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The Cradle of Caen’s Heritage

By Linda Tancs

Caen is the capital of northern France’s Lower Normandy region. The cradle of its heritage is Château de Caen, a medieval castle that is one of the largest in Europe. Built around 1060 by William the Conqueror, it stands on a hill flanked by the Romanesque abbeys of Saint-Étienne (also known as the Men’s Abbey) and Sainte-Trinité (the Ladies’ Abbey), which date from the same period and were built to appease the Pope’s disapproval of William’s marriage to his cousin Matilda of Flanders. The castle is home to the Normandy Museum (devoted to WWII and the Battle of Normandy) and the Fine Arts Museum.

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