Caen Things to Do

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    Men's Abbey + Church
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    St Sauveur church
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Most Recent Things to Do in Caen

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    Sainte-Trinity, the curch of the women's abbey

    by Pavlik_NL Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Even more then with the Abbaye des Hommes, the abbey church of the Abbaye des Dames (Women's Abbey) is the masterpiece of the old buildings. The Sainte-Trinity is full of grace and has two towers that are fully decorated with beautiful sculptures and pinnacles. Here too the Normandian Gothic style rules.

    Sainte-Trinity, rising up in all it's glory

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    Inside the castle of Caen

    by Pavlik_NL Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The terrain of the old castle of the Normandian dukes holds many surprises to the visitor. Besides the museums that I will mention later, there are small gardens (former vegetables and herbes gardens), a playground for children, the castle chapel, remains of the donjon where the dukes lived and several other buildings with a variety of functions. At the ticketoffice in the building at the gate, one can obtain tickets for guided tours around the whole castle interior, during which many details of the building and the history is explained.

    A group touring along the rampards of the castle Gardens in the square inside the castle walls The old chapel where the dukes used to pray

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  • Musée d'initiation à la nature

    by dimilag Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The museum wich is located in the historic Abbaye aux Hommes built by William the conqueror offers a first step towards discovering the fauna and flora of Normandy. There, you will be able to look at birds of the towns, ducks ans others birds of the ponds and the coastlines. You will learn everything on normand landscapes and natural habitats. Walking through the norman garden, you will recognise the particular busches aud trees of which the norman bedgerows are made, as well as various shrubs, medicinal ans poisonous plants and regional rocks.

    Mus��e d'initiation �� la nature
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    Eglise Saint Pierre

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Eglise Saint Pierre sits near the center of Caen near the castle. It was built from the 13th to 16th Century. The original Gothic bell tower was built in the 14th Century but was destroyed in WWII. From 2004 to 2006, the church underwent a massive restoration project to stop damage from water, pollution, and deterioration of the stone.

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    Juno Beach

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    June Beach is a six-mile wide expanse of ocean front property, second from the west of the five invasion beaches. June sits directly between the British beaches called Gold and Sword. This beach was attacked by the Canadian 3rd Infantry Division, under command of British 2nd Army.

    The assault forces here landed later then planned and had to deal with a difficult high tide that hid German mines. After landing on the beach, the Canadians again took heavy casualties, but were able to push inland and secure their objectives. At the end of the day, 21,000 soldiers landed on this beach but they suffered 1,200 dead, wounded, or missing.

    Juno

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    Sword Beach

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Sword is the easternmost of the five D-Day landing beaches. It was attacked by the British 2nd Army along with paratroopers & glider troops from the British 6th Airborne Division who landed earlier in the morning. Allied casualties here were very light, suffering only 600 dead, wounded, or missing after landing 29,000 soldiers on the beach. By the end of the day, all major objectives of Sword were accomplished except the planned linkup with the Canadians at Juno to the west.

    Sword Beach

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    A tribute to the peace : the Memorial of Caen

    by floche2001 Written Nov 3, 2008

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    Caen was iat the crossing roads to develop the battle of Normandy. But it's not just a tribute to the martyr of US, Canadians, or British troops.

    The approach is here really different. It starts with the first WW to explain that it already containts the roots of the second WW. A lot of pictures, but few real objects. Anyway, it dosent stop with June 6th, but excplains the history of the modern times from the cold war, the fall of the wall in berlin to the terrorists attacks in N-York

    The main entrance Inside of the Grand Hall
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    Tomb Of William The Conqueror

    by darkjedi Updated Apr 14, 2008

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    The tomb of William the Conqueror of 1066 fame is located in the Abbeye aux Hommes. William the Conqueror died early on the morning of September 9, 1087 in Rouen. Gesta Regum Anglorum states that William, his stomach protruding over the forward part of his saddle, was injured when he was thrown against the pommel and his internal organs ruptured. He was fifty-nine years old and had ruled England for twenty-one years and Normandy for thirty-one more. In accordance with his wishes, he was buried in Saint-Etienne Abbey Church in the Abbaye-aux-Hommes.

    Then something macabre happened. The monk of Caen writes that William was "great in body and strong, tall in stature but not ungainly." When it came time to bury the heavy body, it was discovered that the stone sarcophagus had been made too short. There was an attempt to force the corpse and, says Orderic, "the swollen bowels burst, and an intolerable stench assailed the nostrils of the by-standers and the whole crowd." Even the frankincense and spices of the censers was not enough to mask the smell, and the rites were hurriedly concluded.

    William Rufus commissioned a memorial for his father, "a noble tomb, which to this day shines with gold and silver and precious stones in handsome style" with an inscription in gold. This memorial was to survive until 1522, when William's body was examined and reinterred. Forty years later, it was destroyed by a Calvinist mob and the remains scattered. Only a single thigh bone survived, which was preserved and reburied under a new monument in 1642. But even this was destroyed during the French Revolution.

