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  • The Baguette
  • De captivants à banals, les articles et photographies de “The Baguette” sont une tentative de publier un journal de ma vie dans la Manche et de proposer un forum de discussion pour tout ce qui touche à la Normandie.
  • De captivants à banals, les articles et photographies de “The Baguette” sont une tentative de publier un journal de ma vie dans la Manche et de proposer un forum de discussion pour tout ce qui touche à la Normandie.


June 25 2011 7 25 /06 /June /2011 04:54

2401 Château de Domfront, DomfrontHenry II Plantagenet and his Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine with their court of troubadours and poets often visited Domfront in the 12th century.  It was here in August 1170 that the papal legates attempted to achieve a reconciliation between Henry II and his estranged Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket.  2402 Château de Domfront, DomfrontDomfront passed from English to French hands and it was often under siege during the Hundred Years’ War.  In 1356 the town surrendered to the English who ruled for 10 years and only left once a ransom had been paid.  The town once again passed to the English in 1418 who relinquished it for good in 1450, only three years before the English rule in Aquitaine ended with the Battle of Castillon.  2403 Château de Domfront, DomfrontThe town’s most important siege took place in 1574.  Gabriel, Comte de Montgomery (1530-1574), a former captain in the Scottish guard, who had mortally wounded the French King Henri II in a tournament, defended Domfront against the royal or Catholic forces under Comte de Matignon.  2406 Château de Domfront, Domfront - Copy2407 Château de Domfront, DomfrontMontgomery surrendered to Matignon on the understanding that his life would be saved but was executed on the orders of Henri’s widow, Catherine de’ Medici.  2404 Château de Domfront, DomfrontThe remains of the fortress now enclose a public park.  2400 L'hôtel de ville, Place de la Roirie, DomfrontPlace de la Roirie – In the Middle Ages this used to be the market hall.  The town hall was built on the site of the old convent of St-Antoine, which was destroyed in 1847.  2406 Rue Clément Bigot, Escalier carrée, Domfront, DomfrRue Clément Bigot – Previously rue Tripière (where they made tripe), one can see on the right a square tower that contains a staircase.  2408 Place du Panorama, le bocage, DomfrontPlace du Panorama – The view of the bocage (countryside) is excellent.  Before the June 14, 1944 bombing this area was entirely built up.  2409 Maisons à pans de boi, Place St-Julien, DomfrontPlace St-Julien – The first St-Julien church stood on this square; it was destroyed in 1744.  The square was then a fruit, vegetable and flower market.  Don’t miss the nice timber-framed house known as the Bistrot St-Julien.  2409a Au Bar Normand, 29 Rue St Julien, DomfrontAu Bar Normand at number 29 rue St-Julien dates from the 16th century. 2414 Maisons à pans de boi, Grand Rue, Domfront2410 Rue du Dr-Barrabé, DomfrontRue du Dr. Barrabé – This was the main street in the Middle Ages.  Today it bears the name of a mayor of Domfront between 1888 and 1910 who brought water mains and the telephone to the town.  At number 38 one can see a half-timbered house with its upper floor projecting outward dating from the 16th century.  2411 Hôtel du Marie Rocher, XVIIe siècle, Cour Marie du RCour Marie du Rocher – In the Middle Ages this courtyard was dubbed “Courtyard of Miracles” and in later centuries two town houses were built on this site.  2412 Hôtel Roullin-Martinière, tour escalier, XVIIe siècThe Hôtel Marie du Rocher, built in the 17th century, is on the left; the staircase tower was part of the Hôtel Roullin-Martinière.  2413 La Vicomte, XVIIe siècle, DomfrontLa Vicomte – Residence of the viscount in the 17th century.  Notice the globes on each chimneystack.  They possibly mean that the owner was a nobleman.  2415 L'échauguette watchtower, Château de Godras, DomfronL’échauguette is a watchtower on the first floor of what used to be the château de Godras.  2416 Théâtre municipal, Lycee Auguste Chevallier, 1689, DNear Place du Champ Foire is the Lycée Auguste Chevallier.  This is the oldest building used as a teaching establishment in Lower Normandy.  