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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 (~_~)
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
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.
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...
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...
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.
North of Fougères and south of Caen is the town of Villedieu-les-Poêles. It's a very charming town - historic, quaint, and unassuming. We came here to take a guided tour of the Cornille-Havard Bell foundry. With the early morning October fog, it made for a very memorable visit. To give more context of the foundry, I've quoted the brochure I picked up back in 1994:
A nine hundred years old tradition
The city of Villedieu les Poeles was founded in the 14th century by the Knights of Jerusalem who arrived from the East bringing their skills in metalworks with them. They set up a commandery and, under the protection of their successors the Knights of MALTA, a flourishing industry developped. For more than 200 years Cornille-Havard has been maintaining the bell casting tradition on the same site.
A very active traditional workshop
From an archaeological point of biew the workshop is very interesting since the bell founders still use all sorts of tools coming from old times: an archaic windlass moving along a wooden trail helps to carry the loam over the pits to build the moulds. A unique reverberating oven of 20 tons, to melt the alloy of copper and tin, occupies the middle of the factory. On one side, a craftsman prepares the inscriptions and decorations to be put on the bells according to the old 'lost wax' process. On other sides, different bells, at each step of fabrication, wait to be sent all over the world: United States, Canada, Africa, Armenia...
It's easy to get off the beaten track in Normandy, and if you're a fan of cheese, then you'll be pleased to know the little visited country roads may provide you with some local secrets, such as little farms that produce fromage de chevre (goat's cheese).
One afternoon we went to a goat cheese farm which I believe was called "La Petite Moyonaise". I saw this name on an itinerary or something that I wrote down back in 1994, but I realize this farm may no longer be around, or it may have a completely different name. I scoured online as best as I could and could not find any information on this place whatsoever. From previous research, I think the area we were in was around the town of Saint-Lô. Anyhow, it doesn't really matter about this specific farm - my research has showed me that there are many within this region of France. So if you get a chance, I recommend that you do an on-site tour, as long as they're equipped to do so.
During our brief time at the cheese farm, we toured the goat pens and the facilities where they make the cheese. There were a lot of goats, and some even gave birth while we were there! Unfortunately since we were really young at the time and most of us didn't know cheese beyond your basic bland North American favourites, very few of us could appreciate the pungent tang of what was probably some of the best goat's cheese we'd ever taste.
Now that I'm older and I love goat's cheese, I'd gladly seek out these types of attractions while in Normandy.
well nice deep Normandy area its unique and good you get out to see different Normandy than the usual places. I am talking about Trinchebray.
Of course,Normandy is quite large and one week will go quick, so you already have ideas in mind about Bayeux and Caen, wonderful places. Giverny is nice if only for Monet's house and garden. Rouen is wonderful; then Vitré is famous for its sausages, Villedieu-les-Pôeles is famous for its copper pans been doing it for centuries and very nice quaint town.
Domfront does the camembert cheese of Normandy best,and one of its five flower rank cities with flower beauties. Close to you, here is the webpage
Here is the site for the flower towns of France.
I think that with your time the above will do to really get the most of it. You will be back ....
Hope it helps
This is a picturesque town and an imposing church
It was built as a Latin Cross going back to the 15C and 16C while the choir was done in the 18C.
The imposing facade is held by six walls and the prinicipal door is surrounded by moldings en prisme. Large windows where the top is in bricks. Inside, you have a high ceiling from the 16C, an armoire in wood, decorated with pendants that makes it like there is a curve in the vaultsceilings
The stained glass in the choir dates from the 19C and those in the nave from 1950's. The statue of the Virgin and the Enfant in stone dates from the 16C and has other statues from the 18-19C such as Saint Gilles, Saint Sébastien, a bishop and a Christ in wood.
It has 3 bells weighting each 1100 kg, 770 kg and 550 kgs.
The clock on the tower was done in 1978. You can see in the choir a banner from the Brothers of Charity, an ancestral custome from the region.
Route du Mont Saint Michel, BP 8, Mont-St-Michel, Basse-Normandie, 50170, France
Good for: Solo
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