Abbeville, gateway to the Somme Bay
- 1488Saint-Vulfran's church built
- 60hectare bird reserve
- 9hiking trails nearby
From the belfry to Saint-Vulfran's
Abbeville was home to a founding father of Prehistory, Jacques Boucher de Crèvecœur de Perthes. The fine arts museum housed in the belfry was named after him. It exhibits some splendid archaeological collections as well as showcasing developments in fine and decorative arts from the Middle Ages to the present.
It is also the birthplace of Alfred Manessier, whose works are on show at the Museum and Saint-Sépulcre's church, where 31 contemporary stained-glass windows featuring a stunning array of colours depicts the theme of passion and resurrection.
And you can't say you've been to Abbeville unless you've seen Saint-Vulfran's collegiate church. This Flamboyant Gothic masterpiece could rival many a cathedral. It is an exercise in elegance, with dizzyingly high towers, and a finely-drawn, dainty rose window.
Carmel, Emonville and Bouvaque
Starting in Bouvaque park, a 60-hectare wetland. There's a profusion of birds, and blue springs welling up out of limestone. Be sure to fit in a visit to the gardens in Emonville and Carmel, 2 hectares of landscaped grounds featuring mosaiculture, flowerbeds and ancient trees.
A 40-hectare former industrial park has been converted into a bird reserve with avocets, stilts and other waders in Grand-Laviers, not far from Abbeville.
The Baie de Somme tourist office will guide you during your visit, for more information you can consult their website.
A festival city
Music and nature
A host of wonderful events take place every year in Abbeville. The Festival Winter Groove kicks the season off with a celebration of contemporary music. In March, the city hosts the Blues nights. In April, birds and nature are celebrated all over the Somme Bay with over 300 nature excursions, film and photo festivals and exhibitions. Abbeville hosts the film festival with projections of top animal films, exhibitions and the children's village. The Festival Choeurs et Voix (choirs and voices) takes place in May.