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Trip Planner Europe  /  France  /  Normandy  /  Basse-Normandie  /  Orne  /  Argentan

Argentan

4.5
Historic Sites · Bars & Clubs · Churches
Argentan is a commune and the seat of two cantons and of an arrondissement in the Orne department in northwestern France.Argentan is located 180km NE of Rennes, 131km ENE of the Mont Saint-Michel, 188km SE of Cherbourg, 58km SSE of Caen, 133km SW of Rouen and 100km N of Le Mans.HistoryArgentan is situated near the Orne River. Although the region was heavily populated during the Gallo Roman period the town is not mentioned until 1025–1026. The toponym comes from the Gaulois words, argentos (silver) and magos (market). The town grew in importance during the Middle Ages.Throughout the Middle Ages, Argentan was either a rich place or totally burnt. English forces occupied the city several times. The Plantagenet had considered this town as one of the most important of Normandy.During the reign of Louis XIV, Colbert set Alençon against Argentan in an economic competition on lace making. Thus, the point d'Argentan ("Argentan stitch") and the point d'Alençon ("Alençon stitch") were created. Argentan became a very important town for traditional industry. It also gained in religious importance with the building of a Benedictine Abbey and two churches, Saint-Martin and Saint-Germain. Several mansions (hôtels particuliers) were also built.
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