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Chelles Abbey

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Chelles chalice

The Chelles chalice, lost at the time of the French Revolution, said to have been made by Saint Eloi.

Chelles Abbey (French: Notre-Dame-des-Chelles) was founded by Saint Balthild, widow of King Clovis II of Neustria circa 658. It was dissolved during the French Revolution.

Chelles had been the site of a Merovingian palace, the villa Calae. A church, dedicated to Saint George had been founded at Chelles by Queen Clothilde. King Chilperic I and his wife Fredegund frequently resided there, and Chilperic was assassinated near Chelles in 584.

Balthild named Bertilla as the first abbess of the monastery. Balthild herself retired to Chelles in 664 and died there in 680, where she was also buried. Her possessions were treated as relics at Chelles.


Viollet-le-Duc's reconstruction of the 13th century dormitory at Chelles.

Other royal and noble nuns and abbesses included

Mildrith may have been educated at Chelles.

Until the Revolution, when it disappeared, Chelles possessed a renowned Merovingian gold chalice, enameled and mounted with precious stones (illustration),[1] that was said to have been created by Saint Eloi, and a very large number of relics.


  1. The colored engraving illustrated, originally from Charles de Linas Orfèvrerie Mérovingienne: Les œuvres de Saint Eloi et la verroterie cloisonnée (Paris, 1864), is the only visual record of it.


  • Riché, Pierre, Dictionnaire des Francs: Les temps Mérovingiens. Eds. Bartillat, 1996. ISBN 2-84-100008-7

eo:Abatejo Chelles

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