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Alençon (Municipality, Orne, France)

Last modified: 2021-07-01 by ivan sache
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Presentation of Alençon

The municipality of Alençon (25,575 inhabitants in 2018; 1,068 ha;) was established on 1 January 2016 as the merger of the former municipalities of Bagnoles-de-l'Orne and Saint-Michel-des-Andaines.

Alençon is first documented in the 7th century. During the 10th century, Alençon was a buffer territory between Normandy and Maine.
In 1049-1051, William Duke of Normandy, later known as William the Conqueror, laid siege to the town, which had risen in support of the Count of Anjou. According to Duke William's chaplain, William of Poitiers, the defenders of the fortress refused to surrender and mockingly waved animal hides from the castle walls, referencing William's lineage as the grandson of a tanner. In response to this, William had 32 prisoners of the town's hands and feet cut off, prompting a sudden surrender. Alençon was occupied by the English during the Anglo-Norman wars of 1113 to 1203.
The town became the seat of a duchy in 1415, belonging to the sons of the King of France until the French Revolution.

A long-standing local fabric industry gave birth to the town's famous "point d'Alençon" lace in the 18th century. The economic development in the 19th century was based on iron foundries and mills in the surrounding region. In the first half of the 20th century the town developed a flourishing printing industry.
Alençon was home to Sts. Louis Martin and Marie-Azélie Guérin, the parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. In 2008, they were the first spouses in the history of the Catholic Church to be proposed for sainthood as a couple.

Olivier Touzeau, 17 March 2021

Former flag of Alençon


Former flag of Alençon - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 17 March 2021

The former flag of Alençon (photo), used until 2017 and the adoption of a new logo, was white with the municipal logo of the time.

Olivier Touzeau, 17 March 2021