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Caen is the capital of the Basse Normandie region and was founded in the 11th century by William the Conqueror. During the Battle of Normandy in 1944 much of the town destroyed. Among the buildings that survived the bombings you’ll find a walled medieval château, two ancient abbeys and several very attractive 19th-century areas of high architectural beauty.
Caen is one of Normandy’s largest cities and home of Normandy’s most famous son, William the Conqueror, who is buried there. William actually commissioned many of the city’s most famous sites, including the Abbey aux Hommes and the Abbey aux Dames, where his wife Mathilde is buried.
Caen is also well-known for its production of seafood and dairy produce. There are several excellent places to eat in the Vaugueux quarter.
The Normandy Landings were one of the most significant events in the history. Caen is approx. 10 miles away from the D-Day beaches of Pegasus Bridge, Juno and Sword, where British and Canadian soldiers began their assault on the Nazi strongholds, and Omaha beach - made famous by the film Saving Private Ryan – where American soldiers landed.
Caen Castle is one of the largest medieval castles in Europe and belonged to William the Conqueror. Inside the castle walls lies the Museé de Beaux Arts, the Keep, the Church of St George and the Museum of Normandy.
The two abbeys built by William the Conqueror – the Abbey aux Hommes (Men's Abbey) and the Abbey aux Dames (Women's Abbey) – are perfect examples of French-Romanesque architecture.
In the city itself, you will find a great range of bars on Rue Ecuyère.
If you’re traveling with kids, visit Parc Festlyand.