©Le château de la Roche Bagnoles

La Roche-Bagnoles

The Tessé de La Madeleine Quarter

Located on the right bank of the Vée, opposite the thermal spa, the Tessé de La Madeleine Quarter is home to the Château de la Roche Bagnoles, which  is surrounded by a 45 acre park and arboretum. The Arboretum leads to the natural site of the Roc au Chien, Bagnoles de l’Orne’s highest point.

The Neo-Renaissance Château/h2>

Built in 1859 in a neo-Renaissance style, the Château de la Roche Bagnoles belonged to the wealthy Goupil family. In 1966 it became the Mairie of Tessé la Madeleine and subsequently the town hall of Bagnoles de l’Orne after the merger of the two communes on 1 January 2000.
The Château de la Roche Bagnoles, designed by the architect David, has a symmetrical form with plain lines and rectiliniar façades. The equal-sized spans and alignment of the bays contribute to the general symmetry of the building. The small towers and bartizans added the decoration gives the building a mediaeval appearance.

The arboretum
in the Château’s park

The château dominates a 45 acre park which has a collection of 168 species of remarkable numbered trees, an exploration trail and the Roc au Chien natural viewpoint. The paths in the park are lined with various species of magnolia, rhododendrons and hydrangeas.
The arboretum is famous for its Giant Sequoia, which is the second tallest in France. The collection also includes a sycamore, a Bhutan pine, a blue Atlas cedar, several varieties of fir and spruce and Japanese cherries.

Many of the trees date from the creation of the park in 1855 and others were planted by the town when it was restored in order to increase and augment the collections.

The Le Roc au Chien natural viewpoint

Located in the park of the Château de La Roche-Bagnoles, Le Roc au Chien as a natural site formed from Armorican sandstone. This rocky outcrop towers over the deep gorge of the river Vée, thirty metres below. It offers beautiful views over the spa and lake of Bagnoles de l’Orne.
The story goes that a careless child was playing too close to the edge and fell into a crevasse. Fortunately, the child’s dog had followed and thanks to its barking, the child was found and rescued. When the dog died, it was buried on the site and the location was known as “Roc au chien” in recognition and remembrance.

The Goupil Mausoleum

Behind the castle is the mausoleum of the brothers Jean and Louis Goupil. They were the father and uncle of Anne-Marie Goupil, lady of the manor of La Roche-Bagnoles, and were instrumental in the history of Tessé la Madeleine. The two brothers, who came from a humble family, acquired a large part of Tessé after the French Revolution. The origins of their fortune remains a mystery.
Desecrated during the Second World War, the tomb revealed nothing about the secret of their fortune. Just next to the mausoleum, there is a tree with a trunk that is separated into two before coming together again. Does this oak hold the secret of the two brothers’ wealth?