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Caen (, ; nrf, Kaem) is a
commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concrete, abstract is what belongs to or with something, whether ...

commune
in northwestern France. It is the
prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of t ...

prefecture
of the
department Department may refer to: * Departmentalization, division of a larger organization into parts with specific responsibility Government and military *Department (country subdivision), a geographical and administrative division within a country, for e ...
of
Calvados Calvados (, ; ) often nicknamed Calva, is an apple An apple is an edible fruit produced by an apple tree (''Malus domestica''). Apple fruit tree, trees are agriculture, cultivated worldwide and are the most widely grown species in the genus ...
. The city proper has 108,365 inhabitants (), while its urban area has 420,000, making Caen the largest city in former Lower Normandy. It is also the third largest municipality in all of Normandy after
Le Havre Le Havre (, ; nrf, Lé Hâvre) is an urban French commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and co ...

Le Havre
and
Rouen Rouen (, ; or ) is a city on the River Seine in northern France. It is the prefecture of the Regions of France, region of Normandy (administrative region), Normandy and the Departments of France, department of Seine-Maritime. Formerly one of ...

Rouen
and the third largest city proper in Normandy, also after
Rouen Rouen (, ; or ) is a city on the River Seine in northern France. It is the prefecture of the Regions of France, region of Normandy (administrative region), Normandy and the Departments of France, department of Seine-Maritime. Formerly one of ...

Rouen
and
Le Havre Le Havre (, ; nrf, Lé Hâvre) is an urban French commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and co ...

Le Havre
. The metropolitan area of Caen, in turn, is the second largest in Normandy after that of Rouen, the 21st largest in France. It is located inland from the
English Channel The English Channel,, "The Sleeve"; nrf, la Maunche, "The Sleeve" (Cotentinais Cotentinais is the dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , , "discourse", from , , "through" and , , "I speak") is used in two ...

English Channel
, north-west of Paris, and connected to the south of England by the Caen (
Ouistreham Ouistreham () is a commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concrete, abstract is what belongs ...

Ouistreham
) to
Portsmouth Portsmouth ( ) is a and island with status in the of , southern . It is the most densely populated city in the , with a population last recorded at 238,800. The city forms part of the , which also incorporates , , , , , and . Located mainly ...

Portsmouth
ferry route. Caen is located in the centre of its northern region, and it is a centre of political, economic and cultural power. Located a few miles from the coast, the landing beaches, the bustling resorts of
Deauville Deauville () is a commune in the Calvados département in the Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie; from Old French , plural of ''Normant'', originally from the word for "northman" in several Scandinavian langu ...

Deauville
and
Cabourg Cabourg () is a Communes of France, commune in the Calvados (department), Calvados Departments of France, department in the Normandy régions of France, region of France. Cabourg is on the coast of the English Channel, at the mouth of the river Div ...
, as well as
Norman Switzerland Norman Switzerland (french: Suisse Normande) is a part of Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie; from Old French , plural of ''Normant'', originally from the word for "northman" in several Scandinavian languages) is ...
and
Pays d'AugeImage:PaysdAuge.jpg, 200px, Map of the Pays d’Auge, 1716 The Pays d'Auge (, literally ''Land of Auge'') is an area in Normandy, straddling the ''Departments of France, départements'' of Calvados (department), Calvados and Orne (plus a small part ...
, Caen is often considered the archetype of Normandy. Caen is known for its historical buildings built during the reign of
William the Conqueror William I (c. 1028Bates ''William the Conqueror'' p. 33 – 9 September 1087), usually known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first Norman Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identi ...

William the Conqueror
, who was buried there, and for the
Battle for Caen The Battle for Caen (June to August 1944) is the name given to fighting between the British Second Army and the German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or p ...
, heavy fighting that took place in and around Caen during the
Battle of Normandy Operation Overlord was the codename for the Battle of Normandy, the Allied operation that launched the successful invasion of German-occupied Western Europe Western Europe is the region of Europe Europe is a continent A cont ...
in 1944, destroying much of the city. The city has now preserved the memory by erecting a memorial and a museum dedicated to peace, the
Mémorial de Caen The Mémorial de Caen is a museum and war memorial in Caen Caen (, ; nrf, Kaem) is a Communes of France, commune in northwestern France. It is the prefecture of the Departments of France, department of Calvados (department), Calvados. The ci ...
.


