The Valasse Abbey’s story…
Built in the XIIth century, the Valasse Abbey’s story reflects the many lives it has lived so far.
The Valasse Abbey across centuries… a brief overview
Born from two pious vows in the XIIth century
The Valasse Abbey’s history is closely link to Matilda’s, William the Conqueror’s granddaughter. Matilda was held as a hostage in Oxford when she made the vow to found an abbey if she could escape her prison, safe and sound. Similarly, Galéran Earl of Meulan, on his journey back from the Second Cruisade got caught in a tempest on his ship. Like Matilda, he made the vow to found an abbey if he could be saved from this danger.
Notre Dame du Voeu
On the Rouen archbishop’s advice, Galéran Earl of Meulan and Matilda joined their vows. On February 18, 1156, Pope Adrian IV gave the Valasse Abbey the name of Notre Dame du Voeu.
All the buildings were finished by 1218. A community of cistercian monks arrived to the Abbey in1157. The cistercian monks follow Saint Benedict’s rule, focusing on handcraft and land valuation.
The Abbey’s story echoes History
Throughout centuries, the Valasse Abbey has known the Hundred Years war, during which the abbey church was demolished. It had been rebuilt during the XVth and XVIth centuries, in a gothic style, far from the cistercian sobriety. The Abbaye would suffer again damages during the in commendam system, established in 1516.
A luxurious castle life
After the French Revolution, the Abbey was sold as a national asset and became the home of a rich colonial trader from Le Havre : Jean-François Begouen, in 1793. He gave the abbey its classical outlook. The decorative arrangements he started were carried on by the Fauquet family, who acquired the estate in 1831.
The Abbey today…
Today, with the impulse of the Communauté de Communes Caux-vallée de Seine, the Valasse Abbey becomes again a convivial place, a work-place and welcomes events, conferences and ceremonies all year long.