Valdallière is a new town in the Normandy region of Calvados, 50 km south-west of Caen, on the border of the Orne.
The town was created on 1 January 2016 following the merger of 14 municipalities: its headquarters are in Vassy (1700 inhabitants), and the other thirteen villages are Bernières-le-Patry, Burcy, Chênedollé, The Desert, Estry, Montchamp, Stones, Presles, La Rocque, Rully, Saint-Charles-de-Percy, Theil-Bocage and Viessoix.
Outside of Vassy, which counts shops, services and craftsmen, the main part of the local economy is based on agriculture in a typical environment of Norman hedgerow (green hills enamelled of rich pasture and wooded areas). Near Vire (15 km), halfway between the beaches of the Allied landing of 1944 and the Mont-Saint-Michel, Valdallière which has a rich heritage offers to the amateurs of green tourism an ideal framework for the Rest, hiking, gourmet stages...
In terms of built heritage, the municipality has many buildings or sites of interest.
In Bernières-le-Patry, to see the Saint-Gerbold church (19th century), with an adjacent campanile, and especially the castle of La Rochelle, listed in the additional list of historical monuments. Built during the first half of the 19th century for a member of the Calvados at the Convention, the building had the characteristics of a neo-classical castle. In the second half of the century, extensions and interior renovation were undertaken. A tower has been added to the rear façade and extended pavilions. With an English park, this is a private property.
In Burcy, the church of Notre-Dame was classified as early as 1921. Its bases date back to the 11th century but it has been the subject of many revisions, such as its 16th century framework. The painted ceiling of the chapel under the bell tower (16th century), the Gothic porch with stone benches, a 17th century altarpiece and statues of the Virgin and Child (XVIIth century).
Amazing: in the attic of the church, a colony of large mice (bats) protected under Natura 2000.
In Chênedollé, the Saint-Georges church (19th century) houses a high relief representing Saint George slaying the dragon (classified).
In the village of the Desert, to see the church of Notre-Dame, dating from the 15th century but restored in the 19th century, and Estry, besides a 17th century manor, take a detour to admire the coniferous yew known for being the Oldest of France (estimated age: 1,600 years!). The diameter of the trunk is greater than 3 m.
In Montchamp, the Saint-Martin church (nineteenth century) houses three classified paintings of the eighteenth century. Also worth seeing is the reproduction of the cave of Lourdes, which was built in 1908 after the miraculous healing of a parishioner during a pilgrimage to Lourdes.
In Pierres, you can stop at the church of Saint-Pierre (15th century), which houses an interesting altarpiece and a statue of St. Lawrence of the seventeenth century.
The long circuit connecting the old communes of Valdallière can then continue to Presles, where the castle of the Heuserie was erected in the eighteenth century, then to La Rocque, whose church Saint-Étienne-et-Sainte-Anne (XVIIIe) Houses a Virgin with the child of the 14th century and a precious tabernacle of the 17th century.
In Rully, one will linger in the chapel Notre-Dame de Consolation, dedicated to the memory of the dead of the First World War, and which has four windows made by the masters of the workshops Lorin de Chartres.
At Saint-Charles-de-Percy, the Saint-Charles church, listed, dates from the 18th century. Housed in a sacristy that has preserved superb woodwork, topped with a tower bell tower with imperial roof (curved), one will notice inside the Rocaille decoration (notably loaded with pebbles and shells).
But the village is also famous for its military cemetery, where 809 soldiers (806 British soldiers and 3 Canadian soldiers) are buried. Most were killed between July and early August 1944 during the offensive in the direction of Vire.
In Theil-Bocage, to see the church of Saint-Martin (15th and 17th centuries), or the castle of Theil.
In Vassy, beyond the remains of an 18th-century castle, the Templar chapel on the complementary list of historical monuments will attract attention (at the place called "L'Hôpital", 4 km town). The Commandery of the Templars of Courval was founded around 1150 and transferred in 1307 to the hospital brothers of Saint-Jean-de-Jerusalem (future order of Malta). The chapel is composed of a Romanesque choir, a nave of the beginning of the 13th century, a framework of the 15th or 16th century. The building was used as a barn until 1991, but has kept its 15th century wall paintings. The other buildings of the commandery have disappeared.
In Viessoix, finally, the church of Saint-André dates from the XIIth and XIIIth centuries, then was revised in the XVIIIe. Inside, a plaque lists the names of the pastors of the parish since... 1382!
Most of these sites as well as places of interest or natural points of interest mark several hiking trails designed by the municipality and which cross the hedgerow. Some can be borrowed from VTT or even horse. Maps and information on +33 2 31 66 23 90.
Other excursions can lead further, following for example the valley of the Vire. Information on +33 2 31 27 90 30.
On the occasion of a walk, a visit to the garden of Jumaju, in Montchamp, can be pleasant and instructive: this National Conservatory of Ancient Roses presents in a bucolic frame 2 000 varieties of roses united by passionate gardeners. Open from the end of May to the 14th of July, every day from 10 am to 6 pm except on Friday. Entry: 6,50 euros. Free for children under 16 years old. Outside the flowering period, conferences and workshops are organized. Information on +33 2 31 67 34 09.
Finally, the swimming pool of Vassy can allow a refreshing and sporting parenthesis... Entrance: 2.20 and 3.20 euros. Information on +33 2 31 09 05 94.