Bagnoles de l'Orne, Normandy: tourism & sightseeing
Visit Bagnoles de l'Orne (Normandy, France)
Bagnoles de l'Orne is a long established resort in the south of the Orne department of Normandy, east of Domfront and south-west from Argentan.
The town developed and prospered around its thermal spa waters and the health benefits they provide, above all with the building of the Grand Hotel and the associated lake, gardens and other facilities in the last decades of the 19th century.
As a consequence the town has a great deal of interesting 19th century architecture to enjoy, and its position on a lake further adds to the appeal of Bagnoles de l'Orne. It has successfully attracted tourists for well over 100 years and continues to be a popular destination.
It is the numerous examples of 'belle-epoque' (approx 1886-1914) architecture for which Bagnoles de l'Orne is best known and there are particularly fine examples in the 'quartier belle-epoque', towards the south of the town and now a protected zone to restrict future development. There are about 50 impressive villas dating from this period in the town.
One of the loveliest examples is the Town Hall, built as the Chateau Goupil in the 1850's and incorporating medieval looking towers and renaissance style decoration! In the grounds of the Town Hall you can also see the Roc au Chien, a raised area with a view across the town.
The 'belle-epoque' style came to an end with the First World War, to be replaced when the war ended by the new 'art-deco' style, also well represented in Bagnoles - the most notable example is the casino next to the lake, and you can also visit the Church of Saint John the Baptist built around the same time.
France This Way comment: quite unlike anywhere else in Normandy, Bagnoles de l'Orne almost gives the impression of being a seaside town like Arcachon or Deauville, except you will have to be satisfied with a walk along the lake instead of a paddle in the sea!
The historic centre of the town, before it was developed for tourism and hence the oldest part of Bagnoles de l'Orne, is now the 'Quartier Tessé', and is also a pleasant region for a stroll.
The spa waters are still a popular attraction - see thermes-bagnoles for details of the many health and relaxation options available if you are visiting to unwind.
Bagnoles de l'Orne also pays a lot of attention to its flowers and gardens and there are several pleasant parks here including the gardens of the lake and thermal centre, and also the arboretum next to the town hall with an impressive range of trees from around the world.
The region around the town includes a large forested area, the Andaines Forest, and is very popular with walkers and cyclists enjoying the southern Normandy countryside. Perhaps the most popular excursion is to the Gorges de Villiers at Saint-Ouen-le-Brisoult where a marked walk takes you through some very scenic countryside, and you will find other picturesque trails throughout the Normandy-Maine Regional Park that surrounds Bagnoles de l'Orne.
Note: Bagnoles de l'Orne photos are copyright.
Map of Bagnoles de l'Orne and places to visit
Visit near Bagnoles de l'Orne with France This Way reviews
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Address: Bagnoles-de-l'Orne, Juvigny-sous-Andaine, Alençon, Orne, Normandy, 61140, France || GPS: latitude 48.549722, longitude -0.423611
Plan your visit to Bagnoles de l'Orne, Normandy
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Normandie-Maine: regional natural parc (16km)
- Domfront: recommended detour (17km)
- Carrouges Chateau: national monument (20km)
- Saint-Fraimbault: ville fleurie 4* (22km)
- Saint-Loup-du-Gast: ville fleurie 4* (22km)
- Mayenne: town of art and history (30km)
- Saint-Ceneri-le-Gerei: most beautiful village (33km)
- Mont du Haut-Fourché: site of natural beauty (34km)
- Argentan: recommended detour (37km)
Market days in Bagnoles de l'Orne, France
Regular market(s) are held in Bagnoles de l'Orne each Wednesday & Tuesday & Saturday & Friday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Bagnoles de l'Orne (Francais)