Normandy

Three of Western Europe's major invasions have as their backdrop the beaches, countryside, villages and towns of Normandy: the arrival of the Viking in the 9th century, the departure of William to conquer England in 1066, and the Allied Invasion of Normandy that landed by air and by sea on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Add to that an invasion of sea bathers (Cabourg, Deauville and Etretat are among France's earliest seaside resorts) and of Impressionists (Monet's house and gardens in Giverny are just over the border from the Paris Region). The region’s history is as diverse as its landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes: the white cliffs along the Alabaster Coast, the regularity of Le Havre, the charms of Honfleur, the resort towns along the Flowered Coast, the D-Day Landing Zone, Mont-Saint-Michel, the farmland, apple orchards (calvados, hard cider) and cattle pastures (milk, cheese), old Rouen, reconstructed Caen and Le Havre, and the River Seine snaking through the region and flowing into the English Channel (la Manche, in French).

Beyond D-Day: Falaise, Normandy Examines the Fate of Civilians in Wartime

Of the 20,000 Normans who died as a direct result of WWII, the majority were killed by Allied bombardments. The effect of war on civilian populations is now the subject of a museum in Falaise, birthplace of William the Conqueror and site, with its surroundings, of the final combat of the Battle of Normandy 1944.

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