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Caen(käN), city (1990 pop. 115,624), capital of Calvados dept., N France, in Normandy, on the Orne River. It is a busy port, canalized (by Napoleon I) directly to the sea. The commercial center of the rich CalvadosCalvados
, department (1990 pop. 621,300), in Normandy, N France, on the English Channel. Caen is the capital.
..... Click the link for more information. region, it is highly industrialized, with a thermal power station and extensive steelworks along the Orne; the nearby iron-ore mines are among the largest in France. The city's manufactures include motor vehicle parts, electronic gear, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and paper. Caen's importance dates from the 11th cent., when it was a favorite residence of William IWilliam I
or William the Conqueror,
1027?–1087, king of England (1066–87). Earnest and resourceful, William was not only one of the greatest of English monarchs but a pivotal figure in European history as well.
..... Click the link for more information. of England (William the Conqueror). During the French Revolution it was a rallying place for the federalists; Charlotte CordayCorday, Charlotte
(Marie Anne Charlotte Corday d'Armont) , 1768–93, assassin of Jean Paul Marat. Although of aristocratic background, she sympathized with the Girondists in the French Revolution and felt that Marat, in his persecution of the Girondists, was acting as the
..... Click the link for more information. lived there.
The town, an architectural gem, was largely destroyed by bombardment during the Normandy campaignNormandy campaign,
June to Aug., 1944, in World War II. The Allied invasion of the European continent through Normandy began about 12:15 AM on June 6, 1944 (D-day). The plan, known as Operation Overlord, had been prepared since 1943; supreme command over its execution was
..... Click the link for more information. of World War II; the 14th-century Church of St. Peter's lost its famous spire, while the castle of William the Conqueror and the town hall (17th cent.) were destroyed beyond repair. However, three outstanding examples of 11th-century Norman architectureNorman architecture,
term applied to the buildings erected by the Normans in all lands that fell under their dominion. It is used not only in England and N France, but also in S Italy (Apulia) and in Sicily.
..... Click the link for more information. were preserved: the Abbaye aux Hommes [men's abbey], founded by William the Conqueror, who is buried there; the Abbaye aux Dames [women's abbey], founded by Queen Matilda; and the Church of St. Nicholas. The university (founded 1432 and also destroyed) has been rebuilt; in 1964 its technical institute became the National School of Advanced Electronics and Electromechanic Studies. A school of hydrography is also in Caen.
a city and port in northern France (Normandy), on the Orne River, near the coast of the English Channel, with which it is linked by a ship canal. It is the administrative center of Calvados department. Population, 114, 000 (1968). There is a metallurgical industry, as well as machine-building, textile, chemical, cement, ceramic, food, and woodworking enterprises. Coal is imported in large amounts to meet the needs of the lower Normandy iron-ore region, of which Caen is the center. Dairy products and wine are among the city’s exports.
Caen was founded in the early 11th century, and its university was founded in 1432. Architectural monuments include the Romanesque churches of La Trinité (1059-66) and St. Nicholas (end of the 11th century), an 1 lth-century castle, the Church of St. Peter (13-14th centuries, rebuilt in the 16th century in Early Renaissance style), the late Gothic Church of St. John (15th century), the baroque Notre-Dame-de-la-Gloriette (17th century), the ruins of the Hôtel d’Escoville (1538), and the monastery with its Romanesque church of St. Etienne (1064-77) and buildings from the early 18th century (now a lycée). Caen was rebuilt after its destruction in 1944. New avenues were laid out in the center, and in 1957 the university campus was completed (architects, H. Bernard and E. Hur). A museum of fine arts is located here.