Abbatiale de la Sainte TrinitéAbbatiale de la Sainte Trinité
©Abbatiale de la Sainte Trinité|Hélène Houelle

The Abbey of the Holy Trinity

📍 Fécamp

Classified since 1840 on the first list of Historic Monuments, the Abbey of the Holy Trinity is a must in the religious landscape of Normandy and will surprise you by its size, its history and its light.

A little history

The religious history of Fécamp began in 658, when a certain Saint-Waninge decided to erect a monastery of nuns, destroyed less than 200 years later by Viking invasions.

In 990, the Duke of Normandy Richard I, to make amends for the damage caused by the invasions of his ancestors, ordered the construction of a collegiate church opposite his residence, the Duke’s Palace. Then in 1001, under Richard II, the collegiate church is transformed into a Benedictine abbey church and Fécamp welcomes its first abbot: Guillaume de Volpiano.

In 1106, the church is enlarged and adopts the Romanesque style. But a terrible fire comes for the second time to destroy the building; we are in 1168. From this period there remain today two radiating chapels, dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul and to St. Nicholas, in the northern ambulatory.

The church was rebuilt again, this time in the midst of the first Gothic period, between 1140 and 1219. The superb lantern tower, 60 meters high, will take its place in 1250.

As long as Notre-Dame de Paris, 127 meters, the Holy Trinity Abbey was a major place of pilgrimage.

The legend of the Precious Blood

Two explanations have been circulating since the Middle Ages about the relics of the Precious Blood.

The first tells that in 986, during a mass given in the church of Saint-Maclou-la-Brière (a village 12 kilometers from Fécamp), the wine of the Eucharist was transformed into blood.

The second, more famous, story is told by Baudri de Bourgueil around 1120: during the burial of Christ, Nicodemus, accompanying Joseph of Arimathea, collected some particles of blood which he entrusted to his nephew Isaac before his death. The latter hides the relics, preserved in two lead ampoules, in the trunk of a fig tree which he will then throw into the sea. The wood will thus float from the Mediterranean to the shores of the Pays de Caux, near the mouth of the Valmont(at the corner of the current rue de l’Aumône and rue du Précieux Sang). At this place will gush a spring with miraculous powers: the source of the Precious Blood.

An amazing furniture

There are many wonders to discover within the Abbey of the Holy Trinity. Let us mention the relicious chest and its bas-reliefs evoking the life of Christ; the Dormition of the Virgin, a polychrome stone group from the late Middle Ages;the astronomical tidal clock, dating from 1667; the Cavaillé-Coll Grand Organ, classified as a Historic Monument ; the tombs of the Dukes of Normandy Richard I and Richard II; and the Angel’s Step, an elegant Gothic monument evoking the legend that an angel left the imprint of his foot in the stone, after giving his name to the building.

Practical information

Place des Ducs Richard
76400 FECAMP

02 35 10 60 96

PRM access through the courtyard of the Town Hall

April 1 to September 30: open 9am to 7pm
October 1 to March 31: open 9am to 12pm and 2pm to 5pm

Site officiel de l’Office de Tourisme intercommunal de Fécamp