Saint-Sever-Calvados Abbey

Saint-Sever-Calvados, France

Saint-Sever-Calvados Abbey was founded by Guillaume Sanche, the lord of Gascony in the late 10th century. According to the monastic chronicles, this was as the result of a vow he made after the battle of Taller, in Gascony, in which he defeated the Vikings (982). In 1060, after a fire, the abbey was reconstructed on the model of Cluny under the direction of the abbot Gregori de Montaner. The Saint-Sever Beatus was the work of monks working under the direction of the same abbot; Abbot Gregori held the post from 1028 to 1072.

Today there is a Gothic abbey church and a bell-tower on opposite sides of the square. There were centuries when people built, and others when they did not hesitate to split a building in two. The choir was a Benedictine enclosure, with the other half open to the people. However, except for the tower, this second half of the church has not been survived. The French Revolution drove the monks away and the abbey was closed.

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