Abbaye aux Dames, Saintes

The Abbaye aux Dames was the first Benedictine nunnery in Saintes in Charente-Maritime in France. The abbey was founded in 1047 by Geoffrey II, Count of Anjou, and his wife Agnes.[1] Agnes later retired to the nunnery and died there.[2]

for the Abbaye aux Dames, Caen, see Abbey of Sainte-Trinité, Caen

One of its abbesses was Agnès of Barbezieux (1134-1174), whose relative, Eleanor of Aquitaine, was a generous donor to the abbey.

Madame de Montespan was educated here.

It is located next to the town's Arch of Germanicus and was classified a monument historique in 1948.[3]

The abbey church, Sainte-Marie-des-Dames, dates from the 12th century.



  1. Penelope D. Johnson, Equal in Monastic Profession: Religious Women in Medieval France, (University of Chicago Press, 1991), 195-196.
  2. The Chapter Book of the Nuns of Saintes, Hugh Feiss, The Yale University Library Gazette, Vol. 67, No. 1/2 (October 1992), 13.
  3. Mérimée PA00105245, Ministère français de la Culture. (in French) Ancienne abbaye des Dames

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