Medieval Normandy

Normandy was born in the year 911, when the Viking Rollo was given the land around Rouen to defend the access to Paris by guarding the coast and preventing other Viking raids to reach the capital of France via the Seine river. A tactical alliance was formed, the Northmen became the Lords of that land that was to be known as Normannia, Normandy.

Our medieval tours reveals the intriguing stories of the Dukes of Normandy, and the fate of Normandy during these centuries of war, conquest, and wealth.

 

 

 

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Discover Mont Saint Michel and its abbey, one of the first UNESCO World Heritage sites. 1300 years of history await.

 

Mont Saint Michel tour is best when start early, and it is usually a 6 hour tour.

Time permits, we may have the possibility to add another site to this tour upon request, among the options we offer :

  • - the Bayeux Tapestry (entrance fee extra)
  • - the Cornille Havard bell foundry in Villedieu les Poeles, the new bells of Notre Dame in Paris were made here. (entrance fee extra)
  • - the Saint James Brittany American Cemetery (no extra cost)
  • - the French sailor pull SAINT JAMES knitting worskhop (entrance fee extra)

Some of these options may not be available every day.

 

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This tour is about Normandy's most famous Duke, William the Bastard, who became the Conquerant.

 

Falaise Castle : William's birthplace, built by the first Dukes of Normandy, it was enlarged after the conquest of England in 1066. In the 12th century, William’s descendants built two squarekeeps using the foundations of the original castle.
These buildings show the Dukes of Normandy at the height of their powers. They are most sophisticated of the Royal Dukes’ palace/keeps and best preserved of their fortresses in France..

Château de Caen : The castle was constructed on a hillock and is now in the middle of the city. With an area of 5.5 hectares, it is one of the largest castles in Western Europe. It remained an essential feature of Norman strategy and policy. The castle was built c. 1060 by William the Conqueror. His son Henry I then built the Saint George's church, a keep (1123) and a large hall for the ducal Court.

Lady's Abbey : Founded around 1060 by Mathilda, wife of William the Conqueror, this abbey for Benedictine nuns enjoyed great renown from the 11th century to the French Revolution. Mathilda is buried in the Abbey Church.

Men's Abbey : Founded in 1063 by William the Conqueror, the Benedictine abbey of Saint Etienne (Saint Stephen) in Caen was consecrated in 1077. William the Conqueror is laid to rest in the abbey church.

Bayeux Tapestry : The Bayeux Tapestry tells the epic story, in wool thread embroidered on linen cloth, of William, Duke of Normandy who became King of England in 1066 after the Battle of Hastings.

 

In your best interest, the order of the sites may vary. The sites remain the same.

 

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As we propose a tour of Rouen, we offer two options for the second part of the day, either Jumièges Abbey, or Château Gaillard Castle.

 

Rouen : Capital of Normandy, and the birthplace of the region when the city and the area around it where given to the Viking Rollo in 911. Rouen is most famous for being the city where Joan of Arc was tried and executed. Throughout history, the city has been well documented for having a fabulous art scene, something which is still true to this day. During the 20th-century, the likes of Claude Monet, as well as many others, ventured to the city and were even inspired to paint the town. Today, the city has the most classified buildings of any city in France. Attractions such as the cathedral, the parliament buildings, and the Grand Horloge are all protected under French law.

 

For the second visit of the day:

Château Gaillard : Château-Gaillard was constructed by Richard the Lionheart in record time on the high chalk cliffs dominating a great meander in the River Seine. He had the castle built to protect his Norman possessions, and its capital, Rouen. It took just two years, 1196-1198, some say possibly in only one.

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Jumièges Abbey : It was founded on a gift of forested land by the Merovingian King Clovis II in the year 654 to Saint Philibert. The ruins of Jumièges Abbey impress by their scale and by their setting in a beautiful meander of the River Seine. In the abbey’s heyday, few religious establishments in France were more renowned, more powerful, or more charitable.

 

In your best interest, the order of the sites may vary. The sites remain the same.

 

VIKING TOUR

To be announced

 

A lunch break will be planned but meals are not included in our price.

Tours are from 9 am to 5 pm but we can adjust if you have other preferences. Our rate remains the same if you book a shorter tour.

Some of our medieval tours may actually run a little longer than others due to distances.

 

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