Caen

Caen (/kɑːn/; French pronunciation: ​[kɑ̃]; Norman: Kaem), (Caen  in French) is a commune in northwestern France. It is the prefecture of the Calvados department. The city proper has 108,365 inhabitants (as of 2012), 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 and Rouen and the third largest city proper in Normandy, after Rouen and Le Havre.[1][2] 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 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) inland from the English Channel, 200 kilometres north-west of Paris, and connected to the south of England by the Caen-(Ouistreham)-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 and Cabourg, Norman Switzerland and Pays d'Auge, Caen is often considered the archetype of Normandy.

Caen is known for its historical buildings built during the reign of William the Conqueror, who was buried there, and for the Battle for Caen—heavy fighting that took place in and around Caen during the Battle of Normandy 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.

Caen
July 2010 view of centre of Caen and the Abbey of St. Étienne
July 2010 view of centre of Caen
and the Abbey of St. Étienne
Coat of arms of Caen

Coat of arms
Location of Caen
Caen is located in France
Caen
Caen
Caen is located in Normandy
Caen
Caen
Coordinates: 49°11′N 0°22′W / 49.18°N 0.37°WCoordinates: 49°11′N 0°22′W / 49.18°N 0.37°W
CountryFrance
RegionNormandy
DepartmentCalvados
ArrondissementCaen
CantonCaen-1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
IntercommunalityCaen la Mer
Government
 • Mayor (2014-2020) Joël Bruneau (LR)
Area
1
25.70 km2 (9.92 sq mi)
Population
(2015)2
106,260
 • Density4,100/km2 (11,000/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Caennais
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
14118 /14000
Elevation2–73 m (6.6–239.5 ft)
(avg. 8 m or 26 ft)
Websitewww.caen.fr
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries. 2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

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).

Blason ville fr Caen ancien
Arms in effect under Ancien Régime.
Blason Caen 1809
Arms requested from Napoleon in 1809 which were refused.[3]
Blason ville fr Caen (Calvados) Empire (Orn ext)
Arms in effect under the First French Empire.
Blason ville fr Caen (Calvados) (Orn ext)
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:[4]

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.[5]

Code

Caen's home port code is CN.

History

Hundred Years' War

In 1346, King 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. During the attack, English officials searched its archives and found a copy of the 1339 Franco-Norman plot to invade England, devised by Philip VI of France and Normandy. This was subsequently used as propaganda to justify the supplying and financing of the conflict and its continuation. 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. It was later captured by Henry V in 1417 and treated harshly for being the first town to put up any resistance to his invasion.

Second World War

Canadian bulldozer in Caen
Ruins of Caen

During the Battle of Normandy in the Second World War, Caen was liberated from the Nazis in early July, a month after the 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. However they were held up north of the city until 9 July, when an intense bombing campaign during Operation Charnwood destroyed 70% of the city and killed 2,000 French civilians.[6] The Allies seized the western quarters, a month later than Field Marshal Montgomery'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. Both the cathedral and the university were entirely 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, Rouen, Cabourg, Deauville and 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.

Images

Escoville Angle

Hôtel d'Escoville, 16th century, Caen

PlanCaenFortification

Anonymous pen-and-ink bird's-eye view of the fortifications of Caen (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris)

Chateau Caen

South Wall of the Castle, a huge fortress in the centre of the city

Caen Hôtel de Ville

Town Hall of Caen

Tramway de Caen Station

Caen's 'tramway' is in fact a modern guided-bus system

Normandie Calvados Caen6 tango7174

Saint-Étienne-le-Vieux Church

Caen-1

Interior of Saint-Pierre Church

Caen-2

The fortress of Caen

Caen-3

The Abbey of St. Étienne

Église Saint Pierre seen from in front of the Château

Église Saint Pierre seen from in front of the Château

Etymology

The very first mentions of the name of Caen are found in different acts of the dukes of Normandy: Cadon 1021/1025,[7] Cadumus 1025,[8] Cathim 1026/1027.[9] Year 1070 of the Parker manuscript[10] of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle refers to Caen as Kadum,[11] and year 1086 of the Laud manuscript[12] gives the name as Caþum.[13] Despite a lack of sources as to the origin of the settlements, the name Caen would seem to be of Gaulish origin, from the words catu-, referring to military activities and magos, field, hence meaning "manoeuvre field" or "battlefield".[14] In Layamon's Brut, the poet asserts that King Arthur named the city in memory of Sir Kay.[15]

Geography

Caen is in an area of high humidity. The Orne River 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[16],[17].

