The Maison d’Ozé of Alençon!

And here I take you now on a bit of a tour of Alençon , an off the beaten path city of my belle France. This is the Orne dept 61 of the region of Normandy. Let me tell you a bit of what you get to see its the tourist office now!

The Maison d’Ozé or House of Ozé from the 14C of monumental and severe aspect, this house with simple lines and pure, half-manor, half-strong house, with the thick walls, is a construction of granite located at n ° 10 of the rue d’Etoupée, between the ramparts of Plénître and the Place de la Magdeleine ,then occupied by the cemetery of Notre-Dame parish. The main part, comprising a large porch, belongs to the transition style of the second half of the 15C; the adjoining pavilion, with pointed roofs, is of the following century, but it was built in harmony with the latter. The first floor is lit by several high windows, some of which have mullions. The interior of the building is composed of very beautiful rooms. The rear facade, overlooking a garden, includes a cylindrical turret with a square top. From the garden, the visitor can see vestiges of ramparts constituting the fences of this property and which recall the fortified city.


Guillaume Le Coustellier, alderman of the city, secretary of the Duke of Alençon Charles IV and son-in-law of Catherine Le Gay, lady of Ozé owned it. On the death of Guillaume, who became lord of Ozé after the death of his mother-in-law, hence the name given to the house, the hotel falls to his daughter Jeanne, wife of Jean de Frotté, secretary of the Duchess of Alençon Marguerite d’Orléans, who sells it to François, her elder brother in 1566. It is he who has built the pavilion adjoining the building. His eldest son, Thomas, maitre d’hôtel of the King of Navarre, future Henri IV, married in 1573 Françoise de Courdemanche who, it is said, will make several honors of the residence to welcome the Vert-Galant.  The property remains in the hands of the family Le Coustellier until 1616, date when it is sold and subsequent purchases to 1854, the building wasthen  bought by the City of Alençon in 1861 in the project, it is then used in 1865 to house the fine arts exhibition, as a barracks in September 1871, then converted into a nursery school.

The Historical Society moved into two rooms from 1906 to 1927, when the museum was built there until 1981. The school of music found its place in the building until 1973. The Hôtel du Mesnil now houses exhibition halls and the services of the Tourist Office. In the garden, there is a granite window, with a lintel double brace and shield, from the destruction of the oven ban which was located rue du Bercail. This window would be that of the girl’s room, or of the wife, of the keeper who would have had kindness for the King of Navarre , again!  in 1576. At the foot of the Maison d’Ozé there is an experimental garden of  585 m2 of orchards managed for maintenance by the town of Alençon and the Orne Horticulture Society.


City of Alencon on heritage and monuments

Tourist office of Alencon on things to see and do

There you go an unique walk and very educational to get knowledge into the city of Alençon. Do hope you enjoy this off the beaten path gem of the Orne in  Normandy.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


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