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Bricquebec (Municipality, Manche, France)

Last modified: 2017-05-31 by ivan sache
Keywords: manche | bricquebec | lion (green) |
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[Flag of Bricquebec] image by Arnaud Leroy

Source: Michel Hersent

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Presentation of the municipality

Bricquebec is a city of c. 5,000 inhabitants.

The name of the city shows its Viking origin. The city was built in a place called Brekkubekk, lit. 'the brook in the slope'. The suffix -bec is very common in Normandy and has nothing to do with a beak (bec in modern French), but is related to German Bach or Dutch beek. In the North of France, a brook is very often still called a becque. In A la recherche du temps perdu, the French novelist Marcel Proust invented a sea resort on the model of Cabourg, and made it even "more" Normand by calling it Balbec (which was not at all inspired by Baalbek in Syria).

The area corresponding to the department of Manche, called Cotentin, was incorporated into the Duchy of Normandy in 933, 22 years after the formation of the Duchy. In 942, a member of the Ducal family called Ansbeck was the first lord of Bricquebec. One of his decendants, Robert Bertrand I, founded the Bertrand family, who ruled Bricquebec until 1353. In the XIIth century, a first stone castle was built to replace the former wooden castle. In the XIVth century, the castle had already got its current design. The donjon is a 17-m high and 50-m diameter, polygonal tower and had originally four floors (now destroyed).
In 1515, the d'Estouteville family abandoned the donjon and built a more comfortable and warm castle, in which the lords of Bricquebec lived until the French Revolution. The last baroness of Bricquebec was Louise Caroline Goyon de Matignon (1774-1846), a descendant of Saint-Louis and the Bertrand family.
After the Revolution, the castle was given to Jean-Léonor Le Marois, born in Bricquebec. Le Marois was a close friend of Napoléon Bonaparte and one of his best men when Bonaparte married Joséphine de Beauharnais. Le Marois was appointed General of Division and retired in 1815 in the castle of Bricquebec.

The Abbbey Nôtre-Dame-de-Grâce is located not far from Bricquebec. It is also known as the Trappe de Bricquebec. This Cistercian abbey was founded in 1824 by abbot Onfray.


  • Guide Vert Michelin Normandie-Cotentin
  • Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 20 March 2002

Description of the flag

The flag of Bricquebec is yellow with a green lion having red tongue and claws.

Ivan Sache, 20 March 2002