Unique Places in Basse-Normandie

  • Richard Winters Statue
    Richard Winters Statue
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  • Richard Winters Statue
    Richard Winters Statue
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  • 5th US Engineer Special Brigade Monument
    5th US Engineer Special Brigade Monument
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Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Basse-Normandie

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    The great Pont de Normandie

    by Pavlik_NL Written Nov 29, 2007

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    Not able to place this magnificent modern piece of architecture, here is some information about the enormous bridge: Pont de Normandie. With a span of more then two kilometers the bridge hangs high above the mouth of the river Seine. The towers rise almost 215 meters up from the waterlevel and in between them hangs 856 meters of road. With these numbers the Pont-de-Normandie was for a while the longest cable bridge in the world. It connected Le Havre with Honfleur over the river Seine and is a key link in the "Autoroute de Normandie" (A29) leading Westwards from Paris. Before the bridge, a car had to drive almost 100 km more to cross the river Seine or use the ferry.

    Spanning wide over the Seine-river's delta One of the two high lifting towers From very far the bridge is already seen Graceful structure at the gates of the Seine Driving over the Pont de Normandie

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    Gatteville-le-Phare

    by Mikebond Updated Jan 27, 2006

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    Gatteville-le-Phare is a small village at the very North-East of the paeninsula of Cotentin, not far from Barfleur and Saint-Pierre-Eglise. Its only attraction is the lighthouse; in fact, "le Phare" means "the Lighthouse". You can see more photos of it in my Gatteville page.

    Gatteville-le-Phare
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    Cerisy-la-Forêt

    by Mikebond Written Jan 21, 2006

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    The abbey of Cerisy-la-Forêt lies in the forêt de Cerisy (close to Balleroy) and was founded in the 6th century and rebuilt in 1032 in Romanesque style and with a Latin-cross plan, i.e. with a transept that divide the nave into two parts of different length (like the cross where Jesus was crucified).
    The church of the abbey was rebuilt in the 14th and 15th centuries: this explains why it has a Gothic choir, as well as 15th-century statues and relieves. However, the Romanesque style is evident in the darkness of the church, as you see from the pictures: Romanesque churches were as less decorated as possible (so, they didn't have painted windows, either) because art would have distracted the believers from their meditation.

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  • Le Mont-Saint-Michel

    by Martinewezel Updated Mar 4, 2006

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    The Mont-Saint-Michel is only an isolated rock lost in the sea. But one with a mythical attraction.
    The abbey, built on the rock welcomes thousands of tourists every day.
    Narrow streets, steep stairs, little shops, museums and then of course the medieval abbey itself...
    No one can remain unmoved by the inspiration of this place and the magical scenery.

    It's only 150 km from the landing beaches, and not to miss.

    Mont-Saint-Michel
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  • As if you were Sleeping Beauty...

    by Lavenderdream Written Apr 21, 2009

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    We experienced an impressive night at this thousand-year old castle in Calombieres, a quiet, lovely little town about 15 miles in the west of Bayaux. Apart from its history from William the Conqueror to WW II, the charming chateau shows the harmony of fortified XII century massive, round towers and elegant XVIII century living rooms.
    We arrived rather late in the evening but the owners, Mme. Claire and M. Charles de Maupeou welcomed us with warmest hospitality of French noble family that refreshed us from a tiring day trip.

    Special tips: the home-made french bun "brioche" with hot chocolate that is served at the hearty breakfast is marvellous. In our opinion, it deservs a michilin star!

    Towers at Chateau de Colombieres, Normandie Front yard of Chateau de Colombieres Guard tower of Chateau de Colombieres Blooming beauty at Chateau de Colombieres
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    Belle Ville

    by freya_heaven Updated May 28, 2005

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    The ancient town of Gerberoy has the prestigious honour of being in the top 100 most beautiful villages in France. Gerberoy was given its in the middle ages and means "town of the pink /roses"

    As far back as 57BC there was a Roman settlement on the site which is now Gerberoy. For centuries Gerberoy was faught over by the French and English, because of its excellent strategic position, burned and re built many times.
    Once the most influential town in France, you could not imagine a more sleepy village as it is today!

    Ok....... I admit Gerberoy is not actually in Normadie but it is ONLY JUST over the boarder in Picardie, between Rouen & Beauvais (~_~)

    Gerberoy
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    Le Molay Vittery

    by freya_heaven Updated May 28, 2005

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    We only ventured in the to the small town of Le Molay Vittery to find an ATM (and boulangerie of course! (~_~) ) as we were staying in a nearby village, by chance it was a Thursday which was the local market day. French markets are wonderful, such a great atmosphere, people from the out lying village still come together to meet for them.

    Check out the below website for more information about the town. I wouldnt go out of my way to visit, but if your passing, especially on a Thursday pop in

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    Hauteville la Guicharde - the other conqueror

    by filip007 Written Sep 18, 2008

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    A small village near Coutances, famous thanks to the 12 sons of Tancrede, who went on to conquer southern Italy and establish the kingdom of Naples and Sicily in the 11th century.

    A nice small museum contains the exhibit about life in Normandy in the times of their departure and the history of conquest and life in this new kingdom. You can also visit the small medieval garden behind the museum, with explanations about all the features of a typical medieval garden.

    Hauteville la Guichard
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    Gavray - ruins of the castle

    by filip007 Written Sep 18, 2008

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    Gavray is a small town not far from Brehal or Coutances. The main attraction lies in the ruins of the norman castle on a hill above the town. While there is not much left from the castle itself, it is a very nice walk of about 1 hour around the hill, with gret views of the bocage country.

