Abbaye de Graville
Rue de l'Abbaye 76600 LE HAVRE / Côte d'Albâtre
Famille Plus, Musée de France, Normandie Qualité Tourisme, Qualité Tourisme
Clinging to the hillside, Graville Abbey towers over Le Havre and the river Seine. The church shows all the features of Norman Romanesque architecture except for the choir that was rebuilt during the Gothic period. The monastic buildings (12th and 18th centuries) now hold a museum. Guided tours on Saturdays and Sundays at 4 pm.
Graville Abbey is the most downstream of all the abbeys located along the river Seine. Since the Middle Ages, it has experienced great periods of prosperity and splendour but also episodes of violence following the ups and downs of history.
A masterpiece of Romanesque architecture in Normandy, Graville Church has been built over different construction periods since the 10th century. Clinging to the hillside, it overlooks the city of Le Havre and the river, its terraced garden offers a stunning panoramic view over the coastline of Lower-Normandy as far as Caen.
The monastic buildings hold a museum that displays one of the most beautiful collections of religious statues in Normandy as well as precious stones and silver items coming from regional religious buildings and from the abbey itself. It also holds a surprising collection of over 150 scale-models from the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20h century representing human habitation.
Although the site was most likely and quickly occupied by Benedictines, William Mallet de Graville gave it its Romanesque grandeur in the 11th century after returning victorious from the Battle of Hastings alongside William the Conqueror. It was then greatly endowed again at the beginning of the 13th century by one of his descendants, who summoned Augustinians from Sainte-Barbe-en Auge.
In the 17th century, the "génovéfains" from the Congregation of France brought new alterations to the buildings and new rules.
A remarkable baroque retable was built in the choir.
The génovéfains who settled in Graville included great scholars, astronomers and naturalists such as the canons Pingré and Ventanat.
The Abbey and its surrounding environment:
It comprises a church and monastic buildings, but the cloister and refectory no longer exist. A romantic graveyard surrounds it, holding some remarkable graves belonging to scholars and merchants from Le Havre and children's headstones bearing epitaphs written by Victor Hugo.
To the south, terraced gardens stretch down the slope.
Overlooking the city, there is a monumental statue of the Madonna and Child, called the "Black Virgin" because it has replaced another statue made in a less noble material that has turned black due to corrosion. It is owed to the mothers of soldiers who were thankful for the sparing of the city during the Prussian invasion of 1870.
Abbey, Gothic, Romanesque, 19th century, Official historical monument of France (MHC), UNESCO World Heritage, City of historical and artistic interest
Museum of France, Town museum
|01 April 2023 to 05 November 2023|
|Monday||10:00 - 12:30||13:45 - 18:00|
|Wednesday||10:00 - 12:30||13:45 - 18:00|
|Thursday||10:00 - 12:30||13:45 - 18:00|
|Friday||10:00 - 12:30||13:45 - 18:00|
|Saturday||10:00 - 12:30||13:45 - 18:00|
|Sunday||10:00 - 12:30||13:45 - 18:00|
Facilities : Baby changing area
Services : Shop
Activities available on site : Temporary exhibitions, Junior workshop, Conferences, Adult workshop, Specific theme activities
The visit lasts approximately : 60 min
Languages spoken : English
Tours available in : English
|Base rate - full rate adult||From 5.00€
|Reduced rate||From 3.00€
Methods of payment : Vouchers, Carte bleue, Postal or bank cheques, Holiday vouchers, Cash, Contactless payment