As part of our road trip through Normandy, Ken and I visited the magnificent ruins of the Jumièges Abbey (Abbaye de Jumièges) on the way from Mont Saint-Michel to Paris. These stone ruins, set among a large park and rising to nearly 50 meters (164 feet), have a very special feel to them. We were mesmerized for several hours as we stood in awe of the soaring vaulted walls open to the skies and explored the ruined walls and columns that once held up the impressive stone buildings. It is no wonder that these ruins are considered among the most beautiful and outstanding in France. These photos are among my favorites of all time.
The Jumièges Abbey was founded in the 7th century and was one of the most important Benedictine monasteries in Normandy and France. 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 comprise the church, with its beautiful twin towers and western façade, and portions of the cloisters and library. More information can be found on their website.
The abbey is about a two hour drive from Paris. Instead of driving straight to Paris though, we decided to visit and stay overnight in Rouen, a charming Medieval town approximately 40 minutes east of the abbey. Rouen is Normandy’s cultural, historic, and gastronomic capital, and is also famous as the place where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. From there, we took a train to Paris the next day. Our road trip through Normandy included visits to Mont Saint-Michel and Monet’s Garden.