History


Early history

Caen was known in Roman times as 'Catumagos', from the Gaulish roots ''magos'' meaning 'field' and ''catu'' meaning 'combat'. It remained a minor settlement throughout the Roman period and began to see major development commence in the 10th century, under the patronage of the Dukes of Normandy. Around 1060,
William the Conqueror William I (c. 1028Bates ''William the Conqueror'' p. 33 – 9 September 1087), usually known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first House of Normandy, Norman List of English monarchs, monarch of Engl ...

William the Conqueror
began construction of the
Château de CaenThe Château de Caen is a castle in the Norman city of Caen in the Calvados (department), Calvados ''Departments of France, département'' (Normandy). It has been officially classed as a ''Monument historique'' since 1997. of the château de Caen (' ...
, which became the centre of the ducal court. Duchess
Matilda of Flanders Matilda of Flanders (french: link=no, Mathilde; nl, Machteld) ( 1031 – 2 November 1083) was Queen of England and Duchess of Normandy by marriage to William the Conqueror William I (c. 1028Bates ''William the Conqueror'' p. 33  ...

Matilda of Flanders
also founded the
Benedictine The Benedictines, officially the Order of Saint Benedict ( la, Ordo Sancti Benedicti, abbreviated as OSB), are a Christian monasticism, monastic Religious order (Catholic), religious order of the Catholic Church following the Rule of Saint Be ...
Abbey of Sainte-Trinité, Caen The Abbey of Sainte-Trinité (the Holy Trinity The Christian doctrine of the Trinity (, from "threefold") holds that God God, in monotheistic thought, is conceived of as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith ...
around the same time, eventually being buried in the abbey. Caen succeeded
Bayeux Bayeux () is a commune An intentional community is a voluntary residential community designed from the start to have a high degree of group cohesiveness, social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically ho ...

Bayeux
as the capital of
Lower Normandy Lower Normandy (french: Basse-Normandie, ; nrf, Basse-Normaundie) is a former administrative region Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, ...
, complementing the second ducal capital of
Rouen Rouen (, ; or ) is a city on the River Seine in northern France. It is the prefecture of the Regions of France, region of Normandy (administrative region), Normandy and the Departments of France, department of Seine-Maritime. Formerly one of ...

Rouen
. Caen fell to
Philip II of France Philip II (21 August 1165 – 14 July 1223), byname Philip Augustus (french: Philippe Auguste), was King of France The monarchs of the Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France, frm, Royaulme de France, french: l ...

Philip II of France
on 21 May 1204, and was incorporated along with the remainder of Normandy into the Kingdom of France.


Hundred Years' War

In 1346, King
Edward III of England Edward III (13 November 1312 – 21 June 1377), also known as Edward of Windsor before his accession, was King of England This list of kings and queens of the begins with , who initially ruled , one of the which later made up modern En ...

Edward III of England
led his army against the city, hoping to loot it. It was expected that a siege of perhaps several weeks would be required, but the army took the city in less than a day, on 26 July 1346, storming and sacking it, killing 3,000 of its citizens, and burning much of the merchants' quarter on the Ile Ste-Jean. Only the castle of Caen held out, despite attempts to besiege it. A few days later, the English left, marching to the east and on to their victory at the
Battle of Crécy A battle is an occurrence of combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or devic ...

Battle of Crécy
. It was later captured following a siege by
Henry VHenry V may refer to: People * Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor (1081–1125) * Henry V, Count Palatine of the Rhine (1173–1227) * Henry V, Count of Luxembourg (1216–1281) * Henry V, Duke of Legnica (c.  1248 – 1296) * Henry V of Iron (c. 1319 ...

Henry V
in 1417 and treated harshly for being the first town to put up any resistance to his invasion. In 1450 towards the end of the war, French forces recaptured Caen.


Second World War

During the
Battle of Normandy Operation Overlord was the codename for the Battle of Normandy, the Allied operation that launched the successful invasion of German-occupied Western Europe Western Europe is the region of Europe Europe is a continent A cont ...
in the Second World War, Caen was taken back from the Nazis in early July, a month after the
Normandy landings The Normandy landings were the landing operation Allied invasion of Sicily, 1943 A landing operation is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended fo ...

Normandy landings
, particularly those by British I Corps on 6 June 1944. British and Canadian troops had intended to capture the town on
D-Day The Normandy landings were the landing operation Allied invasion of Sicily, 1943 A landing operation is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended fo ...

