Normandy
Overview
 
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy
Duchy of Normandy
The Duchy of Normandy stems from various Danish, Norwegian, Hiberno-Norse, Orkney Viking and Anglo-Danish invasions of France in the 9th century...

. It is in France.
The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions
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...

: Basse-Normandie
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...

 and Haute-Normandie
Haute-Normandie
Upper Normandy is one of the 27 regions of France. It was created in 1984 from two départements: Seine-Maritime and Eure, when Normandy was divided into Lower Normandy and Upper Normandy. This division continues to provoke controversy, and some continue to call for reuniting the two regions...

. The Channel Islands (referred to as Îles Anglo-Normandes in French) covers 194 km² and comprise two bailiwick
Bailiwick
A bailiwick is usually the area of jurisdiction of a bailiff, and may also apply to a territory in which the sheriff's functions were exercised by a privately appointed bailiff under a royal or imperial writ. The word is now more generally used in a metaphorical sense, to indicate a sphere of...

s: Guernsey
Guernsey
Guernsey, officially the Bailiwick of Guernsey is a British Crown dependency in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy.The Bailiwick, as a governing entity, embraces not only all 10 parishes on the Island of Guernsey, but also the islands of Herm, Jethou, Burhou, and Lihou and their islet...

 and Jersey
Jersey
Jersey, officially the Bailiwick of Jersey is a British Crown Dependency off the coast of Normandy, France. As well as the island of Jersey itself, the bailiwick includes two groups of small islands that are no longer permanently inhabited, the Minquiers and Écréhous, and the Pierres de Lecq and...

, which are British Crown Dependencies.

Upper Normandy (Haute-Normandie
Haute-Normandie
Upper Normandy is one of the 27 regions of France. It was created in 1984 from two départements: Seine-Maritime and Eure, when Normandy was divided into Lower Normandy and Upper Normandy. This division continues to provoke controversy, and some continue to call for reuniting the two regions...

) consists of the French départements of Seine-Maritime
Seine-Maritime
Seine-Maritime is a French department in the Haute-Normandie region in northern France. It is situated on the northern coast of France, at the mouth of the Seine, and includes the cities of Rouen and Le Havre...

 and Eure
Eure
Eure is a department in the north of France named after the river Eure.- History :Eure is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790...

, and Lower Normandy (Basse-Normandie
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...

) of the départements of Orne
Orne
Orne is a department in the northwest of France, named after the river Orne.- History :Orne is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution, on March 4, 1790. It was created from parts of the former provinces of Normandy and Perche.- Geography :Orne is in the region of...

, Calvados
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...

, and Manche
Manche
Manche is a French department in Normandy named after La Manche , which is the French name for the English Channel.- History :Manche is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790...

.
Timeline

1259    Kings Louis IX of France and Henry III of England agree to the Treaty of Paris, in which Henry renounces his claims to French-controlled territory on continental Europe (including Normandy) in exchange for Louis withdrawing his support for English rebels.

1419    Hundred Years' War: Rouen surrenders to Henry V of England completing his reconquest of Normandy.

1944    World War II: More than 1000 British bombers drop 5,000 tons of bombs on German gun batteries on the Normandy coast in preparation for D-Day.

1944    World War II: Battle of Normandy begins. D-Day, code named ''Operation Overlord'', commences with the landing of 155,000 Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy in France. The allied soldiers quickly break through the Atlantic Wall and push inland in the largest amphibious military operation in history.

Encyclopedia
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy
Duchy of Normandy
The Duchy of Normandy stems from various Danish, Norwegian, Hiberno-Norse, Orkney Viking and Anglo-Danish invasions of France in the 9th century...

. It is in France.
The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions
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...

: Basse-Normandie
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...

 and Haute-Normandie
Haute-Normandie
Upper Normandy is one of the 27 regions of France. It was created in 1984 from two départements: Seine-Maritime and Eure, when Normandy was divided into Lower Normandy and Upper Normandy. This division continues to provoke controversy, and some continue to call for reuniting the two regions...

. The Channel Islands (referred to as Îles Anglo-Normandes in French) covers 194 km² and comprise two bailiwick
Bailiwick
A bailiwick is usually the area of jurisdiction of a bailiff, and may also apply to a territory in which the sheriff's functions were exercised by a privately appointed bailiff under a royal or imperial writ. The word is now more generally used in a metaphorical sense, to indicate a sphere of...

s: Guernsey
Guernsey
Guernsey, officially the Bailiwick of Guernsey is a British Crown dependency in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy.The Bailiwick, as a governing entity, embraces not only all 10 parishes on the Island of Guernsey, but also the islands of Herm, Jethou, Burhou, and Lihou and their islet...

 and Jersey
Jersey
Jersey, officially the Bailiwick of Jersey is a British Crown Dependency off the coast of Normandy, France. As well as the island of Jersey itself, the bailiwick includes two groups of small islands that are no longer permanently inhabited, the Minquiers and Écréhous, and the Pierres de Lecq and...

, which are British Crown Dependencies.

Upper Normandy (Haute-Normandie
Haute-Normandie
Upper Normandy is one of the 27 regions of France. It was created in 1984 from two départements: Seine-Maritime and Eure, when Normandy was divided into Lower Normandy and Upper Normandy. This division continues to provoke controversy, and some continue to call for reuniting the two regions...

) consists of the French départements of Seine-Maritime
Seine-Maritime
Seine-Maritime is a French department in the Haute-Normandie region in northern France. It is situated on the northern coast of France, at the mouth of the Seine, and includes the cities of Rouen and Le Havre...

 and Eure
Eure
Eure is a department in the north of France named after the river Eure.- History :Eure is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790...

, and Lower Normandy (Basse-Normandie
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...

) of the départements of Orne
Orne
Orne is a department in the northwest of France, named after the river Orne.- History :Orne is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution, on March 4, 1790. It was created from parts of the former provinces of Normandy and Perche.- Geography :Orne is in the region of...

, Calvados
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...

, and Manche
Manche
Manche is a French department in Normandy named after La Manche , which is the French name for the English Channel.- History :Manche is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790...

. The former province
Provinces of France
The Kingdom of France was organised into provinces until March 4, 1790, when the establishment of the département system superseded provinces. The provinces of France were roughly equivalent to the historic counties of England...

 of Normandy comprised present-day Upper and Lower Normandy, as well as small areas now part of the départements of Eure-et-Loir
Eure-et-Loir
Eure-et-Loir is a French department, named after the Eure and Loir rivers.-History:Eure-et-Loir is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790 pursuant to the Act of December 22, 1789...

, Mayenne, and Sarthe
Sarthe
Sarthe is a French department, named after the Sarthe River.- History :The department was created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790, pursuant to the law of December 22, 1789, starting from a part of the province of Maine which was divided into two departments, Sarthe to the east and...

.
The name of Normandy is derived from the settlement of the territory by Viking
Viking
The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

s ("Northmen
Norsemen
Norsemen is used to refer to the group of people as a whole who spoke what is now called the Old Norse language belonging to the North Germanic branch of Indo-European languages, especially Norwegian, Icelandic, Faroese, Swedish and Danish in their earlier forms.The meaning of Norseman was "people...

") from the 9th century, and confirmed by treaty in the 10th century. For a century and a half following the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Normandy and England were linked by Norman and Frankish
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

 rulers.

During the Second World War, the D Day landings on the Normandy beaches under the code name 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...

, started the lengthy Battle of Normandy
Battle of Normandy
The Invasion of Normandy was the invasion and establishment of Allied forces in Normandy, France, during Operation Overlord in World War II. It was the largest amphibious operation in history...

 which resulted in the Liberation of Paris
Liberation of Paris
The Liberation of Paris took place during World War II from 19 August 1944 until the surrender of the occupying German garrison on August 25th. It could be regarded by some as the last battle in the Battle for Normandy, though that really ended with the crushing of the Wehrmacht forces between the...

, the restoration of the French Republic, and was a significant turning point in the war.

The population of Normandy is around 3.45 million. The continental population of 3.26 million accounts for 5.5% of the population of France (in 2005).

Basse-Normandie is predominantly agricultural in character, with cattle breeding the most important sector (although in decline from the peak levels of the 1970s and 1980s). The bocage
Bocage
Bocage is a Norman word which has entered both the French and English languages. It may refer to a small forest, a decorative element of leaves, a terrain of mixed woodland and pasture, or a type of rubble-work, comparable with the English use of 'rustic' in relation to garden...

is a patchwork of small fields with high hedges, typical of western areas. Haute-Normandie contains a higher concentration of industry. Normandy is a significant cider
Cider
Cider or cyder is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from apple juice. Cider varies in alcohol content from 2% abv to 8.5% abv or more in traditional English ciders. In some regions, such as Germany and America, cider may be termed "apple wine"...

-producing region, and also produces calvados
Calvados (spirit)
Calvados is an apple brandy from the French région of Basse-Normandie or Lower Normandy.-History:Apple orchards and brewers are mentioned as far back as the 8th century by Charlemagne. The first known Norman distillation was carried out by "Lord" de Gouberville in 1554, and the guild for cider...

, a distilled cider or apple brandy. Other activities of economic importance are dairy produce, flax
Flax
Flax is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent...

 (60% of production in France), horse breeding
Horse breeding
Horse breeding is reproduction in horses, and particularly the human-directed process of selective breeding of animals, particularly purebred horses of a given breed. Planned matings can be used to produce specifically desired characteristics in domesticated horses...

 (including two French national stud farms), fishing, seafood
Seafood
Seafood is any form of marine life regarded as food by humans. Seafoods include fish, molluscs , crustaceans , echinoderms . Edible sea plants, such as some seaweeds and microalgae, are also seafood, and are widely eaten around the world, especially in Asia...

, and tourism. The region contains three French nuclear power stations.

History


Archaeological finds, such as cave paintings, prove that humans were present in the region in prehistoric times.

Belgae
Belgae
The Belgae were a group of tribes living in northern Gaul, on the west bank of the Rhine, in the 3rd century BC, and later also in Britain, and possibly even Ireland...

 and Celts, known as Gauls
Gauls
The Gauls were a Celtic people living in Gaul, the region roughly corresponding to what is now France, Belgium, Switzerland and Northern Italy, from the Iron Age through the Roman period. They mostly spoke the Continental Celtic language called Gaulish....

