The Monastery of San Antolín de Bedón was built at the mouth of the River Bedón, near the coast and the sea.
Its year of construction is unknown, being first mentioned in the 12th century. The only evidence that remains is the church, which corresponds to the late Romanesque, in transition towards the Gothic, the style suggested by the use of the pointed arch. The ground plan is that of a basilica, with three naves at different heights, separated by pointed arches resting on simple pillars, except for those in the transept and the apse, which are more ornate. It ends in a chevet with three semi-circular cul-de-four apses, which jut out of the east end. The system of ceilings is hierarchically conceived: the naves are covered with a wooden framework, while groin and pointed barrel vaulting is used in the transept.
The outside of the church is characterized by the use of ashlar and buttresses, where a marked escalation in volumes can be appreciated, as the roofs of the naves are at different heights, the central nave standing out above the other two. Horizontal mouldings and windows serve to break the exterior monotony of the semi-circular walls of the apse. Despite the decorative sobriety of the church, sculptural decoration survives due to its didactic character, occupying outdoor areas, such as the corbels of the eaves protecting the portals. The church has two portals; the west-facing portal has five pointed archivolts, with a cornice adorned with beautiful anthropomorphic (hunters), animalistic (fowl) and plants corbels. The south-facing portal presents a very similar structure and ornamentation. One of them was used to connect the church with the monastery. The ensemble conveys the image of austerity of the Cistercian Order, based on the lack of ornamentation and a scarcity of decorative aesthetics.References:
Château de Falaise is best known as a castle, where William the Conqueror, the son of Duke Robert of Normandy, was born in about 1028. William went on to conquer England and become king and possession of the castle descended through his heirs until the 13th century when it was captured by King Philip II of France. Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840 it has been protected as a monument historique.
The castle (12th–13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. The construction was started on the site of an earlier castle in 1123 by Henry I of England, with the 'large keep' (grand donjon). Later was added the 'small keep' (petit donjon). The tower built in the first quarter of the 12th century contained a hall, chapel, and a room for the lord, but no small rooms for a complicated household arrangement; in this way, it was similar to towers at Corfe, Norwich, and Portchester, all in England. In 1202 Arthur I, Duke of Brittany was King John of England's nephew, was imprisoned in Falaise castle's keep. According to contemporaneous chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, John ordered two of his servants to mutilate the duke. Hugh de Burgh was in charge of guarding Arthur and refused to let him be mutilated, but to demoralise Arthur's supporters was to announce his death. The circumstances of Arthur's death are unclear, though he probably died in 1203.
In about 1207, after having conquered Normandy, Philip II Augustus ordered the building of a new cylindrical keep. It was later named the Talbot Tower (Tour Talbot) after the English commander responsible for its repair during the Hundred Years' War. It is a tall round tower, similar design to the towers built at Gisors and the medieval Louvre.Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840, Château de Falaise has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
A programme of restoration was carried out between 1870 and 1874. The castle suffered due to bombardment during the Second World War in the battle for the Falaise pocket in 1944, but the three keeps were unscathed.