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15 km - Sassetot Castle

Not far from the pretty village of Petites Dalles, between Fécamp and Saint-Valéry-en-Caux, Sassetot Castle is located at the top of a cliff. This majestic edifice was the summer residence of Empress Sisi in 1875.

 

Sassetot castle was founded in 1772 by Jean-Robert Bigot, president of the Norman parliament and King's Counsel. It was sold in 1872 by its last heir to a rich ship-owner of Le Havre.

 

Situated in the centre of a park of 11 hectares with age-long trees, this architectural gem of the Alabaster Coast is occupied by the souvenir of the stay of Empress Sisi in August and September 1875, when she was 37 years. This trip was advised by her imperial doctor, who prescribed the pure air of the seaside in order to ameliorate the weak health of its daughter, aged 7.

 

The Empress Sisi’s trip in Sassetot castle has left a mark in inhabitants’ minds, and keeps on arousing interest, but also suppositions and interrogations (Did the Emperor visit its wife?...)

 

Information: 02 35 28 00 11

22 km - Galleville Castle

Between Rouen and Saint-Valery-en-Caux, Doudeville is a large village typically Cauchois, comprising on its municipality a castle of the seventeenth century. Galleville castle presents a superb architecture with harmonious lines, installed in a typically French park.

 

The castle was founded in 1680, probably by Varengeville Marques who, at the same time, had a Parisian hotel built, which has become the current South America House. Galleville castle was home of Marshall de Villars, famous Marshall under Louis XIV. It was restored after a devastating fire in 1943.

 

The tour makes you penetrate in the first courtyard, then in the court of honour, the living rooms, the library, the chapel and the former kitchen. In all rooms you will admire splendid furniture, as the beautiful decoration present in the living rooms and in the chapel.

 

The park is brightening up with remarkable gardens. Very flowered, the vegetable garden and the orchard are just as much interesting.

 

Information: 02 35 96 54 65

53 km - Miromesnil Castle

Miromesnil castle takes place in the backcountry of Dieppe. This beautiful house founded around 1600, all in red brick and light stones, accommodated several famous people as Guy de Maupassant, who could have been born there in 1850.

Developed at the place of a former fortified castle, Miromesnil castle belonged a long time to Miromesnil family. One of its member, Miromesnil Marquis, was Lord Chancellor of Louis XVI.

 

One of the principal curiosities of the castle is situated in the Court of Honour, where a monumental frontage Louis XIII is set, with a rich decoration surrounded of thin turrets and wings.

 

The interior of the castle contains memories of men of influence, who lived there, as those of Albert de Mun, politician, catholic speaker and academician; those of Duke Montebello for which you can notice the collection of books marked of coat of arms; and those of the Maupassant family: birth certificate of the writer, letter written by his mother, original editions… The Miromesnil Marquis’s elegant cabinet hold a prayer book offered by Louis XVI.

 

Dominated by a magnificent Lebanese cedar, the castle park is brightened up by flowered gardens.

 

Information: 02 35 85 02 80

5 km - Valmont Castle

At the heart of Pays de Caux, 11km east away from Fécamp, Valmont is dominated by its castle elevated on a stoned spur.

Founded in the twelfth century, it belonged to Estouteville family, who, at its arrival in the village, allows this one to know a real flight. Downward from Vikings, Estouteville family contains several important figures of the Norman history.

Thus, Robert 1st d’Estouteville fight English alongside William the Conqueror at Hastings in 1066; Guillaume d’Estouteville was cardinal- archbishop of Rouen; Louis d’Estouteville defended Mont Saint Michel against English, and Jacques d’Estouteville transformed the castle in a defensive citadel in the fifteenth century…

The castle, let’s talk about it. Military fortress, surrounded by a beautiful park, it comprises a Romanesque donjon adjoined by a wing Louis XI and a wing Renaissance that was added in the sixteenth century by Adrienne d’Estouteville.


