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Fodor's France 2014
Abbaye aux Dames (Ladies' Abbey)
Abbaye aux Dames (Ladies' Abbey) Review
The Abbaye aux Dames was founded by William the Conqueror's wife, Matilda, in 1063. Once a hospital, the abbey—rebuilt in the 18th century—was restored in the 1980s by the Regional Council, which then promptly requisitioned it for office space; however, its elegant arcaded courtyard and ground-floor reception rooms can be admired during a free guided tour. You can also visit the squat Église de la Trinité (Trinity Church), a fine example of 11th-century Romanesque architecture, though its original spires were replaced by timid balustrades in the early 18th century. Note the intricate carvings on columns and arches in the chapel; the 11th-century crypt; and, in the choir, the marble slab commemorating Queen Matilda, buried here in 1083.
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