Established in 1150 by Galéran IV, the count of Meulan, Valasse Cistercian abbey (L’abbaye Notre-Dame du Vœu) has seen much during the history: two pious vows and a lively foundation, the arrival of the 'white monks', the hundred Years' War, the nomination of abbots by the King of France, the French Revolution, the destruction of the abbey church, the transformation of the abbey into a stately manor, its use first as a spinning mill and then as a dairy and finally its purchase by the town of Gruchet-le-Valasse and its registration in the Supplementary Inventory of Historic monuments.
The abbey, which since the 18th century looks like a manor house, retains two 12th-century rooms. Under the old Cistercian vaulted ceiling dating from the 16th century, Auberge de l'Abbaye proposes cuisine inspired by the Slow Food movement. The park and the large rooms also make it possible to host seminars and corporate events in an extraordinary setting. Le Valasse Abbey also proposes fun, cultural, family and sporting events year round.References:
Stavanger Cathedral is Norway's oldest cathedral. Bishop Reinald, who may have come from Winchester, is said to have started construction of the Cathedral around 1100. It was finished around 1150, and the city of Stavanger counts 1125 as its year of foundation. The Cathedral was consecrated to Swithin as its patron saint. Saint Swithun was an early Bishop of Winchester and subsequently patron saint of Winchester Cathedral. Stavanger was ravaged by fire in 1272, and the Cathedral suffered heavy damage. It was rebuilt under bishop Arne, and the Romanesque Cathedral was enlarged in the Gothic style.
In 1682, king Christian V decided to move Stavanger's episcopal seat to Kristiansand. However, on Stavanger's 800th anniversary in 1925, king Haakon VII instated Jacob Christian Petersen as Stavanger's first bishop in nearly 250 years.During a renovation in the 1860s, the Cathedral's exterior and interior was considerably altered. The stone walls were plastered, and the Cathedral lost much of its medieval looks. A major restoration led by Gerhard Fischer in 1939-1964 partly reversed those changes. The latest major restoration of the Cathedral was conducted in 1999. Andrew Lawrenceson Smith is famous for his works here.