Jumièges Abbey Ruins

Jumièges, France

Jumièges Abbey was founded in 654 on a gift of forested land belonging to the royal fisc presented by Clovis II and his queen, Balthild, to the Frankish nobleman Filibertus, who had been the companion of Saints Ouen and Wandrille at the Merovingian court of Dagobert I. Under the second abbot, Saint Achard, Jumièges prospered and soon numbered nearly a thousand monks.

In the 9th century it was pillaged and burnt to ground by the Vikings, but was rebuilt on a grander scale by William Longespee, Duke of Normandy (d. 942). A new church was consecrated in 1067 in the presence of William the Conqueror.

Enjoying the patronage of the dukes of Normandy, the abbey became a great centre of religion and learning, its schools producing, amongst many other scholars, the national historian, William of Jumièges. It reached the zenith of its fame about the eleventh century, and was regarded as a model for all the monasteries of the province. It was renowned especially for its charity to the poor, being popularly called 'Jumièges l'Aumônier'.

The church was enlarged in 1256, and again restored in 1573. The abbots of Jumièges took part in all the great affairs of the church and state. One of them, Robert Champart, became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1051, after being Bishop of London. Many others became bishops in France, and some were also raised to the dignity of cardinal.The fortunes of the abbey suffered somewhat through the English invasion of the fifteenth century, but it recovered and maintained its prosperity and high position until the whole province was devastated by the Huguenots and the Wars of Religion. In 1649, during the abbacy of Francis III, Jumièges was taken over by the Maurist Congregation, under which rule some of its former grandeur was resuscitated.

The French Revolution, however, ended its existence as a monastery, leaving only impressive ruins. These comprise the church, with its beautiful twin towers and western façade, and portions of the cloisters and library, the contents of which were removed to Rouen when the abbey was dissolved. In the middle of the former cloister, there is still the 500 year-old yew tree. A gallery of the cloister was bought by Lord Stuart de Rothesay to rebuild it in Highcliffe Castle near Bournemouth, Sussex.

The Nobel Prize-winning French novelist Roger Martin du Gard devoted his dissertation to an archaeological study of the ruins.



Your name


Founded: 654 AD
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in France
Historical period: Frankish kingdoms (France)


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

AndyundSarah (5 months ago)
One of the most peaceful and hidden gems we visited during the last weeks. Lean back, soak in the atmosphere and be inspired. There are plenty changes to sit down and enjoy. Sometimes there are exhibitions in the manor closeby. During our visit, there was an exhibition of a local photographer. It was included to the entrance fee. You can park on the opposite side of the main entrance.
Beatriz Beltran (6 months ago)
This place is absolutely stunning! Just beautiful to walk around the abbey and imagine how it could have been in previous times. Really nice place to take a nice walk around or sit in the gardens to chill with that incredible view. There’s a car park near by or even in front of the abbey you can park in town if you find a free spot. Don’t miss it because it is really worth it!
Adrian Huber (6 months ago)
A Timeless Masterpiece: Unforgettable Experience at Abbaye de Jumièges The visit to Abbaye de Jumièges is an encounter with a timeless beauty, an eloquent testament to centuries of monastic life and Norman history. This ancient abbey, nestled in the verdant Seine valley, offers a mesmerizing blend of tranquility and charm that is impossible to forget. First and foremost, the ruins themselves are truly magnificent. The soaring towers, echoing remnants of what was once among the most significant and powerful Benedictine monasteries in the whole of medieval France, stand in silent testament to the changing courses of history. Whether you are a history enthusiast or not, it's impossible not to be awe-struck by the sheer grandeur of these ruins, imbued with the spirit of ages past. Strolling through the park-like setting is a treat for the senses. Nature has reclaimed the site with grace, wrapping the ancient stone with verdant vines and trees that offer serene spots to sit and reflect. The peaceful environment is ideal for relaxation and contemplation. What makes Abbaye de Jumièges stand out even more is the way it beautifully blends past and present. Throughout the year, various cultural events, concerts, and exhibitions take place here, bringing the ancient stones back to life and allowing the abbey to continue to serve as a gathering place and cultural hub. The visitor center is well-organized, with informative displays providing insights into the abbey's history. The staff is friendly, welcoming, and knowledgeable, eager to answer any queries. There is also a small gift shop filled with a variety of interesting items and books. All in all, the Abbaye de Jumièges provides a profound, enriching experience that speaks to the soul. It's a journey through time, a connection with history, and an unforgettable encounter with the serene beauty of nature. A definite must-visit for anyone touring this part of France. Highly recommended for those seeking an immersion in history, culture, and tranquility.
Doug Cosenzo (6 months ago)
Jumieges Abbey 24 Rue Guillaume le Conquérant, 76480 Jumièges, France Great ruins. You can see nature attempting to grow on stones. Look for a drawing of a monk about 8 feet from the ground. Huge trees. There are benches / chairs to sit on if you need them. We were there on a sunny day. It was beautiful. Monastery founded by St. Philibert in 654. In the ninth century, it was pillaged and burnt to the ground by the Vikings, but was rebuilt on a grander scale by William Longespee, Duke of Normandy (d 942).
Andy Saxby (8 months ago)
A must see ruin if you are in the area. We spent a couple of hours exploring the abbey and ground. It's a spectacular imposing building.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week


Manarola is a small town, a frazione of the comune of Riomaggiore. It is the second-smallest of the famous Cinque Terre towns frequented by tourists, with a population of 353.

Manarola may be the oldest of the towns in the Cinque Terre, with the cornerstone of the church, San Lorenzo, dating from 1338. The local dialect is Manarolese, which is marginally different from the dialects in the nearby area. The name 'Manarola' is probably a dialectical evolution of the Latin, 'magna rota'. In the Manarolese dialect this was changed to 'magna roea' which means 'large wheel', in reference to the mill wheel in the town.

Manarola's primary industries have traditionally been fishing and wine-making. The local wine, called Sciacchetrà, is especially renowned; references from Roman writings mention the high quality of the wine produced in the region.