Another must-see on your visit to Normandy, the magnificent ruins of Jumièges Abbey are impressive by their sheer scale as well as their breathtaking riverside setting. Founded in 654 by St Philbert, it became favoured by the Carolingian kings but was then a target for the Vikings, who pillaged and burned it in 841; it was destroyed again during the Hundred Years War and pieces of it were also taken after the French Revolution. The abbey also had a strong relationship with England before 1066: Robert Champart (Abbot of Jumièges) became Bishop of London in 1045 and, with the support of Edward the Confessor, returned from his exile at the court of the Duke of Normandy to become King of England in 1042. The Jumièges ruins are some of the oldest monastic ruins in the western world – the surviving structure still casts an imposing silhouette and it’s easy to see why Victor Hugo named it “the most beautiful ruin in France”. Built in beautiful white limestone, it peacefully overlooks the banks of the Seine and is a place of reflection and serenity for visitors.
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