July 2016 – France “Impressionist and Gourmet Journey” Chapters 1-2: Jumièges Abbey

July 2016 France Impressionism and the journey of gourmet
July 2016 France Impressionism and the journey of gourmet

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Monastery in the Michelin Green Guide

The first destination of this trip was the Abbaye de Jumièges in the suburbs of Rouen. There are few people who have heard of this place, or rather, few people have heard of it, but it is actually an abbey that has been awarded ★ ★ ★ (3 stars) by the Michelin Green Guide.

The location is around here. It is located further west from Rouen, in the direction of the upper reaches of the Seine. The Seine is quite meandering in this area.

First of all, I took the expressway from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Rouen, and then I got off the expressway after Rouen and went along the peaceful upper reaches of the Seine River for about two hours.

The weather was fine. It was still early in the morning so it was cool. There was a parking lot in front of the monastery, so I parked my car there.

The village of Jumiège has this kind of atmosphere. The flower bed in front of the town hall was very beautiful.

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And this is the post office. This is also very nice.

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A monastery with nearly 1000 years of history

We arrived a little early at the Jumièges Abbey, so we waited in front of the Abbey until it opened. After a short walk around the town, the monastery opened at 10:00. I was the first visitor of the day. You can enter through the office next to the gate of the abbey.

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The entrance fee is 6.5 euros, and you can pay by cash or card.

In addition, the building where you can buy tickets, books and souvenirs has a nice design like this. After all, it’s France, where all kinds of things are fashionable, and it’s kind of relaxing.

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The origins of this monastery are very old, dating back to the 7th century, when the first monastery was built by a man called St. Philibert, who was destroyed by the Vikings. In the 10th century, the Duke of Guillaume (also known as the Duke of Normandy) restored the monastery.

The Benedictine abbey thus rebuilt became known as “Jumièges Abbey”. The church in the abbey was built by Rouen architects in 1067, after the English occupation.

However, when the monastery was sold at the end of the 18th century, it was destroyed in order to use the stones that had been used for the building. As a result, the ceiling and other parts of the building were destroyed, as we can see today. However, in 1852, with the help of a lord named M. Cointet, the ruins were preserved.

The first building we will visit is the largest building in the abbey, Notre Dame Cathedral (Abbey Cathedral). You can see what kind of structure it is at a glance from the pamphlet we received.

This cathedral has no ceiling, but it is a very huge cathedral with a magnificent facade. The facade of the entrance is 46m high.

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After passing through the façade, you will find a space with impressive walls on both sides (called nave). This is one of the most impressive places in this monastery.

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The nave, at its highest point, is 25 metres high, and the former ceiling was of a design common in other parts of Normandy.

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This is a shot of the nave from the outside. Even though the ceiling is gone, you can see very clearly from this picture that it was very magnificent.

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Passing through the nave, you will come to the opposite side of the facade you have just entered. The illustration in the brochure? The view from around here is spectacular. According to the brochure, there were seven chapels around here.

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And if you go down this side street from the cathedral…

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The small area next to Notre Dame is the site of the church of Saint-Pierre.

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This is about the end of the building ruins. The rest of the day was spent admiring the gardens, which are 15 hectares in size and 2.5 km in circumference. It was so big that it was hard to walk around all of it, so we only took a short walk around the area near the cathedral.

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Notre Dame Cathedral seen from the garden side.

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Perhaps because it was still early in the morning and it had rained a little just before we arrived, the lawn in the garden was a little wet with morning dew. That made us feel a little chilly even though it was a sunny day in July.

With this, we finished our sightseeing. Even though it was a ruin, it was a very powerful cathedral, and although it was located in a difficult place to access, I was convinced that it was a 3-star monastery in the Michelin Guide.

Shooting in Nice.

By the way, the day before this day was the day when there was a terrorist attack in Nice. I was still flying over Siberia when the incident happened, but just after I arrived in Jumiège, I got a mail from the company confirming my safety, so I told them that I was safe and where I was, just in case.

I only told the company that I was going to France. If you are going abroad, you have to tell them the country you are going to even if it is a private trip.

This news was reported every day on the TV that I saw during my stay in France.

さて、この日は天気も良好のようです。次はエトルタへと向かいます。(続く)

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