Mysterious Origins

The incredible story of Bénédictine® began in 1510 in the Abbey of Fécamp, in Normandy, France, when the Benedictine monk, Dom Bernardo Vincelli, created a secret elixir that was to become famous for years to come.

Abbey of Fécamp
Normandy, France

Three hundred and fifty years later, in 1863, Alexandre Le Grand, a merchant and collector of religious art, discovered the lost recipe for this elixir in his collection. Intrigued by the discovery and after many attempts, he successfully recreated the mysterious liqueur that he called Bénédictine®.

Distilled and aged in a flamboyant palace, built in Fécamp in tribute to this unique liqueur, Bénédictine® is a subtle alchemy of 27 different plants and spices.

Benedictin Monks

The rule of Saint Benedict of Nursia, adopted in 670 as the sole monastic rule, spread far and wide. The main activities of the Benedictine monks were prayer, manual labour and intellectual work.

Saint Benedict, as patriarch of the monks of Western Europe, stipulated that his spiritual sons should devote themselves to works of piety but he also encouraged study. The abbeys, as incubators of learning, were both citadels of prayer and work centres. Numerous abbeys boasted brilliant alchemists, philosophers and herbalists.

The Fécamp Abbey is a perfect example. The Benedictine monks at Fécamp, as elsewhere, were particularly interested in the techniques of distillation and the study of plants.

Secret Substance Secret Substance

The unique geographic location of Fécamp in Normandy enabled the Benedictines to find all sorts of medicinal plants such as angelica, hyssop or melissa, on the cliffs.

Dom Bernardo Vincelli

Dom Bernardo Vincelli

Alchemy was one of the ways enabling monks to reach a higher level of knowledge. Vincelli was not apparently an expert in herbalism but more an alchemist.

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Alexandre Le Grand

Alexandre Le Grand

A wine merchant in Fécamp, with the evocative name of
Alexandre Le Grand, came across an old recipe book that had been tucked away in his library for years.

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