Fun things to do in Basse-Normandie

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    Omaha Beach

    by solopes Updated Jul 4, 2014

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    A rough sea in August, an empty beach, some closed houses, and... the memories. However, it was less difficult to mentally recreate the assault here, because the hills are not so steep as in my imaginary (and in some other beaches).

    If I remember the details, this was the first defense to collapse. It makes sense.

    Omaha - Normandie - France Omaha - Normandie - France Omaha - Normandie - France
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    Cathédrale St Pierre, Lisieux

    by gwened Written Jun 18, 2014

    Another wonderful building to visit a must in Lisieux, the city of the Sainte Thérese de l'Enfant Jésus. Second most visited in France after Lourdes.
    The tourist office on it
    http://www.lisieux-tourisme.com/sites-et-monuments.html#.UWK87uRDuG8

    Is a wonderful building Cathedral and a must to visit in LIsieux.Gothic style built around 1160 to 1230 by order of bishop Arnoul. This is the fourth cathedral build here, the first ones is known to be from 538AD

    Again enormous history and writings on it, and you have the sanctuary of Ste Thérese in contact and the tourist office for more details on the building.

    I only will remark this important aspect for me anyway.
    Ste. Thérese was familiar with the Cathedral even thus it was not named as such in her times. It is there that she was present at the mass on Sunday with his father, his sisters, and the housekeeper. A statue and an inscription in a chapel of the choir are reminiscent of the place where the family was exactly placed during religious services. It is here that the future Saint had the revelation of its mission: saving the soul of the fishermen. The father of Thérèse, Louis Martin, offered the high altar of the choir. Since the 20C, St. Teresa is the third patron of the Cathedral, after Pierre and Paul. It appears as such on one of the stained glass windows from the bottom of the choir.

    Cathedral of St Peter (St Pierre) nave of St Pierre the Altar of St Pierre
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    the Carmel of Lisieux

    by gwened Written Jun 18, 2014

    one of the emblems of the city in the course of the life of Ste Thérese. From the holy land in the 12C came this order in the grottos of Mount Carmel. Push later by Teresa de Avila, Spain ( Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda Dávila y Ahumada), in religion as Theresa of Jesus. Later follow by Ste Thérese of Lisieux known also as the St Thérese of the Enfant Jésus.

    It is here that Ste Thérese de Lisieux lived from 1888 to 1897. The place is now undergoing renovations so good to call ahead. The associated site of the Carmels is here
    http://www.carmel.asso.fr/Lisieux.html

    and the one specific for Lisieux is here
    http://www.carmeldelisieux.fr/

    It is a chapel of prayer and silence, very moving historical and educational as of course religious.

    Le Carmel de Lisieux
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    Basilique Sainte Thérese, Lisieux

    by gwened Written Jun 18, 2014

    One of the high places of Catholicism in France and a must even from a historical and tourist site. A must. Second mos visited after Lourdes.

    I am not good at narratives but will give you some from sites in French that I translate. Huge to write and the sites are plentyful in English, just come is a must,

    Sainte Thérèse de Lisieux was beautified in 1923 and canonise in 1925,then it was decided to built a grand basilica so the pilgrims could come to the city where she lived and died. the devotion of the crowds were quickly iminent .

    The project was started by the bishop of Bayeux and Lisieux, Mgr Lemonnier, received the support of the Pope Pie XI that had place his pontifical duties under the signs of Ste Thérese. It was entirely finance by donations from the world over.

    Worked began on September 30 1929,and the first stone was place by Cardinal Charost, legal rep of the Pope.THe architect were father and son les Cordonnier — Louis Marie Cordonnier, died in 1940, and then his son Louis-Stanislas Cordonnier continued. (son later died in 1960). Work was slowed during WWII and began again with the feast of the Assumption in 1951. The Basilicas was blessed on July 11 1937, by the Cardinal Pacelli, legal rep fo the Pope and future Pope himself under Pie XII and consecrated on July 11 1954 by archbishop of Rouen, Mgr Martin in the present of the legal rep of the Pope and archibishop of Paris Mgr Feltin.

