For this trip to Normandy we based ourselves in Jumieges which is about 20 miles west of Rouen. We chose to stay at this site as it is one recommended by the UK Caravan Club. You can book your ferry and campsite through them which is a nice convenience. We were glad we booked in advance as it was a very busy site. Yet it didn’t seem too crowded as each pitch is surrounded by hedging. We wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again.
Jumieges is a small village with a lot to offer. From the campsite it was just a short walk down the hill to the shops and restaurants and the centre of the village. Feeling so French walking by the patisseries and the creperie I had to smile when we came to La Taverne Des Moines. You can take the girl out of Iowa but you can’t take the Iowa out of the girl, so they say. (The capital of Iowa is Des Moines.)
Standing out well above the rooftops and the trees are the towers of Abbaye de Jumieges.
Jumieges Abbey was a Benedictine Monastery built in 654 by Saint Philibert. Once home to 700 monks and 1500 lay brothers it was a prosperous and wealthy institution. It was one of the most important and ancient monasteries of the Western world. This wealth made it a target and was attacked and destroyed by the Viking raiders. It was again rebuilt and destroyed during the Hundred Years War. It was rebuilt in the 11th century and consecrated in the presence of William the conqueror in 1067 and it once again became rich and powerful. (information from gofrance.about.com)
The Abbey came to an end permanently after the French Revolution. We can only imagine what an impressive sight the Abbey was when it was in full operation.
Described by Victor Hugo as “the most beautiful ruin in France” the abbey still has a powerful presence.
If you are interested in seeing Jumieges Abbey and other abbeys in Normandy there is a route you can follow called Route Des Abbayes.