded a convent here, that became the mother house of the Premonstratensian Order. Just six years later, Norbert left the simple and contemplative life to become the Archbishop of Magdeburg. Later he was HRE Lothair II´s advisor and worked as his archchancellor for Italy. Abbey and Order developed well over the centuries. The Premonstratensian Order still exists, but the abbey was suppressed and confiscated after the French Revolution. The property was sold and several buildings were demolished for building material. Having passed through several hands, the abbey was finally acquired by the Département of Aisne. Since 1867 the remaining, large baroque buildings (16th/17th c.) are in use as a psychiatric hospital.

Prémontré - Abbey

01 Apr 2013 177
In 1120 Saint Norbert of Xanten founded a convent here, that became the mother house of the Premonstratensian Order. Just six years later, Norbert left the simple and contemplative life to become the Archbishop of Magdeburg. He was HRE Lothair II´s advisor and worked as his archchancellor for Italy. Abbey and Order developed well over the centuries. The Premonstratensian Order still exists, but the abbey was suppressed and confiscated after the French Revolution. The property was sold and several buildings were demolished for building material. Having passed through several hands, the abbey was finally acquired by the Département of Aisne. Since 1867 the remaining, large baroque buildings (16th/17th c.) are in use as a psychiatric hospital.

Prémontré - Abbey

01 Apr 2013 1 217
In 1120 Saint Norbert of Xanten founded a convent here, that became the mother house of the Premonstratensian Order. Just six years later, Norbert left the simple and contemplative life to become the Archbishop of Magdeburg. He was HRE Lothair II´s advisor and worked as his archchancellor for Italy. Abbey and Order developed well over the centuries. The Premonstratensian Order still exists, but after the French Revolution the abbey was suppressed and confiscated. The property was sold and several buildings were demolished for building material. Having passed through several hands, the abbey was acquired by the Département of Aisne. Since 1867 the remaining, large baroque buildings (16th/17th c.) are in use as a psychiatric hospital. The ruin of an apse, next to parking lot and soccer ground, seems to be the last existing trace of the abbey´s early years.

Saint-Nicolas-aux-Bois - Abbey

01 Apr 2013 168
These are the remnants of a former Benedictine abbey, founded around 1080 by Philip I of France (aka "The Amorous"). The large site is "private property". It is fenced and was well guarded by an agile dog (seen left), I did not enter.

Saint-Nicolas-aux-Bois - Le Tortoir

01 Apr 2013 229
"Le Tortoir" was a fortified priory, dependent from the nearby abbey (previous upload). It dates back to the 12th century, though the still existing structures may be a century (or more) younger. The former priory is (just like the former abbey) "private property" - and so I did not enter the site.

225 items in total