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A little history of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes abbey

General view | GFreihalter / CC-BY-SA
Abbey Augustinian Saint-Jean-des-Vignes abbey in Soissons

This abbey was the most powerful one in the Middle Ages! We still can see the refectory, the church door and the two towers raised in 1520.

Founded in 1076 by Hugues Le Blanc, lord of Château-Thierry, this abbey owned huge lands and was the head office of Joanniste monks.

Kings of France and bishops of Soissons, from the 13th century to the 14th century, gave lot of money to the abbey: the church and the buildings where the monks lived were rebuilt.

The nave was finished in 1336 and vaulted in 1470 by abbot Jean de Villers. When they dedicated the church in 1478, towers were not finished: the southern spire was put up between 1488 and 1495, the northern tower was finished in 1520...

But the church was ruined during the Hundred Years War, devastated by Protestants in 1567...

During the French Revolution, the church was transformed into a factory, then Napoleon I gave it to the bishop of Soissons, in 1804, who sold the stones for 3 000 francs...

Why did he do that? Well, to restore the cathedral of Soissons St-Gervais-St-Protais! Inhabitants protested, but the abbey was demolished...

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!