Caen is a city in north-western France and is the capital of the Basse-Normandie region. William the Conqueror was buried in Caen and there are numerous historic buildings in the city built during his reign. The Chateau de Caen, built around 1060, is one of the largest medieval fortresses in Western Europe.
Two abbeys also remain from his reign: the Abbaye aux Hommes and the Abbaye aux Dames. The city was a key site of the Battle of Normandy during the Second World War. The Caen Memorial, a museum and war memorial, now commemorates the battle and looks at the causes and events of the war.
Today, Caen has over 100,000 inhabitants and its urban area has over 400,000. It is connected to the rest of France by motorways to Paris, Brittany and Cherbourg. It’s served by a small port called Ouistreham, from which ferries operate to Portsmouth in England, and it’s on the Paris-Cherbourg railway line.