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Caen, City of William The Conqueror

Hotel La Fontaine is located in the heart of the historical, pedestrian and shopping center. Discover Caen by foot : the castle, the abbeys, the marina and restaurants, ...

 

City of William the Conqueror and capital of the Duchy of Normandy, the city has inherited a very rich architectural heritage consisting of ancient churches and abbeys, which it knew to preserve during the centuries until World War II , Where it was also a key place of the battle of Normandy. The city has retained its memory by building a Memorial for Peace, famous throughout the world, notably for the ceremonies of commemorations that take place there.

 

William The Conqueror

Born in 1027 in Falaise, Guillaume was 8 years old when he became Duke of Normandy. 20 years later, he decided to make Caen a strategic site and his place of residence. He married Mathilde de Flandre, his distant cousin, against the advice of the Pope about 1050. To obtain the pardon of the Church, he undertakes, along with that of the castle of Caen, the construction of 2 abbeys.

William was crowned king of England in 1066 following his victory over the Anglo-Saxon king Harold during the bloody battle of Hastings (narrated by the Tapestry of Bayeux). He then became Guillaume "the Conqueror". Guillaume died in 1087 in Rouen. With his wife Mathilde, they are each buried in Caen in their respective abbeys.

 

Abbayes aux Hommes

Built in 1066 under William the Conqueror, it shelters its tomb. The St-Etienne abbey church is a jewel of the Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Rebuilt in the 18th century, it has been the home of the Hôtel de Ville since 1965, one of the most beautiful in France.

It can be visited for free. Guided tours are organized at 10:30 and 14:00 from Monday to Friday and in high season (from April 1st to September 30th) at 10:30, 14:00 and 16:00 every day. Prices: 7 €.

 

Abbaye aux Dames

Consecrated on 18 June 1066, the splendid abbey church of the trinity, the masterpiece of Norman Romanesque art, still houses the tomb of its foundress: Mathilde, queen of England, Duchess of Normandy and wife of William the Conqueror.

The park "à la française" is free access Free guided tour of 1h15 every day at 14:30 and 16:00.

 

Castle

The castle of Caen is one of the largest medieval fortifications in Europe. Palace of William the Conqueror, royal fortress then infantry barracks, today the fortress hosts the museum of fine arts and the museum of Normandy.

Free access: rampart walk, simple garden, sculpture park, playground.

 

The epic adventure of William the Conqueror

Continue the medieval adventure of William the Conqueror with the Tapestry of Bayeux (registered in the Memory of the World Register of Unesco), the virtual tour of Falaise Castle (30min from Caen) and at home with the film about his youth (Video below).

 

 

Downlodable Documents

Map Caen