Saint-Lô, France

Rail Guide to Saint-Lô


Saint-Lô has picked itself up since being labelled the ‘capital of ruins’ after World War II; nowadays it’s known as the rock capital of the Manche region. The busy Theatre de Normandy music centre, and annual festivals like Les Rendez-Vous Soniques for French-speaking artists and Poliphollia, devoted to world choral music, have injected new life into this town in northern France. It has another niche: horse riding, with yearly events including the Normandy Horse Show every August. The area surrounding Saint-Lô is largely rural and the town itself has plenty of relaxing green spaces, among them a golf course.

A few historical landmarks remain, like the towers that were part of the medieval wall, and the Eglise Notre-Dame, although the roof of the latter is in ruins. The Hospital Memorial was a gift from the Americans to symbolise Saint-Lô’s freedom from the Nazis; it bears a large mosaic by Fernand Léger.