, invaded Normandy in successive waves from the 4th to the 3rd century BC.

When Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

 invaded Gaul, there were nine different Gallic
Gauls
The Gauls were a Celtic people living in Gaul, the region roughly corresponding to what is now France, Belgium, Switzerland and Northern Italy, from the Iron Age through the Roman period. They mostly spoke the Continental Celtic language called Gaulish....

 tribes in Normandy.

The Romanisation of Normandy was achieved by the usual methods: Roman roads and a policy of urbanisation. Classicists have knowledge of many Gallo-Roman villa
Villa
A villa was originally an ancient Roman upper-class country house. Since its origins in the Roman villa, the idea and function of a villa have evolved considerably. After the fall of the Roman Republic, villas became small farming compounds, which were increasingly fortified in Late Antiquity,...

s in Normandy.

In the late 3rd century, barbarian
Barbarian
Barbarian and savage are terms used to refer to a person who is perceived to be uncivilized. The word is often used either in a general reference to a member of a nation or ethnos, typically a tribal society as seen by an urban civilization either viewed as inferior, or admired as a noble savage...

 raids devastated Normandy. Coastal settlements were raided by Saxon
Saxons
The Saxons were a confederation of Germanic tribes originating on the North German plain. The Saxons earliest known area of settlement is Northern Albingia, an area approximately that of modern Holstein...

 pirates. Christianity also began to enter the area during this period. In 406, Germanic tribes began invading from the east, while the Saxons subjugated the Norman coast. The Roman Emperor withdrew from most of Normandy.

As early as 487, the area between the River Somme and the River Loire came under the control of the Frankish
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

 lord Clovis
Clovis I
Clovis Leuthwig was the first King of the Franks to unite all the Frankish tribes under one ruler, changing the leadership from a group of royal chieftains, to rule by kings, ensuring that the kingship was held by his heirs. He was also the first Catholic King to rule over Gaul . He was the son...

.

The Vikings started to raid the Seine Valley during the middle of 9th century. After attacking and destroying monasteries, including one at Jumieges
Jumièges
Jumièges is a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in the Haute-Normandie region in northern France.-Geography:A forestry and farming village situated in a meander of the river Seine, some west of Rouen, at the junction of the D65 and the D143 roads...

, they took advantage of the power vacuum created by the disintegration of Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

's empire to take northern France. The fiefdom of Normandy
Duchy of Normandy
The Duchy of Normandy stems from various Danish, Norwegian, Hiberno-Norse, Orkney Viking and Anglo-Danish invasions of France in the 9th century...

 was created for the Viking
Viking
The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

 leader Rollo
Rollo of Normandy
Rollo , baptised Robert and so sometimes numbered Robert I to distinguish him from his descendants, was a Norse nobleman of Norwegian or Danish descent and founder and first ruler of the Viking principality in what soon became known as Normandy...

 (also known as Robert of Normandy). Rollo had besieged Paris but in 911 entered vassal
Vassal
A vassal or feudatory is a person who has entered into a mutual obligation to a lord or monarch in the context of the feudal system in medieval Europe. The obligations often included military support and mutual protection, in exchange for certain privileges, usually including the grant of land held...

age to the king of the West Franks
Western Francia
West Francia, also known as the West Frankish Kingdom or Francia Occidentalis, was a short-lived kingdom encompassing the lands of the western part of the Carolingian Empire that came under the undisputed control of Charlemagne's grandson, Charles the Bald, as a result of the Treaty of Verdun of...

, Charles the Simple
Charles the Simple
Charles III , called the Simple or the Straightforward , was the undisputed King of France from 898 until 922 and the King of Lotharingia from 911 until 919/23...

, through the Treaty of Saint Clair-sur-Epte
Treaty of Saint Clair-sur-Epte
The Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte was signed in the autumn of 911 between Charles III of France and Rollo, the leader of the Vikings, to settle the Normans in Neustria and to protect Charles' kingdom from any new invasion by the "northmen". No written records survive concerning the creation of the...

. In exchange for his homage
Homage
Homage is a show or demonstration of respect or dedication to someone or something, sometimes by simple declaration but often by some more oblique reference, artistic or poetic....

 and fealty
Fealty
An oath of fealty, from the Latin fidelitas , is a pledge of allegiance of one person to another. Typically the oath is made upon a religious object such as a Bible or saint's relic, often contained within an altar, thus binding the oath-taker before God.In medieval Europe, fealty was sworn between...

, Rollo legally gained the territory which he and his Viking allies had previously conquered. The name "Normandy" reflects Rollo's Viking (i.e. "Northman") origins.

The descendants of Rollo and his followers adopted the local Gallo-Romantic language and intermarried with the area's original inhabitants. They became the Normans
Normans
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...

 – a Norman
Norman language
Norman is a Romance language and one of the Oïl languages. Norman can be classified as one of the northern Oïl languages along with Picard and Walloon...

-speaking mixture of Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

ns, Hiberno-Norse, Orcadians, Anglo-Danish
Danelaw
The Danelaw, as recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle , is a historical name given to the part of England in which the laws of the "Danes" held sway and dominated those of the Anglo-Saxons. It is contrasted with "West Saxon law" and "Mercian law". The term has been extended by modern historians to...

, and indigenous Franks
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

 and Gauls
Gauls
The Gauls were a Celtic people living in Gaul, the region roughly corresponding to what is now France, Belgium, Switzerland and Northern Italy, from the Iron Age through the Roman period. They mostly spoke the Continental Celtic language called Gaulish....

.

Rollo's descendant William, Duke of Normandy
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...

, became king of England in 1066 in the Norman Conquest culminating at the Battle of Hastings
Battle of Hastings
The Battle of Hastings occurred on 14 October 1066 during the Norman conquest of England, between the Norman-French army of Duke William II of Normandy and the English army under King Harold II...

, while retaining the fiefdom
Fiefdom
A fee was the central element of feudalism and consisted of heritable lands granted under one of several varieties of feudal tenure by an overlord to a vassal who held it in fealty in return for a form of feudal allegiance and service, usually given by the...

 of Normandy for himself and his descendants.

Norman expansion

Besides the Norman conquest of England
Norman conquest of England
The Norman conquest of England began on 28 September 1066 with the invasion of England by William, Duke of Normandy. William became known as William the Conqueror after his victory at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066, defeating King Harold II of England...

 and the subsequent conquests of Wales
Cambro-Norman
Cambro-Norman is a term used for Norman knights who settled in southern Wales after the Norman conquest of England in 1066. Some historians suggest that the term is to be preferred to Anglo-Norman for the Normans who invaded Ireland after 1170 — many of whom originated in Wales. However, the term...

 and Ireland
Norman Ireland
The History of Ireland 1169–1536 covers the period from the arrival of the Cambro-Normans to the reign of Henry VIII of England, who made himself King of Ireland. After the Norman invasion of 1171, Ireland was under an alternating level of control from Norman lords and the King of England...

, the Normans expanded into other areas. Norman families, such as that of Tancred of Hauteville
Tancred of Hauteville
Tancred of Hauteville was an 11th-century Norman petty lord about whom little is known. His historical importance comes entirely from the accomplishments of his sons and later descendants...

, played important parts in the Crusades
Crusades
The Crusades were a series of religious wars, blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church with the main goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem...

.

Tancred's sons William Iron Arm
William Iron Arm
William Iron Arm was a Norman adventurer, founder of the fortunes of the Hauteville family. One of twelve sons of Tancred of Hauteville, he journeyed to the Mezzogiorno with his younger brother Drogo in the first half of the eleventh century , in response to requests for help made by fellow...

, Drogo of Hauteville
Drogo of Hauteville
Drogo of Hauteville succeeded his brother, William Iron Arm, with whom he arrived in southern Italy c. 1035, as the leader of the Normans of Apulia....

, Humphrey of Hauteville
Humphrey of Hauteville
Humphrey of Hauteville , surnamed Abagelard, was the Count of Apulia and Calabria from 1051 to his death.Humphrey was probably the youngest son of Tancred of Hauteville by his first wife Muriel. Some sources make Geoffrey and Serlo his younger brothers...

, Robert Guiscard
Robert Guiscard
Robert d'Hauteville, known as Guiscard, Duke of Apulia and Calabria, from Latin Viscardus and Old French Viscart, often rendered the Resourceful, the Cunning, the Wily, the Fox, or the Weasel was a Norman adventurer conspicuous in the conquest of southern Italy and Sicily...

 and Roger the Great Count
Roger I of Sicily
Roger I , called Bosso and the Great Count, was the Norman Count of Sicily from 1071 to 1101. He was the last great leader of the Norman conquest of southern Italy.-Conquest of Calabria and Sicily:...

 conquered the Emirate of Sicily
Emirate of Sicily
The Emirate of Sicily was an Islamic state on the island of Sicily , which existed from 965 to 1072.-First Arab invasions of Sicily:...

 and additional territories in Southern Italy. They also carved out a place for themselves and their descendants in the Crusader States
Crusader states
The Crusader states were a number of mostly 12th- and 13th-century feudal states created by Western European crusaders in Asia Minor, Greece and the Holy Land , and during the Northern Crusades in the eastern Baltic area...

 of Asia Minor
Asia Minor
Asia Minor is a geographical location at the westernmost protrusion of Asia, also called Anatolia, and corresponds to the western two thirds of the Asian part of Turkey...

 and the Holy Land
Holy Land
The Holy Land is a term which in Judaism refers to the Kingdom of Israel as defined in the Tanakh. For Jews, the Land's identifiction of being Holy is defined in Judaism by its differentiation from other lands by virtue of the practice of Judaism often possible only in the Land of Israel...

.

The 14th century Norman explorer Jean de Béthencourt
Jean de Béthencourt
Jean de Béthencourt was a French explorer who, in 1402, led an expedition to the Canary Islands, landing first on the north side of Lanzarote...

 established a kingdom in the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
The Canary Islands , also known as the Canaries , is a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are a Spanish autonomous community and an outermost region of the European Union...

. Béthencourt received the title King of the Canary Islands but recognised as his overlord Henry III of Castile
Henry III of Castile
Henry III KG , sometimes known as Henry the Sufferer or Henry the Infirm , was the son of John I and Eleanor of Aragon, and succeeded him as King of the Castilian Crown in 1390....

