There are relatively few monuments in Suisse
Normande itself. The most interesting is the Château de
Pontécoulant, near Condé sur Noireau. This is a
lovely state house built in the 18th century. It was given by
the family owning it to the local authorities early this century
and was kept unchanged ever since.
(02 31 59 20 50)
Another place of interest is the Château
de Thury-Harcourt. The building
itself was destroyed during WWII, but its beautiful gardens can
still be visited (33 2 31 79 70 45).
In Ménil-Hermei, the Maison du Val
d'Orne displays an exceptionnal "pressoir" used in
the old days to make cider.
Very close to Suisse Normande, the beautiful
town of Falaise must be visited. The
very impressive castle where William the Conqueror was born towers
above the city. In spite of extensive destruction at the end
of the war, Falaise still has many beautiful churches and houses.
Close to Falaise, two other places are worth visiting. The Villers-Canivet
Abbey, founded during the XIIth century, still keeps some impressive
remnants from its glorious past, such as the main door. The restauration
work was awarded a prize by the Vieilles Maisons Françaises
(French Heritage association).
Visits from May to September (02 31 90 81 80)
; Website: www.villerscanivet.com
The Saint-Vigor-de-Mieux chapel, from the
XVth century, is a very simple building that was renovated and
decorated during the 1990's by the Japanese artist Kyoji Takubo.
The result, a combination of traditional architecture, coloured
glass tiles, steel floors and paintings of apple tree branches,
is quite amazing.
Visits on week-ends from mid-June to mid September.