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Visits and heritage: Our nuggets

Castles from the Middle Ages, distinguished Renaissance castles and the Templar cities of Larzac are sure to delight young and old alike. But this Unesco territory is also brimming with little nuggets that we’d like to share with you! Don’t miss a single one, they all have a strong history and are full of emotion!

1. Saint-Germain-de-Livet castle-museum

The Château de Saint-Germain-de-Livet is often considered one of the most beautiful châteaux in Normandy. It even has a lovely nickname: “the jewel of the Pays d’Auge”. This superb château, located 5 minutes from Lisieux (just 6 km from Lisieux in the direction of Livarot), is characterized by its architecture, which harmoniously combines a typically Norman 15th-century half-timbered manor house with a 16th-century stone and glazed brick building. The building is enhanced by beautiful formal gardens and the surrounding moat, where swans can be seen enjoying the tranquility of the setting.


2. Crèvecoeur Castle

The Château de Crèvecoeur takes you back to the Middle Ages! Located 15 minutes from Lisieux on the way to Caen, this château is one of the last remaining examples of a small medieval seigneury in Normandy. The lower courtyard features a group of 15th-century timber-framed farm buildings (barn, farmhouse, dovecote) and a beautiful 12th-century stone chapel, while the upper courtyard, surrounded by a moat and protected by a high stone wall, houses the former 15th-century seigneurial dwelling. The highlight of the year is undeniably the week-long medieval festival at the beginning of August.


3. Canon Castle

The Château de Canon invites you to take a trip back in time to the 18th century! This former “house in the fields” located 30 minutes from Lisieux has been inhabited and maintained by the same family since the mid-18th century, the descendants of the famous Élie de Beaumont, a celebrated lawyer of the Age of Enlightenment. Classical architecture, water mirror, French and English gardens, waterfalls, canals… So classic, so romantic…


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4. Château Le Kinnor

In the small town of Fervaques, at the center of a triangle formed by the communes of Lisieux, Livarot and Orbec, Château Le Kinnor impresses. Surrounded by a moat, this vast complex is an architectural gem dating from the late 16th century. It was the site of a great history: witness to the negotiations between Marshal Guillaume IV de Hautemer and King Henri IV in the 16th century, it was also, at the beginning of the 19th century, the site of the love affair between the great Romantic writer François-René de Chateaubriand and the beautiful Delphine de Custine, and the setting for a veritable little literary cenacle. The estate also boasts two remarkable trees: the oldest oriental plane tree in France, and a two-hundred-year-old purple beech known as “de Chateaubriand”.


5. Château de Carel

Situated on the banks of the River Dives and surrounded by a moat, Château de Carel dates from the late 17th/early 18th century. It is built on an ancient residence, and the surrounding buildings form an elegant classical ensemble, reinforced by the pure lines of its 16th-century dovecote. The whole complex is listed as a Monument Historique, and the exteriors, park and dovecote are open to the public.


6. Coupesarte Manor

The Manoir de Coupesarte is a typically Norman manor house that has retained its original wooden frame and offers an exceptional architectural unity in the Pays d’Auge. Located 20 minutes from Lisieux on the way to Saint-Pierre-en-Auge, it was built on a moat in the 15th century, and the surrounding barns, stables and cowsheds date from the 17th century. Free exterior tours available all year round.

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