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Bagnoles-de-l'orne

(4.5/5 based on 20+ reviews for 2 attractions)
Things to do: adventure
Bagnoles-de-l'Orne is a commune in the Orne department in northwestern France.On 1 January 2000, Tessé-la-Madeleine and Bagnoles-de-l'Orne merged becoming one town called Bagnoles-de-l'Orne, however, it adopted the former Insee code of Tessé-la-Madeleine (61483) for identification purposes.SpaThis commune is famous for its hydrotherapic baths, which are known for their supposed healing powers for rheumatic, gynaecologic and circulatory problems. The origins of thermal activity are said to date back to the Middle Ages. The spa is centred on the lake, which is formed by the River Vée, a tributary of the Mayenne, before it enters a deep gorge cut through the massif of the Andaines Forest.Local legend tells of the medieval lord, Seigneur Hugues de Tessé. Believing that his once-glorious horse, "Rapide", was reaching the end of its life, Seigneur Hugues decided to abandon it in the Andaines Forest. He was amazed when the animal returned home some time later, strong and totally revitalized. Without resentment, "Rapide" took its master along to the waters of Bagnoles where he drank and was also rejuvenated. The spa was born.According to another tale, a very old Franciscan monk who took the waters in Bagnoles found a new astonishing vigour and leapt across the highest rocks above the town, which are still called "Le Saut du Capucin" (The Monk's Leap).Another facet of this fascinating place is the Arthurian legend, since Bagnoles and its surroundings are supposed to be Lancelot's country. The village's calendar of cultural events includes a visit of the most famous Arthurian sites.
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