    The building contains 18 minor altars offered by different nations in ex-voto to Saint Therese. From the entrance, counterclockwise and clockwise:

    Nave, right: Mexico - Spain - Italy
    Transept, right side: Ukraine - Chile
    Choir, right side: Brazil - Argentina - Portugal
    Choir, left side: United States - Colombia - Great Britain
    Transept, left: Scotland - Germany - Cuba - Ireland
    Nave, on the left side: Canada - Belgium - Poland

    Again a must to see

    Basililca Sainte Th��rese the chasse of Ste Th��rese preserve the coupola of the choir closeup the Choir of the Basilica the stained glass and walls with descriptives
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    Cathedral Notre Dame de Bayeux

    by gwened Written May 6, 2014

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    Another jewel of a Cathedral in a jewel size town. Bayeux is history and all around you tells it.

    This is the site from the city of Bayeux in French
    http://www.mairie-bayeux.fr/index.php?id=232

    tourist office guided visits that can be done in English but the site is in French
    http://bayeux-bessin-tourisme.com/blog/visiteguidee/cathedrale-de-bayeux/

    and the Calvados dept site in English
    http://www.calvados-tourisme.co.uk/diffusio/en/discover/sites-monuments/religious-heritage/bayeux/bayeux-cathedral-in-calvados-normandy_TFOPCUNOR014FS00079.php

    The Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Bayeux is one of the masterpieces of the Romanesque and Gothic Norman architecture . Located on the site of the Gallo-Roman city of Augustodurum forum and replacing a Merovingian building, the current Cathedral was consecrated on 14 July 1077, and made an integral part of an episcopal complex remarkably preserve. It is for it that was carried out the famous Bayeux Tapestry.

    After a fire, Hugues II de Bayeux (1015-1049) decides the reconstruction of the cathedral. It is completed by his successor Odon de Conteville (1049-1097). The primitive Romanesque elements from the 11tC still visible nowadays consist of the crypt (1050-1060) and towers of the Western massif (CA. 1070-1090).The Cathedral was again burned in 1160. Work resumed at the end of the episcopate of Philippe D'Harcourt and continues under Henri de Pardieu. The construction starts around 1120-1130 by the resumption of the lower parts of the nave typical of Norman novel.The Gothic construction begins with the aisles of the nave around 1180 in a style directly borrowed from the Île de France. The exterior walls are eliminated a century later for the progressive building of chapels side (CA. 1280-1350), between the former contreforts.The Gothic choir rebuilt in 1220/1240 is remarkable for its typically Norman elements: very sharp broken arcs, profusion of columns and balusters, richness of the decoration consists of medallions, rosettes or quad openwork in the Spandrels, a vast triforium replacing the grandstands at the expense of the tall windows. After the French revolution many damages were done, and renovations many done afterward to our days. It is now a jewel.

    A bit on the exterior architecture
    The western façade, facing a square located at the crossing of the rue des chefs, canons regular, of the master and Lambert-Léonard-Le-Forestier, is framed by two Romanesque towers with windows arches at the base of Gothic spires. They have been reinforced by thick buttresses at jumps after the fire in 1105. Two towers are flanked a Romanesque staircase Tower, of which the Northern is surmounted by a construction called "the watch tower" .The lower level includes five porches with only three at the centre corresponding to the entrance doors of the Cathedral. The central portal has been transformed in 1778. Two side gates, despite the loss of their big statues in 1562, retain the statues of the covings and their tympan.The tympanum of the north portal tells the Passion of the Christ. The lower scene evokes the last supper and the washing of the feet, the scene above the arrest in the garden of olives, flogging and the carrying of the cross, the third the crucifixion and the last represents God the father in Majesty. The South Portal is the last judgment. The first and second scene evoke the dead from their graves. Right under the door figure hell with the devil in the centre, the third stage sees a procession of the elect to a "heavenly Jerusalem". On the last stage enthroned Christ in Majesty surrounded by two angels and two characters agenouilles.A balustrade consisting of Quad inscribed in a circle above the central portal. The headroom of left figure a cleric to knees, probably a donor. Above opens a large window radiant, surmounted by a gallery with statues of ten bishops, arranged two-by-two in geminate bays topped by gables decorated with trilobes and blind roses. A large gable Coronet, decorated with hooks and decorated with roses aveugles.One of the foothills, built at the beginning of the 12C to strengthen the South Tower, is decorated with a funerary inscription, probably of Isabelle of Douvres, sister of the Bishop Richard II.

