Rénovation de l'Abbaye de Mortemer

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This participatory funding will enable the renovation of a stone column, the creation of an additional museum, the upgrading of the former ghost museum and the transformation and renovation of the watermill into a brewery.

L'abbaye de mortemer

Lisors Eure department in Normandy

Located in a beech forest in the heart of the Lyons forest, its ruins rise in a bucolic setting which invites to an almost mystical walk as these places are steeped in history. Built in 1134 at the request of Henri  the 1st Beauclerc, first Duke of Normandy, King of England and fourth son of William the Conqueror, it takes its name from the Latin "Mortum-mare" which means "dead sea", due of the huge swamp that once flooded the region. From its foundation in the 12th century, the Abbey is shared between several worlds. Water of course, the earth from which it derives its substance, the magnificent forest which surrounds it, and finally the sky, to which it is dedicated. The place was chosen for its calm which encourages stay an prayer. Affiliated to the Cistercian order (it was the first in date in Normandy), it lived in complete autarky thanks to the pigeons bred in its dovecote, lampreys, perches and tench from the  ponds, wine and honey produced by the monks.  

Its influence and role in the area are indisputable. Today only few sections of the 12th century church remain. The support of the northern transept and its rose window, the cellar and a piece of covered courtyard.  

In the 18th century, the Abbey suffered from a languor of the spirit and the soul which, little by little, made it lose its substance and its raison d'être. In 1790, only five monks still lived there. During the Revolution, the last four were chased and massacred in the cellar.  

Imagine, in the heart of the Lyons forest, far from any home, nestled in a valley where the Fouillebroc source flows, the ruins of an Abbey ... Mortemer, kingdom of God on earth, but also of Satan if we believe the multiple legends that run about it. Mortemer Abbey is reputed to be the most haunted place in France.  

One of the most touching legends is that of Mathilde the Emperor, would appear today as a White Lady.  

Granddaughter of William the Conqueror and grandmother of Richard the 1st Lionheart, the young woman was somewhat "frivolous". In an attempt to appease her, his father locked her in the abbey for five years. The height of her punishment, she was dispossessed of the English throne. She died in 1167, at the age of 60, and now rests in a tomb in Rouen cathedral.  

Did she harbor a desire for revenge because of this containment? Perhaps May be. She was so unhappy at Mortemer that she would come back there on full moon evenings…  

If you meet her with white gloves, this suggests a happy event.  

 If she's wearing black gloves, it's a sign of death.

In August 1986, a witness stated that he heard strange sounds: "There were slow, very slow footsteps. Thus, I went upstairs to check but I saw no one! "  

Nowadays, during guided tours with tourists, the warden has also heard whispers while the light was turned off. Without seeing the specter of Mathilde.  

On the first floor of the building is the pink bedroom with inside, a four-poster bed and old paintings. It shelters strange phenomena. Flying objects, noise, blows….  

It all started in the 20th century with the Delarue family, then owner of the building. One night, Charles’s fiancée, one of the sons of the Delarue family, couldn't turn a blind eye.  

"Near the fireplace, the tweezers started snapping on their own, and paintings turned around. Shocked, the sweetheart broke off her engagement.  

An exorcism was even practiced in 1921. In vain.  

No one has unraveled this mystery until today.  

If today no one lives in the abbey, it is not a forgotten place. Each year, shows and entertainment take place, including the famous “Ghost Night” , “Nuit des Fantômes” in french.  

It is also possible to visit the "museum of legends and ghosts" in the basements of the abbey.


This project is part of the renovation and tourism development of the Abbey. No major action has been taken to date.

The will of the association is to develop this tourist site, which is the second most visited monument in Eure department in order to meet the demand of visitors and to offer this exceptional place recognition, care and respect we owe it.

Step 1 

The Column of the Chapter Hall  

Replacement of a marquee column into the chapter house and creation of a museum room dedicated to the architectural details of the abbey by the creation of a lapidary, where will be displayed exceptional stones from the abbey.  

The column must be sculpted identically by a stone cutter certified by the “French historic buildings office” then the old column must be dismantled to be replaced respecting state of the art.


Step 2

Pigeon and lapidary museum  

Renovation of the dovecote bringing electrical installations up to standard, switching from old lighings to LEDs, and setting up a new guided tour system which tells the story of the dovecote and the legends of Mortemer through the ages.  

Implementation of a multilingual automatic visit system so that visitors from all countries can take advantage of the abbey's histories and legends.  


The Lapidary room

Transformation of the abandoned building to create the lapidary museum. Putting out of water, renewing walls, upgrading to electrical safety standards  

In this dependence of the abbey will be displayed stones, pieces from columns, capitals, relics. History will be told interactively through a sound and light show.

