Experience the Middle Ages
On the footsteps of William the Conqueror, go back in time and discover the medieval sites of Calvados, and other important characters of history. From Caen to Bayeux via Falaise, many castles, abbeys, and other sites are to be visited.
Exceptional medieval castles
Numerous castles adorn the Norman landscape and in particular castles built at the time of William the Conqueror. Falaise Castle (40 min), which bears his name, was the birthplace of the future king of England. Entirely restored, it is now open to the public for the greatest pleasure of history lovers. You can also walk along the ramparts, as well as at the Castle of Caen, which are accessible free of charge. And precisely, the Ducal Castle, in the heart of the city, was built by William the Conqueror himself in 1060 and still testifies today to his presence in Normandy. It is a must-see if you pass by Caen. Further on, the Château de Crèvecœur (40 min), dating from the 15th century, will plunge you into the heart of the medieval era where you will discover a pottery, its dovecote, its chapel and a barn. Then, west of Caen, near Isigny-sur-Mer, the 14th century Château de Colombières (52 min.) was built in the typical feudal style of defense. Centuries later, the fortress saw the installation of the American propaganda services in June 1944.
The Bayeux Tapestry – The conquest of England
70m long, the Bayeux Tapestry tells the epic of the Duke of Normandy and King of England, William the Conqueror. This embroidered canvas immerses us in the story of 1066 and the various events that led to the conquest of England. You will be able to see Drakkars in the middle of a crossing, shields and coats of mail, fantastic animals, battlefields and other references to this medieval quest. Audio guides (16 languages available) accompany you during your visit, 3D scenes and the projection of a film. This place can be visited in 3 stages and will appeal to both adults and children.
Over the years, the Abbeys in Calvados
In the past, abbeys were home to communities of monks or nuns. Many buildings have been preserved and are still present and open to visit near Ouistreham. The two largest abbeys are the Abbaye aux Hommes and the Abbaye aux Dames in Caen, both built by William the Conqueror! The Abbaye aux Hommes now houses the Town Hall of Caen as well as the tomb of William. The Abbaye aux Dames is now the headquarters of the Normandy Region. The par its famous Cedar of Lebanon offers a panorama on the city. All year round, enjoy nightly and theatrical visits. There are other abbeys not far away and just as beautiful to discover. The abbey of Longues-sur-Mer (40 min), founded in the 12th century. Its gardens have been preserved and offer a beautiful walk to the monks’ fishpond. Events are regularly organized there and allow to appreciate the place in a completely different universe for the greatest pleasure of all!