D-Day
. However they were held up north of the city until 9 July, when an intense bombing campaign during
Operation Charnwood Operation Charnwood was an Anglo-Canadian offensive that took place from 8 to 9 July 1944, during the Battle for Caen The Battle for Caen (June to August 1944) is the name given to fighting between the British Second Army (United Kingdom), Se ...
destroyed 70% of the city and killed 2,000 French civilians. The Allies seized the western quarters, a month later than
Field Marshal Montgomery Field marshal (United Kingdom), Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, (; 17 November 1887 – 24 March 1976), nicknamed "Monty" and "The Spartan General", was a senior British Army Officer (armed forces ...
's original plan. During the battle, many of the town's inhabitants sought refuge in the ''Abbaye aux Hommes'' ("Men's Abbey"), built by William the Conqueror some 800 years before. The spire of the
Church of Saint-Pierre, Caen 250px, Church of St. Pierre seen from the ramparts of the Château de Caen. The Church of Saint-Pierre (french: Église Saint-Pierre) is a Roman Catholic Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman c ...
and the university were destroyed by the British and Canadian bombing.


Post-war

Post-Second World War work included the reconstruction of complete districts of the city and the university campus. It took 14 years (1948–1962) and led to the current urbanization of Caen. Having lost many of its historic quarters and its university campus in the war, the city does not have the atmosphere of a traditional Normandy town such as
Honfleur Honfleur () is a commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concrete, abstract is what belongs ...

Honfleur
,
Rouen Rouen (, ; or ) is a city on the River Seine in northern France. It is the prefecture of the Regions of France, region of Normandy (administrative region), Normandy and the Departments of France, department of Seine-Maritime. Formerly one of ...

Rouen
,
Cabourg Cabourg () is a Communes of France, commune in the Calvados (department), Calvados Departments of France, department in the Normandy régions of France, region of France. Cabourg is on the coast of the English Channel, at the mouth of the river Div ...
,
Deauville Deauville () is a commune in the Calvados département in the Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie; from Old French , plural of ''Normant'', originally from the word for "northman" in several Scandinavian langu ...

Deauville
and
Bayeux Bayeux () is a commune An intentional community is a voluntary residential community designed from the start to have a high degree of group cohesiveness, social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically ho ...

Bayeux
. The Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit filmed the D-Day offensive and Orne breakout several weeks later, then returned several months later to document the city's recovery efforts. The resulting film, ''You Can't Kill a City'', is preserved in the
National Archives of Canada Library and Archives Canada (LAC; french: Bibliothèque et Archives Canada) is a federal institution tasked with acquiring, preserving, and providing accessibility to the documentary heritage of Canada Canada is a country in the northern ...
.


Etymology

The very first mentions of the name of Caen are found in different acts of the dukes of
Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie; from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, ...

Normandy
: ''Cadon'' 1021/1025, ''Cadumus'' 1025, ''Cathim'' 1026/1027. Year 1070 of the Parker manuscript of the ''
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle The ''Anglo-Saxon Chronicle'' is a collection of annals Annals ( la, annāles, from , "year") are a concise historical History (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the stud ...
'' refers to Caen as ''Kadum'', and year 1086 of the Laud manuscript gives the name as ''Caþum''. Despite a lack of sources as to the origin of the settlements, the name Caen would seem to be of
Gaulish Gaulish was an ancient Celtic language The Celtic languages ( , ) are a Language family, group of related languages descended from Proto-Celtic language, Proto-Celtic. They form a branch of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European langu ...
origin, from the words ''catu-'', referring to military activities and ''magos'', field, hence meaning "manoeuvre field" or "battlefield". In
LayamonLayamon or Laghamon (, ; ) – spelled Laȝamon or Laȝamonn in his time, occasionally written Lawman – was an English poet of the late 12th/early 13th century and author of the ''Brut'', a notable work that was the first to present the legends o ...
's ''Brut'', the poet asserts that
King Arthur King Arthur ( cy, Brenin Arthur, kw, Arthur Gernow, br, Roue Arzhur) was a Legend, legendary Celtic Britons, British leader who, according to Historians in England during the Middle Ages, medieval histories and Romance (heroic literature), ...

King Arthur
named the city in memory of
Sir Kay In Arthurian legend The Matter of Britain is the body of Medieval literature and legend A legend is a genre of folklore that consists of a narrative featuring human actions perceived or believed both by teller and listeners to have ...
.


