The church of Saint-Étienne-le-Vieux of Caen !!

Always nice to visit Caen again ,after a long hiatus ! We used to come often from Versailles, but from the Morbihan we finally made it ! There are wonderful monuments here that will take more than a day, but we are catching up on Caen and will be back, I have a couple older posts but will more soon, For now hope you enjoy the new post on the former church of Saint Etienne le Vieux of Caen !! I really had a good time here at last !

Caen ch Saint Etienne le Vieux far apr23

Caen is the political capital of Normandy and home of the regional council ,while Rouen is the administrative capital; a way to please both in the new administrative realignment of France on joining upper and lower Normandy into one again, Normandie. It is the capital City in dept 14 Calvados

The former church of Saint-Étienne-le-Vieux, also called Vieux-Saint-Étienne, is an old church, now partly ruined, located in the old city center of Caen. The church is now disused since the French revolution, and partially ruined since the bombings of 1944 (WWII), Saint-Étienne is one of the first Catholic churches built in Caen. The location is far from trivial. A place of worship, consecrated in the year 351, already stood there. It is mentioned for the first time in the charters granted by William the Conqueror to the two abbeys of Caen under the name of Sanctus Stephanus vetus around 1067.The proximity of the ramparts of the city however obliges the architects to build an apse oblique and collected.

Caen ch Saint Etienne le Vieux side back apr23

The former church of Saint Etienne le Vieux was heavily bombarded by British artillery during the invasions of 1346 and 1417 (the Hundreds Years’ War) .From this period dates the octagonal lantern tower. Its reconstruction, financed in part by the English sovereign Henry VI, was to last from the 15C to the 17C. It was then that the building acquired the flamboyant Gothic architecture that it still displays today.

Caen ch Saint Etienne le Vieux back apr23

In 1793, during the French revolution, the church of Saint Etienne was deconsecrated and abandoned. It served in turn as stables for the revolutionary armies, as a warehouse for local businesses, then as a municipal depot. It was not returned to worship in 1802 , Poorly maintained, the church soon threatens ruin. it was closed to the public in 1844 due to its dilapidation. On June 6, 1944, its large glass roof shattered during the bombardments that ravaged the district. The fatal blow will be dealt a few weeks later. In July, Allied bombs, intended for German tanks stationed on Place Louis-Guillouard, devastated the nave and the right aisle, leaving behind a gaping wound and piles of rubble. Since that date, the church has not undergone any restoration work. Its state of conservation does not allow its opening to the public ,Its access is forbidden to the public because of its dilapidation. It stands silently in the heart of Caen, staggering memory of a millennium of history.

The city of Caen on the former church Saint Etienne le Vieux:

There you go folks, a wonderful awesome City to spend more time for sure we will be back, This is wonderful Caen, with beautiful architecture, nice history and many things to do and see ; a must to stop. Again, hope you have enjoy the post on the former church of Saint Etienne le Vieux of Caen as I

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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2 Comments to “The church of Saint-Étienne-le-Vieux of Caen !!”

  1. Thanks for this write up- your knowledge on the trajectory of the church is so
    impressive. It’s also fascinating to know how old the church is- around since AD 300s my goodness and the ordeal it has undergone with various wars etc!

    Liked by 1 person

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