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(canton of Fécamp, Seine-Maritime)

Abbey church of the Trinity

    The first monastic establishment in Fécamp dates from the 7th century. It was burned down by the Normans in c. 842, and was restored by Duke William Longsword and above all under Duke Richard I, who, at the end of his reign in c. 990, had a vast church built. His son Richard II confirmed ducal favour upon the abbey and appointed the reforming monk William of Volpiano as abbot. The establishment of the ducal palace close to the abbey and the actions of the new abbot placed Fécamp in the elite of Norman abbeys. Richard I's chapel was replaced by a Romanesque abbey church built during the rule of Abbot William of Rots (1082-1108). This was largely destroyed by a fire in 1168. Two surviving Romanesque chapels enable a reconstruction of the choir with ambulatory and radiating chapels which were fairly uncommon in Normandy. The sculpted elements from the Romanesque period bear a great resemblance to the art of the illuminated manuscripts practised in the abbey's scriptorium.The sculpted bas-reliefs of scenes from the life of Christ preserved in the choir are from a later period than the Romanesque. They were probably part of the tomb in which Henry II Plantagenet deposited the remains of Dukes Richard I and Richard II in 1162, thereby marking his affinity with the Norman dynasty and with one of its principle sanctuaries.


- Brockhaus, Katrin. - La genèse architecturale de l'église de la Sainte-Trinité de Fécamp , Tabularia, 2003 (
- Dictionnaire des églises de France. - Paris : Robert Laffont, 1968, IVb, p. 71-73
- Musset, Lucien. - Normandie romane : Haute-Normandie. - La Pierre-Qui-Vire, Zodiaque, 1987, II, p. 26-27
- Bellamy, David ; Pouge, Françoise. - L'abbatiale de la Trinité de Fécamp. - Condé-sur-Noireau, Ch. Corlet, 1992