, who had provided aid during the conquest.

13th to 17th Century

In 1204, during the reign of England's King John
John of England
John , also known as John Lackland , was King of England from 6 April 1199 until his death...

, mainland Normandy was taken from England by France under Philip II of France
Philip II of France
Philip II Augustus was the King of France from 1180 until his death. A member of the House of Capet, Philip Augustus was born at Gonesse in the Val-d'Oise, the son of Louis VII and his third wife, Adela of Champagne...

. Insular Normandy (the Channel Islands
Channel Islands
The Channel Islands are an archipelago of British Crown Dependencies in the English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. They include two separate bailiwicks: the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey...

) remained under English control. In 1259, Henry III of England
Henry III of England
Henry III was the son and successor of John as King of England, reigning for 56 years from 1216 until his death. His contemporaries knew him as Henry of Winchester. He was the first child king in England since the reign of Æthelred the Unready...

 recognised the legality of French possession of mainland Normandy under the Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1259)
The Treaty of Paris was a treaty between Louis IX of France and Henry III of England, agreed to on December 4, 1259....

. His successors, however, often fought to regain control of mainland French Normandy.

The Charte aux Normands granted by Louis X of France
Louis X of France
Louis X of France, , called the Quarreler, the Headstrong, or the Stubborn was the King of Navarre from 1305 and King of France from 1314 until his death...

 in 1315 (and later re-confirmed in 1339) – like the analogous Magna Carta
Magna Carta
Magna Carta is an English charter, originally issued in the year 1215 and reissued later in the 13th century in modified versions, which included the most direct challenges to the monarch's authority to date. The charter first passed into law in 1225...

 granted in England in the aftermath of 1204 – guaranteed the liberties and privileges of the province of Normandy.

French Normandy was occupied by English forces during the Hundred Years' War
Hundred Years' War
The Hundred Years' War was a series of separate wars waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Valois and the House of Plantagenet, also known as the House of Anjou, for the French throne, which had become vacant upon the extinction of the senior Capetian line of French kings...

 in 1345–1360 and again in 1415–1450. Normandy lost three-quarters of its population during the war. Afterward prosperity returned to Normandy until the Wars of Religion
French Wars of Religion
The French Wars of Religion is the name given to a period of civil infighting and military operations, primarily fought between French Catholics and Protestants . The conflict involved the factional disputes between the aristocratic houses of France, such as the House of Bourbon and House of Guise...

. When many Norman towns (Alençon
Alençon
Alençon is a commune in Normandy, France, capital of the Orne department. It is situated west of Paris. Alençon belongs to the intercommunality of Alençon .-History:...

, Rouen
Rouen
Rouen , in northern France on the River Seine, is the capital of the Haute-Normandie region and the historic capital city of Normandy. Once one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe , it was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy in the Middle Ages...

, Caen
Caen
Caen is a commune in northwestern France. It is the prefecture of the Calvados department and the capital of the Basse-Normandie region. It is located inland from the English Channel....

, Coutances
Coutances
Coutances is a commune in the Manche department in Normandy in north-western France.-History:Capital of the Unelli, a Gaulish tribe, the town took the name of Constantia in 298 during the reign of Roman emperor Constantius Chlorus...

, Bayeux
Bayeux
Bayeux is a commune in the Calvados department in Normandy in northwestern France.Bayeux is the home of the Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England.-Administration:Bayeux is a sub-prefecture of Calvados...

) joined the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

, battles ensued throughout the province. In the Channel Islands, a period of Calvinism
Calvinism
Calvinism is a Protestant theological system and an approach to the Christian life...

 following the Reformation was suppressed when Anglicanism
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

 was imposed following the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

.

Samuel de Champlain
Samuel de Champlain
Samuel de Champlain , "The Father of New France", was a French navigator, cartographer, draughtsman, soldier, explorer, geographer, ethnologist, diplomat, and chronicler. He founded New France and Quebec City on July 3, 1608....

 left the port of Honfleur
Honfleur
Honfleur is a commune in the Calvados department in northwestern France. It is located on the southern bank of the estuary of the Seine across from le Havre and very close to the exit of the Pont de Normandie...

 in 1604 and founded Acadia
Acadia
Acadia was the name given to lands in a portion of the French colonial empire of New France, in northeastern North America that included parts of eastern Quebec, the Maritime provinces, and modern-day Maine. At the end of the 16th century, France claimed territory stretching as far south as...

. Four years later, he founded Quebec City
Quebec City
Quebec , also Québec, Quebec City or Québec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is located within the Capitale-Nationale region. It is the second most populous city in Quebec after Montreal, which is about to the southwest...

. From then onwards, Normans engaged in a policy of expansion in North America. They continued the exploration of the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

: René Robert Cavelier de La Salle travelled in the area of the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

, then on the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

. Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville
Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville
Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville pronounced as described in note] Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville pronounced as described in note] Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville pronounced as described in note] (16 July 1661 – 9 July 1702 (probable)was a soldier, ship captain, explorer, colonial administrator, knight of...

 and his brother Lemoyne de Bienville founded Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

, Biloxi, Mobile
Mobile, Alabama
Mobile is the third most populous city in the Southern US state of Alabama and is the county seat of Mobile County. It is located on the Mobile River and the central Gulf Coast of the United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 during the 2010 census. It is the largest...

 and New Orleans. Territories located between Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

 and the Mississippi Delta
Mississippi Delta
The Mississippi Delta is the distinctive northwest section of the U.S. state of Mississippi that lies between the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers. The region has been called "The Most Southern Place on Earth" because of its unique racial, cultural, and economic history...

 were opened up to establish Canada and Louisiana
Louisiana (New France)
Louisiana or French Louisiana was an administrative district of New France. Under French control from 1682–1763 and 1800–03, the area was named in honor of Louis XIV, by French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle...

. Colonists from Normandy were among the most active in New France
New France
New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763...

,
comprising Acadia
Acadia
Acadia was the name given to lands in a portion of the French colonial empire of New France, in northeastern North America that included parts of eastern Quebec, the Maritime provinces, and modern-day Maine. At the end of the 16th century, France claimed territory stretching as far south as...

, Canada, and Louisiana
Louisiana (New France)
Louisiana or French Louisiana was an administrative district of New France. Under French control from 1682–1763 and 1800–03, the area was named in honor of Louis XIV, by French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle...

.

Honfleur
Honfleur
Honfleur is a commune in the Calvados department in northwestern France. It is located on the southern bank of the estuary of the Seine across from le Havre and very close to the exit of the Pont de Normandie...

 and Le Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre is a city in the Seine-Maritime department of the Haute-Normandie region in France. It is situated in north-western France, on the right bank of the mouth of the river Seine on the English Channel. Le Havre is the most populous commune in the Haute-Normandie region, although the total...

 were two of the principal slave trade
Atlantic slave trade
The Atlantic slave trade, also known as the trans-atlantic slave trade, refers to the trade in slaves that took place across the Atlantic ocean from the sixteenth through to the nineteenth centuries...

 ports of France.

18th and 19th Centuries

Although agriculture remained important, industries such as weaving, metallurgy, sugar refining, ceramics, and shipbuilding were introduced and developed.

In the 1780s, the economic crisis and the crisis of the Ancien Régime struck Normandy as well as other parts of the nation, leading to the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

. Bad harvests, technical progress and the effects of the Eden Agreement
Eden Agreement
The Eden Treaty was a treaty signed between Great Britain and France in 1786, named after the British negotiator William Eden, 1st Baron Auckland . It effectively ended, for a brief time, the economic war between France and the British and set up a system to reduce tariffs on goods from either...

 signed in 1786 affected employment and the economy of the province. Normans laboured under a heavy fiscal burden.

In 1790 the five departments of Normandy replaced the former province.

11 July 1793, the Norman Charlotte Corday
Charlotte Corday
Marie-Anne Charlotte de Corday d'Armont , known to history as Charlotte Corday, was a figure of the French Revolution. In 1793, she was executed under the guillotine for the assassination of Jacobin leader Jean-Paul Marat, who was in part responsible, through his role as a politician and...

 assassinated Marat
Jean-Paul Marat
Jean-Paul Marat , born in the Principality of Neuchâtel, was a physician, political theorist, and scientist best known for his career in France as a radical journalist and politician during the French Revolution...

.

The Normans reacted little to the many political upheavals which characterised the 19th century. Overall they warily accepted the changes of régime (First French Empire
First French Empire
The First French Empire , also known as the Greater French Empire or Napoleonic Empire, was the empire of Napoleon I of France...

, Bourbon Restoration
Bourbon Restoration
The Bourbon Restoration is the name given to the period following the successive events of the French Revolution , the end of the First Republic , and then the forcible end of the First French Empire under Napoleon  – when a coalition of European powers restored by arms the monarchy to the...

, July Monarchy
July Monarchy
The July Monarchy , officially the Kingdom of France , was a period of liberal constitutional monarchy in France under King Louis-Philippe starting with the July Revolution of 1830 and ending with the Revolution of 1848...

, French Second Republic
French Second Republic
The French Second Republic was the republican government of France between the 1848 Revolution and the coup by Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte which initiated the Second Empire. It officially adopted the motto Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité...

, Second French Empire
Second French Empire
The Second French Empire or French Empire was the Imperial Bonapartist regime of Napoleon III from 1852 to 1870, between the Second Republic and the Third Republic, in France.-Rule of Napoleon III:...

, French Third Republic
French Third Republic
The French Third Republic was the republican government of France from 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed due to the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, to 1940, when France was overrun by Nazi Germany during World War II, resulting in the German and Italian occupations of France...

).

There was an economic revival (mechanization of textile manufacture, first trains...) after the French Revolutionary Wars
French Revolutionary Wars
The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of major conflicts, from 1792 until 1802, fought between the French Revolutionary government and several European states...

 and the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 (1792–1815).

And new economic activity stimulated the coasts: seaside tourism. The 19th century marks the birth of the first beach resorts.

Second World War

During the Second World War, following the armistice of 22 June 1940
Armistice with France (Second Compiègne)
The Second Armistice at Compiègne was signed at 18:50 on 22 June 1940 near Compiègne, in the department of Oise, between Nazi Germany and France...