It was built in 1689, and the chapel beside it dates from 1730 and is now a theatre.  It was given its current façade in 1904.  2418 Pavillion de Boudé, no 2 rue de Godras, DomfrontPavillion de Boudé – This is the only building remaining of the château de Godras, the residence of the governors of Domfront from the 16th to the 18th century.  2420 Église Saint-Julien de DomfrontÉglise St-Julien was built in 1924 and one of the first to be built using reinforced concrete.  2420a Église Saint-Julien de Domfront, 1924Only a few years after its completion it began to deteriorate due to cheap building materials and poor excavation of the site.  The church has had many problems ever since including falling concrete and tiles.  2421 Église Saint-Julien de Domfront2422 Église Saint-Julien de DomfrontEven the steeple is covered in green netting to prevent further danger to people below.  It will take several years of restoration work for it to be open to the public again.  The cost of renovations exceeds the budget for Domfront and its residents and so they urgently need funds from private donations.  2423 Église Saint-Julien de DomfrontIt was shut down in 2006 and its interior was filled with scaffolding to prevent it from falling down.  The interior was built without any pillars and its decoration was inspired by Byzantine style.  2424d Détail de la mosaïque, Église Saint-Julien de Domf2424b La coupole, Église Saint-Julien de Domfront2424f Nouvel autel, 2002, Église Saint-Julien de Domfront2424g Nouvel ambon, 2002, Église Saint-Julien de Domfront2424 Les fonts baptismaux, Église Saint-Julien de DomfrontSome of the images shown here are from a booklet about the church.  All proceeds go toward restoration.  2427 Rue de la Poterne, Domfront2429 La tour poterne, Rue de la Poterne, DomfrontPorte de la Poterne – In this street one can admire the postern gate that allowed access to the medieval town.  There used to be five gates: Alençon, Normandie, Castle, Brière and the Postern (the smallest).  2431 Porte d'Alençon, DomfrontPorte d’Alençon – The last of the two towers that remains today is the entrance to the medieval town.  2430 Rue des barbacanes, DomfrontAlong the rue des Fosses-Plissons one can still admire six remaining towers from the 12th and 13th century ramparts.  2432 La tour Coroller, XVIIe siècle, Rue des Fossés PlissLa tour Coroller  2434 La tour Lafaye, XVIIe siècle, Rue des Fossés PlissonLa tour Lafaye 2435 La tour Guérin Leriverain, XVIIe siècle, Rue des FosLa tour Guérin Leriverain  2407 Place du Panorama, L'église Notre-Dame-sur-l'Eau, DomÉglise Notre-Dame-sur-l’Eau – This charming Romanesque Church of Our Lady of the water (late 11th century) was badly mutilated last century when five of the seven nave bays were destroyed to make way for a road.  Following damage in 1944 the church was restored.  2436 La Varenne, Dalles funerairés, l'ancien cimetière, L2439 L'église Notre-Dame-sur-l'Eau, DomfrontThe bridge over the Varenne or the side of the road climbing up to the town center, provide the best overall views of the church with its squat belfry pierced by twin openings and its chevet with radiating chapels.  According to legend, at Christmas in 1166 Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, celebrated Mass in this church while in exile in France.  2441 Autel du XIIe siècle, L'église Notre-Dame-sur-l'Eau,In the middle of the chancel with its lovely arcades is the altar composed of a granite slab supported by three squat pillars.  2442 Vierge à l'Enfant XIVe siècle, L'église Notre-Dame-To the right of the chancel is a 14th century statue of the Virgin and Child.   2445 Fresques du XIIe siècle, Pères de l'Eglise ou les Ap2447 Fresques du XIIe siècle, Pères de l'Eglise ou les ApSeveral 12th century frescoes have been uncovered in the south transept representing Doctors of the Church.  2443 Gisant de Pierre Ledin de la Châlerie, XVIIe siècle,The recumbent statue of Pierre Ledin de la Châlerie dates from the 17th century.  2449 Pierre tombale de J. Ledéboté, 1606, L'église NotreThis tombstone is from the grave of J. Ledéboté who died in 1606.  2450 Pierre tombale de dame Marquise Ledin XVIIe siècle, LThe other tombstone is that of Marquise Ledin who died at age 23 in 1613.

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Published by The Baguette - in Basse-Normandie