Must-See Offers: Stroll through the romantic ruins of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes
One of the must-see monuments in Soissons! Come visit one of the most important Augustinian abbeys in northern France!
I was content to wander around the gigantic silhouette
of St. Jean-des-Vignes, boldly set against the sky
like a theatrical decoration.
Victor Hugo, The Rhine, Letters to a friend, 1842
The Saint-Jean-des-Vignes Abbey
A bit of history!
Founded in 1076, by Hugues le Blanc, a great lord of the region, the abbey presents the most spectacular remains of the city! In the XIIIth century, a major construction site transformed the Romanesque abbey into a vast Gothic-style complex, of which the cellar, refectory, cloister and outbuildings remain today, but also the facade with its spires of more than 75 meters high!
The former Arsenal, now a space for temporary exhibitions, testifies for its part to the military occupation of the abbey in the XIXth century.
To begin your visit, go to the Centre d’Interprétation de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine [CIAP], whose objectives are to raise awareness, inform and educate all audiences about the architecture and heritage of the city. Discover a magnificent model of the abbey presenting the evolution of the abbey site since its foundation. Thanks to an interactive system discover the history, the different functionalities of the rooms or even the little secrets and anecdotes of the abbey.
Children can also enjoy this room. Equipped with the game booklet and with the help of the Tibetan scrolls, solve the riddles and discover the life of the site’s tenants at the time: an unusual way to plunge children into the heart of history!
For an original and novel experience, sit back, equip yourself with a connected headset and live an immersive experience that will take you back to the heart of the XVIIth century through virtual reality. Give free rein to your curiosity, our majestic abbey opens its doors to you!
The Arsenal is an exceptional exhibition space; exposed beams, limestone from the Soissonnais, this room offers you throughout the year, opportunities for guided tours of the exhibitions, and even workshops for children during the vacations … (depending on the programming).
The abbey also hosts within it the CEPMR, Centre d’Etude des Peintures Murales Romaines; it is a unique laboratory in France! It is specialized in the treatment of wall paintings and stuccos of the Roman period. Its doors are open on the occasion of guided tours, but also during specific events such as the Heritage Days. Not to be missed!
A must-see in Soissons! How sweet it is to walk in the shadow of these two spires that peacefully watch over onlookers and heritage lovers. Take advantage of a winter sunset to capture all the play of light that sublimates this site.
For the curious, don’t hesitate to go into the refectory, admirably restored, where we easily imagine the meals of yesteryear. Again, prefer the beginnings and ends of the day, when the raking light pierces the stained glass windows. Emotion guaranteed!
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