Caen is 10 km (6 mi) from the Channel. A canal (Canal de Caen à la Mer) parallel to the Orne was built during the reign of Napoleon III to link the city to the sea at all times. The canal reaches the English Channel at Ouistreham. A lock keeps the tide out of the canal and lets large ships navigate up the canal to Caen's freshwater harbours.

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.

Climate data for Carpiquet (near Caen–Carpiquet Airport), elevation: 67 m, 1981–2010 normals
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 16.1
(61.0)
20.8
(69.4)
24.4
(75.9)
26.4
(79.5)
30.4
(86.7)
34.1
(93.4)
36.6
(97.9)
38.9
(102.0)
33.5
(92.3)
28.9
(84.0)
21.6
(70.9)
17.2
(63.0)
38.9
(102.0)
Average high °C (°F) 8.0
(46.4)
8.6
(47.5)
11.5
(52.7)
13.6
(56.5)
17.1
(62.8)
20.1
(68.2)
22.6
(72.7)
22.8
(73.0)
20.1
(68.2)
16.1
(61.0)
11.5
(52.7)
8.3
(46.9)
15.1
(59.2)
Average low °C (°F) 2.6
(36.7)
2.4
(36.3)
4.2
(39.6)
5.3
(41.5)
8.5
(47.3)
11.0
(51.8)
13.1
(55.6)
13.2
(55.8)
11.1
(52.0)
8.7
(47.7)
5.3
(41.5)
3.0
(37.4)
7.4
(45.3)
Record low °C (°F) −19.6
(−3.3)
−16.5
(2.3)
−7.4
(18.7)
−5.7
(21.7)
−0.8
(30.6)
1.0
(33.8)
4.7
(40.5)
4.0
(39.2)
1.8
(35.2)
−3.7
(25.3)
−6.8
(19.8)
−11.0
(12.2)
−19.6
(−3.3)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 66.1
(2.60)
52.4
(2.06)
55.6
(2.19)
50.4
(1.98)
62.6
(2.46)
57.9
(2.28)
52.6
(2.07)
51.2
(2.02)
60.8
(2.39)
77.6
(3.06)
74.6
(2.94)
78.1
(3.07)
739.9
(29.13)
Average precipitation days 12.0 10.7 10.8 10.3 10.2 8.2 8.0 7.6 9.5 12.1 12.7 13.6 125.7
Average snowy days 3.4 3.8 2.3 0.9 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.9 2.2 13.6
Average relative humidity (%) 86 84 82 80 81 82 81 81 83 86 86 87 83.3
Mean monthly sunshine hours 69.6 84.3 125.6 167.3 193.7 213.5 207.1 204.4 167.2 117.8 79.4 61.4 1,691.2
Source #1: Météo France[18][19]
Source #2: Infoclimat.fr (humidity and snowy days, 1961–1990)[20]</ref>
Climate data for Carpiquet (near Caen–Carpiquet Airport), elevation: 67 m, 1961-1990 normals and extremes
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 15.8
(60.4)
19.4
(66.9)
22.4
(72.3)
26.4
(79.5)
29.8
(85.6)
32.6
(90.7)
33.9
(93.0)
35.8
(96.4)
33.5
(92.3)
27.6
(81.7)
19.9
(67.8)
17.2
(63.0)
35.8
(96.4)
Mean maximum °C (°F) 10.6
(51.1)
12.8
(55.0)
13.8
(56.8)
16.1
(61.0)
19.2
(66.6)
23.7
(74.7)
25.2
(77.4)
25.2
(77.4)
22.8
(73.0)
19.2
(66.6)
13.3
(55.9)
10.7
(51.3)
25.2
(77.4)
Average high °C (°F) 7.9
(46.2)
8.0
(46.4)
10.4
(50.7)
12.6
(54.7)
15.9
(60.6)
19.1
(66.4)
21.2
(70.2)
21.7
(71.1)
19.9
(67.8)
16.0
(60.8)
10.9
(51.6)
8.2
(46.8)
14.3
(57.8)
Daily mean °C (°F) 5.1
(41.2)
5.1
(41.2)
6.7
(44.1)
8.8
(47.8)
12.0
(53.6)
14.7
(58.5)
16.8
(62.2)
17.2
(63.0)
15.2
(59.4)
11.9
(53.4)
7.7
(45.9)
5.6
(42.1)
10.6
(51.0)
Average low °C (°F) 2.3
(36.1)
1.9
(35.4)
3.2
(37.8)
4.9
(40.8)
7.6
(45.7)
10.4
(50.7)
12.2
(54.0)
12.2
(54.0)
10.7
(51.3)
8.0
(46.4)
4.6
(40.3)
2.9
(37.2)
6.7
(44.1)
Mean minimum °C (°F) −4.8
(23.4)
−3.4
(25.9)
0.3
(32.5)
3.4
(38.1)
6.2
(43.2)
8.1
(46.6)
11.0
(51.8)
10.8
(51.4)
8.5
(47.3)
5.7
(42.3)
2.5
(36.5)
−1.2
(29.8)
−4.8
(23.4)
Record low °C (°F) −19.6
(−3.3)
−13.6
(7.5)
−7.4
(18.7)
−5.7
(21.7)
−0.7
(30.7)
1.0
(33.8)
4.7
(40.5)
4.0
(39.2)
1.9
(35.4)
−2.0
(28.4)
−6.8
(19.8)
−9.3
(15.3)
−19.6
(−3.3)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 53.2
(2.09)
54.8
(2.16)
53.6
(2.11)
46.0
(1.81)
58.4
(2.30)
46.5
(1.83)
36.7
(1.44)
41.5
(1.63)
58.6
(2.31)
55.5
(2.19)
84.5
(3.33)
55.7
(2.19)
645
(25.39)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 11.0 11.0 11.0 10.0 9.5 8.0 7.0 7.5 8.5 10.0 14.0 11.5 119
Average snowy days 2.5 2.5 1.5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.5 8
Mean monthly sunshine hours 70.2 88.0 137.7 170.4 204.6 211.0 226.7 209.5 168.9 127.6 84.2 64.8 1,763.6
Percent possible sunshine 27.0 31.0 38.0 42.0 44.0 44.0 47.0 48.0 45.0 39.0 31.0 26.0 38.5
Source: NOAA[21]

