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20 juillet 2011 3 20 /07 /juillet /2011 10:40




Cistercian order. Pont-de-l’Arche – Eure.

          The Abbey Notre-Dame de Bonport was founded in 1190 by Richard the Lion Heart, King of England, Duke of Normandy.

         According to legend, the King was in peril on the river Seine and made a vow that if he arrived safely (in French " Bon port ") on the bank of the river, he would found a monastery on that side.

         This royal foundation took place before Richard the Lion Heart and Philip Augustus, King of France, who were friends at the time, left for their crusade. Its strategic position on the Seine fulfils Richard’s wish of a political and economic opening of Normandy towards France.

          The Abbey was built shortly afterwards and quickly with the help of local lords and was completed and in full use by the first half of the 13th Century. 

          From Philip Augustus (1204) to Henry IV (1608), the kings confirmed the possessions of the Abbey and gave the monks many privileges. One of the famous archbishops of Rouen, Eudes Rigaut, went to stay there about twenty times between 1260 and 1267. 

          The Abbey suffered during the Hundred Years War and the League (" du bien public ", i.e. a revolt of the landlords against Louis XI). It was restored thanks to royal donations of Charles VI and Louis XI during the 15th Century. 

          From 1536 onwards the Abbey was held in commendams, which meant that the abbots were no longer chosen by the monks but named through royal favours and were often unconcerned by monastic life. 

          The best-known commendatory abbots were the poet Philippe Desportes, the Cardinal of Polignac and King Casimir of Poland. 

          François 1st called upon Rouen Parlement from Bonport to register the order of Villers-Cotterêts (1539) according to which he substituted Latin by French in judgements, notary deeds and register of births, marriages and death. In 1540, on the territory of Abbey, he tested his culverins (type of cannon) which he had just made. 

          During the 12th and 13th Centuries, the Abbey was repaired and improved, the dormitory and the library were improved and a big staircase was built. 

          It was sold by a public possession during the Revolution and the Cloister and Church were destroyed. 

          Notre-Dame de Bonport Abbey is one of the few remaining Cistercian Abbeys in Normandy with cloistral buildings of the Middle Ages including a chapter-house, a monk’s room, the former library, a dormitory, kitchens and above all a magnificent 13th Century vaulted refectory. 

 (extract from a document given in this Abbey)

Armand Launay

Pont-de-l'Arche ma ville


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  • : Pont de l'Arche histoire, patrimoine et tourisme
  • : Bienvenue sur ce blog perso consacré à Pont-de-l'Arche et sa région (Normandie, Eure). Contactez-moi afin d'étudier ensemble, plus avant, l'histoire et donc de progresser vers la connaissance. Bonne lecture ! armand.launay@gmail.com
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Armand Launay. Né à Pont-de-l'Arche en 1980, j'ai étudié l'histoire et la sociologie à l'université du Havre (Licence) avant d'obtenir un DUT information-communication qui m'a permis de devenir agent des bibliothèques. J'ai ainsi été formateur en recherche documentaire et en rédaction de littérature scientifique. Depuis 2002, je mets en valeur le patrimoine et l'histoire de Pont-de-l'Arche à travers :

- des visites commentées de la ville depuis 2004 ;

- la publication de 20 numéros de La Fouine magazine (2003-2007) et d'articles : "Conviviale et médiévale, Pont-de-l'Arche vous accueille", Patrimoine normand n° 75 ; "Pont-de-l'Arche, berceau de l'infanterie française ?", Patrimoine normand n° 76 ; "Bonport : l'ancienne abbaye dévoile son histoire", Patrimoine normand n° 79 ; "Chaussures Marco : deux siècles de savoir-plaire normand !", Pays de Normandie n° 75.


- L'Histoire des Damps et des prémices de Pont-de-l'Arche (éditions Charles-Corlet, 2007, 240 pages)

- Pont-de-l'Arche (éditions Alan-Sutton, collection "Mémoire en images", 2008, 117 pages)

- Pont-de-l'Arche, cité de la chaussure : étude sur un patrimoine industriel normand depuis le XVIIIe siècle (mairie de Pont-de-l'Arche, 2009, 52 pages)

- Pont-de-l'Arche, un joyau médiéval au cœur de la Normandie : guide touristique et patrimonial (mairie de Pont-de-l'Arche, 2010, 40 pages).

- Pont-de-l'Arche 1911 I 2011 : l'évolution urbaine en 62 photographies (mairie de Pont-de-l'Arche, 2010, 32 pages).

- Mieux connaitre Pont-de-l'Arche à travers 150 noms de rues et de lieux ! (Autoédité, 2019, 64 pages). 

De 2008 à 2014, j'ai été conseiller municipal délégué à la communication et rédacteur en chef de "Pont-de-l'Arche magazine".

Depuis 2014, je suis professeur de philosophie à Mayotte.

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