, continental Normandy was part of the German occupied zone of France. The Channel Islands were occupied by German forces
Occupation of the Channel Islands
The Channel Islands were occupied by Nazi Germany for much of World War II, from 30 June 1940 until the liberation on 9 May 1945. The Channel Islands are two British Crown dependencies and include the bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey as well as the smaller islands of Alderney and Sark...

 between 30 June 1940 and 9 May 1945. The town of Dieppe
Dieppe, Seine-Maritime
Dieppe is a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in France. In 1999, the population of the whole Dieppe urban area was 81,419.A port on the English Channel, famous for its scallops, and with a regular ferry service from the Gare Maritime to Newhaven in England, Dieppe also has a popular pebbled...

 was the site of the unsuccessful Dieppe Raid
Dieppe Raid
The Dieppe Raid, also known as the Battle of Dieppe, Operation Rutter or later on Operation Jubilee, during the Second World War, was an Allied attack on the German-occupied port of Dieppe on the northern coast of France on 19 August 1942. The assault began at 5:00 AM and by 10:50 AM the Allied...

 by Canadian and British armed forces.

The Allies
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 coordinated a massive build-up of troops and supplies to support a large-scale invasion of Normandy in the D-Day landings under the code name 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...

. The Germans were dug in to fortified emplacements above the beaches. Caen
Caen
Caen is a commune in northwestern France. It is the prefecture of the Calvados department and the capital of the Basse-Normandie region. It is located inland from the English Channel....

, Cherbourg, Carentan
Carentan
Carentan is a small rural town near the north-eastern base of the French Cotentin Peninsula in Normandy in north-western France near the port city of Cherbourg-Octeville. Carentan has a population somewhat over 6,000 and is now administratively organized as a commune in the Manche department...

, Falaise
Falaise, Calvados
Falaise is a commune in the Calvados department in the Basse-Normandie region in northwestern France.-History:The town was the birthplace of William I the Conqueror, first of the Norman Kings of England. The Château de Falaise , which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of...

 and other Norman towns endured many casualties in the Battle of Normandy, which continued until the closing of the so-called Falaise gap
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...

 between Chambois
Chambois
Chambois is a commune in the Orne département in north-western France. The city is remarkable for its Norman keep and was part of the Falaise pocket in 1944.-Norman keep:The Norman keep or Donjon was built in the 12th century...

 and Montormel, then the liberation of Le Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre is a city in the Seine-Maritime department of the Haute-Normandie region in France. It is situated in north-western France, on the right bank of the mouth of the river Seine on the English Channel. Le Havre is the most populous commune in the Haute-Normandie region, although the total...

.

This led to the restoration of the French Republic, and was a significant turning point in the war. The remainder of Normandy was liberated only on 9 May 1945 at the end of the war, when the Occupation of the Channel Islands
Occupation of the Channel Islands
The Channel Islands were occupied by Nazi Germany for much of World War II, from 30 June 1940 until the liberation on 9 May 1945. The Channel Islands are two British Crown dependencies and include the bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey as well as the smaller islands of Alderney and Sark...

 effectively ended.

Geography

The historical Duchy of Normandy was a formerly independent duchy
Duchy
A duchy is a territory, fief, or domain ruled by a duke or duchess.Some duchies were sovereign in areas that would become unified realms only during the Modern era . In contrast, others were subordinate districts of those kingdoms that unified either partially or completely during the Medieval era...

 occupying the lower Seine
Seine
The Seine is a -long river and an important commercial waterway within the Paris Basin in the north of France. It rises at Saint-Seine near Dijon in northeastern France in the Langres plateau, flowing through Paris and into the English Channel at Le Havre . It is navigable by ocean-going vessels...

 area, the Pays de Caux
Pays de Caux
The Pays de Caux is an area in Normandy occupying the greater part of the French département of Seine Maritime in Haute-Normandie. It is a chalk plateau to the north of the Seine Estuary and extending to the cliffs on the English Channel coast - its coastline is known as the Côte d'Albâtre...

 and the region to the west through the Pays d'Auge
Pays d'Auge
The Pays d'Auge is an area in Normandy, straddling the départements of Calvados and Orne . The chief town is Lisieux.-Geography:Generally it consists of the basin of the Touques River....

 as far as the Cotentin Peninsula
Cotentin Peninsula
The Cotentin Peninsula, also known as the Cherbourg Peninsula, is a peninsula in Normandy, forming part of the north-western coast of France. It juts out north-westwards into the English Channel, towards Great Britain...

.

The region is bordered along the northern coasts by the English Channel. There are granite cliff
Cliff
In geography and geology, a cliff is a significant vertical, or near vertical, rock exposure. Cliffs are formed as erosion landforms due to the processes of erosion and weathering that produce them. Cliffs are common on coasts, in mountainous areas, escarpments and along rivers. Cliffs are usually...

s in the west and limestone cliffs in the east. There are also long stretches of beach in the centre of the region. The bocage typical of the western areas caused problems for the invading forces in the Battle of Normandy. A notable feature of the landscape is created by the meander
Meander
A meander in general is a bend in a sinuous watercourse. A meander is formed when the moving water in a stream erodes the outer banks and widens its valley. A stream of any volume may assume a meandering course, alternately eroding sediments from the outside of a bend and depositing them on the...

s of the Seine as it approaches its estuary.

The highest point is the Signal d'Écouves (417m) in the Massif armoricain.

Normandy is sparsely forested: 12.8% of the territory is wooded, compared to a French average of 23.6%, although the proportion varies between the departments. Eure has most cover (21%) while Manche has least (4%), a characteristic shared with the Islands.

Regions

  • The Avranchin
    Avranchin
    The Avranchin is an area in Normandy, France, corresponding to the territory of the Abrincates, tribe of Celts who also gave their name to the city of Avranches, main town of the Avranchin....

  • The Bessin
    Bessin
    The Bessin is an area in Normandy, France, corresponding to the territory of the Bajocasse tribe of Gaul who also gave their name to the city of Bayeux, central town of the Bessin.-History:The territory was annexed by the Duchy of Normandy in 924....

  • The Bauptois
    Baupte
    Baupte is a commune in the Manche department in the Basse-Normandie region in north-western France....

  • The bocage virois
    Vire
    Vire is a commune in the Calvados department in the Basse-Normandie region in northwestern France.- History :In 1123, Henri I Beauclerc, King of England and Duke of Normandy, had a redoubt constructed on a rocky hill top, which was surrounded by the Vire river...

  • The campagne d'Alençon
    Alençon
    Alençon is a commune in Normandy, France, capital of the Orne department. It is situated west of Paris. Alençon belongs to the intercommunality of Alençon .-History:...

  • The campagne d'Argentan
    Argentan
    Argentan is a commune, and the seat of two cantons and of an arrondissement in the Orne department in north-western France.Argentan is located NE of Rennes, ENE of the Mont Saint-Michel, SE of Cherbourg, SSE of Caen, SW of Rouen and N of Le Mans....

  • The campagne de Caen
    Caen
    Caen is a commune in northwestern France. It is the prefecture of the Calvados department and the capital of the Basse-Normandie region. It is located inland from the English Channel....

  • The campagne de Falaise
    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...

  • The campagne du Neubourg
  • The campagne de Saint-André
    Évreux
    Évreux is a commune in the Eure department, of which it is the capital, in Haute Normandie in northern France.-History:In late Antiquity, the town, attested in the fourth century CE, was named Mediolanum Aulercorum, "the central town of the Aulerci", the Gallic tribe then inhabiting the area...

     (or d’Évreux)
  • The Cotentin
  • The Perche
    Perche
    Perche is a former province of northern France extending over the départements of Orne, Eure, Eure-et-Loir and Sarthe, which were created from Perche during the French Revolution.-Geography:...

  • The Domfront
    Domfront, Orne
    Domfront is a commune in the Orne department in north-western France.Beginning from the strategically sited castle of Domfront, the dispossessed count Henry, youngest son of William the Conqueror, rallied support among local lords and eventually ruled the Anglo-Norman dominions as Henry I of...

    ais or Passais
  • The Hiémois
    Exmes
    Exmes is a commune in the Orne department in north-western France.-Heraldry:-References:*According to other sources, Exmes was the place of origin of persons named Amis, which name was later corrupted to various forms, including Amos...

  • The Lieuvin
    Lieuvin
    The Lieuvin is a plateau region in the western part of the Eure département in Normandy.The plateau consists of typical Norman bocage and is bounded by the Seine estuary to the north, the Risle valley to the east, the Charentonne valley to the south and, in the west, the Pays d'Auge which...

  • The Mortain
    Mortain
    Mortain is a commune in the Manche department in Normandy in north-western France.-Geography:Mortain is situated on a rocky hill rising above the gorge of the Cance, a tributary of the Sélune.-Administration:Mortain is the seat of a canton...

    ais
  • The pays d'Auge
    Pays d'Auge
    The Pays d'Auge is an area in Normandy, straddling the départements of Calvados and Orne . The chief town is Lisieux.-Geography:Generally it consists of the basin of the Touques River....

    , central Normandy, is characterized by excellent agricultural land.
  • The pays de Bray
    Pays de Bray
    The Pays de Bray is a small natural region of France situated to the north-east of Rouen, straddling the French départements of the Seine-Maritime and Oise...

  • The pays de Caux
    Pays de Caux
    The Pays de Caux is an area in Normandy occupying the greater part of the French département of Seine Maritime in Haute-Normandie. It is a chalk plateau to the north of the Seine Estuary and extending to the cliffs on the English Channel coast - its coastline is known as the Côte d'Albâtre...

  • The pays d'Houlme
  • The pays de Madrie: territoire entre la Seine et L'Eure
  • The pays d'Ouche
    Pays d'Ouche
    The Pays d'Ouche is an historical and geographical region in Normandy. It extends from the southwest of Évreux up to Bernay and Beaumont-le-Roger as a northern limit, and down to L'Aigle and to Gacé in the south....