Geography

Caen is in an area of high humidity. The river
Orne Orne (; Norman Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identity * The Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were inhabitants of the early medieval Duchy of Normand ...
flows through the city, as well as small rivers known as ''les Odons'', most of which have been buried under the city to improve urban hygiene. Caen has a large flood zone, named "La prairie", located around the hippodrome, not far from the river Orne, which is regularly submerged. Caen is from the
Channel Channel, channels, channeling, etc., may refer to: Geography * Channel (geography), in physical geography, a landform consisting of the outline (banks) of the path of a narrow body of water. Australia * Channel Country, region of outback Austr ...

Channel
. A canal (
Canal de Caen à la Mer Canal de Caen à la Mer ( en, Canal from Caen to the sea, also called the "Caen Canal") is a short canal Canals are waterways Channel (geography), channels, or artificial waterways, for water conveyance, or to service water transport vehic ...
) parallel to the Orne was built during the reign of
Napoleon III Napoleon III (Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte; 20 April 18089 January 1873) was the first President of France The president of France, officially the President of the French Republic (french: Président de la République française), is t ...

Napoleon III
to link the city to the sea at all times. The canal reaches the
English Channel The English Channel,, "The Sleeve"; nrf, la Maunche, "The Sleeve" (Cotentinais Cotentinais is the dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , , "discourse", from , , "through" and , , "I speak") is used in two ...

English Channel
at
Ouistreham Ouistreham () is a commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concrete, abstract is what belongs ...

Ouistreham
. A lock keeps the tide out of the canal and lets large ships navigate up the canal to Caen's freshwater harbours.


Population

The population data in the table and graph below refer to the commune of Caen proper, in its geography at the given years. The commune of Caen absorbed the former commune of Venoix in 1952.


Main sights


Castle

The castle, ''
Château de CaenThe Château de Caen is a castle in the Norman city of Caen in the Calvados (department), Calvados ''Departments of France, département'' (Normandy). It has been officially classed as a ''Monument historique'' since 1997. of the château de Caen (' ...
'', built circa 1060 by William the Conqueror, who successfully conquered England in 1066, is one of the largest medieval fortresses of Western Europe. It remained an essential feature of
Norman Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identity * The Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were inhabitants of the early medieval Duchy of Normandy, descended from ...
strategy and policy. At Christmas 1182, a
royal court A royal court is an extended royal household in a monarchy A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001. p. ...
celebration for Christmas in the aula of Caen Castle brought together
Henry II Henry II may refer to: Kings *Henry II of England (1133–89), reigned from 1154 *Henry II of Jerusalem and Cyprus (1271–1324), reigned from 1285; king of Jerusalem in name only from 1291 *Henry II of Castile (1334–79), reigned 1366–67 and ...

Henry II
and his sons,
Richard the Lionheart Richard I (8 September 1157 – 6 April 1199) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England begins with Alfred the Great, who initially ruled Kingdom of Wessex, Wessex, one of the heptarchy, seven Angl ...

Richard the Lionheart
and
John Lackland John (24 December 1166 – 19 October 1216) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 12 July 927, when it emerg ...

John Lackland
, receiving more than a thousand knights. Caen Castle, along with all of Normandy, was handed over to the French Crown in 1204. The castle saw several engagements during the
Hundred Years' War The Hundred Years’ War (french: link=yes, La guerre de Cent Ans; 1337–1453) was a series of armed conflicts between the kingdoms of and during the . It originated from disputed claims to the between the English and the French roy ...
(1346, 1417, 1450) and was in use as a barracks as late as the Second World War. Bullet holes are visible on the walls of the castle where members of the
French Resistance The French Resistance (french: La Résistance) was a collection of organisations who fought the Nazi occupation of France The Military Administration in France (german: Militärverwaltung in Frankreich; french: Occupation de la France par l ...
were shot during the Second World War. Today, the castle serves as a museum that houses the ''Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen'' (Museum of
Fine Arts In European academic traditions, fine art is developed primarily for aesthetics Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about e ...

Fine Arts
of Caen) and ''Musée de Normandie'' (Museum of Normandy) along with many periodical exhibitions about arts and history. (See )


Abbeys

In repentance for marrying his cousin Mathilda of Flanders, William ordered two
abbey An abbey is a type of monastery A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monks or nuns, whether living in Cenobitic monasticism, communities or alone (hermits). A mo ...

abbey
s to be built on the
Pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Diocese of Rome, Rome, chief pastor of the worldwide Catholic Church, and head of state o ...