    A bit on the interior
    The nave has two levels: the large Romanesque arches of the lower level date from the 12C while the top level, of Gothic style, is the 13C.The lower level is remarkable by its highly developed decor which is rare at this time. This setting may find its origin in the English models reported following Henri Ier Beauclerc. In the Spandrels, mitre arches overcome reliefs. These are in the North, an exhibitor of monkey, a Bishop blessing, a rampant lion overflown by a chimera, a second Bishop blessing. The last arcade is a pastiche of 19C which replaced in 1857 a Gothic arcade. The headroom is a Virgin Child. In front, on the south side, the headroom of the same period is a representation of the stage 23 of the tapestry of Bayuex (the oath of Harold).The other Spandrels are still from the 12C. These are from the crossroads a new rampant lion surmounted by a Griffin, monsters intertwined, a man holding both hands the two tips of his long beard, a monster surrounded by foliage. Under the lion rampant on the South side, notice the strange figure representing a man and a woman entwined, lovers of Bayeux.The large arches are surmounted by the unique Gothic floor of the mid 13C. It is separated from the novel level by a frieze of characteristic quatrefoils of Norman Gothic art. On the left side of the nave, note the rostrum of the medieval organ destroyed in the 16C. At the base of the Gothic floor runs an elegant balustrade of trefoil arches. the large radiating windows occupy the available space. They are separated by the pillars supporting the vaults on noticeably plan and open inwards by two arcs form. All is of great lightness and a happy marriage with the novel level and chorus pre-existing with its three levels. Note finally on the left side the pulpit dating from 1786, work of Jean-Louis Mangin, bayeusain sculptor. If the tank is neoclassical, the upper part is of baroque inspiration. The cowl is formed by a cloud with cherubs in stucco, surmounted by a globe with an allegory of religion who brandishes a cross.

    you have many chapels all impressive, such as, Chapelle Saint-Pierre, Sainte-Trinité et Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle, Chapelle Saint-Martin-aux-Vicaires, Chapelle Saint-Jean-l'Évangéliste, Chapelle de l'Annonciation et de Saint-Jean, Chapelle Saint-Antonin-et-Sainte-Croix, Chapelle Saint-Sébastien-Saint-Gerbold-et-Sainte-Radegonde, Chapelle Julien et Saint Exupère, Chapelle Sainte-Marguerite-et-Saint-Maur, Chapelle Saint-Hilaire-Saint-Contest-et-Sainte-Honorine, Chapelle Saint-Jean-prés-de-la-Tour-Saint-Cyr-et-Sainte-Julitte-Saint-Martin-aux-Fonts, Chapelles Saint-Nicolas et Saint-Thomas Becke, Chapelle Saint Vincent, Chapelle sainte Catherine et de tous les saints, Chapelle Saint Jean-Baptiste, Chapelle Saint Pantaléon et saint Antonin, Chapelle Notre-Dame, Chapelle Saint Eloi et Saint Robert, Chapelle Saint Michel et Saint Blaise, Chapelle des Saints Innocents, Chapelle Saint André et Saint Léon, Chapelle de l'Immaculée Conception. Beautiful organ and impressive crypt.
    Too numerous to name but all are worth a visit, take plane,train,bus,auto but do come here, its a must.

