Church of Saint-Étienne-le-Vieux by The Monks Of Cluny

Year: 1067Artist: Categories: ,

The Church of Saint-Étienne-le-Vieux (also known as Old Saint Stephen’s) is a former Catholic church in Caen, Calvados, France. It is sometimes confused with the Church of Saint-Étienne, a nearby church of the former Abbaye aux Hommes.

Today standing in partial ruins, the The Church of Saint-Étienne-le-Vieux was classified as a historical monument in 1840, though was closed to the public in 1844 due to its degradation. Built in the 10th century AD as a Romanesque monastic chapel, the church was severely damaged during the Hundred Years’ War, specifically during the English sieges of 1346 and 1417.

Rebuilt and reconstructed in Gothic style during the ensuing English occupation in the 15th century, the church was finally decommissioned in 1793. When it was not reinstated for worship in 1802, the structure and surrounding gardens fell into disrepair.

The church was used by city authorities to store architectural fragments until they were transferred to a museum in 1926. In 1944 the nave of the church was terribly damaged when a shell accidently hit it. The shell was intended for a column of German tanks parked in close proximity.

The church was never restored, and has not been opened to the public, either.