Main sights

Castle

The castle, 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 strategy and policy. At Christmas 1182, a royal court celebration for Christmas in the aula of Caen Castle brought together Henry II and his sons, Richard the Lionheart and 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 (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 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 of Caen) and Musée de Normandie (Museum of Normandy) along with many periodical exhibitions about arts and history. (See Timeline of Caen Castle at the Wayback Machine (archived 13 February 2006))

Abbeys

In repentance for marrying his cousin Mathilda of Flanders, William ordered two abbeys to be built on the Pope's encouragement:

Others

Administration

Armoiries de Caen
The coat of arms of Caen

Mayors of Caen have included:

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 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 220000 inhabitants.

In the former administrative organisation, Caen was a part of 9 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 Caen-1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.[25]

Transport

Caen has a recently built, controversial guided bus system—built by Bombardier Transportation and modelled on its 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 abandoned by the end of 2017 and replaced by a tram.[26]

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 Lower-Normandy considering the number of passengers that it serves every year. Most flights are operated by HOP! and Chalair Aviation and the French national airline Air France operates three daily flights to the French city of Lyon. Flybe also operate year-round services to London-Southend. In the summer there are many charter flights to Spain, Germany, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria.

Caen is served by the small port of Ouistreham, lying at the mouth of the Caen Canal where it meets the English Channel. A ferry service operates between 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 15 km (9.3 mi) from Caen with a daytime shuttle bus service for foot passengers.

Caen is connected to the rest of France by motorways to Paris (A13), Brittany (A84) and soon to Le Mans (A88–A28). The A13 is a toll road while the A84 is a toll-free motorway. The city is encircled by the N814 ring-road that was completed in the late 1990s. The N13 connects Caen to Cherbourg and to Paris. A section of the former N13 (Caen-Paris) is now D613 (in Calvados) following road renumbering. The N814 ring-road includes an impressive viaduct called the Viaduc de Calix that goes over the canal and 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 Quiberon and the 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 Compagnie des Tramways Electriques de Caen (Electrical Tramway Company of Caen) operated all around the city. Caen also had several main and branch railway lines linking Caen railway station to all parts of Normandy with lines to Paris, Vire, Flers, Cabourg, Houlgate, Deauville, Saint-Lô, Bayeux and Cherbourg. Now only the electrified line of Paris-Cherbourg, Caen-Le Mans and Caen-Rennes subsist with minimal services.

Education

Caenpanorama wikipedia
The Caen skyline facing the Saint-Pierre Church. Photo taken from the Château de Caen – April 2007.

