Valmont Abbey (Notre-Dame-du-Pré de Valmont) was a Benedictine abbey founded in 1169 by Nicolas d'Estouteville with Benedictines split off from Hambye Abbey. It never held more than 25 monks and was destroyed and rebuilt several times, with the abbey church only truly completed in the 16th century – countess Marie II of Saint-Pol is buried in it.
The abbey buildings were built from 1678 to 1782 under Louis de La Fayette (1634–1729), commendatory abbot, who tried to introduce the Saint Maur reforms to the abbey. It was finally reformed in 1754 by the Maurists and was rebuilt during the second half of the 18th century, until the French Revolution, when it was dissolved – its monks were dispersed in 1789 and its buildings sold off to private owners in 1791.The painter Eugène Delacroix often holidayed at the Valmont manor house and the abbey ruins inspired his drawing Ruines de l'abbaye de Valmont, now in the musée du Louvre. The abbey became a monastic site again in 1994, re-founded by Benedictines from Notre-Dame-du-Pré at Lisieux and re-dedicated in 2004.
Its chapel and surviving ruins of other parts of the abbey were classed as a historic monument in 1951 and the facades and roofs of all the abbey buildings were made historic monuments in 1965.References:
The Baths of Caracalla were the second largest Roman public baths, or thermae, in Rome. It was built between AD 212 and 217, during the reigns of Septimius Severus and Caracalla. They would have had to install over 2,000t of material every day for six years in order to complete it in this time.
The baths remained in use until the 6th century when the complex was taken by the Ostrogoths during the Gothic War, at which time the hydraulic installations were destroyed. The bath was free and open to the public. The earthquake of 847 destroyed much of the building, along with many other Roman structures.
The building was heated by a hypocaust, a system of burning coal and wood underneath the ground to heat water provided by a dedicated aqueduct. It was in use up to the 19th century. The Aqua Antoniniana aqueduct, a branch of the earlier Aqua Marcia, by Caracalla was specifically built to serve the baths. It was most likely reconstructed by Garbrecht and Manderscheid to its current place.
In the 19th and early 20th century, the design of the baths was used as the inspiration for several modern structures, including St George's Hall in Liverpool and the original Pennsylvania Station in New York City. At the 1960 Summer Olympics, the venue hosted the gymnastics events.