Step 3

The renovation of the water mill will allow the mill to turn again. In this building the idea is to make a meeting place for visitors, and with the creation of a brewery where tourists can taste and buy Ghost Beer, specially made for the abbey.

Creation of a large window to see the mill spinning from inside the future brewery.  



Step 4

Ghost museum 

This step is the most ambitious in our project. The ghost museum focused, on single’s fountain, the story of murdered monks and of white lady,  requires  a big dusting and a bringing up to safety standards.  

Designed in the 80s, we want to completely review the museum for an upgrade to electrical safety standards, a change in the light show system for led lightings, modify the proposed scenarios, add small scenes, automate the visit to make it more interactive , more lively, more intriguing with the restoration of the sound system and by developing the animations proposed by the contribution of video and holograms.  

A vast 3-month project to perpetuate the legends that revolve around Mortemer and modernize them.




The importance of the project is the upgrading of the abbey's facilities and the development of Mortemer, which is a recurring wish of our visitors who love this place that is both mystical and relaxing.  

The first step will be used to create and replace the identical column by a craftsman stonemason in compliance with the architecture and the rules imposed by the buildings of France.  

Target: € 10,000

If this objective is reached:  

Step 2: € 39,000 reached means 2 more projects

With the additional € 29,000, we will change the loft's guided tour system. A new lighting will be created, the setting in motion of elements of the loft will give animation and a new interest to this building, the sound system will be modernized, and in an ecological concern led lighting will be installed.  

We also wish to highlight the architecture of Mortemer with the creation of a museum "la salle du lapidaire". This exhibition hall will be dedicated to capitals, columns, remarkable architectural elements of the abbey and some treasures worthy of being shown to the public.  

STEP n ° 3, reach 80,000 € to revive the water mill that is crumbling under the weight of the years. A transformation of the building to welcome visitors in good conditions and make them discover the beer of the Abbey.  

Finally, step n ° 4, getting up to € 213,000, will give a second life to the ghost museum, with its total renovation and bringing it up to current safety standards. The museum is the essential place of the Abbey where the legends which make Mortemer's reputation are told and which attracts many visitors each year.


Les Amis de l'Abbaye de Mortemer: We are an association created for the development and safeguarding of the abbey. The association is strongly involved, it regularly organizes cultural events around legends, heritage and the history of the abbey.  

Our most famous meetings:  

The medieval on August 15, where we attend horse tournaments, foot fighting, medieval dances for which the public is invited to participate. Medieval musician troop, costume loans for young and old people, as well as other numerous events. It is possible to stroll through the large crafts market to discover the skills and acquire specialties of the time.  

On Ghost Nights during September weekends, with the help of a guide, you will travel through the Abbey estate to meet the souls that haunt the site. Ghosts will make you discover aspects of their new existence that you do not even suspect ...    

The Ghost Nights are also a great opportunity to discover the Abbey
and its ruins lit by a full moon or a starry sky into such a mystical


How can you support this project ?

Vous pouvez soutenir ce projet :

  • - Make a donation on line with your credit card after registration on Dartagnans' website
  • - Make a bank transfer after registration on Dartagnans' website
  • - For french donors only: Send a bank check made out to ‘Les amis de l’Abbaye de Mortemer » on the back of which you will write your e-mail adress. Please send your bank check to the following adress :

Campagne Abbaye de Mortemer
15 rue de Milan
75009 PARIS

They support us

The Abbey of Mortemer is classified among the unmissable cultural and historical sites of the Eure, by l'agence de développement touristique de l'Eure.

Discover one of the most beautiful medieval sites in Normandy

The Abbey of Mortemer is classified among the unmissable cultural and historical sites of the Eure, by l'agence de développement touristique de l'Eure.

Thank you to all our donors! Keep following us!

We thank the donors for their support and help in safeguarding the abbey.

E-mail de contact : [email protected]
Facebook : Mortemer  / instagram : Mortemer
Website: http://www.abbaye-de-mortemer....


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Guided tour of the abbey / Invitation on the day of the inauguration of the column change and the lapidary museum
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Guided tour of the abbey / Invitation on the day of the inaugurations / Invitations for 2 persons to the cultural events "the medieval" and the "night of the ghosts".
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Guided tour of the abbey / Invitation on inauguration day / Invitations for 2 persons to the cultural events "the medieval" and the "night of the ghosts" / Tasting of Mortemer beer on the occasion of your invitation for the inauguration of the brewery.
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Guided tour of the abbey / Invitation on inauguration day / Invitations for 2 persons to the cultural events "the medieval" and "the night of the ghosts" / Tasting of Mortemer beer on the occasion of your invitation for the inauguration of the brewery.
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