In the Middle Ages, the fortified town of Falaise was a strategic location. Its construction at the top of a rocky outcrop formed by two people valleys offers it natural protection. From the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centurys, the first dukes of Normandy built their castle there. It is moreover to his residency status ofical that the city will owe its development. Then protected by a solid enclosure, Falaise will count for a long time among the most important strongholds of Normandy.
The ramparts of the fortified city
It is the length of the fortifications that surround the city. In the Middle Ages, 6 defensive gates and no less than 50 towers protected the city.
Today, more than two thirds of the city's fortifications remain. the Circuit of the Ramparts takes you on a discovery of this medieval past. Follow the fortified walls of this 3,5 km loop and stroll through the alleys of the old town.
The defensive gates of the fortified city
The past greatness of the medieval town of Falaise is still clearly visible. In medieval times, there were six defensive gates to the fortified town: Lecomte, de Bretagne, Marescot, Philippe Jean, Guibray and des Cordeliers. Today there are three left. These testify to the leading role played by Falaise in the creation of the Duchy of Normandy.
The Cordeliers Gate
Also called Porte Ogise or Ogier, the Porte des Cordeliers owes its name to its proximity to a convent and to the fact that it was guarded by Cordeliers monks.
Built in the XNUMXth century, it is now the best preserved of the six gates that once existed. The other five were indeed heavily damaged or even completely destroyed.
Built by Robert the Magnificent, father of William the Conqueror, it was the gate from which one left to go to Caen. Some of its still visible walls materialize its location.
Porte Philippe Jean
Also called Porte du Guichet, this gate connects the Val d'Ante district to downtown Falaise. All that remains today is a beautiful arch rebuilt in 1749.