Falaise, Calvados
Falaise is a commune
Communes of France
The commune is the lowest level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are roughly equivalent to incorporated municipalities or villages in the United States or Gemeinden in Germany...

 in the Calvados
The French department of Calvados is part of the region of Basse-Normandie in Normandy. It takes its name from a cluster of rocks off the English Channel coast...

 department in the Basse-Normandie
Lower Normandy is an administrative region of France. It was created in 1956, when the Normandy region was divided into Lower Normandy and Upper Normandy...

Régions of France
France is divided into 27 administrative regions , 22 of which are in Metropolitan France, and five of which are overseas. Corsica is a territorial collectivity , but is considered a region in mainstream usage, and is even shown as such on the INSEE website...

 in northwestern France.


The town was the birthplace of William I the Conqueror
William I of England
William I , also known as William the Conqueror , was the first Norman King of England from Christmas 1066 until his death. He was also Duke of Normandy from 3 July 1035 until his death, under the name William II...

, first of the Norman
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

 Kings of England. The Château de Falaise
Château de Falaise
The Château de Falaise is a castle located in the south of the commune of Falaise in the Calvados département of Normandy, France.The town of Falaise was the birthplace of William the Conqueror, first of the Norman kings of England...

 (12th-13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. Also, the Treaty of Falaise
Treaty of Falaise
The Treaty of Falaise was an agreement made in December 1174 between the captive William I, King of Scots, and the English King Henry II.Having been captured at the Battle of Alnwick during an invasion of Northumbria, William was being held in Falaise in Normandy while Henry sent an army north and...

 was signed at the castle in December 1174 between the captive William I
William I of Scotland
William the Lion , sometimes styled William I, also known by the nickname Garbh, "the Rough", reigned as King of the Scots from 1165 to 1214...

, King of Scots, and the King of England Henry II
Henry II of England
Henry II ruled as King of England , Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Count of Nantes, Lord of Ireland and, at various times, controlled parts of Wales, Scotland and western France. Henry, the great-grandson of William the Conqueror, was the...


The town is also the place were Rabbi Yom Tov of Falaise, grandchild of Rashi
Shlomo Yitzhaki , or in Latin Salomon Isaacides, and today generally known by the acronym Rashi , was a medieval French rabbi famed as the author of a comprehensive commentary on the Talmud, as well as a comprehensive commentary on the Tanakh...

 held his rabbinical court.
In modern times it is known for the battle of the "Falaise Pocket
Falaise pocket
The battle of the Falaise Pocket, fought during the Second World War from 12 to 21 August 1944, was the decisive engagement of the Battle of Normandy...

" during the Allied reconquest of France
Operation Overlord
Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy, the operation that launched the invasion of German-occupied western Europe during World War II by Allied forces. The operation commenced on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings...

 (called Operation Overlord
Operation Overlord
Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy, the operation that launched the invasion of German-occupied western Europe during World War II by Allied forces. The operation commenced on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings...

) in August 1944 in which two German armies were encircled and destroyed by the Allied armies. Some 10,000 German troops were killed and 50,000 taken prisoner.

Two-thirds of Falaise was destroyed by Allied bombing before the town was taken by a combined force of Canadian and Polish troops. Falaise was largely restored after the war.


Twin towns

Falaise is twinned with the town Henley-on-Thames
Henley-on-Thames is a town and civil parish on the River Thames in South Oxfordshire, England, about 10 miles downstream and north-east from Reading, 10 miles upstream and west from Maidenhead...

 in Oxfordshire, England since 1974; Bad Neustadt an der Saale in Germany since 1969; Cassino
Cassino is a comune in the province of Frosinone, Italy, at the southern end of the region of Lazio.Cassino is located at the foot of Monte Cairo near the confluence of the Rapido and Liri rivers...

 in Italy since 1975; and Alma, Quebec
Alma, Quebec
Alma is a town in the Canadian province of Quebec.-Geography:Alma is located on the southeast coast of Lac Saint-Jean where it flows into the Saguenay River, in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec, Canada, approximately 175 km north of Quebec City...

in Canada since 1969.


Exhibits at the Museum of the Battle of the Falaise Pocket include several military vehicles, pieces of artillery, and other weapons. The weekly market takes place on Saturdays.

External links

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