The abbey church of La Trinité (part of L'Abbaye-aux-Dames )

1060-80


See an engraving of the abbey.

The city of Caen first became important under the Norman dukes in the 10th and 11th centuries and was the capital of lower Normandy under William I. William I the Conqueror and his wife Matilda founded two monastic communities in Caen, the Abbaye-aux-Hommes (dedicated to St. Stephen) for men and the Abbaye-aux-Dames for women. Both churches, associated with the respective monasteries, are good examples of Norman Romanesque architecture, which is often severe and logical. Most Norman churches also have paired towers and square crossing towers.

The front facade

The doors in the towers lead directly to the side aisles. The pediment of the central bay echoes the nave roof.
 

Details of the top of the facade and the central portal tympanum

The tympanum depicts the Trinity and the four apocalyptic beasts. See also Chartres central portal.
 

The nave wall




See also Saint Étienne, the Abbey church of Abbaye-aux-Hommes.

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© 2000 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. (I would appreciate being told if you find them useful.) They are not available for commercial purposes without my explicit permission.

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