Magnificent, beautiful, elegant stone ruins
in a secluded setting next to the Seine in France…
possibly my favorite photo shoot setting of all time,
at the ruins of the Jumièges Abbey
France is one of the most amazing countries I’ve visited, full of beautiful buildings, castles, museums, monuments, and bridges everywhere. So when I read about a place that is the “most beautiful” in France, I’m definitely interested!
I first learned about the ruins of the Jumièges Abbey (Abbaye de Jumièges) while researching for our road trip through Normandy. I came across some intriguing pictures of these ruins that happened to be located between Monet’s Garden and Mont Saint-Michel, and I knew we had to make a stop. And I’m so glad we did, because these ruins of the former abbey are magnificent!
These stone ruins, set among a large secluded park and rising to nearly 50 meters (164 feet), have a very special atmosphere and feel to them. We were mesmerized as we stood in awe of the soaring vaulted walls open to the skies and absorbed the history behind them. Standing before these still-graceful stone structures, it was easy to see why these ruins are considered among the most beautiful and outstanding in France!
Being able to explore the ruins without the typical tourist crowds made them feel even more special. These photos are among my favorites of all time. I highly recommend it as a side trip from Paris or Rouen, or as part of a trip to Normandy!
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ABOUT THE JUMIÈGES ABBEY
Jumièges Abbey was founded in the 7th century and was one of the most important Benedictine monasteries in Normandy and France. The magnificence of these ruins are a testament to the prominence and power of monasteries in France during that time. It was destroyed in the 19th century after the French Revolution and became a stone quarry for a time before it became State property and later opened to the public.
The ruins are comprised of:
- Notre Dame’s Church, with its beautiful twin towers, western façade, nave, and transept.
- St. Peter’s Church, which houses the oldest vestiges of the abbey from before the Viking invasions in the 9th century. The cloisters, which were entirely destroyed, opened to the chapter house, where once can see stone sarcophagi inside which monks were buried in the 12t and 13th centures.
- The Caretaker’s Office, which originally housed the stables, was renovated into a Gothic Revival style dwelling in the 1850s and now houses the reception office.
More information can be found on the Jumieges Abbey’s website.
GETTING TO THE RUINS
Jumièges Abbey is about a two-hour drive from Paris, or about 30 minutes from Rouen. It’s a wonderful side trip from Rouen, a charming Medieval town that is Normandy’s cultural, historic, and gastronomic capital. (Rouen is also famous as the place where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake.) The ruins can also be visited as part of a tour of Normandy.
We visited Jumièges Abbey as part of our road trip through Normandy, during which we also visited Mont Saint-Michel and Monet’s Garden, the D-Day Beaches, and Bayeux. We stopped by the ruins on the way from Bayeux to Rouen, and were so glad we did!
Jumièges Abbey is open daily from:
9:30 am to 6:30 pm from 15 April to 15 September
9:30 am to 1:00 pm and 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm from 16 September to 14 April
Last tickets sold 30 minutes before the closing of the site.
Adults: 6.50 €
Reduced price: 4 € for students and those over 65
For more information regarding hours and admissions, please check the Jumièges Abbey website.
Photography Tips for JUMIÈGES ABBEY
Since the structures are so tall, nearly 50 meters (164 feet), you’ll need a wide angle lens to capture the entire thing.
This is also a great place for portraits, which I recommend a prime lens for, such as a 50 mm lens.
If it’s a bright day, head to one of the arched entry ways or passages which are usually shaded.
You may want to walk the entire area first to identify photo location spots instead of spending too much time in one place – there are so many beautiful spots here!
My Normandy Travel posts
Make sure to check out the other posts from my Normandy travel series!
My Photography Gear
I love the art of photography and I love being able to capture the beauty from my travels, both near and far. Here’s a quick list of the equipment that we used for this photo shoot:
Nikon D750 (new model D780 here) – a fantastic full-frame camera and one of the most economical ones on the market today.
Nikon 50 mm f/1.4G Lens – my go-to lens for portraits and for general photography.
Nikon 24-70 mm lens – Ken’s favorite travel lens. Super sharp but a bit heavy and pricey.
iPhone – A great wide-angle camera to complement the 50 mm lens I usually use.
If you found this article helpful, please pin, share or leave a comment below! Thank you and I hope you have an amazing trip if you have one planned! ❤️