Caen (Calvados), Abbey church of St stephen
The abbey church of Saint-Etienne was rebuilt under the direction of Lanfranc and at the instigation of William of Normandy, between 1065 and 1077. From its origins, it today retains its façade, its two towers, its nave, its two transepts and lantern tower. Its choir apses disappeared in the 13th century, replaced by a gothic choir and a vast ambulatory opening onto a dozen radiating chapels. The abbey church, but also the monastic accommodation were sacked by the Protestants in 1562. The abbey was abandoned until 1598 when the Parlement of Rouen decided to demolish the entire structure. The Prior of the Abbey, Jean de Baillehache, was opposed to this decision and undertook the reconstruction of the building. The abbey church was re-consecrated on 17 May 1626. In 1790, the Benedictine Order was abolished and the monks expelled. In the following year, the abbey church became the church of the parish of Saint-Etienne.
Caen (Calvados), Abbey church of St stephen : lapidary fragments