Bagnoles de l'Orne is the jewel of the Normandy Maine Regional Park, halfway between the Normandy landing beaches and the Loire Châteaux, Paris and Mont Saint Michel. Cradled in the heart of the forest of Andaine, this spa town boast an unspoiled landscape that inspired the tales and legends of the Arthurian knight Lancelot du Lac
The villas and thermal facilities built around the main hot spring preserve the flair of the Belle Epoque golden era, while the green surroundings are popular for outdoor pursuits such as rambling, cycling, Nordic walking and fishing. The town offers a wide range of activities, with the Casino, the Counting Fire Brigade Museum, a golf course, tennis courts, and a buzzing cultural calendar, specially busy during summertime.
Bagnoles-de-l’Orne was built on a site chosen for its calm natural environment, with a hot spring renowned for its healing properties since Medieval times. Many legends surround the spring, and all describe people and animals havig been miraculously restored to health by drinking the waters. The tale of Rapide, an aging horse from a medieval lord worn out in the battle and abandoned in the forest, is particularly popular, and illustrates the born of the spa town.
Since 1886, the spa towns developed around the Résidence du Lac and the Casino, both set in a park surrounding the lake, with lavish hotels and villas to welcome the elite visitors that came to Normandy's only thermal springs. This "Quartier Belle Epoque" is preserved today as a rare, authentic architectural heritage, with an unique style due to the use of local materials: granite and sandstone, slate from north Mayenne, tiles from Calvados and wood for balconies
The legend of Artur and the Knights of the Round Table was first written down at the court of Alienor of Aquitaine, at Domfront, some 12 miles to the west of Bagnoles de l'Orne. Since that time, Bagnoles de l'Orne has inspired writers to locate the tales of one of the best-known Arthurian Knights, Lancelot du Lac, here.
Follow in the footsteps of this noble Knight and discover new aspects of this great theme of western medieval literature with a special guided tour at Bagnoles de l'Orne
In the past, the acidic aquamarine waters from Le Grans Source were said to rejuvenate those who drank them,and today are still sought after for the treatment of rheumatism, osteo-arthritis, circulatory and vein problems and gynaecology.
The waters can be enjoyed at the B'O Resort in Bagnoles de l'Orne, either with a 3-weeks water cure at the Thermes or just for a short break at the Thermal Spa. Beauty and well-being treatments benefit from the active ingredients of the famouse Normandy apples picked from the surrounding orchards.
At the turn of the 21st century, Bagnoles de l’Orne is the ideal town to spend your holidays in one of its 38 hotels or even in the pleasant campsite. Pamper yourelf at the spa, hire a bike to visit the green contryside, walk along the marked paths and tracks of the Andaina forest - you may spot some red deers! - or discover the romantic flowered town in a horse drawn carriage.
The cultural calendar includes the Music Festival in June, the Street Theatre Festival all the summer, the marvellous Fireworks in July & August, horses races, rose shows and many others events.
Land of history, legends, culture and sport, Bagnoles de l'Orne is also a place for gourmets,with tasty local specialities like cheeses, black puddings, macaroons or foie gras available at local markets and restaurants. Don't forget to taste the local cider and Calvados brandy!
General view of the Belle Époque quartier and the lake
Built between 1855 and 1859 the Château de la Roche houses Bagnoles' city council
The Art Nouveau-style Casino is a place of leisure and enterntainment with its own cinema, concert hall and a restaurant with a panoramic view over the lake
In the autumn, with the first fall of leaves, the Andainw forest is a wonderful place to pick: Bolets, Cèpes de Bordeaux , Angels Trumpets...
The Fire Brigade Museum houses the biggest collection of horse-drawn hand pumps in France.
The Chên Houx villa offers tourist acommodation in a classic Belle Èpoque building
Horse races at Bagnoles
Le Jardin Retiré, an intimate and refined place where, among shrubs and old trees you can see the famous Bagnoles' roses flourish over the seasons