Caen, France

Self Catering Caen Holiday Homes, Cottages and Gites 


Caen is a commune in northwestern France. It is the prefecture of the Calvados department and the capital of the Basse-Normandie region. The Orne River flows through the city, and Caen is 10 km (6 mi) from the Channel.

When you book a Caen Holiday Home you’ll undoubtedly learn about its historical buildings built during the reign of William the Conqueror. The castle, Château de Caen, built circa 1060 by William the Conqueror, is one of the largest medieval fortresses of Western Europe. It remained an essential feature of Norman strategy and policy. The castle saw several engagements during the Hundred Years' War and was in use as a barracks in the Second World War. Today, the castle serves as a museum that houses the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen (Museum of Fine Arts of Caen) and Musée de Normandie (Museum of Normandy) along with many periodical exhibitions about arts and history.

A stay in a Caen Holiday Gite is a chance to reflect on recent history also, most notably the Battle for Caen—heavy fighting that took place in and around Caen during the Battle of Normandy in 1944, destroying much of the town. Mémorial pour la Paix ("Memorial for Peace") built in 1988, charts the events leading up to and after D-Day. It is an emotional presentation inviting meditation on the thought of Elie Wiesel: "Peace is not a gift from God to man, but a gift from man to himself". The Memorial for Peace also includes an exhibit of Nobel Peace Prize winners and another one on Conflict Resolution in different cultures.

Other historical buildings to see when you rent a Holiday Cottage in Caen include: Eglise St.-Etienne (formerly the Abbaye aux Hommes). It was completed in 1063 and is dedicated to St Stephen. The current Hôtel de Ville (town hall) of Caen is built onto the South Transept of the building. Eglise de la Ste.-Trinité, formerly the Abbaye aux Dames (Women's Abbey). It was completed in 1060 and is dedicated to the Holy Trinity.

Two hours north-west of Paris, Caen is served by the small port of Ouistreham, lying at the mouth of the Caen Canal where it meets the English Channel. A ferry service operates between Portsmouth, England and Caen/Ouistreham. The N13 connects Caen to Cherbourg and to Paris.

Caen’s climate enjoys an average of 1933 hours of sunshine per year. The range of sunlight hours is from an average of 1.9 per day in December to 7.9 per day in May. November is the wettest month!