Information: 02 35 10 08 12

93 km - Eu Castle

Four kilometres away from Tréport city, Eu is ideally situated, between seaside at the west and forest at the east. The one that makes part of the most beautiful cities of Normandy is rich in historic memories, as the castle provides evidence.


There is nothing left from the original castle, which met the engagement and then the wedding of William the Conqueror with his cousin Matilda of Flanders in 1050. The fortress was entirely destroyed in 1475, by the wish of Louis XI.


Henri de Guise and Catherine de Clèves founded the current castle, made of bricks and stone, in 1578. It then became the property of Orleans family. Here was signed the amicable agreement that linked France to England by a new friendship under July Monarchy.


In this spirit, Louis-Philippe, who had made Eu castle his favourite residence, invited twice Queen Victoria, in 1843 and 1845. From 1874 to 1879, Viollet-le-Duc renewed the decoration of the edifice for the count of Paris, grandson of the King.


You can visit, amongst others, the Duchess of Orleans’ apartment, the Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s bedroom, the King’s dining room, the vast gallery of Guise.

 

Information: 02 35 86 44 00

49 km - Ango Manor

Ship-owner at the age of the big discoveries, Jehan Ango became governor of Dieppe and naval adviser of François 1er. From 1530 to 1544, he had his summer residence built on Varengeville domain: Ango Manor.


This beautiful house Renaissance is the work of Italian artists who used local materials instead of marble from Florentine and Venetian palaces. The edifice takes place in a park delineated by paths with bicentenary trees, ponds and gardens.


Buildings are arranged around a vast interior court. At the south, the noble part comprises a beautiful Italian mezzanine decorated at the origin by frescos from Leonard de Vinci School. Walls cover a stone setting of sandstone and flint, with a decoration typically Renaissance: diamonds, shells, sculpted medallions…

But what marvel you even more is the dovecote, dominated the centre of the court. With its rounded roof and its superb sandstone, flint and black and red bricks marquetry, it is considered as the most beautiful French dovecote.

 
Information: 02 35 85 14 80
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56 km - Abbey-church Saint-Ouen de Rouen

This ancient abbey-church of the fourteenth century accounts among the jewels of gothic architecture. From the Romanesque church only remains the clerical tower. The remainder was rebuilt from 1318, interrupted by the Hundred Years war, and completed in the sixteenth century.

 

Admire the exterior of the edifice. Real masterpiece of lightness and balance, the central tower is adjoined of four turrets and covered by a ducal crown.


The transept portal, called Marmosets’ porch, is decorated by a pretty frieze and sit on top of a vault whence two curious keys hang.


Inside, fine and slender, the nave leaves a mark by its proportions. You are impressed by its elevation on three levels: the larges archways, the delicate triforium and the high windows.  

 

The abbey-church Saint Ouen displays grace and harmony. If you want to know who was Saint-Ouen, go see his statue on the portal pillar of the transept…


Information: 02 32 08 13 90

42 km - Abbey of Jumièges

Abbey of Jumièges takes place in a peaceable site situated on the right side of the Seine, at a place where the river outlines a nice meander. In a large part destroyed, it remains one of the most beautiful French Abbeys.


Founded in 654 by Saint Philibert, Abbey of Jumièges knows a large rise and receives until 800 monks before being burned down in 841 by Vikings. In the tenth century, Duke Guillaume Longue Epée revived it from its ruins.


Restored, the Abbey-church is established in 1067 after the conquest of England, by the archbishop of Rouen and in the presence of William the Conqueror.


The constructions undertook from the twelfth to the fourteenth century demonstrate its influence. In the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, furniture and buildings are strongly improved. But the last monks wander to the revolution; the Abbey is sold to a hood merchant who makes it a career. A new owner saves ruins in 1852.


