Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes, Soissons, Picardy, France 

Founded in 1076, the abbey was one of the wealthiest in the Middle Ages. The donations of the kings of France, in particular, made it possible to build an abbey church and monastery buildings in the 13C and 14C.

The church was demolished by decree in 1805 so the materials could be salvaged and used to repair the cathedral. Protests succeeded in saving the façade. Visitors can see two Flamboyant-Gothic bell towers, a fine refectory, the cellar, the large cloister (with lovely capitals) and the small cloister with its two Renaissance bays.

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