Caen Castle: A Ten Centuries Old Fortress Within the Town

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Joseph DecaŽns, Adrien Dubois, MicaŽl Allainguillaume
Publications du CRAHM, 2010 - Architecture - 128 pages
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Founded by William the Conqueror, the castle of Caen was 'rediscovered' after WWII, offering up more and more historical information thanks to archaeologists and historians working on the project, starting with Michel de Bouard. Although the evidence of the first duke's palace is today rather scant, the hall of the 'Exchequer' has retained some of the magnificence that it must have exuded in the XIIth century, despite the transformations it has undergone through time. As for the castle keep, which was torn down during the French Revolution, its foundations continue to fascinate many a visitor, drawing upon the Anglo-Norman origins of the edifice, whereas the porte des Champs built in the XIIIth century harks back to the days of the return of Normandy to French possession and finally the Saint-Pierre barbican recalls the Hundred Years' War. One should nevertheless not forget what the castle enceinte with its towers and drawbridge used to be in the Middle Ages - a town within the town, with its parish church dedicated to Saint-George. Today, the castle lies in the heart of the town, having been restored to its pride of place, and has become an essential cultural venue, housing none other than the Museum of Normandy, the Rampart Rooms and the Musee des Beaux-Arts which draw art and history lovers from across the world.

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