From Notre-Dame church you can see the impressive frontage adjoined of two towers that surround the entrance porch. The nave, entire, remains up, with a part of the transept and choir. The pathway Charles VII leads to the small church Saint-Pierre.


You will remark the place of the chapter house, the relics sacristy, the cloister, and the cellar…


The stairs of the seventeenth century lead you to the large terrace and to gardens. Finally, do not miss the majestic abbey dwelling of the seventeenth century.

 

Information: 02 35 37 28 97

29 km - Saint Wandrille Abbey

In the valley of the Seine, 16 kilometres northwest of Jumièges, Saint-Wandrille Abbey occupies the small valley of Fontenelle, in a meander of the river. It is a remarkable testimony of Benedictine continuity in Normandy.


Indeed, founded in 649, the abbey went through centuries and while it was in ruins, it is taken back in 1931 by the Benedictines. In 1969, they fetch a tithe barn of the thirteenth century from a neighbouring village and make it a church. Saint-Wandrille Abbey is reborn.

Governed by the rule of St. Benoît, days and nights are punctuated by prayers and work. Hospitality is also practiced, so everyone can come and make a retreat, or simply visit. In both cases, attending morning Mass in Gregorian will leave a lasting impression.


The entrance to the monastery is made through a door of the fifteenth century, surmounted by a symbolic pelican. Jarente door, imposing portal of the eighteenth century, gives access to the courtyard. The cloister, of the fourteenth century, retains its four galleries, one of which contains a stone canopy housing the venerated statue of Notre-Dame-de-Fontenelle.

In the church, admire the frame, beautiful. Note the lovely Chapel of the Holy Sacrament, half-timbered.


Information: 02 35 96 23 11

51 km - Saint-Georges Abbey

In the valley of the Seine, west of Rouen, Saint-Martin-de-Boscherville is a charming village famous for its beautiful Benedictine abbey.


Founded in the twelfth century on a former collegiate school by William Tancarville, great chamberlain of the Duke of Normandy, Saint-Georges Abbey received the Benedictine monks until the end of the eighteenth century, a decree of the Convention of 1791 prohibiting then its occupation.


Escaping the ravages of the Revolution, it was transformed into a spinning mill, but owes its survival to the collapse of the village church: the masses were then celebrated in the convent.


Saint-Georges Abbey was built with a perfect unity, in the heyday of Norman Romanesque School. Its beautiful church attracts attention with its architecture and harmonious proportions. Its balanced frontage comprises a beautiful portal with geometric patterns.


Harmony that is also found inside... Elegant and massive, pillars of the nave are connected by Romanesque arches. The capital of the pillars supporting the transept is decorated with plant and animal and human patterns.


Information: 02 35 32 10 82
56 km - Cathedral Notre-Dame de Rouen

Built from the twelfth to the sixteenth century, Cathedral Notre-Dame de Rouen is one of the summits of the French Gothic art.


Badly damaged between 1940 and 1944, restoration work continues...


Founded in the twelfth century, Notre Dame Cathedral was rebuilt in the following century after the terrible fire of 1200. It was embellished in the fifteenth century by Guillaume Pontifs who began the Butter Tower, and completed in the sixteenth century by Roland Leroux. This one gave the cathedral its final appearance. In the nineteenth century the monument was topped with a cast iron spire.


Before entering this gothic wonder, you never get tired of admiring it from the outside. Its huge frontage surrounded by towers Saint-Romain (early Gothic) and Butter Tower (blazing), its finely sculpted portals Saint-Jean and Saint-Etienne, from the twelfth century, its central portal embellished with statues of the sixteenth century, the tower-lantern holding the highest spire in France with its 151 meters...


The outside architecture of the cathedral makes feel dizzy, contrasting with the interior, which releases a strong sense of simplicity. From an early Gothic style, the high nave is an original elevation to four levels. The choir, very sober, dates from the eighteenth century. Chapels that open onto the ambulatory conceal beautiful tombs and stained glass of the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries.