Pope
's encouragement: * Eglise St.-Etienne, formerly the ''Abbaye aux Hommes'' (Men's Abbey). It was completed in 1063 and is dedicated to
St Stephen Stephen ( grc-gre, Στέφανος ''Stéphanos'', meaning "wreath, crown" and by extension "reward, honor, renown, fame", often given as a title rather than as a name; he, סטפנוס הקדוש, ''Stephanos HaQadosh''; c. 5 – c. 34 AD) tr ...

St Stephen
. The current ''Hôtel de Ville'' (
town hall #REDIRECT Town hall#REDIRECT Town hall In local government, a city hall, town hall, civic centre (in the United Kingdom, UK or Australia), guildhall, or (more rarely) a municipal building, is the chief administration (government), admin ...

town hall
) of Caen is built onto the South
Transept A transept (with two semitransepts) is a transverse part of any building, which lies across the main body of the edifice."Transept", ProbertEncyclopaedia.comPE-tran In churches, a transept is an area set crosswise to the nave The nave () ...

Transept
of the building. * ''Eglise de la Ste.-Trinité'', formerly the ''Abbaye aux Dames'' (Women's Abbey). It was completed in 1060 and is dedicated to the
Holy Trinity The Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian ...

Holy Trinity
. The current seat of the regional council ('''') of
Basse-Normandie Image:CarteregionBasseNormandie.jpg, Roadmap of the region Lower Normandy (french: Basse-Normandie, ; nrf, Basse-Normaundie) is a former regions of France, administrative region of France. On 1 January 2016, Lower and Upper Normandy merged becomin ...
is nearby.


Others

* Jardin botanique de Caen, a historic
botanical garden A botanical garden or botanic gardenThe terms ''botanic'' and ''botanical'' and ''garden'' or ''gardens'' are used more-or-less interchangeably, although the word ''botanic'' is generally reserved for the earlier, more traditional gardens. is ...

botanical garden
* Church of Saint-Pierre * Church of Saint-Étienne-le-Vieux * Church of Saint-Jean de Caen * ''Mémorial pour la Paix'' ("Memorial for Peace") built in 1988, charting the events leading up to and after
D-Day The Normandy landings were the landing operation Allied invasion of Sicily, 1943 A landing operation is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended fo ...

D-Day
. It is an emotional presentation inviting meditation on the thought of
Elie Wiesel Elie Wiesel (, born Eliezer Wiesel ''ʾÉlīʿezer Vīzel''; September 30, 1928 – July 2, 2016) was a Romanian-born American writer, professor, political activist, Nobel laureate Nobel laureates of 2012 Alvin E. Roth, Brian Kobilka, Robe ...

Elie Wiesel
: "Peace is not a gift from God to man, but a gift from man to himself". The Memorial for Peace also includes an exhibit of
Nobel Peace Prize The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prize The Nobel Prizes ( ; sv, Nobelpriset ; no, Nobelprisen ) are five separate prizes that, according to Alfred Nobel Alfred Bernhard Nobel ( , ; 21 October 1833 – 10 Decemb ...
winners and another one on
Conflict Resolution Conflict-of-interest editing on Wikipedia, Conflict resolution is conceptualized as the methods and processes involved in facilitating the peaceful ending of Conflict (process), conflict and Revenge, retribution. Committed group members attemp ...

Conflict Resolution
in different cultures. * Parc Festyland, an
amusement park An amusement park is a park that features various attractions, such as rides and games, as well as other events for entertainment purposes. A theme park is a type of amusement park that bases its structures and attractions around a central ...
to the west of Caen in the nearby town of Carpiquet. The park receives 110,000 visitors every year. * Mondeville 2 is a regional shopping centre in adjoining Mondeville. * Medieval wooden houses * Colline aux Oiseaux, a floral parc located on the former dump of the city of Caen


