Saint-Mihiel Abbey

Saint-Mihiel, France

Saint-Mihiel Abbey is an ancient Benedictine abbey situated in the town of Saint-Mihiel, near Verdun. The benedictine abbey was built in 708 or 709 by a Count Wulfoalde and his wife Adalsinde, probably to house the relics that Wulfoalde had brought back from Italy. It was dedicated to Saint Michael the Archangel, a popular saint at the time, as can be testified by the establishment of the abbeys of Mont St Michel in Normandy and the Abbey of Honau in Alsace in the same period. In 1734 the tombs of both Wulfoalde and Adalsinde were discovered in the abbey.

The abbey was placed under the authority of Fulrad of St Denis, chaplain to Charlemagne. In 755 a mayor Wulfoald, probably a relative of the founder of the abbey, was accused of high treason and plotting against Pepin the Short, was condemned to death. When Fulrad intervened to save his life, Wulfoald expressed his gratitude by giving King Childéric II his possessions, including the Abbey.

The Abbey is best known for its abbot Smaragdus, who moved there around the year 814 with his monks from the monastery on Mt. Castellion. Some time between 816 and 826 Smaragdus obtained royal protection for the abbey from Louis the Pious, ensuring that wagons, pack-horses and ships would be exempt from customs taxes on goods transported between the monastery and its lands.

Over the years, the abbey proved very popular with royalty, emperors and kings and dukes. In the 11th century, for example, it came under the protection of Gérard, Duke of Lorraine. During the Middle Ages, the Abbey was famous for its relics, not least of which concerned Saint Anatole, Bishop of Cahors, whose body was reputed to have been transferred to Mihiel in 779.

The Abbey was dissolved during the French revolution.

The Abbey Church is known as the Church of Saint Michel. Part of the 11th century porch still remains. The nave was rebuilt in the 16th century and modified in the 17th century.

The Church contains a walnut sculpture of the swooning of Mary by Ligier Richier dated 1531 (or 1537).



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Founded: 708-709 AD
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Frankish kingdoms (France)

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

patrick Martin (2 years ago)
It should be noted that the building is deteriorating enormously and that it will be the subject of a major renovation, so be careful for future visits to check if it is accessible
Alexandre FRANCHINI (3 years ago)
A Wonderful Monument to the Glory of God. One generally feels there a deep solemnity in Peace and Beauty. Ligier Richier has done a very beautiful work visible to everyone inside! Lots of space and great acoustics. I recommend this Jewel of the City of Saint Mihiel without hesitation. Magnificent !
Erik Roelink Citizen (3 years ago)
Beautiful church nice loud bells
MICHELLE HUMBERT (3 years ago)
Magnificent .. A very beautiful work of art is found there I recommend !!
Albert Steptoe (5 years ago)
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