Abbaye aux Hommes

Landmarks and Historic Buildings

William the Conqueror built this abbey, along with his wife Mathilda's stunning Abbaye aux Dames (the 'Ladies' Abbey'), as penance to the Church for their marriage. Built out of local Caen stone, the twin Romanesque towers of the building rise 276 feet into the sky helping earn Caen its nickname of the 'city of spires'.

William the Conqueror was buried in the church but his tomb was destroyed by Huguenots in 1562 during the Wars of Religion leaving only a  thigh bone remaining. Though this was subsequently destroyed in the French Revolution also, a marble slab marking his tomb can be found in the choir.

Places to visit nearby

Caen, in Normandy, is one of the oldest university towns in France. Bustling with activity, it is a vibrant and attractive city on the River Orne.

Bayeux in Normandy is a beautiful medieval city, brimming with history, and is the home of the famous Bayeux Tapestry.

Falaise in Normandy has rich history as the birthplace of William the Conqueror and the battlefield of the WW2 Falaise Pocket battle, and is surrounded by beautiful, peaceful countryside.

Nearby attractions

Set on hilly terrain and built into the remains of a stone quarry, the beautiful Jardin des Plantes still has the evidence of it's past industrial life still visible with the jagged rocks along one side.

One of the largest medieval complexes in Europe, William the Conqueror's 11th century castle is a striking work of military architecture. 

The souvenir gardens at the Memorial de Caen began when the Israeli president planted one tree here to symbolise life in 1988.