Information: 02 32 08 32 40

37 km - Church Notre-Dame du Bourg Dun

On the Alabaster coast, not far from Sainte-Marguerite-sur-Mer, Le Bourg-Dun merits a step to visit its beautiful church.


Founded in the eleventh century, church Notre-Dame has undergone transformations and extensions from the seventeenth century to the present day. It is remarkable for its thirteenth century tower with an impressive square base. Its spire in axe iron goes back to Louis XIII.


From the original building, it only remains the north transepts, the north side of the nave and aisles of the first chorus spans. In the thirteenth century, the choir was enlarged and the central tower enriched by a gallery. Around 1500, a side chapel was added to the chorus: Sepulchre chapel, surmounted by a Renaissance dome. An altarpiece is installed in the seventeenth century.


You enter through the door Renaissance serving the lower right side. Admire the statues of Saint Anthoine and Saint Sebastien. In the right transepts covered by vaults, you can see a funerary arched niche and a basin Renaissance. The choir opens up to the right by three arches, on a beautiful aisle. In the lower left side are the baptismal fonts Renaissance.


Information: 02 35 84 19 55

41 km - Graville Priory

Two kilometres from Le Havre town centre is located the oldest monument of the city, whose church is classified as a historical monument. Founded in the twelfth century, Graville priory is exciting to discover, as the museum that it houses.


At the entrance of the Priory, you are welcomed by a monumental statue of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, built after the war of 1870 to celebrate the drawdown of the Prussians at the gates of the city.


A shrine erected in the sixth century housed the relics of Sainte Honorine before they were transferred to Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (near Pontoise).


Church Sainte-Honorine, former abbey, dates from the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. In its Romanesque part, you will admire its beautiful capitals. The choir is pre-Gothic while the conventual buildings, Gothic Anglo-Norman style, date from the thirteenth century, reworked in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.


In these buildings are installed the Priory Museum, which exhibits a large collection of sacred art from the fifteenth century to the present day, including polychrome altarpiece priory of the early seventeenth.


Information: 02 35 47 14 01

46 km - Ailly Lighthouse

Built on the edge of Ailly, at the southwest of Dieppe, between Varengeville-sur-Mer and Saint Marguerite-sur-Mer, Ailly lighthouse stands on a wooded cliff overlooking the sea at 84 meters above its level.


It is a modern lighthouse with a range of 80 km, which replaces the two lighthouses, built in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and destroyed in 1944. From the top of its 24 meters, the panoramic view is splendid.


Hanging valleys, shingle beaches, woods and chalk cliffs plunging into the sea... There are reasons to feel dizzy! And eyes sparkle, as the huge lens, known as “Fresnel”, which multiplies by 5000 the glow of a modest light bulb of… 250 watts!


At the top it is beautiful, very beautiful, but it must be down ... Cheer up, all around the building, walking trails are engaged in a fierce competition. Rides that you fill the lungs with air and marine head pretty pictures.


Information: 02 35 85 11 19
15 km - Antifer Lighthouse

Between Fécamp and Le Havre, in the south of Etretat, is located Antifer lighthouse that is one of the highest in Europe.


If it is “only 38m" high, its location on the cliff at the end of Antifer Cape, made it culminate at 102m above the sea level.


Real landmark for sailors, it reassures and leads them, relaying its turn other lighthouses of the coast before leaving them with another one...


Its signal, a radiance every 20 seconds, carries 23,7 miles away, whether a little more than 44 km.


Originally, a first lighthouse flashing white light peaked at 26m; in 1905, the firepower is increased but in 1944 Germans destroy the lighthouse.


The current lighthouse, high octagonal column made of grey concrete with curved sides, was put into service at the end of 1955 but automated in recent years and therefore doing without keeper, it cannot be visited. However, you can still look at and admire it, especially from the lovely walk along the coast from Etretat.


Information : 
fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phare_d'Antifer



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