The ruins of Jumièges Abbey, Normandy, France

In En-Route, Europe, France, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, World Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

The monks are long gone

This wonderful 7th-century abbey sits a short distance from where the River Seine meanders through the Normandy countryside.

A view from the roadside of the ruins  of Jumieges Abbey in Normandy.

From the outside, Jumieges Abbey

Quick Links

We approached Jumièges Abbey from the south, and a little unexpectedly had the pleasure of jumping on a ferry to cross the Seine. It only took a few minutes and was free.

Look up

What makes Jumièges Abbey such a pleasure to visit, is that it is preserved as a ruin and this makes it feel all the more mysterious.

With birds fluttering above you, soaring through crumbling windows where stained glass would have once been.

Looking up at the remains of Jumieges Abbey in Normandy.

Torn apart

Jumièges Abbey, although now ruins, was once a thriving monastery through the 7th & 8th centuries.

It was the Viking invasion that put pay to its original look and burnt it to the ground.

Looking up at the ruins of Jumieges Abbey from the arch that would have marked the transept.  The scale of the building is awe-inspiring.
The huge scale of Jumieges Abbey
The massive stonework of Jumieges Abbey still defines the outlines of the chapels.  In the background is the former gothic masterpiece.

Time has taken its toll

Our Tip

Arrive later in the day when there are fewer visitors.

A useful guide

We love visiting France and each region so different from one another. I find the DK Eyewitness Guides really helpful in planning a trip and so often find interesting little snippets of info.

Take a peek at this revised Top 10 Pocket Travel Guide and see what you can discover.

Striking Façade

Then in the 11th-century, the vast abbey was built with the amazing Romanesque façade, that can still be seen today.

The two imposing towers stand 46 metres high and the nave beyond 25 metres high.

The golden stone of the entrance to the ruins of the Jumieges Abbey in Normandy

The striking facade of Jumieges Abbey

The view from the transept towards the entrance of the ruins of the Jumieges Abbey.

The striking detail of Jumieges Abbey

It feels quite atmospheric when you walk through the towers to the nave; you can see from the structure that there would have been three levels, with arcades around the bottom.

Tempted to?

Discover more of Normandy on a road trip, you'll be amazed how easy it is to tour around by car with. Like us you can create your own adventure and visit Caen, the D-Day Landing Beaches, Alençon, Honfleur, Giverny, Rouen, Beuvron-en-Auge and Mont Saint-Michel.

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Late Afternoon

We arrived later in the day and almost had the abbey to ourselves.

You are free to wander around and explore, or if you wish, there are chairs dotted around the ruins where you can sit and enjoy the surroundings.

A view from edge of Jumieges Abbey on a grey, overcast, day.

Still standing

As we stroll amongst the ancient history laid around, remnants of arches and windows can be seen, along with fear inducing gargoyles.

Fallen pieces of masonry from the ruins of the Jumieges Abbey in Normandy collected together.

In the ruins

A piece of the stonework from the ruins of the Jumieges Abbey in Normandy depicting a tortured soul screaming out.

Displaced Gargoyle

Why Not?

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One of favourites ways to kick off our trips is to let Brittany Ferries take the strain, sit back, relax and go with the flow. Enjoy a little bit of France as you sail directly into Caen in the heart of Normandy.

Or alternatively jump on Le Shuttle and tour through France under your own steam.

Then there was one

Heading further through the vestiges you can imagine the scale that this church once commanded.

The choir at the rear was then encircled by seven chapels, a preserved part of a Gothic-style chapel is the only one remaining.

The remains of a chapel at the nave end of the Jumieges Abbey in Normandy.

The remaining chapel

Can you see it!

As additional elements were added over time, there is evidence of Romanesque, Gothic & Renaissance styles.

Hidden within a pillar in the Gothic transept is an ochre bird from the 11th century.

A tiny detail in the stonework of the Jumieges Abbey is a reddish tile of a Romanesque ochre bird which stands out against the white stone.

The Romanesque ochre bird

An outdoor chess set sits in the grounds of Jumieges Abbey in front of a restored building.

Chess in the grounds

There is no rush here, take in the surrounding park and why not challenge your family to a game of chess.

Our Tip

Catch the ferry if you can, it adds to the fun.

Would you like a little more?

We have created a little YouTube video of our time at the Abbey..

Why not subscribe to our channel and get the latest clips as we post them?

Inspired to visit Jumièges Abbey?

It is just 18miles/29kms for Rouen - but if you approach from the south or west you can take the free ferry - it's a couple of minutes of fun as you cross the Seine.

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