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:
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.