Alençon is a serene place where life is good. Traditional houses made of granite squared blocks, pedestrian streets, small shops, encourage tourists to go for a walk in the city to discover it better. Nearby, the relaxing forest offers various outdoor activities: trekking, fishing, or equestrian sports.
History of Alençon
At the beginning of the eleventh century, Alençon is only a fortified town: more important than a village, but less than the city. In 1220, it is bought to the heirs of Robert I of Alençon by the king of France Philippe-Auguste. Two centuries later, it is erected into duchy-peerage. Meanwhile, the Hundred Years War seriously ruined the Duchy. Marguerite de Lorraine, widow of René d'Alençon, settles in the castle of the Dukes, despite the misery at Alençon. In front of the skepticism of the lords of the kingdom, she directs Alençon with a great grasp and manages to improve the administration, the justice, the culture, makes the economy grow, but turns especially towards the social and religious problems.
It was under the influence of Marguerite de Lorraine that Alençon welcomed Luther's ideas. From 1529, the year in which the art of printing appeared in the city, the reformist book entitled The Little Catechism was printed by Simon Dubois, Parisian printer. It is thanks to her also that are built the convent of the Poor Clares, the Chapel Saint Joseph of the Park of the Castle and the completion of the construction of the church Saint-Léonard. Then, in the 16th century, the city of Alençon is attached to the royal domain. It is in the castle of Alençon that Marguerite de France, who is sister of François I, is settled with her husband the Duc d'Alençon and his mother-in-law, Marguerite de Lorraine.
In the seventeenth century, the fashion of lace appears. Alençon is then known around the world. Marguerite de Lorraine still holds a prominent place since she introduced the famous "point-cut" in the city. She offered an embroidery coat at St. Leonard's Church. Alençon becomes an explosive home of the art of lace making. A lace called "Point d'Alençon" is created by Madame La Perrière, on an imitation of the Venice Point. This lady would have employed nearly one-tenth of the population in her enterprises. Colbert also opens a factory dedicated to the production of Point de France, which will not last however. In 1760, is founded the factory of Point d'Alençon which knows ups and downs. The lace of Alençon end up suffering the competition of mechanical lace, and died in 1925. The lace school, however, has kept the tradition of the Lace Alençon. A workshop was created to remind the inhabitants, tourists and the world of the former glory of the Alençon Lace, "the national workshop of the Point d'Alençon". Ask for a car service if you want to discover the city of Alençon.
Alençon seems to have experienced a lot of economic difficulties, in addition to the decline of its lacemaking industries. Alençon was also home to Moulinex, the famous brand of small appliances, which Jean Mantelet created in 1937. The company was forced to close its doors after 65 years in existence ; but it was bought by the Seb Group and is now used as a plant and storage warehouse.
City filled with stories as well, Alençon will allow you to walk in the footsteps of famous personalities. Singer Daniel Balavoine - one of his songs is L'Aziza - is for example a native of Alençon. General Bonet, knight of the iron crown, is also born in Alençon and he gave his name to a barracks of the city. The author of The Human Comedy, Honoré de Balzac, also moved to Alençon in 1825 to write some novels under various pseudonyms. There is also General Charles de Gaulle or Anne-Marie Javouhey, founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Cluny. To go around the city and its great religious monuments, we put at your disposal a car service always on time.
What to visit in Alençon?
The Museum of Fine Arts and Lace
Lace has made Alençon famous all over the world. Even if today, it is no longer the subject of a large production using the mechanisms and resources used formerly, it is still reproduced by lacemakers during the national workshop of Point d'Alençon. The Museum of Fine Arts and Lace presents not only this technique which is the uniqueness of the city, but also other cultural heritages such as paintings, all of which is conventionally called "Albanian museum heritage of painting, lace and Cambodian ethnography ". Built in the mid-nineteenth century, in 1857, this heritage traces the history of lace in France and Europe. The Lace Point Alençon is inscribed Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO.
The psychotherapeutic center
Originally, the place is called "begging depot", a place "intended to enclose beggars, vagrants and people without confession". In short, this is a place described as the gathering of all human misery. Her direction is taken by Anne-Marie Javouhey and she brings a different vision of its occupants and how to treat them. He is thus renamed in 1831 Departmental hospital of insane and infirmary of the civil and military prisons of Alençon, then in Departmental Asylum of the insane if Orne after 1838.
Saint-Leonard de Vandœuvre would have left his family very young because he had decided to serve God living in austerity for years in a place called Saint-Léonard-des-Bois. He died in 570. His relics were moved to Corbigny in 868 to be protected from the Normans. Later, they were partially restored and deposited in an old chapel, which is at the current location of the Saint-Léonard church. This building imposes itself by its gothic interior, its ogival style, its stained glass windows representing the coat of arms of the houses of Alençon and Lorraine, to recall the Duke René d'Alençon and his wife Marguerite de Lorraine, who had the church built on the site of the chapel. St. Leonard is often invoked to cure deafness.
The park of the walks
Spanning an area of 4 hectares, this park is a popular place for both locals and tourists. It was built nearly 250 years ago, in 1783 and still remains today, after a single renovation in 1999. Located near the courthouse and the town hall, it offers relaxation areas for adults and children. children. The adults have the choice between lounging in front of the big pool, playing on the bowling green or strutting in front of the animal pens. From time to time, Albanian students come there to review. To enjoy your stay, we offer a professional transfer service of high quality.
Guided tour by a private driver with limousine in Alençon
Located in the Orne department, Alençon founded its reputation on lace. The town is 88.2 km from La Roche d'Oëtre and only 21 km from Notre-Dame de Sées Cathedral. For your airport transport, it is 213.7 km from CDG Airport and 240 km from Orly airport.