Discover the City of Caen

Visit Caen, found great moments in the history of our school books! On the ramparts of the castle, you will see the army of William the Conqueror who rushes, all oriflammes in the wind, to the legendary battle of Hasting and the throne of England…

The city of Caen is 20 kilometres from the 4-star campsite Les Peupliers in Merville-Franceville. During your stay at the campsite, the city of Caen is a must-visit. The capital of Calvados, the town of William the Conqueror is dominated by its imposing castle erected around 1060. It is a city full of history where you will also find the magnificent Memorial dedicated to the Second World War.

What to see, what to visit in Caen?

William the Conqueror

During your stay in a campsite near Caen, you will not fail to visit Caen. The city has many attractions, starting with the legacy of William the Conqueror. You can visit the Abbaye aux Dames, built between 1060 and 1080 by Queen Mathilde. Together with the Trinity Church, it is a beautiful example of Romanesque art, beautifully preserved. Built later and remodelled in the 13th century, the Abbey aux hommes is a subtle blend of Romanesque and Gothic, whose vast spaces invite to recollection. Finally, on the hill, do not miss the castle of the Duke-King. This vast medieval enclosure was heavily damaged during the war and notably the bombings of 1944, it now houses the Museum of Normandy and the Museum of Fine Arts.

The Abbaye aux Hommes and the Abbaye aux Dames

These two large abbeys were founded by William the Conqueror and are among the most famous monuments in Caen. In fact, they were built in preparation for William’s wedding with Matilda of Flanders, his distant cousin, a marriage that was condemned by the Pope.

The Abbaye aux Hommes

With its Saint-Etienne abbey, the Abbaye aux Hommes is a real gem of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. At that time, the distinguished guests of the Abbaye aux Hommes even had their own lodgings: the Ducal Palace, which has now become the Artothèque, Contemporary Art Spaces. Inside the abbey, you can’t miss the imposing tomb of William the Conqueror in the Gothic choir. Remember to look up at the sculptures that adorn the columns!

The Abbaye aux Dames

Monastery of Benedictine nuns, hospital and hospice, the Abbaye aux Dames has played an important role in the city of Caen since its creation. The Abbey of the Trinity houses a magnificent crypt as well as the tomb of Mathilde of Flanders, Queen of England, Duchess of Normandy and wife of William the Conqueror. Do not miss a visit to the Michel d’Ornano Park with an admirable view of the entire city of Caen at sunset!

Gardens

Caen is also a very green city. Nearly 500 hectares in the city are dedicated to natural areas. The garden of plants, created in the nineteenth century will delight you with its large aisles and the variety of species presented. But you can also enjoy the «Prairie», a vast park that regularly offers activities or the hill with birds. These are places that Caennais love for a picnic with family or friends for example.

The Medieval Vaugeux District

The Medieval district of Vaugueux is probably one of the most popular and well-known parts of the city of Caen. This is a historic area with Caen-stone houses dating from the Middle Ages. It is also a very trendy spot. Rue du Vaugueux really brings the Caen evenings to life. The old town square, cobblestone streets, restaurants and bars… During your visit to the district, you can hear how as child, Edith Piaf came here to visit her grandparents, where they owned a café!

The Memorial

The huge Memorial Museum is a must see detour during your camping holiday in Caen. The museum allows to understand perfectly what took place on June 6, 1944 on the Norman beaches, The Memorial also traces the entire period before 1945 and up to the Cold War. His visit deserves a good day alone.

 

The city turns out to be alive

But the capital of Calvados is not suffocated by this prestigious past. The city is proving to be lively, airy and resolutely turned towards the future. This dynamism is expressed through the multiple venues that offer a varied palette of artistic creations.

Finally, if Caen is your holiday destination, know that you can enjoy the most varied leisure activities there: cruises on the Caen-Ouistreham canal, golf on one of the city’s three courses, walks in the parks and gardens.