France // Normandy //

Abbaye de Jumièges

Nestled into an especially delightful loop of the river, 23km west of Rouen, the majestic abbey of Jumièges  is said to have been founded by St Philibert in 654 AD. Now a haunting ruin, the abbey was burned by Vikings in 841, rebuilt a century later, then destroyed again during the Revolution. Its main surviving outline dates from the eleventh century – William the Conqueror himself attended its reconsecration in 1067. The twin towers, 52m high, are still standing, as is one arch of the roofless nave, while a one-sided yew tree stands amid what were once the cloisters.