16 Places to see in Caen and Normandy
Hi all! Bonjour vous tous!
But first things first:
One of my favorite place in Caen. A big park away from the city center, composed of several gardens and a fountain in the middle of the most gorgeous rosary counting over 15 000 roses and over 570 species, from Middle Age to modern days. A must-see for a a great family trip when visiting Caen between March and October.
Very close to the park of La Colline aux oiseaux, the memorial inaugurated in 1988, retraced the history of France and the rest of the world throughout the XXth century. There, are displayed pictures and archives documenting the Wolrd Wars as well as the Cold War. The collections are still growing and some documents are open for consultation upon request.
A gorgeous haven of greenland, La Suisse Normande is perfect for hiking, camping and any nature lover. You can even go for an unforgettable paragliding or canoeing along the river Orne.
A major part of the city's grandeur is due to the forbidden union between the Duke William the Conqueror and Mathilde of Flandre. Indeed, Pope Nicolas II prohibited the union of the Duke and Duchess. In order to repend their sins, they built the Abbey of Men (Abbaye aux Hommes) dedicated to Saint-Stephen (Saint Etienne) and the Abbey of Saint-Trinity (Abbayes au Dames). Duke William was buried in the former and Duchess Mathilde the latter.
We owe the couple most of the monuments that follows :
1- L'abbaye aux Dames: 1000 years old abbey where Queen Mathilde of Flandre was buried in 1083.
2- Vaugueux: The ancient path from the Castle to the Trinity's Abbey, the Vaugueux district is a blend mixing history and gastronomy. Indeed, it is now the best place in town for a great taste of the region gastronomy while the display of paved stones and timbered houses will transport you throughout History.
3- Le Château Ducal: Established by William the Conqueror in 1060, it is one of Europe's biggest castle, boasting an over 5 hectares wide area.
4- La Maison Quatrans: Built in 1460, the former hotel is now displaying the remnant of an ancient time. Classified as world patrimony since 1945, the house is kept untouched in the city center.
6- Eglise Saint Jean: No, the picture is fine! Indeed, the church of St-John is slanting over time. Built on a swampy ground during the XVth century, above the ruins of a former Roman Catholic sanctuary, it is definitely worth a look.
7- Abbayes aux Hommes: The Abbey where William the Conqueror was buried in 1087. It has since been expanded and partially renovated, keeping the building as magnificent as ever.
8- Rue Écuyère: A narrow paved street filled with little shops and cafés. The best place in town for a great night out.
9- Eglise du Vieux Saint Sauveur: Partially destroyed during World War II, it is a gorgeous building from the end of the XIth century. Stroll passed it on your way from Rue Ecuyère to rue Froide and the main avenue rue Saint-Pierre.
10- Rue Saint-Pierre: the pedestrians avenue is at the heart of the city, connecting the Castle to the Abbey (see point 7)
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