Notre Dame Basilica of Alençon!!

And I am back in Alençon the wonderful historical town of the Orne in Normandy. This time will tell you about another hugely historical church and a Saint story as well; part of the history of France, Europe, and the World. Let me update for you and me the Notre Dame Basilica of Alençon!!


I am staying in Alençon as often by passed the town on my road warrior trips along the N12 but worth a vist on its own, and I finally did. This is Alençon, in the Orne department 61 of the Normandy region.  I like to tell you a bit about a monumental basilica that is a must to visit of all the wonderful things to visit in my belle France. I will tell you a bit on the Notre Dame Basilica of Alençon.  One of the shrines of my belle France.


The Basilica of Notre-Dame is a Gothic architecture church located in the Place de la Magdelaine in city center of Alençon in the pedestrian area. Its construction was begun by Charles III, Duke of Alençon at the time of the Hundred Years War in 1356 to end in the 19C ,it is a basilica since August 10, 2009. Many memorable moments for the Catholic faith were held here and is a must for all to learn about good and be good and do good. For all this is worth the detour.



Louis and Zélie Martin, parents of Saint Teresa of Lisieux, married on 13 July 1858 at the Basilica of Notre-DameSaint Teresa of Lisieux received the sacrament of Baptism here on 6 January, 1873 (pity her life only lasted 24 yrs) , two days after her birth. The dress of this ceremony is displayed in the Church. One can also see a contemporary stained glass representing the ceremony. The funeral of Zélie Martin ,her mother was celebrated in 1877. After the beatification of the Martin couple on 19 October 2008 in Lisieux, more and more pilgrims come to this Church. Thus, the Church of Notre-Dame of Alençon was officially erected in a minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI on August 10, 2009. As for Louis and Zélie Martin, they were canonized on 18 October 2015 by Pope Francisco.


Another local Blessed martyr was Marcel Denis, often went here with his family. He celebrated a last Mass in Alençon in March 1946 before leaving France for Laos in the Chapel of the Baptistery to mark his devotion to St. Teresa of the Child-Jesus, patron of the missions.


A bit on the Notre Dame Basilica and the history I like

This gothic building has a 15C nave with five bays of flamboyant Gothic style, from the early 16C. Following a fire, the choir and bell tower were rebuilt in the mid-18C. The lantern is from about 1736). And it has a triple portal. The Church has one of the most beautiful flamboyant Gothic portals in Normandy: A real stone lace, populated by statues illustrating the theme of transfiguration, rarely depicted. This façade contrasts with the very massive choir and steeple, rebuilt in the 18C after the monument was struck by lightning. The collection of stained glass, the elegance of the 15C nave and the fully restored organ are worth a visit indeed.


Well there you have it, one country and one soul, a very nice story. We need more of it today. I encourage you to visit even if not religious as the architecture and the surrounding neighborhood are superb with lots of quant shops and eating places.

Some webpage to help you in your visit plans and to know more are

The Orne dept 61 tourist office on the Notre Dame Basilica

The Sanctuary towns of France on Alençon

The Alençon tourist office on religious heritage

the city of Alençon on its heritage:

The official Sainte Thérése de Lisieux on the Notre Dame Basilica

And I hope you do come, a memorable beautiful Notre Dame Basilica on a very nice pleasant Alençon. And remember, happy travels, good health and many cheers to all!!!

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