Visit Falaise (Normandy, France)
Falaise is found in the Calvados department of Lower Normandy, south of Caen. It is to William the Conqueror that Falaise owes its original fame - he was born in the castle in Falaise in 1027, a fact commemorated by the large statue of him in front of the castle, and the town developed around the castle.
Although the castle is undoubtedly the highlight of a visit, the town itself (despite suffering substantial damage during World War II), is a pleasant and vibrant town that merits to be explored and includes some notable sights such as the Church of Saint-Gervais and the Church of the Trinity, the entranceway called the porte des cordeliers, and some parts of the town defences.
The weekly market in Falaise takes place on a Saturday morning.
William the Conqueror's castle, as it is known, sits on a raised rocky hill overlooking the town. The current castle was built in various phases during the 12th and 13th centuries and is a very sturdy castle that includes three substantial keeps - essentially a large central body to the castle, with a small square tower and a tall round tower. Ditches both inside and outside the castle provided additional defences.
The castle has been extensively restored in recent years and is open to the public - it features some well thought out exhibits and recreations that help bring the history of the castle to life. Within the chapel you can also see replicas of three casts of the important historical personalities: Henry II, Richard I and Eleanor of Aquitaine. The views across the town of Falaise and the surrounding landscape are as much a highlight as the castle itself.
To visit in the Pays de Falaise
There are also two abbeys to visit in the region around Falaise : the 12th century abbey of Saint-André en Gouffern at La Hoguette (south-east of Falaise) and the Abbey of Villers Canivet, set in attractive gardens north-west of the town at Villers-Canivet.
One of the most common reason for visitors to pass through Falaise is to tour the sights of the WWII battlefields of Normandy. The so called 'Falaise-pocket' was the region where the allied forces fought with the Germans during WWII. The battle, in August 1944, resulted in the defeat of the German Seventh Army and the Fifth Panzer Army, and was an important success in the fight to reconquer France (and Europe). You can learn more about the course of these battles at the Montormel memorial (at Montormel, east of Falaise).
A more unusual attraction is the Museum of the Mine at Saint Germain le Vasson to the north-west of Falaise, where you can learn about the history and techniques of iron-ore mining, and the working life of miners in the region.
Photos taken within 10 km
Address: Falaise, Caen, Calvados, Normandy, 14700 || GPS: latitude 48.892, longitude -0.191
Map of Falaise & places nearby
Highlights close by
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Falaise, France
- Jardins du château de Vendeuvre - remarkable garden (13km)
- Argentan - recommended detour (21km)
- Sassy - remarkable garden (29km)
- Beuvron - most beautiful village (34km)
- Abbaye de Caen (Caen) - religious monument (35km)
- Carrouges Chateau - national monument (37km)
- Villers-Bocage - village d'etape (40km)
- Boutemont - remarkable garden (44km)
- Domfront - recommended detour (47km)
- Parc zoologique de Lisieux - zoo or wildlife park (49km)
Market days in Falaise: Regular market(s) are held in Falaise each Saturday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Falaise (Francais)