Sunday 15 May 2016

French Letter (4)

A Road Less Travelled
'A French Letter'


15th May 2016.

So we pressed on with the sat-nav set to the ''Aires'' at Jumièges, which has room for about 25 motorhomes. It is free to park for 48 hours though no one seemed to care how long you stayed. The 'Aires' has rubbish and elsan disposal – though you need a €3 token, available from a local shop to fill your motorhome tank with water. It is located on the same road, about a mile from the River Seine ferry crossing.

Several Abbeys were built along the lower river Seine in Medieval times but none was more powerful than Jumièges Abbey. The ruins of Jumièges Abbey are impressive if only by their scale. Set in a beautiful meander in the River Seine. The ruins are medieval in origin, but replaced an earlier, dark ages abbey dating back to around 650 AD. A legend tells of two rebellious sons of King Clovis II of France who rose up against their father while he was abroad. 

On his return, Clovis wanted to have his rebellious sons killed. Their mother Bathilde asked instead that they have their nerves removed, handicapping them. She then cast them off from Paris on a boat on the River Seine and they drifted as far as Jumièges, where they were recognised their royal attire and the people took them in. The royal connection went on to give many advantages to the abbey.

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