Thursday, August 09, 2018

Domfront, France 2018

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Domfront is a fortified town with many surviving towers along remaining sections of the ramparts, the majority of which can be seen along the Rue des Fossés Pusson. Situated in the Orne Department of the Lower Normandy Region the town is in the National Parc Naturelle. 
The current Catholic church, St. Julien's, was built between 1924 and 1926 and replaced the earlier eighteenth century church damaged by a storm. The church, which was consecrated in 1933, has a square plan in Byzantine style and the interior decoration is largely mosaic tile. Following premature deterioration the church was closed in 2006 and underwent a major restoration from 2011 to 2013 before reopening.
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Another notable sight in town are the ruins of the medieval castle which was besieged by William the Conqueror, duke of Normandy in 1049. In 1092, the town's people revolted against the owner, Robert II de Bellême, and transferred their allegiance to the third son of William the Conqueror, Henri Beauclerc. Henri went on to become duke of Normandy and later, the King of England. Turbulent times continued for the next six centuries with ownership changing numerous times resulting from the location on the border of Normandy and Brittany.

In the adjacent community of Domfront-en-Poiraie is Notre-Dame-sur-l'Eau, the church of Lonlay Abbey priory. Built between the eleventh and twelfth centuries, it suffered many insults over the ensuing centuries but remains a key example of architecture in this region, although practically nothing of the original structure remains. 
Lonlay Abbey itself is in the nearby village of Lonlay and its construction likely took place from the middle of the eleventh century until about 1100. Typically Benedictine in style, it is a good example of Norman Romanesque architecture. More pictures here.


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