Royaumont Abbey

View of the abbey

Royaumont Abbey is a former Cistercian abbey, located near Asnières-sur-Oise in Val-d'Oise, approximately 30 km north of Paris, France.


Cloister of Royaumont Abbey

It was built between 1228 and 1235 with the support of Louis IX.[1] Several members of the French Royal family were buried here (and not in Saint Denis Basilica), for example, three children and two grandchildren of Louis IX.

The abbey was dissolved in 1791 during the French Revolution and the stones were partly used to build a factory. However, the sacristy, cloister, and refectory remained intact.

In 1836 and 1838, respectively, two operas by German composer Friedrich von Flotow opened at RoyaumontSérafine and Le Comte de Saint-Mégrin.

In the early 20th century, the abbey was bought by the Goüin family who in 1964 created the Royaumont Foundation, the first private French cultural foundation. Today, the abbey is a tourist attraction and also serves as a cultural centre.

World War I

Dr Frances Ivens inspecting a French patient at Royaumont. Painting by Norah Neilson Gray.

From January 1915 to March 1919 the Abbey was turned into a voluntary hospital, Hôpital Auxiliaire 301, operated by Scottish Women's Hospitals(SWH), under the direction of the French Red Cross. It was especially noted for its performance treating soldiers involved in the Battle of the Somme. After the war the Chief Medical Officer, Miss Frances Ivens CBE MS(Lond) ChM(Liverp) FRGOG (1870–1944), was awarded membership of the Légion d'honneur.[2]

The novel In Falling Snow by Australian writer Mary-Rose MacColl (first published in Oct. 2012) is set at Royaumont during the time when it was a military hospital and refers to historical figures like Ms Ivens.

The abbey was used as a filming location for the Catholic boarding school in Jean Delannoy's Les amitiés particulières.

On 15 June 1971, Pink Floyd performed live here in front of an audience at the invitation of the Daudy family, the abbey's current owners. The family are well known in France for their cultivation of artistic talent, their generous philanthropy and their visionary taste in music and dance.


  1. Authority, the Family, and the Dead in Late Medieval France, Elizabeth A. R. Brown, French Historical Studies, Vol. 16, No. 4 (Autumn, 1990), 810.
  2. Crofton, Eileen (1997). The Women of Royaumont: A Scottish Women's Hospital on the Western Front. Tuckwell Press.
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Coordinates: 49°8′51″N 2°22′55″E / 49.14750°N 2.38194°E / 49.14750; 2.38194

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