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The Palais Bénédictine, a Gothic and Renaissance architectural masterpiece, was erected at the end of the 19th century by Alexandre Le Grand in honour of Benedictine liqueur. A wine merchant from Fécamp, Le Grand found a recipe for the liqueur by chance in his library, where the ingredients were written in a grimoire from 1510 by a Benedictine monk.
The legend of Fécamp Abbey began when Benedictine monk Dom Bernardo Vincelli created a secret elixir which met with such resounding success that the Benedictine monks at Fécamp continued to produce it until the French Revolution, a troubled era in the course of which the recipe for the famous elixir was lost.
In 1863 Alexandre Le Grand, a wine trader from Fécamp, found the recipe for the lost elixir. Intrigued, he decided to decipher the recipe and after a year’s effort succeeded in reconstituting it. The elixir thus became a liqueur named Benedictine, a tribute to Dom Bernardo Vincelli. Le Grand had the sumptuous Palais Bénédictine built to provide a prestigious setting for the distillery of the liqueur.
Benedictine Essence is a unique experience that allows participants to discover the art of perfume making, by comparing it with the blending of the raw materials used to produce spirit beverages.
Led by Corinne Marie-Tosello, a consultant and olfactory trainer at Fragonard Parfumeur and founder of the Connessens Company in Grasse, participants take part in an olfactory workshop – an introduction to the essences of plants used to make Benedictine liqueur – and train to improve their olfactory memory.
• Workshop duration: 90 minutes, for 12 to 20 people, in French, English and Italian.
The Palais Bénédictine is truly a symbol of stunning architectural beauty. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it is home to both a distillery and a Museum of Sacred Art, which stand side by side on the site of the structure.
The museum’s collection includes rare and precious pieces associated with the history of the abbey, which was founded in 1001, as well as documents, advertisements and unique works relating to the famous liqueur itself.
• Tour duration: 2 hours, for 6 to 16 people, in English and French.
At an exceptional lunch or dinner prepared by a renowned caterer, visitors can discover the subtle marriage of Benedictine cuisine with high-quality Norman specialties. A Benedictine cocktail is served with appetisers, followed by a range of appetising, creative dishes.
• Meal duration: 2 hours, for 12 to 20 people, at lunch or dinner.