Administration

Mayors of Caen have included: * 1945–1959: Yves Guillou,
Rally of the French People The Rally of the French People (French ''Rassemblement du Peuple Français'' or RPF) was a French political party, led by Charles de Gaulle Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle (; ; 22 November 1890 – 9 November 1970) was a French army offi ...
* 1959–1970:
Jean-Marie Louvel Jean-Marie Louvel (1 July 1900 – 13 June 1970) was a France, French engineer and politician. 1900 births 1970 deaths People from Orne Politicians from Normandy Popular Republican Movement politicians French Ministers of Commerce and I ...
, MRP and Centre Démocrate * 1970–2001: Jean-Marie Girault,
Republican Party Republican Party is a name used by many political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's elections. It is common for the members of a political party to have similar ideas about polit ...
and * 2001–2008: , and UMP * 2008–2014: Philippe Duron, Socialist Party (France), PS * 2014–present: Joël Bruneau, The Republicans (France), The Republicans Joël Bruneau was re-elected mayor in the 2020 Caen municipal election, 2020 municipal elections. In 1952, the small commune of Venoix became part of Caen. In 1990, the agglomeration of Caen was organized into a district, transformed in 2002 into a ''Communauté d'agglomération'' (''Grand Caen'' (Greater Caen), renamed Communauté d'agglomération Caen la Mer, Caen la Mer in 2004), gathers 29 towns and villages, including Villons-les-Buissons, Lion-sur-Mer, Hermanville-sur-Mer, which joined the Communauté d'agglomération in 2004. The population of the "communauté d'agglomération" is around 220,000 inhabitants. In the former administrative organisation, Caen was a part of 9 canton in France, cantons, of which it was the chief town. These cantons contained a total of 13 towns. Caen gave its name to a 10th canton, of which it was not part. Since the 2015 canton reorganization, Caen is part of the cantons of Canton of Caen-1, Caen-1, Canton of Caen-2, 2, Canton of Caen-3, 3, Canton of Caen-4, 4 and Canton of Caen-5, 5.


Transport

Formerly, Caen had Caen Guided Light Transit, guided bus system—built by Bombardier Transportation and modelled on its Bombardier Guided Light Transit, Guided Light Transit technology. Faced with the residents' anger against the project, the municipality had to pursue the project with only 23% of the population in favour of the new form of transport. The road layout of the city centre was deeply transformed and the formerly traffic-jam-free centre's problems are still unresolved. The system was closed in 2017 to make way for a new tram network that was opened in 2019. The new Caen tramway, tramway was inaugurated in 27 July 2019. Caen also has a very efficient network of city buses, operated under the name Twisto. The city is connected to the rest of the Calvados département by the Bus Verts du Calvados bus network. Caen - Carpiquet Airport is the biggest airport in Normandy considering the number of passengers and flights that it serves every year. Most flights are operated by HOP! and Chalair Aviation, Volotea and the French Flag carrier, national airline Air France operates three daily flights to the French cities of Lyon and Marseille. In the summer there are many Charter airline, flights to Spain, Germany, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria. Caen is served by the large port of
Ouistreham Ouistreham () is a commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concrete, abstract is what belongs ...

Ouistreham
, lying at the mouth of the Caen Canal where it meets the
English Channel The English Channel,, "The Sleeve"; nrf, la Maunche, "The Sleeve" (Cotentinais Cotentinais is the dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , , "discourse", from , , "through" and , , "I speak") is used in two ...

English Channel
. A cruise/ferry service operates between
Portsmouth Portsmouth ( ) is a and island with status in the of , southern . It is the most densely populated city in the , with a population last recorded at 238,800. The city forms part of the , which also incorporates , , , , , and . Located mainly ...

Portsmouth
, England, and Caen/Ouistreham running both standard roll-on-roll-off car ferries and supercat fast ferries, with the latter making crossing from March to November. The ferry terminal is from Caen with a daytime shuttle bus service for foot passengers. There's also a cyclist road from Caen to Ouistreham. Caen is connected to the rest of France by Autoroutes of France, motorways to Paris (A13 autoroute, A13), Brittany and Southern France (A84 autoroute, A84) and to Le Mans and central France (A88 autoroute, A88–A28 autoroute, A28). The A13 and A88 are toll roads while the A84 is a toll-free motorway. The city is encircled by the Périphérique (Caen), N814 ring-road (Boulevard Périphérique) that was completed in the late 1990s. The Route nationale 13, N13 connects Caen to Cherbourg-Octeville, Cherbourg and to Paris. A section of the former N13 (Caen-Paris) is now D613 (in Calvados) following road renumbering. The Boulevard Périphérique includes an impressive viaduct called the :fr:Viaduc de Calix , Viaduc de Calix that goes over the canal and Orne River, River Orne. The canal links the city to the sea to permit cargo ships and ferries to dock in the port of Caen. Ferries which have docked include the ''MV Quiberon, Quiberon'' and the ''MV Duc de Normandie, Duc de Normandie''. Although a fraction of what it used to be remains, Caen once boasted an extensive rail and tram network. From 1895 until 1936, the ''Tramway de Caen, Compagnie des Tramways Electriques de Caen'' (Electrical Tramway Company of Caen) operated all around the city. Caen also had several main and Branch line, branch railway lines linking Gare de Caen, Caen railway station to all parts of Normandy with lines to Gare St-Lazare, Paris, Vire, Flers, Orne, Flers,
Cabourg Cabourg () is a Communes of France, commune in the Calvados (department), Calvados Departments of France, department in the Normandy régions of France, region of France. Cabourg is on the coast of the English Channel, at the mouth of the river Div ...
, Houlgate,
Deauville Deauville () is a commune in the Calvados département in the Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie; from Old French , plural of ''Normant'', originally from the word for "northman" in several Scandinavian langu ...

