Etap Hotel Coutances
14, Allee du Chateau de la Mare, BP 20512, Coutances, 50200, France
More about Coutances
Majestic Countances Cathedral
Coutances viewed from a distance
The Revered Statue
View West from Ambulatory Through N. Aisle
Travel Tips for Coutances
Hotel de Ville
The Hotel de Ville in old towns is frequently established in a fine old building. This seems to apply in Coutance but I could not find its provenance. It is on the Place du Parvis before the Cathedral. Right behind it are other old rich buildings and a city garden that was attached to one of the manors.
Coutances is a very pleasant town with a magnificent 13th century gothic cathedral. The main point of interest being the octoganal central tower over 57 metres high.
Unfortunatley when I was there my old Pentax 35mm decided to play up and the photos I got were horribly underexposed so I have digitised them and converted them to b&w - I wasn't trying to be arty.
There was a very pleasant town park just down from the cathedral more reminiscent of an English park than something you would find in France.
Home of a Most Splendid Cathedral
"How the Cathedral Began"
Coutances (pop. 12K) has what we consider as one of the finest of the early Gothic Cathedrals. It is our favorite, the equal (not counting the windows) of Chartres and Laon.(We are not alone in this idea). It is Norman, with strong towers and lots of minor turrets, almost all surmounted by spires like a militant structure of worship. It is built on the base of a 1056 predecessor that was razed (1218) in the wars that incorporated Normandy into France. Rebuilding was completed between 1235-55, at the height of the post-Chartres church-building surge. The earlier church was the result of heavy soliciting by the Bishop Geoffrey de Montbray who dunned the now rich (and guilty?)Hauteville clan in Southern Italy and Sicily for the needed funds (Hauteville-sur-Mer is 10 km SE; unfortunately there is nothing to see there). The most remarkable features of the church are its tall center crossing tower and its spired West Front towers ( no longer perfectly symmetrical, due to economic WWII damage repair of the South one).
"About the Town and More"
The city is bustling and noisy and has little more to see, although we encountered the Hotel de Ville and another church, St. Pierre as we descended the main-street-hill to the parking. We did not even eat here. We stopped en route to Mont St.-Michel, our next overnight stop.
"There is Much More About the Church"
There are many other innovations in the internal and external features of the church. These are covered in the various Tips we have created. Particularly impressive features are the apse (chevet) area and its general simplicity within the Gothic style.
Popular Hotels in Coutances
Route De Coutainville, Coutances