Admire the spectacular view of the valley from this dungeon and fortress and imagine the moats that once wrapped around the structure.
The Château d’Avranches is a dungeon and castle complex dating back to the 10th century. Wrapped in vines, moss and trees, the stone ramparts have survived more than a millennium to rise proudly from the heart of Avranches. Recognize the castle by the many medieval flags hoisted on its protruding wall.
Make your way along paths that meander around the tiered grassy patches of the pleasant gardens. Get a closer look at the colorful plants and flowers flanking the grounds. The castle stands on a hill, offering stunning views of the pastoral surroundings of Avranches. For an even better vista, go to the top of the keep and take in the gorgeous scenery of the surrounding valley and the sea.
Admire the state of the preserved walls that have endured centuries, while other parts of the castle fell apart in the 1800s. Further destruction was caused by heavy bombing in World War II. Note that some of the destroyed sections have been reconstructed over the years. As you circle around the fortress, trace the lines and indents where moats and enclosures once existed.
Think about the history of the castle, which was constructed on top of old Roman ruins in 950 by Onfroi le Dane. The estate then passed through the hands of various rulers, including William the Conqueror and the English invaders.
The castle and its surroundings are open to visit for free. Pets are allowed in the site. Parking spaces are available outside.
The Château d’Avranches is located a little north of the city center of Avranches. Walk southeast from the town’s railway station for a little less than 20 minutes to reach the castle.
While you’re in the area, be sure to visit the Musée Municipal d’Art et d’Histoire, the Scriptorial and the Mairie de la Ville d’Avranches.