The Perche is a land of rolling hills and forests, located between the former Kingdom of France and the Dukedom of Normandy.
The province was founded in the early 12th century by the legendary Count of Rotrou, believed to be Roland, the valiant knight who died in Roncevaux.
During the Hundred Year War (1337-1453) the Perche was ransacked and its castles burnt down. A period of rebirth and ostentation followed with the construction of over 400 manor houses. Only a quarter of which are still standing today.
The Perche inspired numerous great writers: Rémi Belleau, Roger Martin du Gard, Marcel Proust, and the philosopher Alain.
Historic dates :
1114: The Perche was established as an independent province.
1226: The province joined the Kingdom of France.
1450: The end of the Hundred Year War marked the beginning of the construction of the renowned manor houses.
1558: The establishment of the customary laws “Coûtume du Perche”, which remained in effect until the French Revolution.
1791: The division of the Perche into four departments: Orne, Eure-et-Loir, Sarthe and the Loir-et-Cher. These departments have since been integrated into three regions: Basse-Normandie, Pays-de-Loire, Centre.
1998: The creation of the Regional Natural Park (Parc Naturel Régional du Perche). www.parc-naturel-perche.fr