A little history of Saint-Germain-des-Prés abbey

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The abbey plan, 1723 - ©Gérald Garitan / CC-BY-SA The abbey plan, 1723 - ©Gérald Garitan / CC-BY-SA
Saint-Germain-des-Prés church Abbey Benedictine

The main Romanesque façade dates back to the 12th century. The portal dates back to the 19th century. Our story began when Childebert brought back from Saragosse, in 542, the tunic of saint Vincent. The bishop of Paris told him to raise a basilica and an abbey to put those relics. It was a really prestigious place, since Merovingian kings were buried in!

Normans destroyed the place in 1000 so it was rebuilt in the reign of Robert the Pious. 3 centuries later, they raised around the church: a cloister, a dormitory, a refectory and later the abbots palace. In the 18th century were added an infirmary, a vast courtyard, houses for domestics.

The abbey was very rich and became a big intellectual centre until the Revolution: at that time, monks owned 50 000 books, 7 000 manuscripts (1 000 of them date back to the 10th century)! But in 1790, the abbey was demolished. Only remains the church...


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