Abbaye Blanche

Mortain, France

The Abbaye Blanche ('White Abbey'), was a nunnery founded in 1112 in Mortain. Shortly after establishing an abbey for men called Holy Trinity of Savigny, Saint Vitalis, founder of the monastic order of Savigny, set up the Abbaye Blanche for women. The church is built on a Latin cross floorplan of a central nave and a wide transept. The style is Early Gothic, though unfortunately only the chapter house, cellar and Romanesque cloister remain in their original 12th-century form.

Although few of the customs from the time of Vitalis survive today, the nuns of the Abbaye Blanche wore undyed rule and followed a very strict interpretation of the Rule of Saint Benedict. The communities of Holy Trinity and the Abbaye Blanche joined the Cistercian order in 1147, as did the other 30 or so houses of the Order of Savigny.

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Founded: 1112
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

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