Chaalis Monastery

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Chaalis Abbey
Monastery church and chapel
Monastery church and chapel
location FranceFrance France
Coordinates: 49 ° 8 '51 "  N , 2 ° 41' 10"  E Coordinates: 49 ° 8 '51 "  N , 2 ° 41' 10"  E
Serial number
according to Janauschek
founding year 7th century by Benedictines
Cistercian since 1136
Mother monastery Pontigny monastery
Primary Abbey Pontigny monastery

Daughter monasteries

La Merci-Dieu Monastery

The royal Abbey Chaalis is a former Cistercian monastery and is located in Fontaine-Chaalis in the Oise department , about 40 kilometers northeast of Paris .


Plan of the monastery complex

The site was first mentioned in the 7th century. Renaud de Mello founded here after his return from the First Crusade , a Benedictine - Priorat that of King Louis VI. in the memory of his Vetter Graf Karl Flanders († 1127) in a Cistercian - Abbey was converted. Consequently, Chaalis - or Chaâlis - was called Caroli Locus at the time . The monastery was located in a marshland between the Aunette River and the Ermenonville forest .

After it was founded in 1136, the royal abbey of Chaalis was consecrated in 1219 by Guérin, Bishop of Senlis and keeper of the seal of King Philip II . The monastery developed rapidly and established farms and wineries in about twenty locations. In 1202 a new Gothic style church was under construction, which was consecrated in 1219. This abbey church measured 82 meters in length and 40 meters in width and was one of the largest Cistercian churches in France until its destruction.

King Louis IX came to Chaalis regularly to share the life of the monks. In 1378 King Charles V - during a monastery crisis that was widespread in France in the second half of the 14th century - had reconstruction work carried out at his own expense, but the abbey was then managed in commendam until the middle of the 16th century the end of the independence of the monastery meant, but also initiated the decline due to lack of income.

In the 18th century the 9th Commendatar Abbot, Louis de Bourbon-Condé, succeeded in ruining comte de Clermont Chaalis with his extreme financial needs. In 1736 the architect Jean Aubert , the builder of the Grandes Écuries in Chantilly and the Hôtel Biron in Paris, began the reconstruction (the old monastery building with its two superimposed galleries was torn down and the abbot's palace was built). However, lack of money interrupted the work and led to the closure of the abbey on the orders of King Louis XVI. The monks were distributed to other monasteries.

In 1793, during the French Revolution , the buildings were sold. The first owner received only the palace and used the remaining buildings as a quarry. A large part of the abbey was demolished, only the chapel of the abbots from the 13th century remained. The convent building served as a castle until the middle of the 19th century.

Nélie Jacquemart , widow of the banker Édouard André , bought the abbey in 1902 to house her extensive collection of paintings and furniture. Before her death in 1912, she bequeathed the abbey and its collections to the Institut de France .

The monastery owned the Grangie Troussures in Sainte-Eusoye near Froissy north of Beauvais .

Web links

Commons : Abbaye de Chaalis  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  • Eugène Lefèvre-Pontalis: L'église abbatiale de Chaalis (Oise). Delesques, Caen 1903, digitized .