Marc Drouet Regional Director of Cultural Affairs Hauts-de-France and Bernard Pacory, President of the Crédit Agricole Nord de France Corporate Foundation, President of Crédit Agricole Nord de France inaugurated Monday, June 19, 2017 the claustral building of the abbey of Vaucelles after renovation in the presence of Jean-René Lecerf, President of the Departmental Council of the North, Marc Langlais, Mayor of Rues des Vignes, Marie-Maxellende and Alain Lagoutte, Presidents of the Friends of the Abbey of Vaucelles and Etienne Poncelet, Chief Architect of Historical Monuments.
The work inaugurated concerns the restoration and development of the claustral building, the only element in elevation of the 12th century foundation. They are part of the treatment of the enclosure and the cover of this building started since the 70s, and its development for the opening to the public (installation of stained glass in the rooms on the ground floor, fitting out of the chapel, restoration of the vault of the monks' room, restoration of the pillar of the monks' room, securing of the doors, restoration of the paving...).
In addition, the renovation includes several interventions on the building, under the mastery of Étienne Poncelet, chief architect of the Historical Monuments: restitution of 14 bays of the dormitory of the monks on the east side (previously closed by temporary windows), purge and treat the buttresses of the facades, east staircase of the monks' room on the ground floor.
The €150,000 operation was supported by the Hauts-de-France Regional Cultural Affairs Department to the tune of €100,000, as well as the Crédit Agricole Nord de France Corporate Foundation to the tune of €50,000.
The first stone of the abbey was laid in 1132 by Saint Bernard, she is the thirteenth daughter of Clairvaux. Built on land ceded by Hugues d'Oisy, lord of Crevecoeur-sur-Escaut, the construction of the abbey took many years. At its peak, it has the largest Cistercian church in Europe and an exceptional library, with more than 40,000 volumes and manuscripts, some of which have been preserved in the library of Cambrai. To the demolitions of the eighteenth century and the revolutionary period is added a fire in November 1917 that ravages the covers and leaves the abbey in ruins. Since the takeover of the premises in 1971, the determination of the owners, the Lagoutte family, and the association of Friends of Vaucelles has made it possible to safeguard, restore and enhance the buildings of the abbey.