Our eighteenth-century hôtel particulier* consists a paved court, a small house called « coachman’s house » (the stables were on the ground floor and housing the coachman on the first floor) and a beautiful garden. The house was occupied by Louis-Eugène Niobey, Mayor of Bayeux from 1875 to 1892. In tribute to Poppa Berenger, who bore a son to Rollon, the founder of Normandy and became the ancestress of all the dukes of Normandy and the kings of England, he built the fountain and Poppa’s statue on the place in 1888. The mayor’s daughter was the model for the realization of the statue. Also on this same place, the June 14 1944, General de Gaulle made his speech in Bayeux,the first town liberated in France. In remembrance of this historic moment, the General returned two years later under the same trees, to give a speech in which he traced the outlines of the Fifth Republic. Two major annual events take place here: The diner-dancing of the Liberation, around June 6, and the medieval festivals the first weekend of July.
From 1944 to 2009, the garden of the property was occupied by a british shack supplied by the Foreign Office to an ancient owner and then installed in 1947. Severely weathered from the passing of time, it was dismantled and stored while waiting to be restored and given to a museum. The current owners have preserved the foundations of this shack for the concept of the garden. Completely re-designed in 2011, it is home to many species of flowers, plants and trees. Although it is quite small (500m²), it includes fruit-trees.
* “Hôtel particulier” is the French name given to the luxurious mansions that the nobles were built in the city.