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Soaring spires

The cathedral town of Sées (or Sees) is situated in the beautiful countryside of Lower Normandy in northern France. It is famed first and foremost for its beautiful cathedral which is an imposing building, gothic in style, with twin spires and some fabulous stained glass windows. It is so beautiful and evocative of its time that it is used as a film set for period films and dramas, including the Luc Besson film about Joan of Arc. There is more to see in Sées than its cathedral, however. It is a popular venue for tourists as it is a clean, attractive town with plenty of art and cultural activities taking place throughout the year.

Religious and cultural sights and events

Sées is, of course, a town founded on religion, and was an important episcopal town. Thus, there are many religious sites to visit, and these include the Sées Cathedral, the Abbey Church of Saint Martin, and a museum of religious and folk art. In the summer months the Sées Cathedral is frequently illuminated by spectacular sound and light shows, which prove a great draw for tourists. Secular events include a yearly music festival held in the spring, as well as assorted fêtes and festivals throughout the year.

A river runs by...

The Orne River runs beside Sées, and this makes the town even more picturesque. The theme is continued with lots of lovely historic buildings, and a wide variety of charming shops and restaurants, all of which enhance the delightful ambience of the town. Sées is able to provide for most modern requirements, and you will find plenty of facilities for banking, health care, education and such necessities.

Out and about

The lovely Normandy countryside invites you to explore further, and Sées makes a great base for this. Visit the attractive market town of Mortagne au Perche, or spend some time discovering Orne's capital of Alençon, with its half-timbered houses and Saturday market. Take a trip to see the apple orchards and cider producers for which Normandy is known, and try a glass or two to complement the delicious creamy Camembert cheese, also made in the region. The active types among you will be able to find plenty of opportunities to indulge in your favoured sports. Among the most popular in this area are horse-riding, cycling and walking.

How to get there

If you want to travel by air you can fly to Cherbourg from Southampton with flybe, or you can get to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport with a number of airlines from departure airports around Britain. These include British Airways, Air France, bmi, bmibaby, flybe, easyJet, Thomsonfly, Aer Lingus and Jet2. Ferry travel to the port of Caen is an excellent option, and one which is set to be even better by the end of 2008, when work on the new motorway is due to be completed. Meanwhile other ferry ports close by are found at Le Havre, Dieppe, Cherbourg and St Malo. Rail travel is yet another good choice, with Eurostar taking you to Paris from where you can link to local services for Sées.

Property prices and availability in and around Sées

Property around Sées benefits from being far enough away from Paris to keep prices down, but close enough to be able to access the city easily. Prices will rise, however, as more and more buyers are looking to the region to find their French property. At the time of writing there are a good number of renovation properties and building plots available.

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Sées is located in the north-west of France. It lies slightly to the south-west of central Orne.

Sées Property Map


Lower-Normandy Guide

Lower-Normandy Property Map


Orne Guide

  Orne Map

Population: 4,547

Access: By air: Fly to Cherbourg or to Paris. By boat: The nearest ferry ports are found at Caen, Le Havre, Dieppe, Cherbourg and St Malo. By road: There is a new motorway under construction (A88) which will link Sées to Falaise, and then Falaise to Caen.

Economy: The economy is varied and developing. Beer brewing is one important industry here, and tourism is also significant.

Interesting fact: Luc Besson's film about Joan of Arc was filmed here, using the Sées Cathedral as a set.


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