  • The Roumois
    Roumois
    The Roumois, , the region round Rouen is a region of plateau located in the northwestern part of the Eure département in Normandy.Its boundaries are the Seine downstream of Elbeuf to the north, to the west the Risle valley and the plain of Le Neubourg to the south. The communes are Bourg-Achard...

     et Marais-Vernier
    Marais-Vernier
    Marais-Vernier is a commune in the Eure department in Haute-Normandie in northern France.The river ends with the Seine on the left bank near Quillebeuf-sur-Seine. It is isolated from a river by a ditch which was constructed by the Dutch....

  • The Suisse normande (Norman Switzerland), in the south, presents hillier terrain.
  • The Val de Saire
  • The Vexin normand

Channel Islands

  • The bailliage of Jersey
    Jersey
    Jersey, officially the Bailiwick of Jersey is a British Crown Dependency off the coast of Normandy, France. As well as the island of Jersey itself, the bailiwick includes two groups of small islands that are no longer permanently inhabited, the Minquiers and Écréhous, and the Pierres de Lecq and...

  • The bailliage of Guernsey
    Guernsey
    Guernsey, officially the Bailiwick of Guernsey is a British Crown dependency in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy.The Bailiwick, as a governing entity, embraces not only all 10 parishes on the Island of Guernsey, but also the islands of Herm, Jethou, Burhou, and Lihou and their islet...



The Channel Islands, although British Crown Dependencies
Crown dependency
The Crown Dependencies are British possessions of the Crown, as opposed to overseas territories of the United Kingdom. They comprise the Channel Island Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey in the English Channel, and the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea....

, are considered culturally and historically a part of Normandy.

Although the British surrendered claims to mainland Normandy, France, and other French possessions in 1801, the monarch of the United Kingdom retains the title Duke of Normandy in respect to the Channel Islands. The Channel Islands (except for Chausey
Chausey
Chausey is a group of small islands, islets and rocks off the coast of Normandy, in the English Channel. It lies from Granville, and forms a quartier of the Granville commune, in the Manche département...

) remain Crown dependencies
Crown dependency
The Crown Dependencies are British possessions of the Crown, as opposed to overseas territories of the United Kingdom. They comprise the Channel Island Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey in the English Channel, and the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea....

 of the British Crown
The Crown
The Crown is a corporation sole that in the Commonwealth realms and any provincial or state sub-divisions thereof represents the legal embodiment of governance, whether executive, legislative, or judicial...

 in the present era. Thus the Loyal Toast
Loyal toast
A loyal toast is a salute given to the head of state of the country in which a formal gathering is being given, or by expatriates of that country, whether or not the particular head of state is present. It is usually a matter of protocol at state and military occasions, and a display of patriotic...

 in the Channel Islands is La Reine, notre Duc ("The Queen, our Duke"). The British monarch is understood to not be the Duke with regards to mainland Normandy described herein, by virtue of the Treaty of Paris of 1259
Treaty of Paris (1259)
The Treaty of Paris was a treaty between Louis IX of France and Henry III of England, agreed to on December 4, 1259....

, the surrender of French possessions in 1801, and the belief that the rights of succession to that title are subject to Salic Law
Salic law
Salic law was a body of traditional law codified for governing the Salian Franks in the early Middle Ages during the reign of King Clovis I in the 6th century...

 which excludes inheritance through female heirs.

Rivers

Rivers in noodle include:
  • the Seine and its tributaries:
    • the Andelle
      Andelle
      The Andelle is a river of Normandy, France, in length, flowing through the departments of Seine-Maritime and Eure.- Geography :The Andelle has its source in the Pays de Bray in the territory of the commune of Serqueux...

    • the Epte
      Epte
      The Epte is a river in Seine-Maritime and Eure, in Normandy, France. It is a right tributary of the Seine.The river rises in Seine-Maritime in the Pays de Bray, near Forges-les-Eaux...

    • the Eure
      Eure River
      The Eure is a river in northern France, left tributary of the Seine. It rises at Marchainville in the Orne département and joins the Seine near Pont-de-l'Arche...

    • the Risle
      Risle
      The Risle is a long river in Normandy, left tributary of the Seine.The river begins in Orne west of L'Aigle, crosses the western part of the department of Eure flowing from south to north and out into the estuary of the Seine on the left bank near Berville-sur-Mer...

    • the Robec
      Robec
      The Robec is a small river in Seine-Maritime, Normandy, France, right tributary of the Seine. Its length is 9 km. The river begins near Fontaine-sous-Préaux, then it flows through Darnétal and ends in the Seine in Rouen...


And many coastal rivers:
  • the Bresle
  • the Couesnon
    Couesnon
    The Couesnon River is a river running from the département of Mayenne in north-western France, forming an estuary at Mont Saint-Michel. Its final stretch forms the border between the historical duchies of Normandy and Brittany...

    , which traditionally marks the boundary between the Duchy of Brittany and the Duchy of Normandy
    Duchy of Normandy
    The Duchy of Normandy stems from various Danish, Norwegian, Hiberno-Norse, Orkney Viking and Anglo-Danish invasions of France in the 9th century...

  • the Dives
  • the Orne
    Orne River
    The Orne is a river in Normandy, within northwestern France. It discharges into the English Channel at the port of Ouistreham. Its source is in Aunou-sur-Orne, east of Sées...

  • the Sée
    Sée
    The Sée is an 78 km long river in the Manche department, Normandy, France, beginning near Sourdeval. It empties into the bay of Mont Saint-Michel in Avranches, close to the mouth of the Sélune river. Another town along the Sée is Brécey.-References:*http://www.geoportail.fr*...

  • the Sélune
    Sélune
    The Sélune is a 91 km long river in the Manche department, Normandy, France, beginning near Saint-Cyr-du-Bailleul. It empties into the bay of Mont Saint-Michel near Avranches, close to the mouth of the Sée river. Other towns along the Sélune are Barenton, Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouët and...

  • the Touques
    Touques River
    The Touques is a small 104 km long coastal river in Pays d'Auge in Normandy, France. The Touques is officially navigable up to the Pont des Belges, 800 m from its estuary. Its source is in the Perche hills, south of Gacé. The river runs northwards, and flows into the English Channel between the...

  • the Veules, the shortest French river
  • the Vire

Towns

See: :Category:Towns in Normandy


The principal cities (population at the 1999 census) are Rouen
Rouen
Rouen , in northern France on the River Seine, is the capital of the Haute-Normandie region and the historic capital city of Normandy. Once one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe , it was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy in the Middle Ages...

 (518,316 inhabitants in the metropolitan area), the capital of Upper Normandy and formerly of the whole province; Caen
Caen
Caen is a commune in northwestern France. It is the prefecture of the Calvados department and the capital of the Basse-Normandie region. It is located inland from the English Channel....

 (420,000 inhabitants in the metropolitan area), the capital of Lower Normandy; Le Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre is a city in the Seine-Maritime department of the Haute-Normandie region in France. It is situated in north-western France, on the right bank of the mouth of the river Seine on the English Channel. Le Havre is the most populous commune in the Haute-Normandie region, although the total...

 (296,773 inhabitants in the metropolitan area); and Cherbourg (117,855 inhabitants in the metropolitan area).

Population

In January 2006 the population of Normandy (including the part of Perche
Perche
Perche is a former province of northern France extending over the départements of Orne, Eure, Eure-et-Loir and Sarthe, which were created from Perche during the French Revolution.-Geography:...

 which lies inside the Orne
Orne
Orne is a department in the northwest of France, named after the river Orne.- History :Orne is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution, on March 4, 1790. It was created from parts of the former provinces of Normandy and Perche.- Geography :Orne is in the region of...

 département but excluding the Channel Islands
Channel Islands
The Channel Islands are an archipelago of British Crown Dependencies in the English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. They include two separate bailiwicks: the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey...

) was estimated at 3,260,000 with an average population density of 109 inhabitants per km², just under the French national average, but rising to 147 for Upper Normandy
Haute-Normandie
Upper Normandy is one of the 27 regions of France. It was created in 1984 from two départements: Seine-Maritime and Eure, when Normandy was divided into Lower Normandy and Upper Normandy. This division continues to provoke controversy, and some continue to call for reuniting the two regions...

.

Economy

Year Area Labour force in agriculture Labour force in industry Labour force in services
2003
Haute-Normandie
2.30 %
36.10 %
61.60 %
2006
Basse-Normandie
6.50 %
25.00 %
68.50 %
2006
France
2.20 %
20.60 %
77.20 %

Area GDP (in million of Euros)(2006) Unemployment (% of the labour force)(2007)
Haute-Normandie
46,853
6.80 %
Basse-Normandie
34,064
7.90 %
France
1,791,956
7.50 %

Food and drink

Parts of Normandy consist of rolling countryside typified by pasture for dairy cattle and apple orchards. A wide range of dairy products are produced and exported. Norman cheeses include Camembert
Camembert (cheese)
Camembert is a soft, creamy, surface-ripened cow's milk cheese. It was first made in the late 18th century in Normandy in northern France.-Production:...

, Livarot, Pont l'Évêque, Brillat-Savarin
Brillat-Savarin cheese
Brillat-Savarin is a soft, white-crusted cow's milk cheese with at least 75% fat in dry matter , named after the 18th century French gourmet and political figure Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. The cheese was created in the 1930s by cheese-maker Henri Androuët.Brillat-Savarin is produced all year...

, Neufchâtel
Neufchâtel (cheese)
French Neufchâtel is a soft, slightly crumbly, mould-ripened cheese made in the region of Normandy. One of the oldest cheeses in France, its production is believed to date back to the 6th century. It looks similar to Camembert, with a dry, white, edible rind, but the taste is saltier and sharper....

, Petit Suisse and Boursin
Boursin (cheese)
Boursin is a brand of Gournay cheese. It is a soft creamy cheese available in a variety of flavours, with a flavor and texture somewhat similar to cream cheese...

. Normandy butter and Normandy cream are lavishly used in gastronomic specialties.
Fish and seafood are of superior quality in Normandy. Turbot and oysters from the Cotentin Peninsula are major delicacies throughout France. Normandy is the chief oyster
Oyster
The word oyster is used as a common name for a number of distinct groups of bivalve molluscs which live in marine or brackish habitats. The valves are highly calcified....

-cultivating, scallop-exporting, and mussel-raising region in France.

Normandy is a major cider
Cider
Cider or cyder is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from apple juice. Cider varies in alcohol content from 2% abv to 8.5% abv or more in traditional English ciders. In some regions, such as Germany and America, cider may be termed "apple wine"...

