In the heart of the Normandy & Maine Regional Nature Park, Alençon has a discreet charm and a natural talent for elegance. Between picturesque neighbourhoods in the old town, major cultural events and lovely little shops, it showcases a certain art of living the Normandy way, full of tenderness and all in a unique setting.
Alençon, the ultimate lacemaking town, achieved fame with the “Alençon Stitch”, a needlepoint technique that made Orne’s local craft product the “Queen of Laces”. Alençon needlepoint lace was granted the status of intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in the autumn of 2010.
A museum pays tribute to this lacemaking expertise which is still alive even today thanks to state support.
From the medieval district of St. Léonard to the 18th-century private mansions, not forgetting the glass-dome roof of the corn exchange, visitors are plunged into a moving atmosphere as they follow in the footsteps of authors such as Balzac and Baudelaire.
The young saint from Normandy, Teresa of Lisieux, was born in Alençon, where visitors can discover the places where she spent the first years of her life. You can find her complete biography on the website http://www.therese-de-lisieux.fr.
On the boundary between Normandy and Maine, Alençon is close to the Alpes Mancelles region where you’ll find the charming village of St Céneri le Gérei, Normandy’s own little Barbizon, also listed among the one hundred most beautiful villages in France.
Visiting the town of Alençon.
Admire the half-timbered buildings, granite houses, private mansions and wrought-iron balconies.
There are plenty of spiritual attractions too, including the town where Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus was born, the Notre Dame Basilica, and the home of the Martin family, all open to the public.
Our tour guides will tell you all the secrets of the town of Alençon!
- Alençon discovery tour
- St. Léonard medieval district
- The Dukes of Alençon
- In the footsteps of Saint Teresa and her holy parents
- Follow our guides to learn all the secrets of the town of Alençon!
> Audioguided tour of the town. Audio device rental: €3
> A family “treasure hunt” with 31 riddles to solve as you explore the City of the Dukes”. Available in French, English and Spanish.
> “From the Lords of Bellême to the Dukes of Alençon”, an amusing guided hike in 7 stages, from Bellême to Alençon.
> Virtual tour app available on request (enquire at the Tourist Office)
Office de Tourisme de la Communauté Urbaine d’Alençon
+33 (0)2 33 80 66 33