A passing by Viré !

As usual lately, digging into my vault of pictures found me one that led me to write this post. It’s a town need to see in detail ,this time it was just passing by Viré ! I like to included in my blog, after all, it is my life’s history of all places visited short or long. Hope you enjoy this new find as I.

The City of Vire is located in the Calvados department 14 of the Normandie region. The town is 30 km from Flers, 38 km from Saint-Lô and 60 km from Caen. The town is crossed by the departmental road 577 (former N 177) from Villers-Bocage to Mortain and by the D 524 (former N 24 bis) from Argentan to Granville. The D 674 (former N 174) from Vire to Carentan joins the D 577 to the north of the town. Flers, in the direction of Paris, is accessible by the D 524, Saint-Lô by the D 674 and Caen by the D 577. We have come down from the A84 rest area to the D674 .The train station of Vire is on the line of Paris-Vaugirard (Montparnasse 3) in Granville by which Villedieu- les-Poêles, Flers and Argentan can also be joined.

Vire Aire de la Vallée de la Vire Gouvets A84 going home 25sept11

A bit of history I like

In 1123, Henry I Beauclerc, King of England and Duke of Normandy, built on a rocky outcrop, bypassed by a meander of the Viré, a square keep with a first enclosure, to ensure the defense of the duchy against external support for its opponents, such as the troops of the Count of Anjou or the lords of Brittany, This set was, from the middle of the 13C, by order of Saint Louis, supplemented by external ramparts. This second enclosure was not completed until the beginning of the 14C. It corresponds to the current towers of Geôle, Saint-Sauveur, Raines, Douve and the Clock Gate, Under the reign of Louis XIII, like many defensive constructions of the Middle Ages that could serve possible rebellions (Huguenots in particular), the castle and its enclosure were dismantled on the orders of Richelieu,

Under the Terror,during the French revolution, the churches were closed, Notre-Dame became a fodder depot, Sainte-Anne a stable, Saint-Thomas a powder magazine and the Hôtel-Dieu a military hospital. A vast transfer of property, mainly benefiting the bourgeoisie, resulted from the sale of national assets. From 1795, the Chouans organized themselves in the bocage under the direction of Louis de Frotté. At the beginning of 1796, Viré was under siege. An attempt by Hoche to pacify the region failed and on October 25, 1799, de Frotté’s troops attacked Vire, which the national guardsmen, aided by reinforcements from across western Calvados, victoriously defended. The execution of de Frotté in February 1800 put an end to the Norman Chouannerie.

During WWII, on June 6, 1944 around 20h, like many other Norman towns, Viré suffered strategic Allied bombing and was destroyed at more than 95%, The soldiers of the 1st battalion of the 116th infantry regiment of the 29th US Infantry Division liberated the city on August 8, 1944, On January 1, 2016, Vire joined with seven other towns into the Viré-Normandie, The towns are Coulonces, Maisoncelles-la-Jourdan, Roullours, Saint-Germain-de-Tallevende-la-Lande-Vaumont, Truttemer-le-Grand, Truttemer-le-Petit, Vaudry and Viré, and Viré is the capital of the new town.

Things to see here and noted for a return visit are

The ruins of the 12C keep Tour de Coulonces. The sloped curtain platform located to the east of the castle. It currently serves as a retaining wall for the Place du Château. The ramparts will be demolished from 1720, and the ditches filled in. The Porte Horloge ,one of the entrance gates to the city,in the 13C and 15C is a square tower 33 meters high. Tour Saint-Sauveur ,only the north tower remains, 14C, Tour des Raînes (14C) near the southern end of the enclosure, at the corner of rue Valhérel, Tour de la Geôle. Tour de la Basirel corner of the enclosure. Tour de la Douve , located rue de la Douve which has since become rue Chênedollé.  The ramparts which replaced the old ditches, 7 meters wide and 5 meters deep.
Ruins of St. Thomas Church. It was originally dedicated to Saint Michael. This church, considered the oldest in the city, dates from the 12C. The base of the bell tower, the mutilated portal of the 12C and the bases of the walls of the nave remain. The  Church of Our Lady of Vire from the 13-16C. Built from around 1230, on the foundations of this chapel, in the primitive Gothic style, a new church was dedicated to Our Lady on July 20, 1272. It had to be restored in 1948 after the bombings of June 6, 1944. The 19C Sainte-Anne Church. Neo-Romanesque style. The Hôtel-Dieu (current Vire museum) from the 18C. The former convent of the Ursulines (became Saint-Louis hospice then Saint-Louis residence for the elderly within the hospital centre) from the 17-18C. The Hôtel Achard (17C ).  The Château du Cotin (18C, roof modified at the beginning of the 20C). King Charles X stayed here with his family on the night of August 11-12, 1830 during his exile to Great Britain. And of course, you have heard of the Andouille de Vire ,a charcuterie made from pork chaudin cut into strips before being stuffed into part of the large intestine. A local delicacy!

The City of Viré-Normandie on its heritage : https://www.virenormandie.fr/decouvrir-vire-normandie/histoire-et-patrimoine/

The Viré country tourist office on things to seehttps://www.paysdevire-normandy-tourism.com/sites-and-places-to-visit/

There you go folks, a nice introduction to nice Viré, for the memories of my road warrior trips. Looking forward to a formal visit eventually. Hope you enjoy the post and do visit it; worth the detour me think.

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

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5 Comments to “A passing by Viré !”

  1. I would like to add a bit of history, this is also the riding of the current Prime Minister 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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