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Saint-Vincent abbey and medieval walls

Rempart médiéval

The district of Saint-Vincent invites you to stroll : the abbey, the medieval walls and the river "La Nonette"... 

Saint-Vincent abbey 

Saint-Vincent abbey was built on Anne de Kiev's initiative, on the site of the ruins of an old chapel. Anne de Kiev was the wife of King Henri I. The church was consecrated in 1065 before its completion four years later. The abbey was entrusted to the regular canons of the order of Saint Augustine.

In the church as it is today, the most ancient part is the little chapel linked to the North transept; of an exceptional width, its wall is possibly a vestige from the church which had been completed in 1069.

The layout of the church in relation to the cloister is not traditional, as the cloister is not situated South of the religious building. During the 17th century, the church was heightened in order to counter suppression due to the façade of the adjoining monastery. The rectangular cloister opens onto large galleries.

Saint-Vincent disappeared from religious life when the clergy's civil constitution was organized in 1790. Sold as national property, the buildings were then used as military hospital, barracks, a spinning mill, then school for the education of young people from 1836 on, thus resuming to their former vocation: teaching.

At this very date, the whole set of buildings was bought by the episcopate which passed it on to the Marists' congregation in 1869. It is now a private high school.

Just beside, the Convent of the Presentation (Couvent de la Présentation ), 17th century, which belonged to the Sisters of Notre-Dame de la Présentation, hosted 46 nuns until 1780.

After the French Revolution, the convent became an institute for the Knights of Saint-Louis. The building is now a part of the Lycée Saint-Vincent .

Abbaye de Saint-Vincent vue depuis la rue de Meaux




Pratical information :
Open only on the Heritage days.
Free admission at 30 rue de Meaux.
Lycée st Vincent : Tél. : 0033.

The medieval defense walls

The construction of defense walls started under the reign of Philippe Auguste and was completed circa 1285-1288. The layout of the medieval precincts had to be altered to include the area of Saint-Vincent, which reduced its defensive power. Eight reinforcing rams were added during the 16th century to reinforce the walls; the one at Porte de Meaux is the only one visible of the eight today. We can still see the platforms that connected the rams:  remparts de l’escalade , de Saint-Vincent , de Bellevue , passage des Carmes as well as the Montauban.

Numerous towers staked out this defense line; the only remnant is the tower 'du Jeu d'Arc' (bow game), located between the Montauban and the Rempart des Otages . Wide and deep moats encircled the fortifications. The river Nonette, Southwards, was deviated and harnessed to create a water line at the bottom of the ramparts. The medieval precincts resisted numerous sieges, namely during the Hundred Years' war, in 1918 and at the troubled time of the League.


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