Saint-Jean-d'Angély, Abbey of
SAINT-JEAN-D'ANGÉLY, ABBEY OF
Former French Benedictine abbey, on the banks of the Boutonne River in the department of Charente-Maritime, former province of Saintonage. It is in the Diocese of La Rochelle, the former Diocese of Saintes (Latin, S. Joannis Baptistae Angeriacensis ). Founded c. 800 and endowed by Pepin of Aquitaine in 838, it was destroyed by the Normans in 867. After its restoration in the 10th century by Ratgarius, it enjoyed continuous existence as an abbey throughout the Middle Ages, flourishing particularly in the 11th and 13th centuries. Although it was pillaged and suppressed by the Huguenots in 1569, it was again restored as a house of the Benedictine Congregation of Saint-Maur (see maurists) in 1623, so continuing until its secularization during the French Revolution. The claustral buildings erected during the Maurist period are now occupied by a college. The present parish church, reconstructed in 1899, incorporates some elements of 13th-century construction. The monumental façade of a church begun in 1755 and never completed is also extant.
Bibliography: l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 1935–39) 2:2738–39. p. vicaire, "Les Monuments religieux du XIe siècle en Saintonge," Bulletin de la Société des antiquaires de l'Ouest, 4th ser., 1 (1949) 3–40. e. bonazzi, Saint-Jean d'Angély de 1372–1453. Son histoire, ses institutions (Thesis École Nationale des Chartes: see Positions des thàses; Paris 1948).