    A nice illustration of why french and englishmen can never agree : on the french description, the castle is described as the DUCAL castle. On the english ones, it is the KING castle... Just one reminde of the complex situation when the king of England was formally as duke of Normandy a vassal of French king...

    Gavray castle
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    Castle of Gratot

    by filip007 Written Sep 18, 2008

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    Just beside Coutances, in the village of Gratot lies this lovingly restored castle. Major part dates from 15th or 16th century and while the central dungeon lacks the roof and some of the upper parts, the corner towers are well preserved and the moats fully functional.

    A very nice way to spend a few hours or an afternoon...

    Gratot castle
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    Jardin des Plantes, Coutances

    by gwened Written Nov 22, 2014

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    This is a very nice garden practically at the foof to the Cathedral and the musée Quesnel-Morinière . Entrance is free, no dogs allowed even on a leash, and the hours are October to March from 9h – 17h, April to September from 9h – 20h,f and July -August from 9h – 23h30

    I passed by here and have some rememberance of it, so figure it is a nice place to visit.see some photos.

    The tourist office describes it as an older garden was already here in the 17C belonging to a lawyer of the king. In January 1852, it was inherited by a new owner on the condition that the park garden will become a municipal park
    It was renovated on the English style gardening, with italian terraces, small enclosed forest as the English ,labyrinths and water cannons. The obelisk was done in the center in memory of the former owner. Worked was done on the 3levels and done with in 1855 , and the garden become a precursor of the second empire gardens.

    the Diane statue by the lake the grotto fountain by the lake the canal and levy house at end
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    oh, that feeling of claustrophobia!

    by morgane1692 Written May 31, 2003

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    When you are tramping across the fields above Omaha Beach, you'll notice the occasional pits which were caused when those WWII bombs met the earth. You will also see a few of these old bunkers, formerly occupied by the Bad Guys. Entre. There's no one else down here now but ghosts.

    ready to meet your maker?

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    Porte d'Horloge, Viré

    by gwened Written May 6, 2014

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    33 meters high and the entrance to the town today, wonderful place to be and walk around. Some history of it I like

    The clock gate or porte d'horloge was the main gate entrance to the city in the middle ages, when it was fortified. The fortification of Vire was strengthened under Guillaume Ier the conqueror. A castle in double-wall and Tower, which remain only ruins of the donjon, was built by Henri Ier Beauclerc. First the porte Gastinel was a simple door with the same use of the porte Saint-Jean, more to the west,and the porte Saint-Sauveur, more to the south. The Porte d'Horloge or clock gatte was built in the 13C and it was flanks by two other towers and a vault linking them. the rue Saulnerie used to past underneath and now it is on the other side and pedestrian. In around 1480 ,it was raised another level and became a belltower. It was then added a clock and a bell. The clock was installed in 1499. Two other clocks sounding every quarter hour were added in the 19C. You have a very nice panoramic view from the top into the fields beyond the town. at the very top of the tower you have a statue of a Virgin in a niche. The inscription reads « Marie protège la ville » or Mary protect the town.

    Viré suffers greatly in WWII as the city was destroyed 95% - caused by the bombing of June 1944. The major damage concern the Coronations of the two towers and roofs in pepper shakers should be fully restored by the work of the Reconstruction. The Bell of 1499 is destroyed and the clock already replaced in the 19C. A memorial dedicated to the victims of the bombing of June 6, 1944 is installed on the ground floor of the South Tower. It was inaugurated on 6 June 1960.

    porte d'horloge front ,Vir�� side of porte d'horloge
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    Church Notre Dame de Viré

    by gwened Written May 6, 2014

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    a nice church in a nice town, passing by and got a photo from the vaults. Don't recall going in, but its in city center ,nice to stop by if in town.

    A bit of history I like,
    Until the 12C, the parishioners of Vire were worshipped in a Dungeon, the Saint-Blaise chapel which proved too cramped to the growth of the city, is replaced by a Gothic Chapel, external to the enclosure of the chateau around 1150.
    This Chapel remains the west wall, surrounding the inner part of the portal, including the two pillars and their capitals romans. Built from the vicinity of 1230, on the foundations of this Chapel, in primitive Gothic style, a new Church is dedicated to our Lady (Notre Dame) on July 20 1272.
    It is expanded in different styles until the 16C: elevation of the flamboyant Gothic choir which the supervisor would be that of the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel. It had to be restored in 1948 after the bombing of June 6, 1944.

    Church Notre Dame de Vir��
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    Church of St Generi le Gerei

    by gwened Written May 18, 2014

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    passing on the beautiful basse normandie of my France. This is one of the most beautiful towns of France or les plus beaux villages de France designation.

    There is a legend that under king Charles III le Simple , the Normands attacks often and the church on a hill surrounded by bees in a hole in the wall, and they attack the soldiers that ended by jumpingout into the river Sarthe. There is a plaque there remembering this event, with a writings saying « Les abeilles continuent à protéger l'église » or the " BEES CONTINUES TO PROTECT THE CHURCH".

    in 903 ad, THE Normands burned the abbey and during many years there was no Church here. It is in 1089ad that the construction of a new Church begans and it is finished in 1125. Inside, you have different of construction between the walls of the nave and those of the choir recovered with mural paintings from the 14C and 15C but we can think the oldest goes back to the 12C. The frescos discovered in 1650 Under a band of plaster and chalk were put back in view in 1856.

    nice in real country Normand.

    Church Saint Ceneri le Gerei inside nave of Church St C��neri le Gerei virgin of notre dame and child
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Basse-Normandie Off The Beaten Path

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