to Le Mans. ALENÇON. 26. Route. 191
Beyond Sées the scenery improves. 6iy2 M. Vingt-Hanaps, a
prettily situated village.
68 M. Alençon (Grand Cerf, de France, Rue St. Biaise Nos. 13
and 1 ; de la Gare. — Cafés in the Rue St. Biaise), the chief town
of the department of the Orne, with 17,840 inhab., is situated at
the confluence of the Sarthe and the Briante. It carries on extensive
manufactures of woollen and linen cloth, and the famous 'Point
d'Alençon' lace is still highly valued. Alençon was repeatedly taken
and retaken in the wars with England and in the time of the League,
and it was occupied by the Germans in 1871 after a slight résistance.
The duchy of Alençon, created in the 14th cent., was an apanage of
the house of Valois.
The Rue de la Gare, the Rue St. Biaise (containing the Préfec¬
ture; 17th cent.), and the Grande Rue lead from the railway-station
to the centre of the town. The church<of Notre-Dame, in the
Grande Rue, is a building of Flamboyant Gothic, with a handsome
triple porch flanked by graceful turrets. The gable of the central
bay of the porch contains a group representing the Transfiguration.
The exterior is adorned with balustrades. The most noteworthy
features of the interior are the fine vaulting, the stained-glass
Windows (15-16th cent.), the Renaissance organ-loft, the canopied
altar, and the pulpit.
The Rue aux Sieurs, farther on, to the right, leads to the Grain
Market, a huge circular building, and then passes a large modem
house, with a handsome Renaissance façade, and reaches the Place
d'Armes. Hère stand the remains of the old Castle, now a prison,
consisting mainly of the gateway, flanked with two towers, and of a
third tower of the 14th century.
Adjacent is the Hôtel de Ville, a building of the close of the
18th cent., containing a small Musée (open on Sun. and holidays,
1-4, and to strangers at other times also).
Besides objects of natural history (including numerous 'Diamants d'Alen¬
çon', i.e. smoky quartz-crystals found in the neighbouring granite-quarries)
the collections comprise a number of paintings and drawings. On the
Staircase : 155. Altar-piece by an Italian Masier of the 15th century. — Room
opposite the Entrance : 140. Landon, Paul and Virginia; 153. Phil. de Cham-
paigne(i), The Trinity; numerous portraits. — Salle Godard. To the right:
50. Géricault, Shipwrecked; 177. Oudry, Still-life. To the left: 109. Giroux,
Horses fighting ; 102. Meinier, Ney in the hospital at Innsbruck; 99. Court,
Charlotte Corday; 166. Collin, Daphnis and Chloe; Maillarl, Dr. Dereins;
138. Italian School, Holy Family; /. Léman, Lnvers' quarrel; 78. Legros,
Vocation of St. Francis. — Grande Salle : 128. Veyrassat, Watering horses ;
1. Jouvenet, Marriage of the Virgin; 149. J. P. Laurens, Duke of Enghien;
126. Legrip, Ph. de Champaigne painting Mme. de la Vallière as a nun;
2. Ph. de Champaigne, Assumption; 35. Blin, Landscape; 147. Em Adam,
Christening in Alsace; 125. Gid, Monks labouring; 9. Restant, St. Bernard
and the Duke of Aquitaine; 27. Buat, Due deBerry; 17. Ouvrié, Heidelberg
Castle; 105. Court, Nymphandfaun; 12. Domenichino, Lot-.and his daughters;
Lansyer. Autumn in Brittany; 106. Ribera, Bearing of the Cross; 148.
Gautherot, St. Louis in the camp of Mansourah; 134. Courbet, Landscape;
123. Char. Lefèbre, Last Judgment; Lansyer, Breton landscape; 60. Pala-
medes, Interior; 167. Lansyer, Rocks at Granville; 56. Français, Sunset;