Belleme, Orne: tourism & sightseeing

Photo of Belleme (Normandy region)

Visit Belleme (Normandy, France)

Bellêmeis an attractive town in the south-east of the Orne department of Normandy and east of Alencon.

Exploring Bellême

France This Way comment: although it is for a chance to explore the surrounding countryside that most visitors visit Bellême, be sure to also allow a little time to explore the town itself.

There are several interesting landmarks to discover in the town, including the Church of Saint-Sauveur, largely a 17th century reconstruction of a 15th century church. It is the decorative interior with the marble altar and the tabernacle which is the highlight but note also the external clock  - it is one of very few churches built with the clock placed deliberately off-centre on the clocktower.

quiet street in Belleme old town

You will also see parts of the original defensive ramparts for the town, along with an original arched gateway through which you can enter the main square in the centre of Belleme (the 'Porche de Bellême' on the Place de la République). The most attractive section of ramparts still has a part of the original moat next to it.

There are a good number of town houses in the centre of Bellême dating from the 17th-18th centuries, creating an attractive overall feel to the town as you amble through the winding streets of the centre, with examples including the Governor's House and the Old School.

Elsewhere in Bellême there is a very ancient crypt in the Saint-Santin Chapel dating from the 10th century (not open to the public at the time of our visit but usually open if you ask for a rendezvous in the Bellême Tourist Office) and some remnants of the original 15th century chateau that once stood here, such as the donjon.

You will also notice a few antique sundials as you explore.

town hall

Area around Bellême

Bellême is well placed for exploring the popular Le Perche region - the town is the historic capital of this region - which is a scenic area of rolling hills, fields and woodland designated as a natural regional park. The 'dominial forest of Bellême' outside the town is an extensive forested area with numerous opportunities for leisure activities.

There are several other towns that merit to be explored quite close to Bellême, including Mortagne-au-Perche to the north, Nogent-le-Rotrou to the east and La Ferté-Bernard to the south: while none of these is a major destination, they each have something of interest to discover.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Orne guide and the Normandy guide.

See also:

Map of Belleme and places nearby

Visit near Belleme with France This Way reviews

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Orne

Address: Bellême, Mortagne-au-Perche, Normandy, 61130, France || GPS: latitude 48.377222, longitude 0.561389

Plan your visit to Belleme, Orne

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Jardin de la petite Rochelle: remarkable garden (17 km)
  • Perche: regional natural parc (17 km)
  • Nogent-le-Rotrou: recommended detour (20 km)
  • Forêt de Perseigne: site of natural beauty (23 km)
  • Tourouvre: village d'etape (25 km)

The French version of this page is at Belleme (Francais)