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The inhabitants of Lessay originally settled around the village of Sainte-Opportune before establishing the current village after the abbey was founded in 1056 by Turstin Haldup and his son Eudes au Capel, both barons of La Haye-du-Puits. The abbey is a fine example of Romanesque architecture and has been through many trials and tribulations throughout its history before being magnificently restored in the 1950s by Yves-Marie Froidevaux, chief architect of the Monuments Historiques.

The village is set in the middle of moor land, which is of particular botanic and ornithological interest, and within its boundaries there is also the Mathon peat bog, the only such site in Europe.

It is also known for its Sainte-Croix Fair, which started in the 11th C by Benedictine monks, and now takes place every year on the second weekend in September.



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