Abbey of St. Vincent

Senlis, France

The Royal Abbey of St. Vincent was a former monastery of canons regular in Senlis, Oise, which was dissolved during the French Revolution. Late in their history, they became part of a new congregation of canons regular with the motherhouse at the Royal Abbey of St Genevieve in Paris, known as the Genofévains, widely respected for their institutions of learning.

The abbey was founded in 1065 by Queen Anne of Kiev, the widow of King Henry I of France, possibly built on the ruins of an ancient chapel dedicated to St. John the Baptist which had been destroyed in the course of invasion by the Normans in the late 900s.  King Philip I of France later declared it to be a royal abbey, independent of all authorities, both ecclesiastical or civil, and made a number of grants of land to the community.

The abbey flourished between the 12th-14th centuries. During this period, the abbey went to great efforts to maintain its independence from the local authorities.

The decline started from the 16th century when there were internal disputes. Anyway the commendatory abbots continued to care for the abbey throughout the rest of its history. They made improvements in the walls and buildings until the mid-18th century. The coming of the French Revolution put an end to its life. In 1791, the canons were assembled and ordered to vacate the abbey, in compliance with the suppression of all religious houses under the new laws of the Republic.

The buildings were seized by the revolutionary government and used in various ways, from a military hospital to a prison for prisoners of war. In 1804, the complex was rented to a manufacturer. By 1835 they had fallen into the hands of a developer who had slated the walls and building for demolition. The following years, three canons of Beauvais were able to raise the funds to purchase the property. They then opened a school for boys.



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Rue de Meaux 42, Senlis, France
See all sites in Senlis


Founded: 1065
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

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User Reviews

Roseline neron (12 months ago)
Park closed, too bad.
Cyp (2 years ago)
Beautiful monument, calm
Sherlyne EVAMS (2 years ago)
Very pretty !
Floryan Popa (2 years ago)
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