Do you like medieval architecture and history? Discover four medieval cities that you absolutely must visit during your stay in Falaise – Suisse Normande. Between cobbled streets and half-timbered houses, ramparts, castles and cathedrals: follow in the footsteps of William the Conqueror.
In Normandy, the medieval town of Falaise and its fortified castle
Birthplace of William the Conqueror, the fortified city of Falaise remained in the Middle Ages one of the high places of power of the Dukes of Normandy. First ducal residence then royal residence, the castle of Falaise with its impressive Talbot Tower and its ramparts form a typically Anglo-Norman fortress.
Built on a rocky outcrop, William the Conqueror Castle has dominated the city for more than a thousand years. The augmented reality visit promises a fun and original discovery of the barnyard and the interior of the three dungeons.
Entering the urban wall of Falaise through one of the 13th century gates, you will be charmed by the old alleys and alleys. To discover the historic heart of the city of Falaise, follow the circuit of the ramparts over 3,5 km. This will lead you in particular to the Fontaine d'Arlette, mother of the illustrious William the Conqueror, future King of England.
In the month of August, the Medieval Cliffs promise a festive event with wanderings, fire shows, tournaments, historical re-enactment camp, craft market, medieval music...
The ducal city of Caen and its abbeys
Located 30 minutes from Falaise, Caen, capital of Calvados, is an old ducal city with a fortified castle in the heart of the city. The latter, built around 1060 by William the Conqueror, very quickly became the favorite residence of the Dukes of Normandy. The enclosure of the medieval castle of Caen now houses the Museum of Normandy and the Museum of Fine Arts.
During your visit to Medieval Caen, do not miss two exceptional religious monuments founded at the same time by William the Conqueror and his wife Mathilde: the Abbaye aux Hommes (seat of the town hall) and the Abbaye aux Dames which has preserved its Romanesque architecture.
Bayeux and its UNESCO World Heritage tapestry
Spared from the bombings of the Battle of Normandy, the medieval city of Bayeux is 50 minutes from Falaise. Bayeux Cathedral, founded during the reign of William the Conqueror, stands in the heart of the protected area of the old town. It remains an emblematic monument that has long housed the Bayeux tapestry.
To admire this 70-meter-long masterpiece, an incredible fresco recounting the epic of William who became King of England, go to at the Bayeux Tapestry Museum located a few meters from the cathedral.
Take the time to stroll through Old Bayeux by following the bronze nails on a 2,5 km loop. Punctuated by 23 explanatory terminals, the route allows you to discover the medieval town and its history, its half-timbered houses and mansions.
Domfront, “small city of character”
Located 55 minutes south of Falaise, between mountains and forests, Domfront is one of the “Small Towns of Character” and the “Most Beautiful Detours in France”. Conquered in 1049 by William the Conqueror, the stronghold marked the entrance to the Duchy of Normandy.
Vestiges of the medieval castle of Domfront remain the walls and the ruins of the 25-meter high keep. The old town offers a walk full of charm between defense towers, half-timbered houses, courtyards and small squares.