Caen (Calvados)

Lutheran theses were displayed at the Caen university as early as 1533. Towards the end of the century, there were an estimated 10,000 Protestants in the Caen district.

The temple in Bourg-l'Abbé, a temple outside the city

  • Temple in Bourg-l'Abbé near Caen (Calvados) © SHPF

As stipulated by the Edict of Nantes, the Caen temple was built outside the city, at Bourg-l’Abbé (1611-1612). It was of the centred pattern with canted walls and a double roof. It was topped by a small turret with a bell, and finials at all angles.

The smaller sides consisted of two bays, separated by colossal pilasters, with semi-circular windows. Of the five bays on the long side, the middle one corresponded to the door with an arched pediment topped with a finial. The same plan could be found on the first floor.

Surprised by the unusual aspect of this place of worship, the Catholic population mockingly called it the “forcemeat pie” or “pie crust”.

It was destroyed after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and we know it only from documentary sources.

Caen (Calvados)


  • Books
    • DUBIEF Henri et POUJOL Jacques, La France protestante, Histoire et Lieux de mémoire, Max Chaleil éditeur, Montpellier, 1992, rééd. 2006, p. 450
    • LAURENT René, Promenade à travers les temples de France, Les Presses du Languedoc, Millau, 1996, p. 520
    • REYMOND Bernard, L’architecture religieuse des protestants, Labor et Fides, Genève, 1996

Associated notes

  • The Edict of Nantes (1598)

    This was Henri IV’s major achievement : the terms of this edict ensured the peaceful coexistence of Catholics and Protestants and brought a stop to all hostilities in France after 36 years...
  • The Edict of Fontainebleau or the Revocation (1685)

    In October 1685, Louis XIV signed the Edict of Fontainebleau which repealed the Edict of Nantes. It banned Protestant worship and the emigration of Protestants. Pastors were banished.