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Architectural Heritage

 

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Endowed with a rich past, Argentan has been able to preserve monuments worth seeing, even though 80% of the town was destroyed in 1944 during the Normandy landings.
If you love old stone buildings and history, give yourself some time in Argentan. The town will show you its secrets.

Religious buildings


St Germain Church


Eglise Saint Germain
Eglise Saint Germain

Place du Marché
Tel: +33 (0)2 33 67 12 48 (Tourist Office)
Monument of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, in Gothic, Renaissance and classical styles.

Do not miss: the magnificent porch on the north, the lantern tower, the great bell tower, with the top added by the architect Maurice Gabriel in the 17th century.
Illuminated throughout the year from 10.30 p.m. to 2.00 a.m.

Open to the public only from 1st June to the Heritage Days (3rd weekend in September): information from the Tourist Office.


Benedictine Abbey


2 rue de l'Abbaye
Tel: +33 (0)2 33 67 12 01
Some of the nuns still practise lace making using the famous Argentan Point. The Benedictines open their doors to you for a short visit, which includes a film on the origin and making of Argentan Point.
Lace and calligraphy made at the Abbey are on sale
Opening times: every day, except Sundays and holidays, from 2.30 p.m. to 4.00 p.m.


St Nicolas Chapel


Place du Marché
Tel: +33 (0)2 33 67 12 48 (Tourist Office)
Dating from the 14th century, this was formerly the chapel for the castle. It houses a magnificent oak rood-screen dating from the 18th century, which came from the church in Pommainville.
It is currently used as the Tourist Office, and holds exhibitions throughout the year.

St Martin des Champs Church


Mauvaisville Neighbourhood
Tel: +33 (0)2 33 67 12 48 (Tourist Office)
This church is one of the oldest monuments in the town. It was built between the 7th and the 10th century. Do not miss the 13th and 14th century nave, the choir lit by 3 ogival stained-glass windows, wall paintings currently being restored, and two 16th and 17th century polychrome statues representing the Virgin of Sorrows and Saint Clair.
Open to the public only during the week-end of the Heritage Days (3rd weekend in September).


St Martin Church


Eglise Saint Martin
Eglise Saint Martin

Rue St Martin
Tel: +33 (0)2 33 67 12 48 (Tourist Office)
Built in the 15th and 16th centuries, in the "lower town". This church has kept its stained-glass windows, considered to be among the finest in Normandy. Do not miss its octagonal bell tower with pierced spire.
Open to the public on some days between 1st June and the Heritage Days (3rd weekend in September) (information from the Tourist Office).


St Roch Chapel


Chemin St Roch
This chapel is a former leper hospital dating from the 15th century.
Closed to the public.




Monuments and curiosities


Marguerite Tower


Rue de la Vicomté
Tel: +33 (0)2 33 67 12 48 (Tourist Office)
This 15th century tower and the Keep are the only remaining traces of the fortifications which surrounded the town. Do not miss: two rooms including one under the roof, and the circular walkway, giving views over the town.
Open from 1st June to 30 September, from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.


The Keep


Place du Marché
Tel: +33 (0)2 33 67 12 48 (Tourist Office)
Built in the 12th century by Henry 1st of England and Duke of Normandy, this made up the south-east angle of the former fortifications.
On the terrace, you can identify elements in the Argentan landscape using the viewpoint indicator.
Open from 1st June to 30 September, from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.


The Château des Ducs


Place du Marché
An earlier chateau was burnt down during the 100 Years’ War and built in its present form in the 14th century. It has housed the law courts since 1827.
Closed to the public.

Maison des Fossés Tanarès


Ruelle des Fossés Tanarès
Half-timbered house dating from the 15th century
Closed to the public


Former Abbess's House


33 rue St Martin
This house, next to the former Notre-Dame-de-la-Place Church (now a Restaurant), was home to two mother abbesses. Painted ceilings and old fireplaces have been registered as Historic Monuments.
Closed to the public (unsafe condition).


Lérot Clock face


Rue St Germain
Formerly a clock, created by M. Lérot in the 19th century. Shape inspired by the Légion d’honneur.


Monument to the résistance and deportees


Place du General Leclerc
This was erected in memory of the members of the Résistanceand deportees from the Orne region during the Second World War.




Private mansions (“hôtels”)


Distributed through the town centre can be seen a number of private mansions from Argentan’s aristocratic past. These houses are not open to the public, but can be admired from outside as you explore the town.

Hôtel Ango de la Motte


11 rue St Germain
Listed as a historic monument in 1948, it was built in the 17th century, perhaps by the architect Maurice Gabriel.


The house known as "Henri IV"


2 rue du Griffon
Listed as a historic monument in 1946.


Hôtel Le Brun de Breuilly


11 rue du Griffon
Probably built in the Middle Ages, it has a magnificent three-storey staircase tower.


Hôtel Lepelletier


17, rue du Griffon


Hôtel du Bois de Belhôtel


24, rue du Griffon


Hôtel Moulin de Tercey


2, rue Saint-Martin
Its architectural style is reminiscent of Venetian palaces


Hôtel Aumont de la Vente


15, rue Pierre Ozenne
Listed as a historic monument in 1948, it was one of the largest private mansions in the town.


Hôtel du Four de Cuy


18, rue Pierre Ozenne


Hôtel Servain de la Chapelle


13 rue Pierre Ozenne
This house was listed as a historic monument in 1948.


Hôtel Lepetit d'Avoines


11, rue Pierre Ozenne


Hôtel Robillard de Brévaux


17, rue de la Vicomté


Old Presbytery


18 rue de la Vicomté
This house was built in the 17th century.


Hôtel de Vigneral


8 rue Saint Martin
It housed one of Argentan’s four royal lace workshops.

Hôtel de Lonlay


24, rue Saint Martin


Hôtel Joseph de Laleu


56, rue Saint Martin


Hôtel Potier d'Yberville


43, rue Saint Martin


Hôtel Guyon des Diguères


44, rue aux Juifs


Hôtel de la Broise de Méniljean


23, rue de la Poterie


Hôtel Picot des Marais


1 place des Vieilles Halles
Originally, this private mansion had a porch.


Hôtel Pitard de Cagnou


3-7, place des Vieilles Halles


Hôtel Legoux


9-11, place des Vieilles Halles


Manoir de la Bretêche


19-21 place des Vieilles Halles
Currently the Social Security offices.


Hôtel du Moulin de Fontenelle


12, rue Aristide Briand


Hôtel Lefrançois de Grandrue


6 rue Paul Boscher
This house was once offices for a Point de France lace workshop.


Hôtel Martel


3, rue Papegaux


Hôtel Tirmois des Hautes Noës


1, rue du Collège


Hôtel du Four de la Thuilerie


2, place Mahé





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