-producing region (very little wine is produced). Perry
Perry
Perry is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented pears. Perry has been common for centuries in Britain, particularly in the Three Counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and in parts of south Wales; and France, especially Normandy and Anjou.In more recent years, commercial...

 is also produced, but in less significant quantities. Apple brandy, of which the most famous variety is calvados
Calvados (spirit)
Calvados is an apple brandy from the French région of Basse-Normandie or Lower Normandy.-History:Apple orchards and brewers are mentioned as far back as the 8th century by Charlemagne. The first known Norman distillation was carried out by "Lord" de Gouberville in 1554, and the guild for cider...

, is also popular. The mealtime trou normand, or "Norman hole", is a pause between meal courses in which diners partake of a glassful of calvados in order to improve the appetite and make room for the next course, and this is still observed in many homes and restaurants. Pommeau
Pommeau
Pommeau is an alcoholic drink made in northern France by mixing apple juice with apple brandy .It is consumed as an apéritif, or as an accompaniment to melon or blue cheese...

is an apéritif
Aperitif
Apéritifs and digestifs are alcoholic drinks that are normally served with meals.-Apéritifs:An apéritif is usually served before a meal to stimulate the appetite. This contrasts with digestifs, which are served after a meal for the purpose of aiding digestion...

produced by blending unfermented cider and apple brandy. Another aperitif is the kir normand, a measure of crème de cassis
Crème de cassis
Crème de cassis is a sweet, dark red liqueur that is made from blackcurrants.Several cocktails are made with crème de cassis, including the very popular wine cocktail, kir.-Origin and production:...

 topped up with cider. Bénédictine
Benedictine
Benedictine refers to the spirituality and consecrated life in accordance with the Rule of St Benedict, written by Benedict of Nursia in the sixth century for the cenobitic communities he founded in central Italy. The most notable of these is Monte Cassino, the first monastery founded by Benedict...

is produced in Fécamp
Fécamp
Fécamp is a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in the Haute-Normandie region in northern France.-Geography:Fécamp is situated in the valley of the river Valmont, at the heart of the Pays de Caux, on the Albaster Coast...

.

Apples are also widely used in cooking: for example, moules à la normande are mussel
Mussel
The common name mussel is used for members of several families of clams or bivalvia mollusca, from saltwater and freshwater habitats. These groups have in common a shell whose outline is elongated and asymmetrical compared with other edible clams, which are often more or less rounded or oval.The...

s cooked with apples and cream, bourdelots are apples baked in pastry, partridges are flamed with reinette apples, and localities all over the province have their own variation of apple tart. A classic pastry dish from the region is Norman Tart a pastry
Pastry
Pastry is the name given to various kinds of baked products made from ingredients such as flour, sugar, milk, butter, shortening, baking powder and/or eggs. Small cakes, tarts and other sweet baked products are called "pastries."...

-based variant of the apple tart.

Other regional specialities include tripe
Tripe
Tripe is a type of edible offal from the stomachs of various farm animals.-Beef tripe:...

s à la mode de Caen
, andouille
Andouille
Andouille is defined as a coarse-grained smoked sausage made using pork, pepper, onions, wine, and seasonings. Andouille is French in origin, and was later brought to the United States through Louisiana by French immigrants. In the United States, the sausage is most often associated with Cajun...

s
and andouillettes, salt meadow (pré salé) lamb, seafood (mussels, scallop
Scallop
A scallop is a marine bivalve mollusk of the family Pectinidae. Scallops are a cosmopolitan family, found in all of the world's oceans. Many scallops are highly prized as a food source...

s, lobsters, mackerel…), and teurgoule
Teurgoule
Teurgoule is a rice pudding that is a speciality of Normandy. Traditionally it was popular at village festivals in Lower Normandy, and today remains a family dish. It consists of rice cooked in milk, sweetened with sugar, and is flavoured with cinnamon and sometimes nutmeg. It is baked in an...

(spiced rice pudding).

Normandy dishes include duckling à la rouennaise, sautéed chicken yvetois, and goose en daube. Rabbit is cooked with morel
Morel
Morchella, the true morels, is a genus of edible mushrooms closely related to anatomically simpler cup fungi. These distinctive mushrooms appear honeycomb-like in that the upper portion is composed of a network of ridges with pits between them....

s, or à la havraise (stuffed with truffled pigs' trotters). Other dishes are sheep's trotters à la rouennaise, casseroled veal, larded calf's liver braised with carrots, and veal (or turkey) in cream and mushrooms.

Normandy is also noted for its pastries. It is the birthplace of brioche
Brioche
Brioche is a highly enriched French pastry, whose high egg and butter content give it a rich and tender crumb. It is "light and slightly puffy, more or less fine, according to the proportion of butter and eggs" It has a dark, golden, and flaky crust, frequently accentuated by an egg wash applied...

s (especially those from Évreux
Évreux
Évreux is a commune in the Eure department, of which it is the capital, in Haute Normandie in northern France.-History:In late Antiquity, the town, attested in the fourth century CE, was named Mediolanum Aulercorum, "the central town of the Aulerci", the Gallic tribe then inhabiting the area...

 and Gisors
Gisors
Gisors is a commune in the metropolitan area of Paris, France. It is located northwest from the center of Paris.Gisors, together with the neighbouring communes of Trie-Château and Trie-la-Ville, form an urban area of 12,669 inhabitants...

) and also turns out douillons (pears baked in pastry), craquelins, roulettes in Rouen, fouaces in Caen, fallues in Lisieux
Lisieux
Lisieux is a commune in the Calvados department in the Basse-Normandie region in northwestern France.Lisieux is the capital of the Pays d'Auge area, which is characterised by valleys and hedged farmland...

, sablés in Lisieux. Confectionery of the region includes Rouen
Rouen
Rouen , in northern France on the River Seine, is the capital of the Haute-Normandie region and the historic capital city of Normandy. Once one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe , it was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy in the Middle Ages...

 apple sugar, Isigny caramels, Bayeux
Bayeux
Bayeux is a commune in the Calvados department in Normandy in northwestern France.Bayeux is the home of the Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England.-Administration:Bayeux is a sub-prefecture of Calvados...

 mint chews, Falaise berlingots, Le Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre is a city in the Seine-Maritime department of the Haute-Normandie region in France. It is situated in north-western France, on the right bank of the mouth of the river Seine on the English Channel. Le Havre is the most populous commune in the Haute-Normandie region, although the total...

 marzipans, Argentan
Argentan
Argentan is a commune, and the seat of two cantons and of an arrondissement in the Orne department in north-western France.Argentan is located NE of Rennes, ENE of the Mont Saint-Michel, SE of Cherbourg, SSE of Caen, SW of Rouen and N of Le Mans....

 croquettes, and Rouen macaroons.

Normandy is the native land of Taillevent
Taillevent
Guillaume Tirel, alias Taillevent was cook to the Court of France at the time of the first Valois kings and the Hundred Years War. His first position was enfent de cuisine to Queen Jeanne d'Évreux. From 1326 he was queux, head chef, to Philip VI...

, cook of the kings of France Charles V
Charles V of France
Charles V , called the Wise, was King of France from 1364 to his death in 1380 and a member of the House of Valois...

 and Charles VI
Charles VI of France
Charles VI , called the Beloved and the Mad , was the King of France from 1380 to 1422, as a member of the House of Valois. His bouts with madness, which seem to have begun in 1392, led to quarrels among the French royal family, which were exploited by the neighbouring powers of England and Burgundy...

. He wrote the earliest French cookery book named Le Viandier. Confiture de lait
Confiture de lait
Confiture de lait is a thick, sweet caramel sauce prepared from milk and sugar. It is a specialty of the Normandy region of France, but it can be found throughout the country...

was also made in Normandy around the 14th century.

Symbols

The traditional provincial flag of Normandy
Flag of Normandy
The flag of Normandy is a symbol of Normandy. The traditional provincial flag, gules, two leopards passant or, is used in both modern regions of France...

, gules, two leopards passant or, is used in both modern regions. The historic three-leopard version (known in the Norman language as les treis cats, "the three cats") is used by some associations and individuals, especially those who support reunification of the regions and cultural links with the Channel Islands and England. Jersey and Guernsey use three leopards in their national symbols. The three leopards represents the strength and courage Normandy has towards the neighbouring provinces.

The unofficial anthem of the region is the song "Ma Normandie
Ma Normandie
"Ma Normandie" is the semi-official anthem of the Bailiwick of Jersey, a British Crown dependency in the Channel Islands, and was written and composed by Frédéric Bérat...

".

Literature

The dukes of Normandy commissioned and inspired epic literature to record and legitimise their rule. Wace
Wace
Wace was a Norman poet, who was born in Jersey and brought up in mainland Normandy , ending his career as Canon of Bayeux.-Life:...

, Orderic Vitalis
Orderic Vitalis
Orderic Vitalis was an English chronicler of Norman ancestry who wrote one of the great contemporary chronicles of 11th and 12th century Normandy and Anglo-Norman England. The modern biographer of Henry I of England, C...

 and Étienne de Rouen
Étienne de Rouen
Étienne de Rouen was a Norman Benedictine monk of Bec-Hellouin of the twelfth century, and a chronicler and poet. He is known for his Arthurian poem Draco Normannicus , at the same time a chronicle from the eleventh century to 1169; it draws on Dudo of St. Quentin and William of Jumièges...

 were among those who wrote in the service of the dukes. After the division of 1204, French literature provided the model for the development of literature in Normandy. Olivier Basselin
Olivier Basselin
Olivier Basselin , French poet, was born in the Val-de-Vire in Normandy about the end of the 14th century.He was by occupation a fuller, and tradition still points out the site of his mill...

 wrote of the Vaux de Vire, the origin of literary vaudeville
Vaudeville
Vaudeville was a theatrical genre of variety entertainment in the United States and Canada from the early 1880s until the early 1930s. Each performance was made up of a series of separate, unrelated acts grouped together on a common bill...

. Among notable Norman writers in French are Jean Marot
Jean Marot
Jean Marot was a French poet and the father of French Renaissance poet Clément Marot. He is often grouped with the "Grands Rhétoriqueurs"....

