Jouarre Abbey was traditionally founded around 630 AD by the Abbess Theodochilde or Telchilde. She was inspired by the visit of St. Columban, the travelling Irish monk who inspired monastic institution-building in the early seventh century. As part of its Celtic heritage, Jouarre was established as a double community of monks as well as nuns, both under the rule of the abbess, who in 1225 was granted immunity from interference by the bishop of Meaux, answering only to the pope.

The Merovingian (pre-Romanesque) crypt beneath the Romanesque abbey church contains a number of burials in sarcophagi, notably that of Theodochilde's brother, Agilbert (died 680), carved with a tableau of the Last Judgment and Christ in Majesty, highlights of pre-Romanesque sculpture. In the mid-ninth century the abbey acquired relics of St. Potentian; the relics assembled at Jouarre attracted pilgrims. The reputation of the house stood so high the abbey received a visit from Pope Innocent II in 1131 and was able to house a synod in 1133. The abbess's submission to the bishop of Meaux did not come about until Bossuet held the post in 1690.

The abbey is an important pilgrimage center. A fortified town was built around it and gave birth to the present city of Jouarre.

At the time of the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre (1572), the abbess Charlotte of Bourbon (1547–1582) converted to Protestantism and escaped from the abbey in a cart of hay, and fled to Germany. She married William I of Orange-Nassau.

The present monastery buildings, once again occupied by Benedictine nuns, date from the eighteenth century; their traditional vegetable and fruit garden are notable.

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Details

Founded: 630 AD
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Frankish kingdoms (France)

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User Reviews

Rémi Mad (5 months ago)
The abbey is a peaceful place, full of love and where it is possible to pray and meditate. The Benedictine sisters who live there have a big heart and welcome you with joy. Taking a retreat there for a few days is a moment that allows you to recharge your batteries.
Md Lop (9 months ago)
Amazing place Charming Luigo truly a unique experience
jacqueline lindkvist (9 months ago)
The whole of Jouarre is a real gem, think as far back as the Merovingians!
Christel Lejeune (12 months ago)
A very warm and cordial welcome in the shop with a tour of the tower. One level, 1st where we discover the new generation of the abbey and second level: the old abbey. An authentic, narrow staircase with a panoramic view behind period glazing. A shop selling products from the monasteries ... homemade jams from the abbey (excellent, eaten with a spoon). A detour without necessarily being a believer.
Montgomery Yana (15 months ago)
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