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Trip to Caen

When traveling to France, please do make a trip to Caen. Caen is a commune and prefecture of the Calvados department in northwestern France. It is also the capital of Lower-Normandy ( Basse-Normandie) region. The city has a population of 115 000. The metropolitan area has got the population of about 200,000. It is situated 15 kilometers inland from the English Channel on the Orne river. A trip to Caen would be full of fun.

Caen is well connected to Paris and other places by motorways. The airport of the city is also the largest airport in Lower Normandy .

During the Battle of Normandy in World War II, Caen saw intense, bitter fighting between Allied and Axis forces. The British and Canadian troops captured the town after intense bombing that destroyed almost the entire city. During the battle, the town's inhabitants in large numbers sought refuge in the Men's Abbey (Abbaye aux Hommes), constructed by William. After the World War II, complete districts and university campus had to be rebuilt but Caen had lost its historical buildings forever except the famed castle and abbeys which are still standing high today.

On your trip to Caen, you will enjoy the Caen tourism. William the Conqueror, who conquered England in 1066, constructed the Chateau de Caen around 1060. It is one of the largest medieval fortresses of Western Europe. Caen Castle, with all of Normandy, was given to the French Crown in 1204. The castle saw a number of wars in the past. It was also used as barracks in World War II. The castle today houses museums, Museum of Fine Arts of Caen (Musee des Beaux-Arts de Caen ) and Museum of Normandy (Musee de Normandie).

Having married to his cousin Mathilda of Flanders, William also built two abbeys in repentance (with the Pope playing a role). These are:

Eglise de Ste.-Etienne, earlier Men's Abbey (Abbaye aux Hommes). It is dedicated to St Stephen. The present town hall (Hotel de Ville) is attached to the South Transept. Eglise de la Ste.-Trinite, earlier Women's Abbey (Abbaye aux Dames). It is dedicated to the Holy Trinity. The regional council (conseil r�gional) of Basse-Normandie's present seat is closeby.

Other interesting sights are:

Saint-Pierre Church; Memorial for Peace (M�morial pour la Paix) constructed in charting invasion and battles of Normandy, Saint �tienne abbey-church and Parc Festyland, the amusement park in closeby town of Carpiquet.

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