Orbais-l'Abbaye (French pronunciation: ​[ɔʁbɛ labei]) is a commune in the Marne department in north-eastern France. The abbey at Orbais was founded at the end of the 7th century by Saint Réol, and the remains (including a church) are situated in the centre of the town.

The abbey in Orbais-l'Abbaye
The abbey in Orbais-l'Abbaye
Coat of arms of Orbais-l'Abbaye
Location of Orbais-l'Abbaye
Orbais-l'Abbaye is located in France
Orbais-l'Abbaye is located in Grand Est
Coordinates: 48°57′03″N 3°41′58″E / 48.9508°N 3.6994°E / 48.9508; 3.6994Coordinates: 48°57′03″N 3°41′58″E / 48.9508°N 3.6994°E / 48.9508; 3.6994
RegionGrand Est
CantonDormans-Paysages de Champagne
IntercommunalityPaysages de la Champagne
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Denis Casters
16.03 km2 (6.19 sq mi)
 (Jan. 2019)[1]
 • Density34/km2 (89/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
51416 /51270
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.


Founded at the end of the 7th century by Saint Réol, 26th Bishop of Reims, the benedictine Abbey is located in the Surmelin valley. Of the first monks who settled in Orbais, six came from the monastery of Rebais and followed the rule of saint Benedict.

The St. Pierre-St. Paul Church was built at the end of the 12th century and early 13th century.

René de Rieux was commendatory abbot of Orbais between 1626 and 1651 and was also abbot of the Abbeys of Notre-Dame de Daoulas and Relec, aswell as Bishop of León.[2]

During World War I, the French 5th Army established its campaign headquarters in the castle on September 3, 1914.


At the revolution the population was about 850, between about 1835 and 1870 the population was about 1000 people and then began to decline.[3] The population is 561 as of 2017.[4]


Château, Orbais-l'Abbaye
  • Abbaye Saint-Pierre[5]
  • Tour Saint-Réole
  • La source Minette


Abbey church Orbais-l'Abbaye

The St. Pierre-St. Paul church was built at the end of the 12th century and early 13th century by Jean of Orbais, one of the architects of the Cathedral of Reims. The abbey church had a length of 78 m with eight bays of nave, two of which remain today. The architecture is superb, particularly the façade, with its two towers similar to those of the Basilica Saint-Rémi de Reims and the choir with ambulatory with five radiating chapels. There is also stained glass windows of the 12 century, funerary slabs from the 14th and 15th centuries, a baptismal font from the 16th century, the glazed tiles from the 15th century and impressive stalls of choir and very decorated misericords.

Wine productionEdit

Orbais-l'Abbaye is part of the Champagne wine region. Pommery have vineyards there.[6] In 2008 it was proposed to redraw the region boundaries, excluding Orbais-l'Abbaye.[7] As of 2019, the change had not happened, with a final decision expected in 2024.[8]

Notable peopleEdit

Monument (memorial) behind the château


  1. ^ "Populations légales 2019". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 29 December 2021.
  2. ^ Chanoine Peyron, L'abbaye de Daoulas, dans Bulletin de la Société archéologique du Finistère, 1874
  3. ^ Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui: Commune data sheet Orbais-l'Abbaye, EHESS. (in French)
  4. ^ Téléchargement du fichier d'ensemble des populations légales en 2017, INSEE
  5. ^ Base Mérimée: Abbaye Saint-Pierre, Ministère français de la Culture. (in French)
  6. ^ Iivonen, Jo (19 February 2008). "Two communes face expulsion from Champagne region". Decanter. Retrieved 16 June 2022.
  7. ^ Kevany, Sophie (17 March 2008). "Champagne: Germaine appeals, Orbay accepts". Decanter. Retrieved 16 June 2022.
  8. ^ Sage, Adam. "Champagne region expansion uncorks grapes of wrath". Retrieved 16 June 2022.
Town coat of arms

See alsoEdit

Downtown the abbey