Economy

The agricultural and food-processing Agrial 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.[27]

Music and theatre

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

Notable Caennais

Caen was the birthplace of:

International relations

Twin towns and sister cities

Caen is twinned with:[28][29]

Sport

From 1947 to 2006, Caen was a stage of the Tour de France a total of 15 times.[35] Further, Caen was one of the hosts of the EuroBasket 1983. The city has a football team, SM Caen.

See also

References

  1. ^ "La Normandie compte 3 339 131 habitants". www.paris-normandie.fr (in French). Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  2. ^ "Grande Normandie : combien d'habitants dans votre commune ?" (in French). Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  3. ^ Cabinet du maire de Caen
  4. ^ "French motto and heraldry site". Archived from the original on 2 January 2009. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
  5. ^ Royal Chant, Pierre Gringoire (1475–1539)
  6. ^ "Mémorial des victimes civiles 1944 en Basse-Normandie". Crhq.cnrs.fr. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  7. ^ Marie Fauroux, Recueil des actes des ducs de Normandie (911–1066), Mémoires de la Société des antiquaires de Normandie XXXVI, Caen, 1961, p. 122, n° 32.
  8. ^ Ibid., p. 130, n° 34.
  9. ^ Villam que dicitur Cathim super fluvium Olne: the town called Cathim on the Orne river, ibid., p. 182, n° 58.
  10. ^ "Manuscript A: The Parker Chronicle". Asc.jebbo.co.uk. 15 August 2007. Retrieved 7 July 2009.
  11. ^ Her Landfranc se þe wæs abbod an Kadum com to Ængla lande: Here Lanfranc who was abbot at Caen came to England.
  12. ^ Manuscript E: The Laud Chronicle - Asc.jebbo.co.uk
  13. ^ He swealt on Normandige on þone nextan dæg æfter natiuitas sancte Marie. 7 man bebyrgede hine on Caþum æt sancte Stephanes mynstre: He [King William] died in Normandy on the day after the Nativity of St Mary and was buried in Caen, in St Stephen's Abbey
  14. ^ René Lepelley, Dictionnaire étymologique des noms de communes de Normandie, P.U.C., Corlet, Caen, Condé-sur-Noireau, 1996)
  15. ^ Brut, l. 13,936
  16. ^ "La Prairie de Caen". CAEN (in French). Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  17. ^ "EN IMAGES. Caen : inondations autour de la Prairie". Ouest-France.fr (in French). Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  18. ^ "Données climatiques de la station de Caen" (in French). Meteo France. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  19. ^ "Climat Basse-Normandie" (in French). Meteo France. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  20. ^ "Normes et records 1961-1990: Caen-Carpiquet (14) - altitude 64m" (in French). Infoclimat. Retrieved January 9, 2016. Archived March 15, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ "Caen–Carpiquet (07027) - WMO Weather Station". NOAA. Retrieved January 18, 2019. Archived January 18, 2019, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ "Maisons à pans de bois". Office de Tourisme de Caen (in French). Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  23. ^ "Colline aux Oiseaux". CAEN (in French). Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  24. ^ "La colline aux oiseaux, l'un des plus grand parc et jardins de Cae". Site officiel du tourisme dans le Calvados (in French). Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  25. ^ "Décret n° 2014-160 du 17 février 2014 portant délimitation des cantons dans le département du Calvados | Legifrance". Retrieved 2017-05-16.
  26. ^ http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/single-view/view/guided-bus-to-tram-plan-confirmed.html
  27. ^ "Annual Report 2014" (PDF). Agrial Group. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  28. ^ a b c d e f "National Commission for Decentralised cooperation". Délégation pour l’Action Extérieure des Collectivités Territoriales (Ministère des Affaires étrangères) (in French). Archived from the original on 27 November 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  29. ^ Mairie de Caen. "Caen, terre d'échanges". Archived from the original on 20 April 2009. Retrieved 28 September 2009.
  30. ^ "Sister Cities of Nashville". SCNashville.org. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
  31. ^ Griffin, Mary (2 August 2011). "Coventry's twin towns". Coventry Telegraph. Archived from the original on 6 August 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  32. ^ "Coventry - Twin towns and cities". Coventry City Council. Archived from the original on 12 April 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  33. ^ a b "British towns twinned with French towns". Archant Community Media Ltd. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  34. ^ (6 June 1987)"Twin Towns in Hampshire". www3.hants.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 11 February 2007. Retrieved 6 November 2009.
  35. ^ "Caen in the Tour de France". Archived from the original on 13 July 2016.

