A little history of Notre-Dame abbey in Déols

The bell-towerThe bell-tower | ©Anecdotrip.com / CC-BY-NC-SA

Ebbes, lord of Déols, went back from Crusades. He founded the abbey in 917, for the salvation of his soul... he raised the primitive buildings and the church, then he gave them to monks who lived in his castle, in Déols: he moved in his brand new castle on a hill near river Indre, the Château-Raoul... future Châteauroux city!

In short... The abbey get plenty of lands, in Berry (areas of Bourges, Issoudun, Vierzon) but also in Auvergne! Abbots had the title of princes, with their own coat of arms.

They even nicknamed the abbey the “Saint-Peter’s lifeblood”, because the Holy See received a nice nest egg, about 4 000 florins... a huge sum, at that time!

In 991, abbot Hugues raised the first buildings. The nice church, a real Byzantine basilica, was probably raised in the 12th century: nowadays the tall bell-tower is still standing... This church was a real masterpiece, one of the finest church in Berry.

It had 3 naves, 4 towers to the south and a fourth one which housed the bells. Dormitories and cloisters were vast, as infirmary, cellars, refectories. Moats surrounded the abbey, with several windmills on it.

But it 1567, Protestants led by Briquemant damaged the place. In the middle of the 18th century, it went to ruin: one century later, it was too late... but nowadays, the nice bell-tower is still here!