Arrivée à Domfront à vélo © J. Damase - Orne

The medieval fortified town of Domfront

An historic Norman frontier town and a popular stopping point on the old road from Paris to the great pilgrimage island of the Mont-Saint-Michel, Domfront dominates from its height the typical surrounding patchwork of fields and hedgerows known as bocage. The town offers a fine example of medieval urban architecture and much of its centre has been prettily renovated.

Long known as Domfront-en-Passais, the place developed its fortifications in the 11th and 12th centuries. Rising 80 metres above the Varenne River, it guarded the entrance to the fertile lands of the Passais area.

The historic centre is protected by ramparts along which 13 of the original 24 towers are still standing. Despite its defences, medieval Domfront was occupied by English forces on several occasions, once for a ten year period, only being liberated after a ransom was paid.

From the top of the town, admire the rich lands below. At first sight, the waterways stand out; these parts aren’t just irrigated by the Varenne, but also by the Egrenne and Mayenne, forming lovely bucolic valleys perfect for getting out and about in nature. All around, the green of the meadows and pastures stands out. The grass here is reputed for its quality and is a delight for the many horses and milk-producing cows that graze in the area.


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