Bibliography

  • Joseph Decaëns and Adrien Dubois (ed.), Caen Castle. A ten Centuries Old Fortress within the Town, Publications du CRAHM, 2010, ISBN 978-2-902685-75-2, Publications du CRAHM

External links

Arrondissement of Caen

The arrondissement of Caen is an arrondissement of France in the Calvados department in the Normandy region. Since the January 2017 reorganization of the arrondissements of Calvados, it has 208 communes.

Battle for Caen

The Battle for Caen (June to August 1944) is the name for the fighting between the British Second Army and German Panzergruppe West in the Second World War for control of the city of Caen and vicinity, during the Battle of Normandy. The battles followed Operation Neptune, the Allied landings on the French coast on 6 June 1944 (D-Day).

Caen is about 9 mi (14 km) inland from the Calvados coast and is astride the Orne River and Caen Canal at the junction of several roads and railways, the Orne and Odon rivers and the Odon canal, which made it an important operational objective for both sides. Caen and the area to the south was flatter and more open than the bocage country in western Normandy and the Allied air force commanders wanted the land captured quickly, to base more aircraft in France.

The British 3rd Infantry Division was to seize Caen on D-Day or to dig in short of the city if the Germans prevented its capture, masking Caen temporarily to maintain the Allied threat against it and thwart the possibility of a German counter-attack from the city. Caen, Bayeux and Carentan were not captured by the Allies on D-Day and for the first week of the invasion the Allies concentrated on linking the beachheads. The Anglo-Canadians resumed their attacks in the vicinity of Caen and the suburbs and city centre north of the Orne were captured during Operation Charnwood (8–9 July). The Caen suburbs south of the river were captured by the II Canadian Corps during Operation Atlantic (18–20 July). The Germans had committed most of their panzer divisions in a determined defence of Caen, which made the fighting mutually costly and deprived the Germans of the means greatly to reinforce the west end of the invasion front.

In western Normandy, the US First Army cut off the Cotentin Peninsula, captured Cherbourg and then attacked southwards towards Saint-Lô, about 37 mi (60 km) west of Caen, capturing the town on 19 July. On 25 July after a weather delay, the First Army began Operation Cobra on the Saint-Lô–Périers road, coordinated with the Canadian Operation Spring at Verrières (Bourguébus) ridge to the south of Caen. Cobra was a great success and began a collapse of the German position in Normandy; the Allied break-out led to the Battle of the Falaise Pocket (12–21 August), which trapped most of the remnants of the 7th Army and 5th Panzer Army (formerly Panzergruppe West), which opened the way to the Seine and Paris.

The city of Caen was destroyed by Allied bombing which, with the damage from ground combat, caused many French civilian casualties. After the battle little of the pre-war city remained and reconstruction of the city lasted until 1962.

Caen stone

Caen stone (French: Pierre de Caen), is a light creamy-yellow Jurassic limestone quarried in north-western France near the city of Caen. The limestone is a fine grained oolitic limestone formed in shallow water lagoons in the Bathonian Age about 167 million years ago. The stone is homogeneous, and therefore suitable for carving.

Caen – Carpiquet Airport

Caen – Carpiquet Airport (French: Aéroport de Caen - Carpiquet) (IATA: CFR, ICAO: LFRK) is a civil airport located in Carpiquet, 6 km west of Caen, both communes of the Calvados département in the Normandy (formerly Lower Normandy) region of France. Chalair Aviation has its head offices at the airport. In 2017, Caen - Carpiquet airport handled 180,910 passengers, an increase of 30.1% over 2016. In 2018, it handled 274,011 passengers, a 51.5% increase over 2017.

Emiliano Sala

Emiliano Raúl Sala Taffarel (31 October 1990 – 21 January 2019) was an Argentine professional footballer who played as a forward.

After playing youth football in Argentina and following a short spell in Portugal's regional leagues, Sala began his professional career in France with Bordeaux, making his professional debut in February 2012. After struggling to break into the first team, he was loaned out to Championnat National side Orléans and Ligue 2 side Niort in consecutive seasons. He enjoyed prolific spells with both clubs, scoring 39 goals between them, before returning to Bordeaux. After initially being promised an increased role after his successful loans, Sala fell out of favour again, and instead, joined fellow Ligue 1 side Caen on loan.

