After several experiences abroad as well as the acquisition of our first hotel in Bayeux, an opportunity arose to acquire an empty plot of land, which would allow us to dream up a new project – constructing a new hotel in the historic heart of the medieval city. The dream took shape over the course of three years, and the Villa Lara opened in 2012.
Why did we choose this name? The word VILLA evoked the idea of a private and luxury residence that we wished to stress, while LARA, the name of our daughter, gave it a personal touch. All in all, it sounded like the name of a hotel that best resembled us.
The name of the “Villa Augustine” is a tribute to Blessed Mary Catherine of Saint Augustine, whose statue stands in the gardens of the Hôtel-Dieu in which the Villa Augustine is located.
Born Catherine de Simon de Longpré, she showed an overwhelming devotion to the poor and sick from an early age. In 1664, she entered the nursing order of the Canonesses of St. Augustine at the Hôtel-Dieu in Bayeux.
In 1648, she was among the volunteers to respond to a call for help from the canonesses in Quebec who had founded the hospital to aid the colony. En route to the New World, she caught the plague. She miraculously survived, however, which she attributed to the protection of the Virgin Mary thanks to her statue that she had taken with her from France.
In memory of the journey of Blessed Mary Catherine of Saint Augustine, the square in which the Villa Lara and the Villa Augustine are located has been named “Place de Québec”.
The religious hospital in Bayeux ran a thriving boarding school until its closure in 1904. The building remains much the same today.
The names “Allée de l’Orangerie” (possibly inspired by its windows that resemble those of the Orangerie at Versailles) “Allée des Augustines” (in memory of Blessed Mary Catherine of Saint Augustine) and “Allée des Tanneurs” (in memory of the tanneries that existed along the river) were the names selected by the municipal council of Bayeux for the different streets that lead off the Place de Québec.
Complementing the Villa Lara and open since May 2019, we have been proud to bring this historical building into our own story.