Caen

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Caen

Coordinates: 49°10′59″N 0°22′10″W / 49.1830555556°N 0.369444444444°W / 49.1830555556; -0.369444444444


Caen (French pronunciation: [kɑ̃]) is a commune in north-western France. It is the prefecture of the Calvados department and the capital of the Basse-Normandie region. It is located 15 km (9.3 mi) inland from the English Channel.

Caen is known for its historical buildings built during the reign of William the Conqueror, who was buried here, 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 town.

Two hours 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, over which it exercises political, economic and cultural power.

As the city of William the Conqueror, the city has inherited a magnificent heritage. In the Second World War, it was a key site of the Battle of Normandy. The city has preserved the memory by building a memorial for peace.

Located a few miles from the coast, the landing beaches, the bustling resort of Deauville and Cabourg, Norman Switzerland or Pays d'Auge (often considered the archetype of Normandy), Caen offers all possible services.

Populated intramural 113,249 inhabitants (population 2006), and the leader of an urban area of 420,000 inhabitants, Caen is the first city of Lower Normandy. It is also the second largest municipality (after Le Havre) and the third largest city (after Rouen and Le Havre) in Normandy. The metropolitan area of Caen, in turn, is the second of Normandy after that of Rouen, and occupies the 21st rank nationally.

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