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Official Normandy Tourist Board website



Falaise was the chief residence of the Dukes of Normandy, and here in 1027 Arlette, a tanner's daughter, gave birth to William, the illegitimate son of Duke Robert the Magnificent. Once called "the bastard", the future king of England is now known to history as William the Conqueror.

Between the Suisse Normande and the Pays d'Auge, Falaise is surrounded by a bountiful environment, where verdant valleys cross plains covered in flax and wheat. It is an ideal area for sporting activities. Mountain bikers, hikers and canoeists enjoy themselves to the full and obtain a different view-point of the immense heritage of the town where William the Conqueror was born.  As an important trading and craft industry centre, Falaise early achieved economic prosperity. The mediaeval castle, bearing witness to that period, continues to dominate Falaise, despite the Allied bombings of 1944 which destroyed 85% of the town before its liberation on 16th August. In the battle for the Falaise Pocket British, American, Canadian, Polish and French troops encircled Rommel's units and inflicted a crushing defeat that heralded the end of the battle of Normandy.

Worth a visit

  • William the Conqueror's Castle : Perched on a rocky spur between the Ante and Marescot valleys, this 12th century castle was classified as historical monument in 1840, and is a grandiose illustration of the power of the Dukes of Normandy.
  • Automates avenue : a collection of more than 300 automatons in a setting that recreates the streets of Paris.  The workshop reveals the secrets that bring life to the actors in the shop windows of yesteryear.
  • Lemaître Museum : the museum recounts the career of this Falaise-born artist.
  • Montormel Memorial: dedicated to the final stage of the Battle of Normandy.

Dates for your diary

December: "The Hivernales", street exhibitions, story-telling, street art on the theme "the stars, from reality to the imaginary".