The Secret Quests : Falaise

The Treasure of Falaise

Visit the Falaise tourist office to start your quest and follow in the footsteps of William the Conqueror.

Stage 1 | The church of Saint Laurent

Knights, our quest begins here! This is where you must solve the first riddle! It is also the place where my own adventure began, for this building is among those that saw me grow up.
The mystery

Well done! You can now head for the Church of the Holy Trinity, and continue your journey!
By Jove! Be particularly observant, it's neither an object, nor an animal.
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A short history lesson

The church of Saint Laurent is among the oldest in Falaise. Certain features, still visible today, date back to William the Conqueror's period.

Stage 2 | The Church of the Holy Trinity

Here we are at the Church of the Holy Trinity. If you pass by the paved Tréguillet pathway, you can admire lots of gargoyles! The church nave dates from the Hundred Years' War, yet it suffered severe damage by a German bombardment in 1944. Inside the church, simply revel in the magnificent choir vault.
The mystery

The Holy Trinity's choir vault, of exceptional architectural design, was rebuilt identical to the original choir following a fire. What material was used to build the vault?
You are worthy of your rank! Now follow me to the statue edified in my own glory!
Are you sure? Here's a new clue, it's something that floats.
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A short history lesson

Founded in 840, this church represents Falaise's oldest parish. A small community lived in the parish, located below the castle and protected by its ramparts.

Stage 3 | William the Conqueror’s equestrian statue

This statue was inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry - it portrays me on horseback at the Battle of Hastings. By Louis Rocher, a Parisian artist, it celebrates my victory and my courage, and was even displayed for a few weeks on the Champs Élysées.
The mystery

If you look round the base of the statue of William the Conqueror arriving at the Battle of Hastings, you will see the lineage of the Dukes of Normandy who preceded him. How many figures can you see?
How clever you are! OK, let's gallop our way to the town hall!
Oops, sorry, count again! Add a finger to your hand and you'll find the right number!
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A short history lesson

Si l’on n’est pas sur qu’elle s’applique à cette œuvre en particulier, les statues équestres ont une signification. Si le cheval a les 2 membres avant cabrés, le personnage représenté est mort au combat. S’il n’a qu’un membre en l'air, le personnage est mort assassiné et si les quatre membres sont au sol, il s’agit d’une mort de causes naturelles.

Stage 4 | The Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall) and the Battle of Hastings Memorial

Welcome to the Town Hall, where you can see the Memorial to the famous Battle of Hastings! To the rear of the Town Hall, you can admire a plaque in memory of my companions in arms who were killed in action during my many battles.
The mystery

I played a heroic role in the Battle of Hastings alongside William the Conqueror. As legend has it, I personally asked for permission to launch the hostilities against our enemy and my death marked the start of the battle. My name is:
Knight! How I would have loved to fight with you at Hastings! Let's head for the Ante Valley and Arlette's Fountain!
Think of a metal and you're sure to find the answer.
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A short history lesson

The Battle of Hastings took place on the 14th of October 1066. It opposed William Duke of Normandy's troops with Harold Count of Wessex's army. They both claimed the throne of England. William was victorious and was crowned on Christmas Day 1066.

Stage 5 | The Ante Valley and Arlette's Fountain

This place is very dear to me, for this is the very spot where my parents met. My father first noticed my mother from his high castle walls, and it was near the fountain that their romance began.
The mystery

Read the poem on Arlette's fountain and find out what Robert 'the Magnificent' was doing when he noticed his future wife for the very first time:
Well done! Let's hurry now! We must head for the ramparts and the Porte des Cordeliers gate!
Remember that, above all, my father was a warrior and you'll find the answer!
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A short history lesson

It was in the spring of 1027 that Robert the Magnificent, Duke of Normandy, first set eyes on a young girl named Arlette, daughter of one of the town's tanners, as she was washing her linen near the fountain. William was born from their union in December 1027. He was given the epithet 'the bastard' for, contrary to his father, his mother was not of noble blood.

Stage 6 | The city ramparts and the Porte des Cordeliers gate

I never had the pleasure of knowing this 13th century site, which has remained unchanged since its origins. Take a truly picturesque stroll along the ramparts and revel in this magnificent change of scenery.
The mystery

One of the following terms is frequently used to designate the Porte des Cordeliers. Do you know which one?
You're quite right! Let's head for Falaise Castle now, to discover our treasure!
By Jove no! The answer doesn't start with the letter 'B'.
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A short history lesson

Certain sections of the ramparts are built in fishbone style, referred to as opus piscatum. The stones are at a 45° angle form the horizontal plane and change direction at each layer. Opus piscatum was a widely-used construction technique from the 10th to the 13th century.

Stage 7 | Falaise Castle

Here we are at the end of our adventure! I hope you will enjoy your tour of this magnificent place! Simply head for the reception desk and say,

The trail

Places to eat nearby

  • Ibis Kitchen Restaurant Rue des Frères Michaut
    14700 FALAISE
    Tel : 02 31 90 11 00 Visit the website
  • Le Jardin 7 & 9 rue du 9e Arrondissement de Paris
    14700 FALAISE
    Tel : 02 31 90 20 74 Visit the website
  • Au Cochon de lait 20 rue Trinité
    14700 FALAISE
    Tel : 02 31 90 06 81
  • La Renaissance 28 place du Docteur German
    14700 FALAISE
    Tel : 02 31 90 18 35
  • L'Océane 10 route de la gare
    14690 PONT-D'OUILLY
    Tel : 02 31 67 88 41 Visit the website
  • Bar de l'Isle 4 rue de Bretagne
    14690 PONT-D'OUILLY
    Tel : 02 31 69 98 73

Places to sleep nearby

  • Hôtel Ibis Rue des Frères Michaut
    14700 FALAISE
    Tel : 02 31 90 11 00 Visit the website
  • Le Relais du Commerce 8 Rue de Falaise
    14690 PONT-D'OUILLY
    Tel : 02 31 69 80 16
  • Hôtel de La Place - Chez Fanny 1 Place du marché
    Place des halles
    14690 PONT-D'OUILLY
    Tel : 02 31 69 40 96 Visit the website

See also...

  • Château Guillaume-le-Conquérant Place Guillaume Le Conquérant
    14700 FALAISE
    Tel : 02 31 41 61 44 Visit the website More Infos
  • Musée André Lemaître Boulevard de la Libération
    14700 FALAISE
    Tel : 02 31 90 02 43 Visit the website
  • La fontaine d'Arlette Lieu dit le Val d'Ante
    14700 FALAISE
  • Eglise Sainte-Anne 14620 NORREY-EN-AUGE Tel : 02 31 90 59 05
  • Chapelle Saint-Vigor 14700 SAINT-MARTIN-DE-MIEUX Tel : 02 31 90 17 26 Visit the website
  • Abbaye Sainte-Marie aux Dames 1 chemin de l'Abbaye
    14420 VILLERS-CANIVET
    Tel : 02 31 90 81 80 Visit the website