Cathedral Saint Etienne - Caen France

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Cathedral Saint Etienne - Caen France

In about 1050, William the Conqueror and Matilda of Flanders were married.  Because they were distant cousins, the pope excommunicated them.  In 1059 they managed to ‘atone’ for their sin by each founding an abbey.  The late 11th century austere Norman Romanesque Church of Saint-Étienne, at the Abbaye-aux-Hommes [on the east side of Caen], was founded by William.  His tomb is located there. The abbey is a beautiful structure done in the Norman Romanesque style, and both were constructed of ‘Caen stone’, a light creamy-yellow Jurassic limestone.  This stone was also a popular building material with the Normans in England. 

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