    Cathedral Notre Dame de Bayeux the nave of Cathedral Notre Dame the chapel William the Conqueror lower city going up to Cathedral back.
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    Church Notre Dame des Champs,Avranches

    by gwened Written May 6, 2014

    A nice church in a nice town with views of MSM, I passed by many times and use it as a rest stop and of course a bit of balader or walk in town leads me to more wonders of my France.

    A bit of history as I like
    The old church of Notre-Dame des Champs was located, as its name suggests, outside the city, to the South. This church of great simplicity, known thanks to a photo and a few engravings, dated from the end of the 17c. Become too small and the work becoming necessary, it admitted the idea around 1855, to build a new building. Plans and a specifications were drawn up by architect Théberge, 'child of the Parish '. However, it was not until April 12, 1863 attend the laying of the first stone by the prefect of the region in the presence of Bishop Bravard Bishop of Coutances and Avranches.

    The ' Gothic ' decided by the architect involves the development of a building with bold proportions that break completely with those of the modest church that you wish to replace. City and parish resources are inadequate, as the reconstruction of Saint-Gervais was very expensive, and in 1865 the Mayor of Avranches and Archpriest move to Paris to seek financial assistance from the State. This long sought aid will be finally granted in 1876 and the consecration of the Church by the Bishop Bishop Germain will take place November 13, 1892. Architect Théberge, who died in 1866, was replaced by Cheftel. Delayed by the first world war, which mobilized all the labor, the two towers of the facade were completed between 1926 and 1937; at this time it also installs large organs once enjoyed by blower electricity. In June 1944, the Church is severely damaged by a fire resulting from the bombing of the city. Restoration work extend several years and the reopening to worship takes place in February 1962

    And it survive for all of us to enjoy today.

    Church Notre Dame des Champs
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    Mont St Michel

    by solopes Updated Jan 7, 2014

    After a couple of days meeting history and drama, passing on those places where civilization was defended with courage and blood, to put an end to WW2, the visit to Mont St Michel is a relief, remembering the best of mankind.

    Of course, no matter when you are going, you will have to share it with thousands. But it is worthwhile.

    Mont Saint Michel - France
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    Longues sur Mer

    by solopes Updated Dec 28, 2013

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    Three strong bunkers with powerful canons line the coast. They show the damages suffered during the bombing and assault, so giving us an idea of the violence of its conquest.

    The actual quietness enhances the feeling of a dead place. And death is really the obvious reference of the area.

    Longues sur Mer Longues sur Mer
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    Church of St Pierre , Caen

    by gwened Written Nov 11, 2013

    a unique place since the times of William the Conqueror, and richly Embedded in the life of Caen. Surviving révolutions and world wars.

    It is the biggest religious building in the Kings town of Caen. At the 13C the Roman Church of the 12C was replaced ,renovated and enlarged, a clocktower was added to reach the Church from the street at Saint Pierre. This was added a wonderful Arrow tower in the 14C, enlarged again with work done in the 14C thru 16C. From this Church the most important religious cérémonies were carry out in the city. It goes that when king Henri IV absolves the Protestants religion giving end to the war of religion , it was from this Church of Saint-Pierre that was sang the Te Deum in the present of représentatives of all the city.

    It was equally a center of civil power. In 1203, Jean sans Terre gives priviliedges to Caen , and fortifications of military character are built to protect the city center or Kings town. A carillon town house was built with a clock similar to that of Rouen until it was destroyed years later in the 1400's. In 1793,the Church of Saint-Pierre was used as a temple of reason during the French revolution.

    In the night of June 8-9 1944,the Arrow of the Church was hit by a bomb rocket of 420 mm probably from the the ship HMS Rodney, it falls from its 72 meters into the nave of the Church. the fire touch the roof and destroyed it. It was rebuilt in 1957, the clock tower today is 75 meters so 6 more than the towers of Notre Dame .

    The choir of St Peter dates back to the 13th century. Originally, it was flat and had a large canopy. All was destroyed in 1520 to be replaced by an apse with ambulatory opening on five radiating chapels. From this period date a combination of styles (Gothic flamboyant and Renaissance) found throughout this part of the Church. Everything above the high altar is a gigantic hanging key.

    a nice Church just across from the feudal castle of Caen.

