Liste des sites du Passais

cliquez ici pour consulter l'album photographique Lonlay-l'Abbaye
(canton of Domfront, Orne)

Abbey church of Notre-Dame

         Founded in c. 1020 by Guillaume de Bellême known as "Talvas", the abbey was originally occupied by the monks of Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire and like the entire Passais region was part of the Le Mans diocese until the Revolution.
Interpolated between the gothic choir and porch, there remains no more of the Romanesque edifice than the transept whose lower and mid sections show some signs of fishbone bonding, and date back to the end of the 11th century or beginning of the 12th century.

Unlike the very austere capitals in granite on the first level of the floors, in line with the geometric tendencies of the end of the 11th century, the eleven capitals of small columns located between the transept and the choir form an original collection within the corpus of Norman Romanesque sculpture, which has no equivalent except in the priory of Goult, a dependency of the abbey of Lonlay. These were created in c. 1090 in a white limestone which is different to that of Caen - mostly used in Romanesque sculpture in Normandy - and are decorated with ornamental motifs or figured scenes which are often original.


- L'art roman dans l'Orne, Art de Basse-Normandie, n° 66, été 1975, p. 2, 9, 24, 29
- Baylé, Maylis. Les origines et les premiers développements de la sculpture romane en Normandie, Art de Basse-Normandie, n° 110bis, 1992, p. 86-93, 146-147
- Baylé, Maylis. "Lonlay-l'Abbaye", in : l'Architecture normande au Moyen-Age, t. II, Caen : Presses universitaires de Caen, Condé-sur-Noireau : éditions Charles Corlet, 1997, p. 91
- Lonlay L'Abbaye, Art de Basse-Normandie, n° 111, printemps 1997, 80 p
- Musset, Lucien. "Abbaye de Lonlay", Annuaire des cinq départements de la Normandie, Congrès de Mortain, 120e congrès, 1962, p. 55-61
- Musset, Lucien. Normandie romane, 1. Basse-Normandie, La Pierre-qui-Vire, Zodiaque, 1967, p. 34
- Les siècles romans en Basse-Normandie, Art de Basse-Normandie, n° 92, Printemps 1985, p. 123
- Thibout, M. "L'abbaye de Lonlay", Congrès archéologique de France, CXIe session, 1953, p. 262-276