In 2015, he signed for Nantes on a permanent basis. With Nantes, he made more than 100 appearances in Ligue 1, and achieved a successful goalscoring record, finishing as the club's top goalscorer for three consecutive seasons. His form prompted a move to Cardiff City in January 2019, for a club record fee of £15 million (€18 million).

Sala died in a plane crash off Alderney on 21 January 2019. He was flying from Nantes to Cardiff aboard a Piper Malibu light aircraft. An initial three-day search covered 1,700 square miles (4,400 km2) across the English Channel. Two subsequent private searches were launched, resulting in the discovery of the wreckage on 3 February; Sala's body was recovered four days later.

Herb Caen

Herb Caen (; 1916–1997) was a San Francisco journalist whose daily column of local goings-on and insider gossip, social and political happenings, painful puns and offbeat anecdotes—"a continuous love letter to San Francisco"—appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle for almost sixty years (excepting a relatively brief defection to The San Francisco Examiner) and made him a household name throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

"The secret of Caen's success", wrote the editor of a rival publication, was

his outstanding ability to take a wisp of fog, a chance phrase overheard in an elevator, a happy child on a cable car, a deb in a tizzy over a social reversal, a family in distress and give each circumstance the magic touch that makes a reader an understanding eyewitness of the day's happenings.

A special Pulitzer Prize called him the "voice and conscience" of San Francisco."

Le Zénith

Le Zénith is the name given to a series of indoor arenas in France. The first arena, the "Zénith Paris" is a rejuvenation of the Pavillon de Paris. In French culture, the word "zénith" has become synonymous with "theater". A zénith is a theater that can accommodate concert tours, variety shows, plays, musicals and dance recitals. All zeniths carry a similar internal design of an indoor amphitheater that can seat at least 3,000 spectators.

A venue was planned to open in Saint-Denis, Réunion entitled Zénith du Port. The arena was proposed in 2005 by the city council. Planned to open in 2008 with a capacity of 6,000, the construction of the arena was shut down. It was determined the venue would not be profitable as there was no research done to see which events the arena could house. They also felt the venue would be a hard sell to bring in international talent. Kabardock was built on the proposed site of the zenith.

N'Golo Kanté

N'Golo Kanté (French: [(ɛ)ŋɡolo kɑ̃te]; born 29 March 1991) is a French professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for Premier League club Chelsea and the France national team.

He made his senior debut at Boulogne and then spent two seasons at Caen, the latter in Ligue 1. In 2015, he joined Leicester City for a fee of £5.6 million and became an integral member of the club's first ever Premier League title in his only season at the club. The following year, he joined Chelsea for a reported fee of £32 million, winning the league again in his first season. He also won the PFA Players' Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year and became the first outfield player to win back-to-back English league titles with different clubs since Eric Cantona in 1992 and 1993.Kanté made his senior international debut for France in 2016. He was included in their squad that finished runners-up at that year's European Championship. Two years later, he was a key member of the French team that won the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Normandy landings

The Normandy landings were the landing operations on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. Codenamed Operation Neptune and often referred to as D-Day, it was the largest seaborne invasion in history. The operation began the liberation of German-occupied France (and later Europe) from Nazi control, and laid the foundations of the Allied victory on the Western Front.

Planning for the operation began in 1943. In the months leading up to the invasion, the Allies conducted a substantial military deception, codenamed Operation Bodyguard, to mislead the Germans as to the date and location of the main Allied landings. The weather on D-Day was far from ideal and the operation had to be delayed 24 hours; a further postponement would have meant a delay of at least two weeks as the invasion planners had requirements for the phase of the moon, the tides, and the time of day that meant only a few days each month were deemed suitable. Adolf Hitler placed German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in command of German forces and of developing fortifications along the Atlantic Wall in anticipation of an Allied invasion.

The amphibious landings were preceded by extensive aerial and naval bombardment and an airborne assault—the landing of 24,000 US, British, and Canadian airborne troops shortly after midnight. Allied infantry and armoured divisions began landing on the coast of France at 06:30. The target 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast was divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. Strong winds blew the landing craft east of their intended positions, particularly at Utah and Omaha. The men landed under heavy fire from gun emplacements overlooking the beaches, and the shore was mined and covered with obstacles such as wooden stakes, metal tripods, and barbed wire, making the work of the beach-clearing teams difficult and dangerous. Casualties were heaviest at Omaha, with its high cliffs. At Gold, Juno, and Sword, several fortified towns were cleared in house-to-house fighting, and two major gun emplacements at Gold were disabled, using specialised tanks.

