Saint-Vincent abbey in Senlis and Ann of Kiev: a foundation, complicated loves
Anne of Kiev’s foundation in Senlis
Anne of Kiev? King of France Henri I’s wife! She founded the abbey in 1060, to celebrate their son’s birth, Philippe.
Anne, prince of Kiev's daughter, was 27 when the king, 43, married her in 1052.
She was the prettiest lady of her time… They had 4 kids, including Philippe, future king of France.
The queen settled in Senlis with her children. She loved this royal city, and she wanted to raise a monastery here.
Where? In a place where we found a small chapel dedicated to saint Vincent. The perfect place!
The foundation took place in 1060, the consecration happened 5 years later.
Meanwhile, the king died. He let a young widow, 35 years old. A still pretty lady…
Among the lords who turned up in her Court in Senlis, we found the handsome count of Crépy, Raoul. Love at first sight…
Raoul was older than Anne, and he already had a wife. Well… he repudiated her! And he decided to marry Anne…
Err, no, not exactly! Gentleman Raoul had pretty boorish manners: he kidnapped Anne in the middle of Senlis forest. They went towards Crépy-en-Valois, Raoul’s fief, where a priest quickly married them.
Scandal!! A queen who married a married man, 3 years after her husband’s death?? No way!
The count’s ex-wife moaned to the Pope! He excommunicated Raoul, and canceled his marriage with Anne.
And yet the two lovers still lived together… finally, people forgave them, even Philippe, Anne’s son! Raoul died and let Anne alone.
The abbey and the cloister
The church (12th - 13th c.) was altered: from the former building the bell-tower is still standing!
In the old religious buildings transformed into a school, we can visit the Classical cloister raised in 1660: it seems so austere, isn’t it?