Abbaye Sainte-Vaast

The 18th-century Benedictine Abbaye Sainte-Vaast is a grey-stone classical building pockmarked by shrapnel from both world wars. The abbey was originally founded in the seventh century, at which time it marked the birth of the town of Arras. Its generous size indicates the important spiritual and economic role it played.

Today, the Musée des Beaux-Arts occupies most of the abbey. The museum’s collection features 17th century French and Old Dutch paintings (a couple of Jordaens and Brueghels), local medieval sculptures, porcelain and landscapes. A prized medieval tapestry, the sort for which Arras was once known, is displayed. It was the only one to have survived the bombardments.

Entrance is via the abbey’s courtyard.

Saint-Vaast Abbey, Musée des Beaux-Arts, fine arts, Arras, France, Abbaye Sainte-Vaast

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