The abbey‑church at ÉvronA jewel of local architecture
© Pascal Beltrami

The Basilica of Evron

At once Romanesque and Gothic, the basilica is a jewel of architecture from the Middle Ages, giving an excellent overview of medieval religious architecture styles, from early Romanesque art to the 14th century. Beneath the choir is a crypt built over a thousand years ago.

The legend of Notre Dame de l’épine

The origin of the construction of the basilica has its roots in a legend, according to which a pilgrim returning from Jerusalem in the 7th century witnessed a miracle.
On his way back from the Holy Land, carrying what had been sold to him as milk from the Virgin herself, he fell asleep at the foot of a hawthorn bush after hanging up the box containing the precious relic.

The tree miraculously grew in the night and in the morning the pilgrim couldn’t reach his box. The holy man Hadouin, passing through the wood, prayed and the hawthorn bowed down. The bishop built a church in honour of the event.
Thus was founded Notre-Dame-de-l’Épine, or “Aubépine,” which became a centre of pilgrimage and a Benedictine abbey.

The Basilica of Evron over the centuries

An important place of pilgrimage, this abbey was founded in the 7th century was then constantly reworked until the 18th century.

It offers visitors and pilgrims the opportunity to discover numerous masterpieces: the crypt, built over a thousand years ago, an imposing Romanesque nave, the Gothic style transept, several murals, the Saint-Crépin chapel with its relics, stained-glass windows and, above all, the centrepiece of the basilica: the magnificent statue of Notre Dame de l’épine (Our Lady of the Thorn), in oak, covered with silver leaf and vermilion.

 

Festival des Arts Sacrés à EvronFestival des Arts Sacrés à EvronFestival des Arts Sacrés à Evron

Did you know…

At the beginning of July, the basilica of Evron hosts a Sacred Arts festival, with music, concerts, exhibitions and conferences.

Created in 2003 to present the exceptional heritage of the Basilica of Évron to the public, the festival offers a meeting point between the the Basilica of Notre Dame de l’Épine, the general public and artists from many ancient traditions.

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