, Rémy Belleau
Remy Belleau
Remy Belleau , was a poet of the French Renaissance. He is most known for his paradoxical poems of praise for simple things and his poems about precious stones....

, Guy de Maupassant
Guy de Maupassant
Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant was a popular 19th-century French writer, considered one of the fathers of the modern short story and one of the form's finest exponents....

, Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly, Gustave Flaubert
Gustave Flaubert
Gustave Flaubert was a French writer who is counted among the greatest Western novelists. He is known especially for his first published novel, Madame Bovary , and for his scrupulous devotion to his art and style.-Early life and education:Flaubert was born on December 12, 1821, in Rouen,...

, Octave Mirbeau
Octave Mirbeau
Octave Mirbeau was a French journalist, art critic, travel writer, pamphleteer, novelist, and playwright, who achieved celebrity in Europe and great success among the public, while still appealing to the literary and artistic avant-garde...

 and Remy de Gourmont
Remy de Gourmont
Remy de Gourmont was a French Symbolist poet, novelist, and influential critic. He was widely read in his era, and an important influence on Blaise Cendrars...

. The Corneille brothers, Pierre
Pierre Corneille
Pierre Corneille was a French tragedian who was one of the three great seventeenth-century French dramatists, along with Molière and Racine...

 and Thomas
Thomas Corneille
Thomas Corneille was a French dramatist.- Personal life :Born in Rouen nearly twenty years after his brother Pierre, the "great Corneille", Thomas's skill as a poet seems to have shown itself early. At the age of fifteen he composed a play in Latin which was performed by his fellow-pupils at the...

, born in Rouen, were great figures of French classical literature.

David Ferrand (1591–1660) in his Muse Normande established a landmark of Norman language literature. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the workers and merchants of Rouen
Rouen
Rouen , in northern France on the River Seine, is the capital of the Haute-Normandie region and the historic capital city of Normandy. Once one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe , it was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy in the Middle Ages...

 established a tradition of polemical and satirical literature in a form of language called the parler purin. At the end of the 18th century and beginning of the 19th century a new movement arose in the Channel Islands, led by writers such as George Métivier
George Métivier
George Métivier was a Guernsey poet dubbed the "Guernsey Burns", and sometimes considered the island's national poet. He wrote in Guernésiais, which is the indigenous language of the island. Among his poetical works are Rimes Guernesiaises published in 1831...

, which sparked a literary renaissance on the Norman mainland. In exile in Jersey and then Guernsey, Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo
Victor-Marie Hugo was a Frenchpoet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights activist and exponent of the Romantic movement in France....

 took an interest in the vernacular literature. Les Travailleurs de la mer is a well-known novel by Hugo set in the Channel Islands. The boom in insular literature in the early 19th century encouraged production especially in La Hague and around Cherbourg, where Alfred Rossel, Louis Beuve and Côtis-Capel
Côtis-Capel
Côtis-Capel was the pen name of Albert Lohier, a Norman language poet. He was from La Hague and wrote in the Haguais dialect of Cotentinais.-Bibliography:* Poetry collections** Rocâles ,...

 became active. The typical medium for literary expression in Norman has traditionally been newspaper columns and almanacs. The novel Zabeth by André Louis which appeared in 1969 was the first novel published in Norman.

Painting

Romanticism
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

 drew painters to the Channel coasts of Normandy. Richard Parkes Bonington
Richard Parkes Bonington
Richard Parkes Bonington was an English Romantic landscape painter. One of the most influential British artists of his time, the facility of his style was inspired by the old masters, yet was entirely modern in its application.-Life and work:Richard Parkes Bonington was born in the town of Arnold,...

 and J. M. W. Turner
J. M. W. Turner
Joseph Mallord William Turner RA was an English Romantic landscape painter, watercolourist and printmaker. Turner was considered a controversial figure in his day, but is now regarded as the artist who elevated landscape painting to an eminence rivalling history painting...

 crossed the Channel from Great Britain, attracted by the light and landscapes. Théodore Géricault
Théodore Géricault
Jean-Louis André Théodore Géricault was a profoundly influential French artist, painter and lithographer, known for The Raft of the Medusa and other paintings...

, a native of Rouen, was a notable figure in the Romantic movement. The competing Realist tendency was represented by Jean-François Millet
Jean-François Millet
Jean-François Millet was a French painter and one of the founders of the Barbizon school in rural France...

, a native of La Hague.

Breaking away from the more formalised and classical themes of the early part of the 19th century, Impressionist painters preferred to paint outdoors, in natural light, and to concentrate on landscapes, towns and scenes of daily life. Leader of the movement and father of modern painting, Claude Monet
Claude Monet
Claude Monet was a founder of French impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting. . Retrieved 6 January 2007...

 is perhaps one of the best known Impressionists and a major character in Normandy's artistic heritage. His house and gardens at Giverny
Giverny
Giverny is a commune in the Eure department in north-western France. It is best known as the location of Claude Monet's garden and home.-Location:Giverny sits on the "right bank" of the River Seine where the river Epte meets the Seine...

 are one of the region's major tourist sites, much visited for their beauty and their water lilies, as well as for their importance to Monet's artistic inspiration. Normandy was at the heart of his creation, from the paintings of Rouen's cathedral to the famous depictions of the cliffs at Etretat
Étretat
Étretat is a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in the Haute-Normandie region in northern France. It is a tourist and farming town situated c. 32 km northeast of Le Havre, at the junction of the D940, D11 and D139 roads. It's located on the coast of the Pays de Caux area.-The...

, the beach and port at Fécamp
Fécamp
Fécamp is a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in the Haute-Normandie region in northern France.-Geography:Fécamp is situated in the valley of the river Valmont, at the heart of the Pays de Caux, on the Albaster Coast...

 and the sunrise at Le Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre is a city in the Seine-Maritime department of the Haute-Normandie region in France. It is situated in north-western France, on the right bank of the mouth of the river Seine on the English Channel. Le Havre is the most populous commune in the Haute-Normandie region, although the total...

. It was Impression, Sunrise
Impression, Sunrise
Impression, Sunrise is a painting by Claude Monet. It gave rise to the name of the Impressionist movement.-History:...

, Monet's painting of Le Havre, that led to the movement being dubbed Impressionism
Impressionism
Impressionism was a 19th-century art movement that originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s...

.

Landscapes and scenes of daily life were also immortalised on canvas by artists such as William Turner
William Turner (artist)
William Turner was an English painter who specialised in watercolour landscapes. He was a contemporary of the more famous artist J. M. W. Turner and his style was not dissimilar. He is often known as William Turner of Oxford or just Turner of Oxford to distinguish him from his better known namesake...

, Camille Pissarro
Camille Pissarro
Camille Pissarro was a French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter born on the island of St Thomas . His importance resides in his contributions to both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, as he was the only artist to exhibit in both forms...

, Alfred Sisley
Alfred Sisley
Alfred Sisley was an Impressionist landscape painter who was born and spent most of his life, in France, but retained British citizenship. He was the most consistent of the Impressionists in his dedication to painting landscape en plein air...

, Auguste Renoir, Paul Gauguin
Paul Gauguin
Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin was a leading French Post-Impressionist artist. He was an important figure in the Symbolist movement as a painter, sculptor, print-maker, ceramist, and writer...

, George Braque and Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

. While Monet's work adorns galleries and collections all over the world, a remarkable quantity of Impressionist works can be found in galleries throughout Normandy, such as the Museum of Fine Arts in Rouen
Rouen
Rouen , in northern France on the River Seine, is the capital of the Haute-Normandie region and the historic capital city of Normandy. Once one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe , it was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy in the Middle Ages...

, the Museum Eugène Boudin in Honfleur
Honfleur
Honfleur is a commune in the Calvados department in northwestern France. It is located on the southern bank of the estuary of the Seine across from le Havre and very close to the exit of the Pont de Normandie...

 or the André Malraux Museum in Le Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre is a city in the Seine-Maritime department of the Haute-Normandie region in France. It is situated in north-western France, on the right bank of the mouth of the river Seine on the English Channel. Le Havre is the most populous commune in the Haute-Normandie region, although the total...

.

The Société normande de peinture moderne was founded in 1909. Among members were Raoul Dufy
Raoul Dufy
Raoul Dufy[p] was a French Fauvist painter. He developed a colorful, decorative style that became fashionable for designs of ceramics and textiles, as well as decorative schemes for public buildings. He is noted for scenes of open-air social events...

, a native of Le Havre, Albert Marquet
Albert Marquet
Albert Marquet was a French painter, associated with the Fauvist movement.-Life and work:Marquet was born in 1875 at Bordeaux. In 1890 he moved to Paris to attend the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs, where he met Henri Matisse. They were roommates for a time, and they influenced each other's work...

, Francis Picabia
Francis Picabia
Francis Picabia was a French painter, poet, and typographist, associated with both the Dada and Surrealist art movements.- Early life :...

 and Maurice Utrillo
Maurice Utrillo
Maurice Utrillo, , born Maurice Valadon, was a French painter who specialized in cityscapes. Born in the Montmartre quarter of Paris, France, Utrillo is one of the few famous painters of Montmartre who were born there....

. Also in this movement were the Duchamp brothers, Jacques Villon
Jacques Villon
Jacques Villon was a French cubist painter and printmaker.-Early life:Born Gaston Emile Duchamp in Damville, Eure, in the Haute-Normandie region of France, he came from a prosperous and artistically inclined family...

 and Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp was a French artist whose work is most often associated with the Dadaist and Surrealist movements. Considered by some to be one of the most important artists of the 20th century, Duchamp's output influenced the development of post-World War I Western art...

.

