Discover the City of Caen


Visiting Caen means finding great moments of history in our school books! On the ramparts of the castle, you will see William the Conqueror’s army setting off, flags flying, towards 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-see. The capital of Calvados, the city of William the Conqueror is dominated by its imposing castle built around 1060. It’s a city steeped in history where you’ll also find the magnificent World War II Memorial.

What to see and visit in Caen?

William the Conqueror

During your stay at a campsite near Caen, you should not miss the opportunity 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 Matilda. Together with the Trinity Church, it is a beautifully preserved example of Romanesque art. Built later and redesigned in the 13th century, the Men’s Abbey is a subtle blend of Romanesque and Gothic whose vast spaces invite meditation. Finally, on the hill, don’t miss the Duke King’s castle. This very large medieval enclosure was heavily damaged during the war and in particular the bombings of 1944. It now houses the Musée de Normandie and the Musée des beaux-arts.

The Men’s Abbey and the Ladies’ Abbey

These two great abbeys were founded by William the Conqueror and are among the most famous monuments in Caen. For the anecdote, they were built in preparation for the marriage of William and Matilda of Flanders, his distant cousin, denounced by the Pope.

The Men’s Abbey

With its Saint-Etienne abbey church, the Abbaye aux Hommes is a true jewel of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. At that time, the distinguished guests of the Men’s Abbey even had their own residence: the Ducal Palace, which has now become the Artothèque, a contemporary art space. Inside the abbey church, it is impossible to miss the imposing tomb of William the Conqueror in the gothic choir. Don’t forget to look up at the sculptures on the columns!

The Ladies’ Abbey

A monastery of Benedictine nuns, a hospital and a hospice, the Abbaye aux Dames has played an important role in Caen since its creation. The abbey church of the Trinity houses a magnificent crypt and the tomb of Matilda of Flanders, Queen of England, Duchess of Normandy and wife of William the Conqueror. Don’t miss a visit to the Abbey’s Ornano Park, with its breathtaking view of the whole of Caen at sunset!

The gardens

Caen is also a very green city. Nearly 500 hectares of the city are dedicated to natural areas. The garden of plants, created in the 19th century, will delight you with its wide alleys and the variety of species presented. But you can also take advantage of the “Prairie”, a vast park that regularly offers activities, or the bird hill. These are places that the people of Caen love for a picnic with family or friends for example.

The medieval district of Vaugeux

An emblematic place in Caen, the medieval district of Le Vaugueux is undoubtedly one of the most popular in the city. A historic district with medieval houses made of Caen stone, but also a very trendy area, the rue du Vaugueux lives to the rhythm of Caen’s evenings. Historic square, cobbled streets, restaurants, bars… When visiting this district you will learn that Edith Piaf, as a child, used to come and visit her grandparents who had a café there!

The Memorial

The huge Memorial museum is a must-see during your camping holiday in Caen. The museum gives a good understanding of what happened on the beaches of Normandy on 6 June 1944. The Memorial also covers the period before 1945 and up to the Cold War. A visit to the museum alone is worth a day trip.



But the capital of Calvados is not stifled by this prestigious past. The town is lively, airy and resolutely forward-looking. This dynamism is expressed through the many performance venues that offer a varied range of artistic creations.

Finally, if Caen is your holiday destination, you can enjoy a wide range of leisure activities: cruises on the Caen-Ouistreham canal, golf on one of the three courses in the city, walks in the parks and gardens.