William the Conqueror's Caen

For every visitor who equates Normandy with WWII, there is another for whom the region is synonymous with William the Conqueror. With a life story worthy of a Game of Thrones plot and told in what is arguably the world's first embroidered graphic novel, his reign is a part of both French and British history that has forever connected these two nations on opposite sides of the Channel.

Today, William the Conqueror's legacy can be experienced in several locations around Normandy. From the place of his birth at Falaise Castle to the abbeys built in Caen by him and his wife, Matilda to the story of his battles told through the Bayeux tapestry to his final resting place in one of those abbeys, Abbey of Saint-Étienne, one can follow in the trail of William's reign and learn about his contribution to Normandy's unique culture.

In addition, history is still being made – or, rather, discovered – at Caen Castle, also known as Ducal Castle. A don’t-miss site in the city of Caen, this fortress that dates back to William's reign is currently the location of exciting excavations by archaeologists, who are finding more clues of how life was lived during Medieval Normandy. A walk along the ramparts gives visitors a bird's-eye view of the work being performed.
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