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Regions à la carte Western France - Normandy

   Normandy region at a glance

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Major city: Caen, Rouen

Short trip from Paris, and just across the channel from England
Famous WWII landing beaches, museum and memorials
Historical region of William the Conqueror
The famous Mt. Saint Michel Abbey
Seaside resorts and casinos

Just across the Channel from London, and not far from Paris, you will find the welcoming region of Normandy with its varied coastline and rich countryside. Normandy probably has more significance to North American visitors than any other part of France.

Normandy gets its name from the 10th-century Norman Vikings that settled the country. In 1066 the famous Norman Duke William defeated the Saxon King Harold in the Battle of Hastings, was crowned King of England and became known as William the Conqueror. For many centuries after the descendants of his Norman army governed England, creating much of the Anglo-Saxon heritage.

 

In June, 1944 Normandy again came under the world spotlight when Allied Forces landed on the Normandy coast. Numerous museums, exhibitions, sites, and monuments including the Caen Memorial Museum, commemorate operations that took place between June 6th and August of 1944.

Upper Normandy with its highly industrialized and historical capital, Rouen has been linked to many famous names such as Thomas and Pierre Corneille, Gustave Flaubert and Joan of Arc. Caen, the capital of Lower Normandy, is known as the home to William the Conqueror and has some of the best "high-tech" businesses in France.

The pretty harbor of Honfleur, the Bayeux Tapestry which chronicles the exploits of William the Conqueror, Claude Monet's gardens in Giverny and the world-famous Mont Saint-Michel with its breathtaking views from the ramparts are just a few of the sites of Normandy.

 
 
Places of interest
   
 
Alençon Famous for lace, fine art and lace museum, Birthplace of "Sainte Thérèse"
Les Andelys Gaillard Castle ruins
Bagnoles-de-l'Orne Home to the famous tapestry depicting the history of William the Conqueror, 15th to 18th century houses, Cathedral, Memorial museum of the Battle of Normandy, Baron Gerard museum with lace and porcelain collections
Cabourg Seaside resort, a favorite haunt of Marcel Proust, casino, boardwalks and shopping streets
Caen Founded by William the Conqueror, feudal castle and gardens, fine arts museum, Museum of Normandy, Museum for Peace commemorating World War II, Benedictine abbeys
Caudebec-en-Caux House of the Knights of Templar, Museum of the River Seine
D-Day beaches Landing sites with a series of monuments commemorating Allied Forces
Deauville Internationally famous seaside resort and horse racing center, sailing harbor, annual world polo championship, American Film Festival
Dieppe Channel port and fishing harbor, ivory museum
Etretat Holiday resort, famous "arches and needles" rock formation
Falaise Birthplace of William the Conqueror
Fécamp Seaside town and boating center, Benedictine museum and distillery, Museum of the"Terres Neuves"
Giverny Home of impressionist painter Claude Monet, Monet Museum, American Impressionist Museum
Granville Sailing and fishing harbor, 17th century Bassin and Lieutenance buildings, Church of Sainte Catherine, Eugene Boudin Museum
Honfleur Picturesque port city with old town, and bridge
Lisieux Pilgrimage site, shrine of Sainte Thérèse, Basilic and Carmelite convent, Museum of Old Lisieux, Wax Museum
Mont St. Michel World famous abbey on island which becomes isolated by the incoming tide
Mortagne-au-Perche Small picturesque country city, departure point for pioneers heading for Canada
Rouen Seine river, Old Town, gothic churches, cathedrals, abbey, Clock tower, old marketplace where Joan of Arc was burned, Joan of Arc Museum, Museum of Flaubert
Tatihou Island Maritime Museum
Villedieu-les-Poêles Copper crafts, copper and lace museums, Norman furniture museum
 
 
Technical tourism and sports
   
 

Cider, calvados, cheese and dairy products, crafts: pottery, copper, bells.
Horseback riding, parachuting, golf, boating and sailing

 
 
Cuisine
   
 

Normandy is a rich gastronomic area with its fresh fish and shellfish, duck, cream and of course, the famous cheeses like Camembert, Livarot and Pont-l'Evêque. Cider will accompany a meal and the liqueur Calvados can be served either mid-way through the meal to help with digestion (the trou normand) and/or at the end to make it memorable.