Languages

French is the only official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

 in continental Normandy. English is also an official language in the Channel Islands. The Norman language, a regional language, is spoken by a minority of the population on the continent and the islands, with a concentration in the Cotentin Peninsula
Cotentin Peninsula
The Cotentin Peninsula, also known as the Cherbourg Peninsula, is a peninsula in Normandy, forming part of the north-western coast of France. It juts out north-westwards into the English Channel, towards Great Britain...

 in the far West (the Cotentinais
Cotentinais
Cotentinais is the dialect of the Norman language spoken in the Cotentin Peninsula. It is one of the strongest dialects of the language on the mainland.-Dialects:...

 dialect), and in the Pays de Caux
Pays de Caux
The Pays de Caux is an area in Normandy occupying the greater part of the French département of Seine Maritime in Haute-Normandie. It is a chalk plateau to the north of the Seine Estuary and extending to the cliffs on the English Channel coast - its coastline is known as the Côte d'Albâtre...

 in the East (the Cauchois
Cauchois
Cauchois is one of the eastern dialects of the Norman language, spoken in, and taking its name from, the Pays de Caux region of the Seine-Maritime départment.-Status:...

 dialect). Many place names demonstrate the Norse influence in this Oïl language; for example -bec (stream), -fleur (river), -hou
-hou
-hou is a suffix found commonly in Channel Islands and Norman names. It is the Norman language version of the Old Norse holmr, meaning a small island, and often found anglicised elsewhere as "holm". It can still be found in modern Scandinavian languages, e.g...

(island), -tot (homestead), -dal or -dalle (valley) and -hogue (hill, mound).

Architecture

Architecturally, Norman cathedrals, abbeys (such as the Abbey of Bec) and castles characterise the former Duchy in a way that mirrors the similar pattern of Norman architecture
Norman architecture
About|Romanesque architecture, primarily English|other buildings in Normandy|Architecture of Normandy.File:Durham Cathedral. Nave by James Valentine c.1890.jpg|thumb|200px|The nave of Durham Cathedral demonstrates the characteristic round arched style, though use of shallow pointed arches above the...

 in England following the Norman Conquest of 1066.

Domestic architecture in upper Normandy is typified by half-timbered buildings that also recall vernacular English architecture, although the farm enclosures of the more harshly landscaped Pays de Caux are a more idiosyncratic response to socio-economic and climatic imperatives. Much urban architectural heritage was destroyed during the Battle of Normandy in 1944 – post-war urban reconstruction, such as in Le Havre and Saint-Lô, could be said to demonstrate both the virtues and vices of modernist
Modernism
Modernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. More specifically, the term describes the modernist movement, its set of cultural tendencies and array of associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society...

 and brutalist trends of the 1950s and 1960s. Le Havre, the city rebuilt by Auguste Perret
Auguste Perret
Auguste Perret was a French architect and a world leader and specialist in reinforced concrete construction. In 2005 his post-WWII reconstruction of Le Havre was declared by UNESCO one of the World Heritage Sites....

, was added to Unesco’s World Heritage List in 2005.

Vernacular architecture
Vernacular architecture
Vernacular architecture is a term used to categorize methods of construction which use locally available resources and traditions to address local needs and circumstances. Vernacular architecture tends to evolve over time to reflect the environmental, cultural and historical context in which it...

 in lower Normandy takes its form from granite
Granite
Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. Occasionally some individual crystals are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic...

, the predominant local building material. The Channel Islands also share this influence – Chausey
Chausey
Chausey is a group of small islands, islets and rocks off the coast of Normandy, in the English Channel. It lies from Granville, and forms a quartier of the Granville commune, in the Manche département...

 was for many years a source of quarried granite, including that used for the construction of Mont Saint-Michel
Mont Saint-Michel
Mont Saint-Michel is a rocky tidal island and a commune in Normandy, France. It is located approximately one kilometre off the country's north-western coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches...

.

The south part of Bagnoles-de-l'Orne
Bagnoles-de-l'Orne
Bagnoles-de-l'Orne is a commune in the Orne department in north-western France.-Spa:This commune is famous for its hydrotherapic baths, which are known for their supposed healing powers for rheumatic, gynaecologic and circulatory problems. The origins of thermal activity are said to date back to...

 is filled with bourgeois villas in Belle Époque
Belle Époque
The Belle Époque or La Belle Époque was a period in European social history that began during the late 19th century and lasted until World War I. Occurring during the era of the French Third Republic and the German Empire, it was a period characterised by optimism and new technological and medical...

style with polychrome façades, bow windows and unique roofing. This area, built between 1886 and 1914, has an authentic “Bagnolese” style and is typical of high-society country vacation of the time. The Chapel of Saint Germanus (Chapelle Saint-Germain) at Querqueville
Querqueville
Querqueville is a commune in the Manche department in north-western France.The Chapel of Saint Germanus with its trefoil floorplan incorporates elements of one of the earliest surviving places of Christian worship in the Cotentin Peninsula - perhaps second only to the Gallo-Roman baptistry at...

 with its trefoil
Trefoil
Trefoil is a graphic form composed of the outline of three overlapping rings used in architecture and Christian symbolism...

 floorplan incorporates elements of one of the earliest surviving places of Christian worship in the Cotentin – perhaps second only to the Gallo-Roman baptistry at Port-Bail. It is dedicated to Germanus of Normandy.

Religion

Since the 1905 French law on the Separation of the Churches and the State there is no established church in mainland Normandy. In the Channel Islands, the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 is the established church.

Christian missionaries implanted monastic communities in the territory in the 5th and 6th centuries. Some of these missionaries came from across the Channel
English Channel
The English Channel , often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about long and varies in width from at its widest to in the Strait of Dover...

. The influence of Celtic Christianity
Celtic Christianity
Celtic Christianity or Insular Christianity refers broadly to certain features of Christianity that were common, or held to be common, across the Celtic-speaking world during the Early Middle Ages...

 can still be found in the Cotentin. By the terms of the treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte, Rollo, a Viking pagan, accepted Christianity and was baptised. The Duchy of Normandy was therefore formally a Christian state from its foundation. The cathedral
Cathedral
A cathedral is a Christian church that contains the seat of a bishop...

s of Normandy have exerted influence down the centuries in matters of both faith and politics. King 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...

 of England, did penance
Penance
Penance is repentance of sins as well as the proper name of the Roman Catholic, Orthodox Christian, and Anglican Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation/Confession. It also plays a part in non-sacramental confession among Lutherans and other Protestants...

 at the cathedral of Avranches on 21 May 1172 and was absolved from the censures incurred by the assassination of Thomas Becket
Thomas Becket
Thomas Becket was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170. He is venerated as a saint and martyr by both the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion...

. Mont Saint-Michel
Mont Saint-Michel
Mont Saint-Michel is a rocky tidal island and a commune in Normandy, France. It is located approximately one kilometre off the country's north-western coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches...

 is a historic pilgrimage
Pilgrimage
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of great moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith...

 site.

Normandy does not have one generally-agreed patron saint
Patron saint
A patron saint is a saint who is regarded as the intercessor and advocate in heaven of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person...

, although this title has been ascribed to Saint Michael
Michael (archangel)
Michael , Micha'el or Mîkhā'ēl; , Mikhaḗl; or Míchaël; , Mīkhā'īl) is an archangel in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic teachings. Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and Lutherans refer to him as Saint Michael the Archangel and also simply as Saint Michael...

, and to Saint Ouen. Many saints have been revered in Normandy down the centuries, including:
  • Aubert who's remembered as the founder of Mont Saint-Michel
    Mont Saint-Michel
    Mont Saint-Michel is a rocky tidal island and a commune in Normandy, France. It is located approximately one kilometre off the country's north-western coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches...

  • Marcouf
    Saint Marcouf
    Saint Marcouf , Abbot of Nantus in the Cotentin, is a saint born in the Saxon colony of Bayeux in Normandy around 500 AD and who is best known for the healing of scrofula....

     and Laud
    Laud of Coutances
    Saint Laud of Coutances was the fifth bishop of Coutances and is venerated as a Saint....

     who are important saints in Lower Normandy
  • Helier
    Helier
    Saint Helier, a 6th century ascetic hermit, is patron saint of Jersey in the Channel Islands, and in particular of the town and parish of Saint Helier, the island’s capital...

     and Samson of Dol
    Samson of Dol
    Saint Samson of Dol was a Christian religious figure who is counted among the seven founder saints of Brittany. Born in southern Wales, he died in Dol-de-Bretagne, a small town in north Brittany.-Life:...

     who are evangelizers of the Channel Islands
  • Thomas Becket
    Thomas Becket
    Thomas Becket was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170. He is venerated as a saint and martyr by both the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion...

    , an Anglo-Norman
    Anglo-Norman
    The Anglo-Normans were mainly the descendants of the Normans who ruled England following the Norman conquest by William the Conqueror in 1066. A small number of Normans were already settled in England prior to the conquest...

     whose parents were from Rouen, who was the object of a considerable cult in mainland Normandy following his martyrdom
  • Joan of Arc
    Joan of Arc
    Saint Joan of Arc, nicknamed "The Maid of Orléans" , is a national heroine of France and a Roman Catholic saint. A peasant girl born in eastern France who claimed divine guidance, she led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years' War, which paved the way for the...

     who was martyr
    Martyr
    A martyr is somebody who suffers persecution and death for refusing to renounce, or accept, a belief or cause, usually religious.-Meaning:...

    ed in Rouen, and who is especially remembered in that city
  • Thérèse de Lisieux
    Thérèse de Lisieux
    Saint Thérèse of Lisieux , or Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, born Marie-Françoise-Thérèse Martin, was a French Carmelite nun...

     whose birthplace in Alençon
    Alençon
    Alençon is a commune in Normandy, France, capital of the Orne department. It is situated west of Paris. Alençon belongs to the intercommunality of Alençon .-History:...

     and later home in Lisieux are a focus for religious pilgrims.
  • Germanus of Normandy

Gallery

See also

  • COGEMA La Hague site
    COGEMA La Hague site
    The AREVA NC La Hague site is a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant of AREVA in La Hague on the French Cotentin Peninsula that currently has nearly half of the world's light water reactor spent nuclear fuel reprocessing capacity. It has been in operation since 1976, and has a capacity of about 1700...

  • Duchy of Normandy
    Duchy of Normandy
    The Duchy of Normandy stems from various Danish, Norwegian, Hiberno-Norse, Orkney Viking and Anglo-Danish invasions of France in the 9th century...

  • Duke of Normandy
    Duke of Normandy
    The Duke of Normandy is the title of the reigning monarch of the British Crown Dependancies of the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey. The title traces its roots to the Duchy of Normandy . Whether the reigning sovereign is a male or female, they are always titled as the "Duke of...

  • Invasion of Normandy


External links

Normandie Héritage
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