In the late Middle Ages, the town of Saint Lô was a significant town in the very powerful Duchy of Normandy. Martyred in World War II during the Battle of Normandy, the “capital of ruins” after its liberation in 1944, Saint Lô has rebuilt itself little by little to find its former joie de vivire.
The center of the city developed under Geoffroy de Montbray, Bishop of Coutances and Baron of Saint-Lô. During the Middle Ages, numerous industries enriched the town: textile crafts, metal smiths, tanners, and cutlery makers. Along with Rouen, Caen, and others in Normandy, Saint Lô was a town of some importance.
We will go back in time to visit the enclosure hidden behind impressive ramparts, the gate to the former prison, and the Church of Notre Dame which by itself is evidence of the wealth and wars Saint Lô experienced over the course of the centuries.
However it was in 1944 that Saint Lô lost most of its architectural heritage. We will explore this post-war city in our evocation of the Liberation of Saint Lô: the France-United States Memorial Hospital Complex; the June 6th Roundabout and its underground passage; the Magdalene Chapel “American Memorial, dedicated to the memory of American soldiers who liberated Saint Lô.” Each of these sites are reminders of this painful episode in Saint Lô’s history. The National Stables, although perched on the heights of the city, suffered from the fighting which took place here, but would also prosper once again.