Very close to Rouen, in the middle of a bend in the Seine, at Saint-Martin de Boscherville, there stands one of the most prestigious Roman abbeys in the Normandie region. Nestling in the Seine Valley, on the edge of the forest of Roumare, Saint-Georges de Boscherville is an ideal place to visit and for a walk through a site with two thousand years of history.
Saint Georges de Boscherville abbey
The abbey church, whose clarity brings out its purity, was built in the 12th century and is still in a remarkable state of conservatio.
The abbey estate, is dominated by the imposing lantern tower and stretches over seven hectares.
The Benedictine abbey was built in the 12th century on a site where a succession of buildings used first for pagan and then for Christian worship have stood ever since the 1st century B.C.
The chapter house, is late 12th century and offers a remarkable series of statue-columns and historiated capitals.
The monastic building was built by Maurist monks in the 17th century and has retained its elegant stone vaults.
The striking thing about the abbey church, which is in the purest Norman Roman style, is the harmony of its lines and proportions and also how bright it is. The visitor experiences a sense of curiosity and emotion all the way through to the gardens which have been restored on the basis of 17th century archive plans and documents. From these gardens, you also have a panoramic view over the Seine Valley and the whole of the abbey. The verdant cloister rounds off the abbey on an unusual note.
The dwelling of the lords who founded the abbey was built within its walls. All that remains is their own private chapel: the Chamberlains’ chapel.
The most recent major restoration work on the abbey estate was completed in 1998 and, since then, the abbey gardens have been gradually reconstructed to look just as they did back in the 17th century. The work was funded by the Ministry of Culture and by the Department of Seine-Maritime, which owns the abbey estate. European funds also contributed to the financing of some developments.