Deauville
, Saint-Lô,
Bayeux Bayeux () is a commune An intentional community is a voluntary residential community designed from the start to have a high degree of group cohesiveness, social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically ho ...

Bayeux
and Cherbourg-Octeville, Cherbourg. Now only the electrified line of Paris-Cherbourg, Caen-Le Mans and Caen-Rennes subsist with regular services.


Education

* The University of Caen has around 30,000 students in five different campuses. The University is divided into 11 colleges, called ''UFR'' (''Unité fondamentale de Recherche''), six institutes, one Engineering School, two IUP and five local campuses. The University is one of the oldest in France, having been founded by Henry VI, King of England in 1432. * Caen also has a school of fine arts :fr:École supérieure d'arts et médias de Caen - Cherbourg, L'ésam Caen/Cherbourg and ''grandes écoles'' such as the École nationale supérieure d'ingénieurs de Caen. * A campus of the business school École de management de Normandie is also located in the city.


Economy

The agricultural and food-processing Agrial agricultural cooperative, cooperative has its head office on Caen. Agrial group processes vegetables, cider apples, milk, poultry and meat with the help of its 12,000 employees and all its partners.


Music and theatre

The Théâtre de Caen (1963) is the home of the Baroque music, Baroque musical ensemble Les Arts Florissants (ensemble), Les Arts Florissants. The organization was founded by conductor William Christie (musician), William Christie in 1979 and derives its name from the Les arts florissants (opera), 1685 opera by Marc-Antoine Charpentier.


Notable People

Caen was the birthplace of: * Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester (c. 1090–1147), illegitimate son of Henry I of England * Robert Constantin (bibliographer) (1530?–1605), scholar, lexicographer * Jean Bertaut (1552–1611), poet * François le Métel de Boisrobert (1592–1662), poet * François de Malherbe (1555–1628), poet, critic and translator (Malherbe's birthplace has survived) * Tanneguy Le Fèvre (1615–1672), classical scholar * Jean Regnault de Segrais (1624–1701), poet and novelist * Pierre Daniel Huet (1630–1721), churchman and scholar * René Auguste Constantin de Renneville (1650–1723), writer * Pierre Varignon (1654–1722), mathematician * Charlotte Corday (d. 1793), assassin of Jean-Paul Marat, Marat * François Henri Turpin (1709–1799), man of literature * Jacques Clinchamps de Malfilâtre (1732–1767), poet * J. Hector St. John de Crèvecœur (1735–1813), French-American writer * Louis Lépecq de La Clôture (1736-1804), epidemiologist physician * Jean-Jacques Boisard (1744–1833), writer who specialized in fables * Gervais de La Rue (1751–1835), historian * Jean-François Boisard (1762–1820), painter * Louis Gustave le Doulcet, comte de Pontécoulant (1764–1853), politician * Daniel Auber (1782–1871), composer * Jacques Amand Eudes-Deslongchamps (1794–1867), French naturalist and palaeontologist * Étienne Mélingue (1808–1875), actor and sculpture, sculptor * Jules Danbé (1840–1905) opera conductor * Charles-Hippolyte Pouthas (1886–1974), historian * André-Louis Danjon (1890–1967), astronomer * Marie-Pierre Kœnig (1898–1970), general who commanded a Free French Brigade at the Battle of Bir Hakeim in 1942, Maréchal de France * Florent Chopin (born 1958), painter * Christophe Desjardins (born 1962), violist * Arnaud Guillon (1964– ), writer * Gilles Peterson (1964– ), British-based DJ, record collector and record label owner, residing in London * Sonia de La Provôté (1968– ), member of the French Senate * Fabrice Le Vigoureux (1969– ), member of the National Assembly (France), National Assembly * Laurent Lefrançois (1974–) French contemporary composer * Joël Thomas (1987– ), professional football player * Elliot Grandin (1987– ), professional football player * Gabriel Dupont (1878–1914), musical composer * Saint John Eudes, the forerunner of the Catholic devotions, devotion to the Sacred Heart, death, died here.


