Anvaing Castle (Château d'Anvaing or Château de Lannoy) is a historic residence in Frasnes-lez-Anvaing. The site has been occupied by a castle since the time of the First Crusade. The first known reference dates from 1127. There is little documentation of the buildings on the site however until the reconstructions of 1561 and 1800. The owners were apparently the Roubaix family, judging from the arms on an early part of the building, and later the de Lannoy family whose descendants still own it. Stéphanie de Lannoy, Hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, grew up in the castle.
The castle is chiefly notable as the place in which the Belgian capitulation was signed on 28 May 1940, during the Battle of the Lys. At the time, it served as the headquarters of the German 6th Army. The Belgian plenipotentiaries arrived at the castle at 9:35 am. Shortly afterwards, General Olivier Derousseaux and Commandant Liagre were received by General Walther von Reichenau and Major-General Friedrich Paulus. Discussions took place in the dining room. At 10:00 am, the surrender became effective. The document was read and signed. In celebration, a German officer fired a gunshot into the ceiling which is still present.References:
The Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.
Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.
The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.
As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).