As a former city of the Dukes of Normandy and capital of the Orne, the city of Alençon, known since the 17th century for its lace, has a rich architectural and cultural heritage.
The old Alençon, a source of inspiration for the famous novelist Balzac, is littered with houses with wooden facades and mansions with cast-iron balconies and truly invites to be discovered. Among the sights that are not to be missed are the Notre-Dame church with its magnificent portal from the 16th century in flamboyant Gothic style; the house of Ozé, former residence of the Duke of Alençon, with an orchard with old species; the castle of the dukes with its tower with meis-cords (cages); the birthplace of Sainte Thérèse de Lisieux with its chapel …
Another attraction of the city, the Museum of Fine Arts and Lace, is housed in an old Jesuit college and houses sumptuous collections of lacework and paintings.
Every Thursday and Saturday morning there is a market full of colors and smells on the Place de la Magdeleine, at the foot of the Notre-Dame church.