The château de Pirou : a medieval gem

Discover this legendary site and the unmissable Châteaux of La Manche
Photo, © Best Jobers

Do you love fairy tales, Viking sagas and medieval fortresses? Then head off to explore the Château de Pirou, just a short distance from Coutances, and step into a world of legend! The well-preserved medieval walls of the Château de Pirou hold some ancient treasures. The stone keep, historic buildings and unusual tapestry will take you back in time, while the old stones still tell the famous legend of the Pirou geese.

Take your family to see the other unmissable Châteaux of La Manche. There’s something for everyone, from history buffs to curious little knights! Costumed tours, an escape game and local events await you!

The château de Pirou
a medieval site steeped in legend

A stronghold that takes you back to the Middle Ages


Welcome to the 12th century at the Château de Pirou, set in the heart of a Viking site not far from the sea. Protecting the surrounding inlet, the castle once stood against invasions from the sea.

Go through the five fortified gates of this gem of medieval architecture. The path will take you around the central moat to the defensive gates that open onto one of the best preserved sites in Normandy.

Photo, © Withaxie

The legend of the Pirou geese

During your visit to the Château de Pirou, you’ll hear the story of the Pirou geese, a popular legend dating back to the Scandinavian invasions. An enchanted spellbook, a mysterious transformation and a Viking atmosphere: all the ingredients for the magic to work!

Enjoy this bewitching tale, said to explain why wild geese stop in La Manche every year on their annual migration. Pause at the foot of the ramparts, look up to the sky and let your imagination do the rest!


Photo, © David Daguier - CD50

The embroidered cloth of Pirou 

a historical tapestry made in La Manche

Exhibited in the Château de Pirou, the Pirou Tapestry is an impressive embroidered cloth telling the story of the conquest of southern Italy and Sicily by the Hauteville brothers from the Cotentin peninsula. Inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry, this embroidery took 16 years to complete and is well worth a look during your visit to the Château. You’ll be amazed by the level of detail of this work, produced with the Bayeux stitch technique. The colourful, whimsical characters will take you on an epic journey!

Which Châteaux to visit in La Manche?
Our selection


The château de Gratot


Just a few miles from Coutances, centuries of history are tucked behind the walls of the Château de Gratot. Go over the wide moat and enter the remains of the Château, which was built between the 13th and 18th centuries. Stroll between its four towers and impressive medieval buildings to the vaulted cellars. If you listen carefully, you might hear whispering at the bottom of the Fairy Tower. Legend has it that the Fairy Andaine once disappeared through the window here, leaving a handprint on the wall. To find out about the different legends surrounding the Château, you can visit it on your own all year round, or with a guide on request. In summer, the Château de Gratot hosts temporary exhibitions of work by local artists.


Photo, © Withaxie

The château de Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte


Immerse yourself in medieval history at the Château de Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte, in the centre of La Manche. In the walled enclosure of this listed historic building, the past comes to life. The Château was besieged twice during the Hundred Years’ War, and you’ll hear all about it during a tour with a guide from the Pays d’Art et d’Histoire du Clos du Cotentin association. Journey back in time as you explore the impressive keep, towers and prison courtyard.

The château de Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

The Château des Ravalet


The Domaine des Ravalet in Cherbourg stretches over 18 hectares, divided between its Château and its natural areas. At the centre of the park, which is a classified “Jardin Remarquable” (exceptional garden), stands the Château des Ravalet with its blue shale façade, a Renaissance gem. Of the building’s 30 rooms, five are open for guided tours in summer. Exhibitions are also held regularly in the grounds of the Château.

The château des Ravalet

Photo, © Withaxie

The château des Montgommery


Standing just next to the village of Ducey, around 20 km from Mont Saint-Michel, is the lovely Château des Montgommery. This listed historic building, built in the 17th century, watches serenely over the entrance to the village from the banks of the Sélune river. Art and architecture blend here to take you back through the centuries. The painted ceilings, monumental staircase and murals are just some of the architectural highlights of the Château.


Photo, © Aymeric Picot

The Ducey-Code

For a different way to enjoy the Château des Montgommery, try the Ducey Code, a life-size police investigation game: fun for all the family in a special place! In summer, the Château also organises night tours.


The château de Carneville


Tucked away in the Val de Saire, the Château de Carneville and its seven hectares of superb parkland are well worth a visit! The Château is full of surprises, with its white stone façade and 18th century architecture, along with eco-friendly gardens that are teeming with diversity.

Guillaume, its owner, is passionate about the Château and strives to ensure this gem is a place for people to meet and enjoy culture. Different activities and events are held regularly at the Château, showcasing local producers and environmental issues. There’s even a bakery hidden within its walls, which is used to make artisanal organic bread.

The château de Carneville

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

The château d’Urville-Nacqueville

La Hague

Just 20 minutes from Cherbourg stands the Château d’Urville-Nacqueville, with its elegant granite façade and its stone roof characteristic of manor houses in the Cotentin Peninsula. The Château is a listed historic building, and is also known for its exceptional garden that stretches down to the sea through a lush valley. You can visit the Château d’Urville-Nacqueville during the Journées du Patrimoine (French heritage days) or on request.

The château d'Urville-Nacqueville

Photo, © Château d'Urville-Nacqueville

The château de Chanteloup


Not far from Granville stands the Château de Chanteloup, where you’ll get an unexpected taste of medieval history with the opportunity to sample local products. Explore this family Château built in the 11th century and travel back to the Middle Ages on a costumed guided tour! Between the Hundred Years’ War, the Wars of Religion and the French Revolution, the Château de Chanteloup has survived the passage of time, with its Renaissance façade and impressive keep bearing witness to the centuries.

In addition to its historical heritage, the Château de Chanteloup is also part of a cider making estate run in association with the Ferme de la Butte. Inside, you’ll find an interesting cider museum and a shop selling local products. Take a look at the old cider presses and read about the events that have marked the Château. As a bonus, try a delicious tasting session! Other thematic visits are held at the Château de Chanteloup, in particular during the “La Ferme en Folie” family festival organised in and around Granville.

The château de Chanteloup

Photo, © Estelle Cohier

The Châteaux de Flamanville, Canisy and Crosville: enjoy the other Châteaux of the Manche with a stroll through their unusual parks!

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