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n. A city in the Calvados département of Basse-Normandie, France


Caen (; ; Norman: Kaem) is a commune in the northwestern parts of France. It is the prefecture of the Calvados department. The city proper has 108,365 inhabitants , while its urban area has 420,000, making Caen the largest city in former Lower Normandy. It is also the second largest municipality in all of Normandy after Le Havre and the third largest city proper in Normandy, after Rouen and Le Havre. The metropolitan area of Caen, in turn, is the second largest in Normandy after that of Rouen, the 21st largest in France.

It is located inland from the English Channel, two hours north-west of Paris, and connected to the south of England by the Caen-( Ouistreham)- Portsmouth ferry route. Caen is located in the centre of its northern region, and it is a centre of political, economic and cultural power. Located a few miles from the coast, the landing beaches, the bustling resorts of Deauville and Cabourg, Norman Switzerland and Pays d'Auge, Caen is often considered the archetype of Normandy.

Caen is known for its historical buildings built during the reign of William the Conqueror, who was buried there, and for the Battle for Caen—heavy fighting that took place in and around Caen during the Battle of Normandy in 1944, destroying much of the city. The city has now preserved the memory by erecting a memorial and a museum dedicated to peace, the Memorial de Caen.

Usage examples of "caen".

Eleanor said firmly, and she did know for she had been in Caen when the English archers, disobeying their King, had swarmed across the bridge and laid the town waste.

Will Skeat himself, his one-time com- mander and friend, was stranded in Caen, and Thomas had no knowledge whether Will still lived or, if he did, whether he could speak or understand or even walk.

He wrote a difficult letter to Sir Guillaume which told how his daughter had died and begging for any news of Will Skeat whom Sir Guillaume had taken to Caen to be treated by Mordecai, the Jewish doctor.

The English had killed thousands in Caen, then burned farms, mills and villages in a great swathe east and north.

They went up to Caen on the tide, arriving in the morning, and once they were ashore Father Pascal offered Thomas and Robbie a blessing, then hitched up his shabby robe and began walking east to Paris.

Robbie stared in awe at the destruction on Ile Saint Jean, the newest part of Caen, which had suffered most from the English sack.

Thomas had never been to Evecque and, though it was not far from Caen, some of the peasants they asked had never heard of it, but when Thomas asked which way the soldiers had been going during the winter they pointed on southwards.

Thomas reckoned that Sir Guillaume would be in a hurry when he reached Caen and would not want to waste time coaxing horses onto the Pentecost, therefore he spent the day haggling about prices for the two stallions and that night, flush with money, he and Robbie returned to the tavern.

The English had captured Caen the previous summer, then occupied the city just long enough to rape its women and plunder its wealth.

They had left Caen battered, bleeding and shocked, but Thomas had stayed when the army marched away.

By dawn they were in Caen and the Count of Coutances was still none the wiser.

They reached Caen in the early afternoon, but by then the Pente- cost was halfway down the river to the sea, blown northwards by a fitful wind that barely gave headway against the last of the flood- ing tide.

Sir Guillaume had been pressing villeroy to go north and east again in an attempt to run past Caen and make Dunkirk, but Villeroy was unhappy with his small sail and even more unhappy with the leaking hull.

The situation of Caen, although not perhaps as healthy as Avranches, is much more convenient and accessible from England.

Bayeux from the west, either by the old road from Caen or by the railway, is always striking.