Images en cours de chargement
The city of Caen|Photo Ricardo RavelliThe Château de Caen|Photo Alain DevismeThe Caen Memorial |The abbaye aux Dames (and Trinity Church)|The home of des Quatrans (14th century)|Photo Beatriz SirventThe Museum of fine arts of Caen|

Caen, city of Art and history

The city of Caen, labeled "city of Art and history", has a very beautiful heritage. Its three jewels are based by Guillaume the conqueror in the 11th century: two abbeys are real gems of Romanesque art and the ducal Castle is considered to be one of the largest fortified enclosures in Europe.

Brief summary of history

The reign of Guillaume le Conquérant in the 11th century, Caen is the city's major projects: the Abbaye - aux-Dames, the Abbaye - aux-Hommes, the Castle and its huge fortified pregnant were built. The future King of England chose Caen to establish the seat of his power over an area corresponding roughly to the current Basse-Normandie.

Caen lived for three decades under English occupation. The University of Caen, one of the oldest universities in France, was founded in 1432. In the 17th century, the city acquires Norman capital of the wits reputation and the nickname "of Athens.

During the second world war Caen loses about 68% of the built volume. The American bombardments from June 6 to July 19, 1944 make 2,000 to 3, 000 victims. Some of its principal monuments have nevertheless been saved. The reconstruction of Caen officially lasted from 1947 to 1963.

The ducal Castle

The Château de Caen is the largest of the fortresses in Europe, with its enclosure that protects an area of 5.5 hectares. It was erected in the middle of the 11th century by Guillaume the Conqueror who made it his principal residence. The walls and doors are well preserved and highlighted by exemplary restoration work. Along the way, enjoy the stunning views of the city of Caen.

The city in the two abbeys

The men's Abbey and the abbaye aux Dames, two jewels of Romanesque art are born of a beautiful story of love between Guillaume the Conqueror and his beautiful Mathilde.
The men's Abbey (and Saint-Etienne Church)
This church is the Abbaye - aux-Hommes, founded by Guillaume the conqueror. Begun in 1066 in the Romanesque style, it was completed in the 13th century in the Gothic style. The main building is the Church of St. Etienne. Its two symmetrical towers, enhanced in the 13th century, exceed 80 metres in height. Inside one can see the tomb of Guillaume le Conquérant and admire beautiful stalls and pulpit from the 17th century.
The abbaye aux Dames (and Trinity Church)
The abbaye aux Dames is the counterpart to the men's Abbey. It was founded in 1066 by Mathilde, the wife of King William the conqueror. It is in this monument, beautifully restored, that the Queen was buried. His tomb is located in the choir of the Church. In the crypt can be seen a test of decoration illustrating the "last judgement".

The Caen Memorial

The Caen Memorial is a Museum for peace history from 1918 to the present day, it is one of the museums of France the most complete on the second world war. It occupies the site of the bunker's command of German general W. Richter who opposed the Anglo-Canadian troops, June 6, 1944. It is a place of history and reflection on the close links between respect for human rights and the safeguarding of peace. The visitor is invited to make a trip in the collective memory, from 1918 to the present day.

Caen - Esplanade General-Eisenhower, 14050 Caen Memorial - Tel. + 33 (0) 2 31 06 06 45.

The typical houses in Caen

Well that many historical monuments have been destroyed in the second world war in 1944, Caen has still many hotels, the oldest dating from the Renaissance, but the bulk of them was built in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The Vaugueux Street has regained its charm of yesteryear with his former pavement, its stone or half-timbered houses. Rue Saint-Pierre has two rare timber-framed houses that remain in Caen (No. 52 and 54): they date from the beginning of the 16th century. Des Quatrans House was built in the 14th century by one of the notaries of the King, it has an imposing façade. The hotel Escoville in renaissance style was built in the 16th century.


The Museum of fine arts
The Museum of fine arts is one of the richest collections of painting of the museums in regions for the 16th and 17th centuries Italian, french, Flemish and Dutch (Cosimo Tura, Veronese, Tintoretto, Guercino, Giordano, Poussin, Champaigne, Rubens). It presents a chronological, thematic and geographic, journey through the painting from the 15th to the 20th centuries.
The twentieth century opens with french Cubism as the contemporary period unfolds around major themes such as allegory, space and light (Balthus, Joan Mitchell, Rebeyrolle, Debré, etc). The cabinet des estampes brings together an exceptional collection.
Museum of fine arts - The Castle, 14000 Caen-France - Tel. + 33 (0) 2 31 30 47 70.
The Museum of Normandy
The Museum of Normandy is located in the former home of the Governors. It presents archaeological and ethnographic collections devoted to the history and folk traditions of Normandy. The stages of the history of Normandy are traced to the latest discoveries. The Museum also presents the lives of men since the Paleolithic until the installation of the Vikings in the lower Valley of the Seine.
Normandy Museum - Castle, 14000 Caen-France - Tel. + 33 (0) 2 31 30 47 60.

The mode of Caen tripe

Caen fashion tripe are a Norman culinary preparation made with the stomach of a ruminant and a foot of beef. Tripe originated in the middle ages where they filled up already Guillaume the Conqueror who has reveled in the accompanying of a juice of apples of Neustria. Ascribed the authorship of "the fashion of Caen tripe" a monk Cook of the Abbey to the men of Caen.

Caen golf

In an area of 90 hectares, two Caen golf courses are designed by Fred Hawtree. A zest tech for good players, the dosage managed forested and hilly parts for all. Caen is a country also welcoming that varied. The golf challenge proposed to beginners as good players seamlessly integrates the terrain and the altitude.

Caen Golf - Vallon, 14112 Biéville-Beuville - Tel. + 33 (0) 2 31 94 72 09.

Useful information :

Address :
1400 Caen

Good to know :
Office de Tourisme de Caen 12 Place Saint-Pierre, 14000 Caen-France Tel. + 33 (0) 2 31 27 14 14

Free of charge.

A must see

  • The Château de Caen
  • The men's Abbey and the abbaye aux Dames
  • The Caen Memorial
  • The Museum of fine arts

Where to stay:

All accommodation