Take a look of Caen!!

This is one of the cities of many visits in my period in Versailles, and have a post and pictures of it in my blog. However, following my custom to do black and white series,no pictures; on areas previously visit this is it. I like to tell you a bit more on it, just take a look of Caen!! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Caen the conqueror’s city,The city is a miracle , destroyed in WWII due to the bombing she keeps a memorable heritage from abbeys to medieval castle,and mansions of the 18C, You can always get a wonderful view from the Place Guillouard to the abbey or Abbaye aux Hommes and the belltower of the Church St Etienne, and mansions from the 18C that one houses the Hôtel de Ville or city hall.

I have written before the history of Caen and its heritage, so this will be on some of its other sights with a walk in my favorite areas.

From one part and the other of the rue de Geôle you see tha Maison des Quatrans 15C one of the rare wooden house facades in town, and the ramparts of the Castle built by William the Conqueror around 1060. At the feet of the castle the neighborhood of Saint Pierre with its impressive heritage for a city destroyed 80% by allied bombing in 1944.

You can do good to start your walk in front of the castle with its wonderful look with a medieval center one of the best in Europe ; climb the ramparts for a magnificent view of the castle of which the oldest part dates from the 12C. You move on to the Abbaye aux Hommes or the men’s abbey ; here you see it as well as the Church St Etienne a masterpiece of Roman art from the 11C, done in the gothic style of the 13C and its two towers, Inside there is a stair looking like in suspension and on the Choir you see the hero William.

The rue Saint Pierre is the most commercial filled with wooden houses from the 15C where one of them host a post office museum. The corner of the Church Notre Dame and rue Froide is the oldest and has its medieval look with its arcades in the first floor street level, Push the door at No 41 and see a beautiful Renaissance courtyards. Continue your walk to the Place Saint Sauveur of classical style, with mansions giving a bit of Parisien air, There is a Church St Sauveur hidden behind a porch , On this square a market is held since the Middle Ages each Friday.

The rue Ecuyére has two wonderful houses at No 42 and No 44. The rue aux Fromages was called Monte-à-Regret as of prisioners that climb it to a column near to escape, The Place Fontette is the limit of old Caen with a nice Justice palace or courthouse in classic style from the 18C on the spot of a tour Châtimoine where crazy and prisioners were kept in atrocious conditions.

Caen loves books, a tradition going back to the 15C with the creation of an university in 1432 one of the oldest in France. You have many printing presses that were set up by the Place Bouchard by the 17C such as the famous Jean Macé. Today , the city has about 20 libraries between the rue Saint Pierre and Place Saint Sauveur of all sorts. The favorite of the family is the librarie Memoranda also salon de thé at 9 rue des Croisiers, webpage : https://www.memoranda.fr/

By the neighborhood of Vaugueux of not so well fame, there is always good ambiance since the time of Guy de Maupassant who studied and came here often. The neighborhood sits between the ducal castle and the Collegiate Church Saint Sépulcre. It was, also ,hit hard by the bombings of WWII, However, today the rue Vaugueux brings out the Parisien ambiance of shops and restos, the place to have dinner in Caen, You should stop by the Church St Sepulcre (we did not) .Founded in the 12C to house the relics of the Cross and has some souvenirs of Saint Thomas Beckett.

From the above continue to the Abbaye aux Dames or ladies abbey built by queen Mathilde around 1060 while her husband built the Abbaye aux Hommes. The two were like a penitences as the two were cousins, initially opposed by Rome but ways found to accepted… In the Abbaye aux Dames the religious taught girls including the one Charlotte Corday,,,The abbey has in its Choir the burial of Mathilde a dalle in black marble (wife of William the Conqueror and, as such, Duchess of Normandy and Queen of England) . You can go down to the crypt Saint Nicolas sous Terre with its many columns and the only underground chapel in Caen. Here you find the relics of Saint Nicolas, Saint Gilles, and Saint Etienne.

Caen is a sea town, thanks to the canal that connects the port de Ouistreham in the estuary of the Orne to the pleasure marina in city center. The canal was done from 1857, largely affected by the ferry line Ouistreham to Portsmouth in England in 1986. Today, there is a nice pleasure marina by the basin St Pierre where you can still reach the sea passing by the basins of Calix, , Hérouville, Blainville, Ranville, and finally Ouistreham. Afar you can see the Castle of Bénouville (1780) , and the famous Pegasus bridge, or liberty bridge in honor of the 6 division of British paratroopers in WWII who had the alias of Pegasus.

Some other things to see in Caen me think are :

The post office or Poste museum at 52 rue Saint Pierre. The Fine Arts museum of Beaux-Arts in the Castle. The Maison de Malherbe, 1 rue Vauquelin where poet François de Malherbe was born in 1555. The Hippodrome or racecourse 3 boulevard Yves Guillou since 1837, great garden with rosary and lake. And the one we have visited the most several years back from Versailles, the Mémorial de Caen. Opened in 1988 presenting the world wars with its consequences with a beautiful trail of visits. A real place of contemporary history ,located at Esplanade Eisenhower, webpage : https://normandy.memorial-caen.com/

The city of Caen on its heritage : https://caen.fr/patrimoine

The Caen and sea tourist office on Caen :https://www.caenlamer-tourisme.com/discover-caen-la-mer/caen-a-city-with-a-thousand-faces/

There you go folks, another dandy in nice Normandie of my belle France. This is memorable Caen, one of the cities must see ,and hope this post will get you there when possible.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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