Caen: “Risen from the ashes twice”
Six hundred years before Caen was similarly ravaged when King Edward III of England led his army against the city hoping to loot the town which was the richest in Normandy at that time.
The Castle, Château de Caen, built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, is one of the largest medieval forts in western Europe. In repentance for marrying his cousin Mathilda, William the Conqueror ordered the building of two Abbeys – the Abbaye aux Hommes where you can visit William’s tomb and the Abbaye aux Dames. Today, Caen Castle serves as a museum that houses the Museum of Fine Arts of Caen and the Museum of Normandy.
The Caen Memorial Peace Museum offers a spectacular audiovisual an exhibit of 20th century history and includes an exhibit of Nobel peace price winners. The Museum plots the dark years in occupied France, D-Day and the Battle of Normandy.
Chateau de l’Isle-Marie is a short drive from the ferry port at Ouistreham. Car rental in Caen is hassle free.
Caen boasts two colorful markets on Friday and Sunday mornings.