    Now only a simple stone slab marks the burial place of William the Conqueror. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle provides his epitaph.

    "He who was earlier a powerful king, and lord of many a land, he had nothing of any land but a seven-foot measure; and he who was at times clothed with gold and with jewels, he lay then covered over with earth."

    The Tomb
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    The Castle: Lifts

    by darkjedi Written Apr 14, 2008

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    In some parts of the castle complex lifts have been installed to grand access to the higher levels and walkways for the disabled and wheelchairs. They have glass walls to you can see the earthworks as the lifts ascends and decends.

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    Leroy Tower

    by darkjedi Written Apr 14, 2008

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    The Tower of Leroy was restored at the beginning of the 20th century. It is the only high tower remaining in the city. It formed part of the ramparts surrounding the Bourg-le-Roi (an area just south of the castle walls) and the castle. This relic marked the entrance to the town by river. Although nearly ten miles inland, Caen is a seaport. It was first an estuary port then later a canal was constructed.

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    Maisons des Quatrans

    by darkjedi Written Apr 14, 2008

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    Spared during the bombing raids of 1944, this house bears the name of Quatrans family who were lawyers in royal service in Caen at the end of the 14th Century.

    Thomas Quatrans, who fled before the English, on their seizing of the town in 1417, had his house confiscated ; it was given to an English knight and later rebuilt in the second half of the 15th Century.

    As often in Caen, only the façade is built in timber, with little carved decoration, but it allows a large number of windows looking out onto the street.
    The room that crowned the octogonal staircase at the back of the house was destroyed during the 1944 bombing.

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    The Castle: Normandy Museum

    by darkjedi Written Apr 14, 2008

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    The Musée de Normandie has been in the medieval castle precinct since 1963. It is located in the Governors' Lodge, which was the residence of the bailiff in the 14th Century, then the headquarters of the Captain of Caen and eventually became the residence of the Governor in charge of "the Castle and the City of Caen". The Governors' Lodge was almost entirely rebuilt in the 17th and 18th Centuries.

    With the support of outstanding collections, the Musée de Normandie recounts the stages of the historical evolution of Normandy. Periodically integrating the earliest archeological finds into the visit, the museum presents a panorama of men and women's lives since the remote paleolithic to the settlement of the Vikings in the lower Seine valley (10th Century).

    Weapons, jewels, everyday utensils, any piece of history revealed by excavations are exhibited in rooms devoted to archeology and illustrated by maps, scale models and historical information so as to guide visitors through some long and badly known periods.

    Governor's Lodge Display case Modelwork Pots Display
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    The Castle: The Exchequer

    by darkjedi Written Apr 14, 2008

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    The work of Henry I,William the Conqueror’s son, this great banqueting hall (aula) was kwown as the “Hall of the Exchequer” from the 19th Century onwards.

    Rectangular in shape (31x11m), it was built with two floors and was typical of 12th Century palace architecture. Very few examples survive and the palace here in Caen castle is the oldest and best preserved in continental Europe.

    The ground within the walls has been thoroughly investigated by archaeologists, but the Anglo-Norman levels (11th and 12th Centuries) were only partially preserved.The archaeological work did, however, reveal that the ground floor had been used as a kitchen, while the floor above had served as a banqueting hall where the duke-king was able to receive his barons and the great and good of that time.

    Richard the Lionheart, King of England and Duke of Normandy assembled his barons here before embarking on Crusade.

    At the beginning of the 14th Century, the building was transformed into a room with a single floor, much preferred by princes then. It lost its noble function at the end of the 15th Century and became a stable for the garrisons and a forge. Badly damaged in 1944, the restoration work has integrated the resulting archaeological investigations.

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    The Castle: St George's Church

    by darkjedi Written Apr 14, 2008

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    No trace remains of the original church, founded probably in the 10th Century, nor of the Romanesque church which succeeded it in about 1100, only the nave walls survive. Major rebuilding and modification between the end of the Hundred Year’s War (1450) and the beginning of the 16th Century has given the church its present appearance. The main entrance set in the West gable wall destroyed in 1944 and was not replaced in the latest restoration.

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    Le Château Ducal

    by darkjedi Written Apr 14, 2008

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    Built in around 1060 to house Duke William’s residential palace, the Château of Caen remains one of the largest fortified enclosures in Europe.

    It is behind these walls that William, surrounded by his barons, prepared to expel the traitor Harold from England. His conquest at Hastings in 1066 would give the future King of England the nickname “the Conqueror”. The Exchequer Room bears the memory of feasts organised by the Duke Kings, descendants of William through to Richard the Lionheart.

    However, through the centuries, the Château would gradually be swallowed up by the city, stifled by houses and forgotten by Caen inhabitants until the bombings in 1944...
    In the heart of a destroyed quarter, the old medieval enclosure seemed to have sprung up from nowhere.

    St. Peter's gate Ramparts Inside the walls St. George's church Moat ditch
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