Abbaye aux Hommes
The Abbey of Saint-Étienne in Caen is also known as the Abbaye aux Hommes (Men's Abbey), to distinguish it from the Abbaye aux Dames (Women's Abbey) close by. If it looks a bit like an English cathedral, you're on the right track – this stunning example of Norman Romanesque architecture indeed served as the inspiration for so many churches on the other side of the Channel. (Although keen-eyed visitors will notice the Gothic apse, a sign of the church's architectural evolution.)
There are two highlights of the Abbaye aux Hommes; the first is the tomb of William the Conqueror, whose mark on Normandy has never been forgotten. The second is a bit of a hidden gem – the cloistered gardens, accessible by going through the town hall. It's another world inside there, and a favorite with photographers.
Abbaye aux Hommes Tours
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