Worth a visit in Lisieux

Find out more about what to see and do in Lisieux and Pays d'Auge.

Not to be missed

> Basilique Sainte-Thérèse: the largest church built in France in the course of the 20th century, this enormous domed edifice stands out on the hillside above town. The interiors, visited by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims every year, are dazzlingly ornate, decorated in neo-Byzantine style. There are sections on the saint’s life and on the Carmelite Order.

> Cathédrale Saint-Pierre: down in the town centre, this cathedral was built from the 12th to the 13th century in early Gothic style. It holds the tomb of Bishop Cauchon, who tried Joan of Arc. Thérèse Martin went to Mass in this cathedral.

> Maison des Buissonnets: this was the pretty townhouse to which the Martin family moved from the town of Alençon when Thérèse Martin was four. She lived here until she was 15 years old and entered Lisieux’s Carmelite Monastery. Touring the rooms, you get an idea of her early life and devotion.

> Musée d'art et d'histoire (Museum of Art and History): it occupies one of the finest timber-frame houses left in the centre and displays fascinating objects reflecting history, popular art and traditions in Lisieux and the region of the Pays d'Auge.

> Saint-Jacques church: holds exhibitions in summer. expositions en saison

> Palais of Justice : adjacent to the Cathedral, it is in the former Episcopal palace, in Louis Xlll style.

> L'hôtel du Haut Doyenné: a very fine 18th century building in stone and brick built in Classical style. It was the former residence of the Haut Doyen, the second most important religious figure after the bishop.

Nearby

> The Château de Saint-Germain-de-Livet: just south of Lisieux, this castle, known as ‘the Wonder of the Pays d'Auge’, is now owned by the town of Lisieux. A little fortress nestling in the bottom of a valley, it is a veritable 16th century architectural gem, with its coloured, patterned stones and green-varnished bricks. The interiors are embellished with 16th century frescoes and with 18th and 19th century furniture. Numerous drawings and paintings are on show from the Riesener Collection, one of whose representatives was a cousin of Delacroix.

> CERZA animal park: (at Hermival-les-Vaux) 500 wild animals in an area of over 50 hectares (123 acres). A Safari Train takes visitors on tours of the park.