Abbaye aux Hommes
While you may visit the cloister and the next-door Église St-Étienne (St Stephen’s Church)u2060—with its famous Romanesque nave, Gothic choir, and William the Conqueror’s tombu2060—independently, the only way to access the magnificent interior of the 18th-century abbey is while on a tour organized by the abbey or as part of a larger tour. Most of the more comprehensive tours are private excursions that include multiple sites in Normandy, following in the footsteps of William the Conqueror, Joan of Arc, and Rollo in Caen but also Rouen and Bayeux. To get the most of the momentous medieval history of the city, opt for a walking tour with a Viking specialist.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Abbaye aux Hommes is an ideal spot for art and history lovers.
- The site is wheelchair accessible.
- The church is free to enter; the cloisters require a small fee.
- Tickets are sold at the information desk inside the Hôtel de Ville.
- English tours are only available in July and August.
How to Get There
Abbaye aux Hommes is located on Rue de l'Ancienne Mairie in Caen. The complex is less than 1 mile (1 kilometer) southwest of the Caen Castle (Château de Caen). If you are arriving on foot or by car, follow the signs for the Hôtel de Ville.
When to Get There
The abbey is open year-round with varying hours, so it is best to consult its website before visiting. From April to September, tours generally begin daily at 10:30am, 2pm and 4pm. During the rest of the year, tours are offered on weekdays, typically at 10:30am and 2pm. Peak season for Caen, as well as the entire region of Normandy, is during the summer months. June especially sees many travelers who come to commemorate the anniversary of the D-Day landings.
Abbaye aux Dames
Go to the abbey’s counterpart, the Abbaye aux Dames (also known as the Abbey of Sainte-Trinité, or the Holy Trinity Abbey) is a Benedictine convent nearly one thousand years old. From Abbaye aux Hommes, walk about 25 minutes through the historic core of Caen, along the way, passing through the grounds of William the Conqueror's enormous castle.
- Caen Castle (Château de Caen)
- Normandy Museum (Musée de Normandie)
- Caen Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen)
- Abbaye aux Dames
- Caen Memorial Museum (Mémorial de Caen)
- La Colline aux Oiseaux Park (Parc de La Colline aux Oiseaux)
- Pegasus Memorial Museum (Pegasus Bridge)
- Ranville War Cemetery
- Merville Battery (Batterie de Merville)
- Mulberry Harbour
- Jurques Zoo (Zoo de Jurques)
- Trouville (Trouville-sur-Mer)