Updated on 25 June 2020
Reading time: 3 minutes
Medieval towns like Domfront, and Bellême in the Perche, castles like Carrouges or the Château des Ducs d’Alençon offer a treasure trail through the medieval heritage of the Orne.
You will find this castle right in the heart of the Parc Naturel Régional Normandie-Maine. The colours of brick, granite and slate are beautifully reflected in the waters of the moat that surrounds it. The XIVth century keep reminds us of its rôle as a stronghold in the Hundred Years’ War. In the XVth century it became a seigneurial residence and had two wings added towards the end of the XVIth century.As you walk around you can also visit an elegant miniature castle entrance, a park, and gardens which have managed to retain their XVIIth century ironwork.
Château de Carrouges
The Castle of the Dukes of Alençon or the Pavillon d’Entrée
What is known as the castle of the Dukes of Alençon is in fact just the front porch, for that is all that time and tide has left us. But the impression that this pavillon d’entrée leaves us with is to hint at the staggering scale of the original sumptuous castle now gone, with its keep, curtain walls and moat. There is today also a pleasant park of four hectares.
Château des Ducs d’Alençon
Place du Maréchal Ferdinand Foch
61 000 Alençon
The town of Bellême
The fortified town of Bellême clings to a hill overlooking the Regional Nature Reserve of the Perche. In the Middle Ages the town was subject to persistent sieges, by the English, by the French, and by the Burgundians. Or combinations of the above. Some hints of this turbulent past remain, such as the XIth century town gate, the curtain wall or the former castle moat.
Cité de Bellême
The town of Domfront
The history of Domfront is all bound up with the history of England. The castle goes back to the XIth century, and various celebrated figures of their day stayed there, notably Henry II Plantagenet, his Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, and their son Richard the Lionheart. The ruins of the keep and the chapel are still visible today, built by Henry I, the youngest son of William the Conqueror.
Cité médiévale de Domfront