Coutances is a beautiful city with narrow, winding medieval streets and courtyards mixed with impressive 18th century town houses. The town is dominated by the thousand year old Norman cathedral of “Our Lady” with its two 80 metre high towers, Gothic buttresses and a beautiful octagonal lantern tower which allows wonderful light into the cathedral.
In the old town below the cathedral are the former parish church of Saint Nicolas with its simple Roman style, and the rebuilt 16th century church of St Peter which beautifully combines French Gothic with Renaissance style.
The public botanical gardens in the Rue Quesnel-Morinière were created in the 1850s and combine French symmetry with Italianate terraces, English-style copses, a maze and fountains.
Regular markets are held each Thursday and Saturday and there are hundreds of shops, cafes and restaurants to explore throughout the old town including the Taverne du Parvis near the cathedral and the Don Camillo. The city is famous for its craft industry and many carpenters, engravers and painters give demonstrations in their workshops.
During Ascension week (May), Coutances is the location for the internationally famous “Jazz sous les Pommiers” (Jazz under the apple trees). It is held annually and showcases a range of music from traditional New Orleans style jazz to modern electronic.
The city of Coutances is well worth a visit for its beautiful architecture and bustling market-town feel and is less than 20 minutes drive from our farmhouses.