Bayeux is a charming historic city. Built on the banks of the Aure, the capital of Bessin is one of the few towns in Calvados to have been spared from bombing in 1944. It therefore retains a remarkable built heritage that revolves around its imposing cathedral. The historic center retains a fine collection of houses and mansions built between the 14th and 18th centuries. But what makes Bayeux famous above all is its incredible tapestry, registered in the Unesco "Memories of the World" register. This 70m long embroidery on linen canvas traces the incredible and epic adventure that was the conquest of England by William the Conqueror in 1066.
Approaching the town of Falaise, you can see its imposing castle at first glance. Typical of the Anglo-Norman palace dungeons, the castle where William the Conqueror was born in 1027, was one of the first stone fortresses to be built in Normandy. From the top of the Talbot tower, you have a superb panorama over the city walls and the town of Falaise, which was an important trading center in the Middle Ages. Besides the castle, the city retains an interesting heritage. The Faubourg de Guibray, which once housed a prosperous fair, retains a superb church, the oldest parts of which date back to the 12th century, while the Saint-Gervais church offers a superb wooden vault. The town of Falaise, nevertheless 75% destroyed during the bombing in the summer of 1944, also preserves the memory of this tragic period through the memorial of civilians in the war which pays homage to the populations who suffered these bombardments.
Abbeys and treasures of the Norman romanesque architecture
The more than 40 abbeys of Normandy form an exceptional historical and architectural heritage as much by their number as by the charm of the landscapes and the sites they occupy. The prestige of their past, their artistic wonders and their intellectual and spiritual imprint make them unmissable places. These abbeys bear witness to the power of Normandy during the ducal era (911-1204), and to the monastic revival initiated in the 17th century. This exceptional architectural heritage is also made up of a multitude of Romanesque churches, very characteristic of Norman Romanesque art, and which are also worth a detour.