Abbey of Fontenelle

Also known as

  • Abbey of Saint Wandrille



Benedictine monastery in Normandy (Seine-Inférieure), near Caudebec-en-Caux, founded by Saint Wandrille. The basilica he erected was consecrated in 657, and was subsequently destroyed and rebuilt several times. After its destruction by Danish pirates in 862, the community moved to other centers. Fontenelle was restored in 966.

Fervor and learning characterized the monks, and many privileges were granted to them. The monastery was famed for its library and school, where calligraphy in particular, as well as letters, sciences, and the fine arts, were cultivated. The introduction of commendatory abbots in the 16th century lessened the prosperity of the abbey, but it enjoyed some of its earlier prestige when taken over by the Maurists in 1636.

The abbey was suppressed in 1791, and then sold the following year. From 1893 to 1901 it was held by the French Benedictines. The chapel of Saint Saturnin, also erected by Saint Wandrille, overlooks the abbey. It is one of the oldest ecclesiastical buildings in existence.

Profiled Monks of Fontenelle

MLA Citation

  • “Abbey of Fontenelle”. Gazetteer of the Faith. CatholicSaints.Info. 10 January 2017. Web. 19 February 2019. <>