The Allies failed to achieve any of their goals on the first day. Carentan, St. Lô, and Bayeux remained in German hands, and Caen, a major objective, was not captured until 21 July. Only two of the beaches (Juno and Gold) were linked on the first day, and all five beachheads were not connected until 12 June; however, the operation gained a foothold which the Allies gradually expanded over the coming months. German casualties on D-Day have been estimated at 4,000 to 9,000 men. Allied casualties were at least 10,000, with 4,414 confirmed dead.

Museums, memorials, and war cemeteries in the area now host many visitors each year.

Operation Charnwood

Operation Charnwood was an Anglo-Canadian offensive that took place from 8 to 9 July 1944, during the Battle for Caen, part of the larger Operation Overlord (code-name for the Battle of Normandy) in the Second World War. The operation was intended to at least partially capture the German-occupied city of Caen (French pronunciation: ​[kɑ̃]) which was an important objective for the Allies during the opening stages of Overlord. It was also hoped that the attack would forestall the transfer of German armoured units from the Anglo-Canadian sector to the American sector to the west, where an offensive was being prepared. The British and Canadians advanced on a broad front and by the evening of the second day had taken Caen up to the Orne and Odon rivers.

Preceded by a controversial bombing raid that destroyed much of the historic Old City of Caen, Operation Charnwood began at dawn on 8 July, with three infantry divisions attacking German positions north of Caen, behind a creeping barrage. Supported by three armoured brigades, the British I Corps made gradual progress against the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend and the 16th Luftwaffe Field Division. By the end of the day the 3rd Canadian Division and the British 3rd Infantry Division and 59th (Staffordshire) Infantry Division had cleared the villages in their path and reached the outskirts of the city. Moving into Caen at dawn the following morning, the Allies encountered resistance from remnants of German units who were beginning a withdrawal across the Orne. Carpiquet airfield fell to the Canadians during the early morning and by 18:00, the British and Canadians had linked up along the north bank of the Orne. The remaining bridges were defended or impassable and with German reserves positioned to oppose their crossing, I Corps ended the operation.

Operation Charnwood was mutually costly and a tactical success for the Allies. The Germans retired from north of the Orne River but did not stop sending formations to the American front. The Germans established another defensive line along two ridges to the south of the city. The Allies maintained the initiative and began Operation Jupiter the next day and Operation Goodwood and Operation Atlantic a week later, in which the rest of Caen was secured.

Operation Overlord

Operation Overlord was the codename for the Battle of Normandy, the Allied operation that launched the successful invasion of German-occupied Western Europe during World War II. The operation was launched on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings (Operation Neptune, commonly known as D-Day). A 1,200-plane airborne assault preceded an amphibious assault involving more than 5,000 vessels. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on 6 June, and more than two million Allied troops were in France by the end of August.

The decision to undertake a cross-channel invasion in 1944 was taken at the Trident Conference in Washington in May 1943. General Dwight D. Eisenhower was appointed commander of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), and General Bernard Montgomery was named as commander of the 21st Army Group, which comprised all the land forces involved in the invasion. The coast of Normandy of northwestern France was chosen as the site of the invasion, with the Americans assigned to land at sectors codenamed Utah and Omaha, the British at Sword and Gold, and the Canadians at Juno. To meet the conditions expected on the Normandy beachhead, special technology was developed, including two artificial ports called Mulberry harbours and an array of specialised tanks nicknamed Hobart's Funnies. In the months leading up to the invasion, the Allies conducted a substantial military deception, Operation Bodyguard, using both electronic and visual misinformation. This misled the Germans as to the date and location of the main Allied landings. Führer Adolf Hitler placed German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in charge of developing fortifications all along Hitler's proclaimed Atlantic Wall in anticipation of an invasion.

The Allies failed to accomplish their objectives for the first day, but gained a tenuous foothold that they gradually expanded when they captured the port at Cherbourg on 26 June and the city of Caen on 21 July. A failed counterattack by German forces on 8 August left 50,000 soldiers of the 7th Army trapped in the Falaise pocket. The Allies launched a second invasion from the Mediterranean Sea of southern France (code-named Operation Dragoon) on 15 August, and the Liberation of Paris followed on 25 August. German forces retreated east across the Seine on 30 August 1944, marking the close of Operation Overlord.

