Hotel de ville Alencon.jpg
Town hall of Alençon
Coat of arms of Alençon
Alençon is located in France
Country France
Region Lower Normandy
Department Orne
Arrondissement Alençon
Intercommunality Alençon
Mayor Joaquim Pueyo
Elevation 127–178 m (417–584 ft)
(avg. 135 m/443 ft)
Land area1 10.68 km2 (4.12 sq mi)
Population2 28,935  (1999)
 - Density 2,709 /km2 (7,020 /sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 61001/ 61000
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Coordinates: 48°25′50″N 0°05′35″E / 48.4306°N 0.0931°E / 48.4306; 0.0931

Alençon is a commune in Normandy, France, capital of the Orne department. It is situated 105 miles (169 km) west of Paris. Alençon belongs to the intercommunality of Alençon (with 52,000 people).



It was probably during the fourth century, while the area was being Christianised, that the city of Alençon was founded. The name is first seen in a document dated in the seventh century. During the tenth century, Alençon was a buffer state between Normandy and the Maine regions. In 1047, William Duke of Normandy, later known as William the Conqueror and king of England, laid siege to the town. The citizens insulted William by hanging animal skins from the walls, in reference to his ancestry as the illegitimate son of Duke Robert and a tanner's daughter. On capturing the town, William had a number of the citizens' hands cut off in revenge. Alençon was occupied by the English during the Anglo-Norman wars of 1113 to 1203.

The city became the seat of a dukedom in 1415, belonging to the sons of the King of France until the French Revolution, and some of them played important roles in French history: see Duke of Alençon. The French Revolution caused relatively little disorder in this area although there were some royalist uprisings nearby.

The fabric industry gave birth to the famous point d'Alençon lace. The economic development of the nineteenth century and the industrial boom was generated by several factories (mills), and transport networks (roads and railways) developed. In the first half of the twentieth century the city developed a flourishing printing industry.

Alençon was home to Marie-Azélie Guérin Martin and Louis Martin, the parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. They were the first spouses in the history of the Catholic Church to be proposed for sainthood as a couple, in 2008. Zélie and Louis were married at the Basilica of Notre-Dame in Alençon on 12 and spent their whole married life in Alençon, where Thérèse was born and spent her early childhood years until the death of her mother. [1]

On 17 June 1940 the German Army took occupation of Alençon. On 12 August 1944 Alençon was the first French city to be liberated by the French Army under General Leclerc, after minor bomb damage.

After the war the population sharply increased and new industries settled. Many of these were related to plastics and the town is now a major plastics educational centre.


Arms of Alençon

The arms of Alençon are blazoned :
Azure, a double-headed eagle displayed Or.


In the seventeenth century Alençon was chiefly noted for its lace called point d'Alençon.

Today, Alençon is home to a prosperous plastics industry, and, since 1993, to a plastics engineering school.

MPO Fenêtres is a local PVC windows company established in Alençon since 1970, is one of the first company in Alençon with around 170 employees (2009) and a turnover of 28 million euros in 2008. It is also the oldest French PVC windows company still in activity.


Alençon is linked by the A28 autoroute (motorway/freeway) with the nearby cities of Le Mans to the south (Sarthe) and Rouen (Haute-Normandie) to the north.

The A88 autoroute is due for completion by the end of 2010 and will link the A28 just north of Alençon to the coastal port of Caen.

A comprehensive town bus system operates from 7:00 to 19:00.

There is a comprehensive network of cycle paths.


Alençon was the birthplace of:

International relations

Twin towns – sister cities

Alençon is twinned with:

See also


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Alencon — Alençon Alençon L hôtel de ville. Détail Administration …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Alençon — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Alençon Escudo …   Wikipedia Español

  • Alençon — Alençon …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alencon — Alençon …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • alençon — ⇒ALENÇON, subst. masc. Point d Alençon, dentelle d Alençon; p. ell. Alençon. Dentelle dite aussi point d Alençon, fabriquée à l aiguille avec des fils de lin, d une extrême finesse et au riche dessin : • 1. La riche a les blondes anciennes... L… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Alençon — es una ciudad de Normandía, Francia. Es la capital del departamento do Orne. Se encuentra a 105 millas al oeste de París y tiene una población de 30.380 habitantes (1999). Alençon pertenece a la Communauté urbaine d Alençon (con 52.000… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Alençon —   [alã sɔ̃], Stadt in Nordfrankreich, am Zusammenfluss von Sarthe und Briante, Verwaltungssitz des Départements Orne in der Normandie, 29 900 Einwohner.   Wirtschaft:   Die alte Leinwand und Spitzenerzeugung (Blüte im 17./18. Jahrhundert;… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Alençon — Alençon, am Zusammenflusse der Sarthe und Briante, Departement der Orne, Stadt mit 16000 E., berühmte Leinwand und Spitzenfabrikation (points dʼAlençon). – Das Geschlecht der Grafen von A. erlosch im 13. Jahrh.; Philipp der Schöne gab 1293 die… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Alençon — [ə len′sän΄, ə len′sən; ] Fr [ ȧ län sōn′] n. [after Alençon, town in NW France, where orig. made] a needlepoint lace with a solid design on a net background …   English World dictionary

  • Alençon — (spr. Alangsong), 1) Bezirk im französischen Departement Orne; 2) Hptst. des Departements, 14,000 Ew., an der Sarthe u. Briante, Kathedrale, Präfect, Handelsgericht, gelehrte Gesellschaft; man fertigt Strümpfe, Hüte, Glas, Seife, Leinwand (bes.… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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