    Church Saint Pierre from castle church St Pierre street level
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    church of Saint Michel, pont l'évêque

    by gwened Updated Jun 13, 2013

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    wonderful church, a must see in the area from the 15C

    The Church consists of a nave with aisles; a relatively high It has no transept. The tower is placed at the western end, as in many churches of the 15th century. It is very heavy, flanked by protruding foothills and ends abruptly with a frame, covered with slate roof. In general, the decoration of this church has not in its moldings as fine as in many buildings, as she, 15-16C centuries: this is, I believe, to the nature of the used stone. The chalk is very tender in the region of Pont l ' Évêque; It breaks easily under the chisel, and oolitic limestone, which can be used to its correct default, is quite coarse. The chalk was used in the construction of the Church of Pont l ' Evêque. The Interior offers a certain magnificence in the elevation of the nave, and especially in the decoration of the vaults of the side aisles, which many Poles are trimmed with pendants.There is not only a part of the Church of Pont l ' Evêque which appears earlier in the 15th century, and various portions of the building, including the vaults which I have just mentioned, are obviously from the 16C. No stones in the church dates before this.

    church St Michel
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    War Museum

    by solopes Updated Apr 12, 2013

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    In Arromanches there is a war museum, by the harbour, that we didn't visit. Maybe it is interesting, but the whole area is a wide war museum by itself.

    What else could we get inside those walls? Sad images and memories?

    Arromanches Arromanches - France
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    see wonders from Avranches

    by gwened Written Oct 25, 2012

    on clear days you can have beautiful views over to MSM, passed by here often but only make it for lunch, its actually a good base to see MSM if with a car.

    Avranches is a hilly town, that is why the great views over the bay, on the upper road passing near city center(rue de la liberté or D7) there is a nice church from which belltower offer splendid views over to MSM

    near the gare or train station, there is plenty of foodies and a great view of the hilly town of Avranches

    rue de la liberte D7 great views of MSM up the hill to Avranches from road D973 off A84 looking up Avranches arriving Avranches on the N175
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    Colleville-Sur-Mer

    by solopes Updated Sep 8, 2012

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    Long lines of white crosses, here and there punctuated by jewish symbols, testify the American severe casualties in WW2.

    A sober memorial and the discreet harmony of the place, evidence the respect that is dominant.

    No surprise the way this cemetery specially touched Fernanda, more than the locations of landing an fighting, more impressive for the male team.

    Colleville - France Colleville - France Colleville - France Colleville - France Colleville - France
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    Arromanches

    by solopes Updated Sep 8, 2012

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    It was a miracle of engineering and courage, the construction "in a glimpse" of the artificial port of Arromanches, essential to the invasion.

    Done and abandoned more than 60 years ago, nor even the sea could erase the signs of that decisive construction.

    Arromanches pays its respect to the memory of the war, with a museum and evocative displays everywhere.

    Arromanches - France Arromanches - France Arromanches - France Arromanches - France Arromanches - France
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    British battlefield tours of Normandy

    by gwened Written Aug 23, 2012

    http://www.britishtours.com/france/normandy-tours

    there is one. Never taken tours so the best should come from your own googling or contact the tourist office of
    http://www.normandie44lamemoire.com/versionanglaise/fichesvillesus/bayeuxus2.html

    plenty there to do some planning

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Basse-Normandie Hotels

  • Mercure

    Route du Mont Saint Michel, BP 8, Mont-St-Michel, Basse-Normandie, 50170, France

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Solo

    Hotel Class 3 out of 5 stars

  • Hotel Churchill

    Well I found this hotel on the net and then VTer Jakeline from Bayeux gave a recommendation so we...

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  • Mercure Caen Centre Port De Plaisance

    I use for years all over the world the ACCOR chain of hotels, and have been fantastic. I am a...

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Basse-Normandie Things to Do

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