International relations

Caen is Twin towns and sister cities, twinned with: * Alexandria, Virginia, Alexandria, United States * Nashville, Tennessee, Nashville, United States * Ohrid, North Macedonia *
Portsmouth Portsmouth ( ) is a and island with status in the of , southern . It is the most densely populated city in the , with a population last recorded at 238,800. The city forms part of the , which also incorporates , , , , , and . Located mainly ...

Portsmouth
, England, United Kingdom * Reșița, Romania * Thiès, Senegal * Würzburg, Germany * Anzio, Italy


Sport

From 1947 to 2006, Caen was a stage of the Tour de France a total of 15 times. Further, Caen was one of the hosts of the EuroBasket 1983. The city has a football team, Stade Malherbe Caen, SM Caen. In 2014, Caen was the location of the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games.


Symbols


Heraldry

Current arms:
''Gules, a single-towered open castle Or, windowed and masoned sable.''
Under the Ancien Régime: ''Per fess, gules and azure, 3 fleurs de lys Or.'' During the First French Empire: ''Gules, a single-towered castle Or, a chief of Good Imperial Cities (gules, 3 bees Or).'' File:Blason ville fr Caen ancien.svg,
Arms in effect under Ancien Régime.
File:Blason Caen 1809.svg,
Arms requested from Napoleon in 1809 which were refused.
File:Blason ville fr Caen (Calvados) Empire (Orn ext).svg,
Arms in effect under the First French Empire.
File:Blason ville fr Caen (Calvados) (Orn ext).svg,
Arms in effect today, reverting to the original arms of the 13th century.


Motto

Today, Caen has no motto, but it used to have one, which did not survive the French Revolution. As a result, its spelling is archaic and has not been updated:
''Un Dieu, un Roy, une Foy, une Loy.''
(One God, one King, one Faith, one Law.) This motto is reflected in a notable old Chant royal.Royal Chant, Pierre Gringoire (1475–1539)
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Code

Caen's home port code is CN.


Climate

Caen has an oceanic climate that is somewhat ameliorated due to its slightly inland position. In spite of this, summers are still cool by French standards and the climate is typically maritime in terms of high precipitation, relatively modest sunshine hours and mild winters.


Gallery

File:Escoville Angle.jpg, Hôtel d'Escoville, 16th century, Caen File:PlanCaenFortification.jpg, Anonymous pen-and-ink bird's-eye view of the fortifications of Caen (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris) File:Chateau_Caen.jpg, South Wall of the Castle, a huge fortress in the centre of the city File:Caen Hôtel de Ville.JPG, Town Hall of Caen File:Caen gare bv.jpg, Gare de Caen, Caen railway station File:Tramway de Caen Station.jpg, Caen's former 'tramway' was in fact a modern guided-bus system. A new tramway is going to be launched in September 2019. File:Normandie Calvados Caen6 tango7174.jpg, Saint-Étienne-le-Vieux Church File:Caen-1.JPG, Interior of Saint-Pierre Church File:Caen-2.JPG, The fortress of Caen File:Caen-3.JPG, The Abbey of St. Étienne File:Église Saint Pierre seen from in front of the Château.jpg, Église Saint Pierre seen from in front of the Château


See also

* Stade Malherbe Caen, Caen's association football, football team * Caen Stone *
Operation Charnwood Operation Charnwood was an Anglo-Canadian offensive that took place from 8 to 9 July 1944, during the Battle for Caen The Battle for Caen (June to August 1944) is the name given to fighting between the British Second Army (United Kingdom), Se ...
* Operation Overlord * Communes of the Calvados department


References


Bibliography

* Joseph Decaëns and Adrien Dubois (ed.), ''Caen Castle. A ten Centuries Old Fortress within the Town'', Publications du CRAHM, 2010,
Publications du CRAHM


External links

*
Caen City Council
*
Encyclopædia Britannica Caen

Mémorial pour la Paix museum

Caen town guide
{{Authority control Caen, Communes of Calvados (department) Prefectures in France Port cities and towns on the French Atlantic coast