Located between Étretat and Dieppe, Fécamp is one of the pearls of the Alabaster coast which, over 130 km, aligns high and majestic cliffs. A large fishing port from which the Newfoundlanders left, it is a city with a beautiful heritage to discover, including the Benedictine Palace where the divine elixir was born. From Fécamp, you can go for a walk along the sea or on its waves, or in the lands of Pays de Caux, one of the essential components of Normandy.
The essentials of Fécamp
Fécamp extends at the end of the valley of the Valmont, a coastal river that flows into the English Channel. Since Antiquity, man has appreciated this site. After having looted it, Vikings will become Normans there in the 10th century ...
It is from this period that the first stones of the Ducal Palace whose remains can be visited with a guide. We can imagine the parties given on site by William the Conqueror celebrating his victory at Hastings in 1067 ...
The history of the city has also been marked by the presence of a Benedictine abbey of which the Gothic remains. Abbey of the Holy Trinity and the memory of the activities of the monks through the Benedictine liquor, which has its own temple in the form of a palace (see below).
Fécamp has a beach and a port from which fishermen left for long expeditions off Newfoundland (Canada). Today, their activity is carried out in the Channel.
From this port, we carry out tourist outings in a zodiac or aboard sailboats - it is also possible to go fishing at sea. Note on this subject that famous fish restaurants are at your disposal in Fécamp!
At the top of the cliff which dominates the city is the Cape Fagnet from where we have magnificent points of view. Here rise the Chapel of Our Lady of Salvation, which conceals moving ex-voto testifying to the often tragic history of the Fecampois sailors.
Also bird sanctuary, Cap Fagnet is a starting point for formidable hiking along the cliffs.
Visit of the Benedictine Palace
It is impossible to come to Fécamp without visiting the Benedictine Palace, which is at the same time an astonishing construction, a museum and the production site of the liquor that gives it its name.
The place: an imposing building built in the 19th century in a style mixing Gothic and Renaissance aesthetics. We owe this surprising palace to Alexandre Le Grand, a wine merchant (nothing to do with the emperor…) who embarked on the manufacture of a liqueur based on the recipe for an elixir, made by a Benedictine monk. The manuscript was found among the pieces from the Abbey of Fécamp which the entrepreneur inherited, forming a collection that he enriched throughout his life.
Un Museum, installed in large rooms, shows various ancient sacred art and objects. Beginning with these spaces, the visit of the palace will then take you to discover theindustrial history of Bénédictine. The display of numerous counterfeit bottles and drinks, from all over the world, in its own way indicates the extent of the fame of this liqueur.
In a new room, you can see, touch and smell some of the 27 spices and plants which make up this nectar, whose precise recipe remains secret: aloe, angelica, arnica, cinnamon, lemon, coriander, juniper, cloves, hyssop, mace, lemon balm, myrrh, nutmeg, saffron, tea, thyme, vanilla ...
After that we enter the distilleries, which is the only production site for Bénédictine. One is impressed by the magnificent copper stills there, some of which date from the time of Alexander the Great.
From producer to consumer, the chain here is ultra-short: after having gone through cellars aging, we end the visit with the Canopy, a beautiful tasting space which is also a tea room where you can savor sweets prepared with Bénédictine. This liqueur is indeed easily included in gourmet recipes thanks to its subtle aromas.
Note that at the same level there are rooms dedicated to interesting contemporary art exhibitions.
Different tour packages are offered to you. The basic course, “Bénédictine Discovery”, can be done freely or with a guide: museum, distillery, cellars, contemporary art exhibition, tasting.
Experiences are also on the program: "Connoisseur" (to understand the production process of Bénédictine), "Essence" (to discover the know-how linked to the creation of a perfume, in relation to the assembly of raw materials. used for Bénédictine), “Passion” (private tour of the Palace with access to precious pieces from its collections).
To this is added Cocktail workshop *. Indeed, Bénédictine is appreciated as a digestive, pure or on ice, but also as a component of cocktails, and always in moderation. These workshops are only accessible to adults.
*ALCOHOL ABUSE IS DANGEROUS FOR HEALTH. TO CONSUME WITH MODERATION.
To see around
Want to extend your stay? Fécamp can serve as a base camp to explore this beautiful corner of Normandy.
On the Alabaster coast, Yport is a charming fishing village and seaside resort, as is Saint-Valery-en-Caux. Close to Fécamp again, you have Etretat and its famous rocks. To go further along the Channel, there is Le Havre ou Dieppe.
Inland, we visit towns and villages of the Caux region such as Bolbec, Yvetot or Bourville, who gave his stage name to the actor Bourvil, alias André Raimbourg, who spent his childhood there. To see also: theNotre-Dame-du-Pré abbey in Valmont.
Opening hours of the Benedictine Palace in 2016
April 1 to July 8 and September 5 to November 1
Museums and bridges in May, June and September.
July 9 to September 4
Museum: 10 am to 18:45 pm Tea room and shop: 10 am to 19:15 pm.
From November 2 to December 16
Museum: 14 p.m. to 17 p.m. Tea room and shop: from 14 p.m. to 17:30 p.m. Telephone the Palais Bénédictine for the morning.
From 17 to 31 December
Museum: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm and 14:30 pm to 17:30 pm Tea room and shop: 10:30 am to 13 pm and 14:30 pm to 18 pm.
From January 1 to February 9, 2017
Contemporary art exhibitions at the Benedictine Palace in 2016
- Marc Le Mené: “Mental chambers and other places”. Until July 3.
- Michel Lagarde: "Dramagraphies self-portraits photographiques". From July 9 to November 6.
Events in Fécamp in 2016
- Saint-Pierre des Marins, in February. Tribute to sailors who disappeared at sea: religious ceremony, procession, blessing of boats ...
June 25 to 26
November 26 to 27
- Herring Festival, in November. Various activities, tastings ...
How to get there
Highway. A13 (Paris-Caen), exit FéLe Havre), exit Fécamp.
Train. BréBeuzeville, Dieppe or Le Havre stations, then bus connections. Other bus connections: Étretat, Yvetot, Bolbec ...
Find the Benedictine Palace and the city of Fécamp on the Internet :
Cré Fé Benedictine Palace