Once upon a time a young man called William made Caen in Normandy his main place of residence. However, he wasn’t just any young man; he was Duke of Normandy also known as William the Conqueror. Today, you can walk in his footsteps by visiting the abbeys he founded as well as the castle he built. Nowadays the castle also houses the Musée des Beaux Arts (fine arts museum) as well as the Musée de Normandie. Both William and his wife Matilda were buried in the abbeys; William in the Abbaye aux Hommes and Matilda in the Abbaye aux Dames. Just a few steps from the castle, Caen’s old quarter has been transformed into a foodie heaven. The medieval timbered-framed houses have now become restaurants welcoming diners in a very pretty setting. There is also the Mémorial de Caen- a very large museum looking at the events leading up to, and following, WW2. It’s located in the northern suburbs of the city on the site of an old blockhouse. Visiting Caen is a real opportunity to learn more about William the Conqueror, the relationship between Normandy and England and the events of WW2.
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