1122: Rotrou III, Count of Perche, had a church built in the honour of the Virgin Mary in a place called “La Trappe”. He had it built to commemorate his wife who had perished at sea during the shipwreck of the Blanche-Nef off Basfleur. Since few asked the Benedictines of the Congregation of Savigny to found a monastery on the site. Monks were sent from Breuil-Benoit in 1140 to inhabit the new monastery.
1147: a bull of Eugene III first put La Trappe under the protection of the Holy See, confirming its possessions and revenues and exempting it from the tithes (in 1148 La Trappe, which belonged to the Congregation of Savigny, was attached to the Order of Citeaux).
1664: In the 17th century the abbey was governed by Abbot de Rancé, who reinstituted monastic observance there.
1789: During the French Revolution part of the community, preferring exile to dispersal, fled to Switzerland, to the former Charterhouse of la Val-Sainte near Fribourg. The abbot there was Dom Augustin de Lestrange. But soon the monks were forced to seek refuge elsewhere and thus began a new odyssey through Austria, Russia, Prussia, England and finally North America. These voyages led to new foundations, notably that of Westmalle in Belgium.
1815: After 24 years of exile, the community returned home. The construction of the second church of La Trappe on the site of the original chapel built by Rotrou destroyed by the revolutionaries, was begun in 1829.
1895: The present church, the third church of La Trappe, was begun.
1966: The community gave up the name of Grande Trappe, calling itself simply La Trappe.