Roger of Salisbury

Roger of Salisbury (died 1139), also known as Roger le Poer, was a Norman medieval bishop of Salisbury and the seventh Lord Chancellor and Lord Keeper of England.

Stade Malherbe Caen

Stade Malherbe Caen (French pronunciation: ​[stɑd malɛʁb kɑ̃]; commonly referred to as SM Caen or SMC) is a French professional football team, playing in the city of Caen in Normandy. The club was founded on 17 November 1913 by the merger of Club Malherbe Caennais and Club Sportif Caennais. The team takes its name from François de Malherbe, a 17th century poet from Caen.

For most of its history, SM Caen has been one of the main amateur clubs in France. The late 1980s and early 1990s saw the rise of Stade Malherbe in the French football hierarchy. In 1985, Stade Malherbe adopted professional status. Three seasons later, it was promoted for the first time to first division. In 1992, a few months after being narrowly saved from bankruptcy, the club finished fifth in Division 1 and qualified for UEFA Cup. But it was relegated three years later. Despite a second division title won in 1996, SM Caen fell back into the anonymity of the second division.

Under the chairmanship of Jean-François Fortin, from 2002, and under the sporting direction of Patrick Rémy, Franck Dumas and then Patrice Garande, the Stade Malherbe has regained sporting success. The club was promoted in Ligue 1 several times, reached the Coupe de la Ligue final in 2005 and finished 7th in Ligue 1 in 2016. In 2018, as the club began its 5th consecutive season in Ligue 1, a conflict erupted within the management team: Jean-François Fortin left his place to Gilles Sergent, while Patrice Garande was replaced by Fabien Mercadal.

SM Caen has been playing since 1993 at the Stade Michel d'Ornano. Before and since its foundation, the club played at Stade de Venoix, which is now used by the reserve team. It has essentially geographical rivalries with Le Havre AC (sometimes called "Le derby normand") and Stade rennais, its closest neighbour in Ligue 1.

Stade Michel d'Ornano

Stade Michel d'Ornano is a multi-use stadium in Caen, France. It is currently used mostly for football matches and is the home stadium of Stade Malherbe Caen. It is named after the French politician Michel d'Ornano, former president of the Basse-Normandie region.

The stadium was built in 1993 to replace the Stade de Venoix, and has a capacity of 20,453 people.

Sword Beach

Sword, commonly known as Sword Beach, was the code name given to one of the five main landing areas along the Normandy coast during the initial assault phase, Operation Neptune, of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of German-occupied France that commenced on 6 June 1944. Stretching 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from Ouistreham to Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer, the beach was the easternmost landing site of the invasion. Taking Sword was to be the responsibility of the British Army with sea transport, mine sweeping, and a naval bombardment force provided by the British Royal Navy as well as elements from the Polish, Norwegian and other Allied navies.

Among the five beaches of the operation, Sword is the nearest to Caen, being located around 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from the goal of the 3rd Infantry Division. The initial landings were achieved with low casualties, but the advance from the beach was slowed by traffic congestion and resistance in heavily defended areas behind the beachhead. Further progress towards Caen was halted by the only armoured counter-attack of the day, mounted by the 21st Panzer Division.

Titus Interactive

Titus Interactive SA, previously Titus France SA, was a French software publisher that produced and published video games for various platforms. Its head office was located in Parc de l'Esplanade in Lagny sur Marne in Greater Paris. At one time, it was instead located in Montfermeil, also in Greater Paris.

University of Caen Normandy

The University of Caen Normandy (UNICAEN; French: Université de Caen Normandie) is a Public university in Caen, France.

Youssef El-Arabi

Youssef El-Arabi (Arabic: يوسف

العربي‎; born 3 February 1987) is a professional footballer who plays for Qatari club Al-Duhail as a striker.

He began his career with hometown club Caen in Ligue 1, making his debut in 2008. After a season in Saudi Arabia with Al Hilal he signed for La Liga club Granada for a club record €5 million in 2012. He scored 45 goals in 134 official games before leaving for Qatar in 2016.

Born in France, El-Arabi chose to represent Morocco at international level, making his debut in 2010. He represented them at three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.

École nationale supérieure d'ingénieurs de Caen

The École nationale supérieure d'ingénieurs de Caen & Centre de Recherche (ENSICAEN), which translates as National Graduate School of Engineering & Research Center, is one of the French "grandes écoles", whose main purpose is to form chemical, electronical, and Computer science engineers (with a level "bac+5"). It is located on the city of Caen (France) in Normandy.

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