3. The Convent Buildings (around 1648)

  • Vue de l'Abbaye aux Dames
  • Vue de l'Abbaye aux Dames vers 1890

In 1648 a fire ravaged the convent buildings. The abbess Fronçoise de Foix decided to have all the buildings remade out of stone. It was the architect Jacques Guérinet who specialised in coastline fortifications who took charge of the reconstruction work. The modern-day wing of the building is much longer than the old medieval version.

A huge room was added which extended out from the ‘Capitulary’ room (“Salle Capitulaire”). This was intended as a room for the sisters of the abbey. This large room has a vaulted ceiling which features decorative keystones. It still has graffiti written by the inmates following its time  where it served as a prison after the French Revolution.

In the basement there is another big room which has a barrel-vaulted ceiling.

  • actuel auditorium
  • clé de voûte
  • graffiti de prisonniers
  • actuelle salle Françoise de Foix

Above they also added two levels of monastic cells plus an attic level. They also built other buildings which housed the communal areas and the accomodation. These were set around two courtyards. Access to these courtyards was via a porch dating back to the 18th century (see sketch of the Pilgrims’ Hospital destroyed in the 18th century)