Featured image of Chateau de Caen

Chateau De Caen- Medieval Castle In Europe

LocationCaen, France (Google Map Location)
Open for VisitorsYes
Rooms AvailableNo

Chateau de Caen, located in the heart of the Norman city of Caen, was the favourite residence of the dukes of Normandy and the Kings of England. It is one of the largest chateaus in Europe. Today, the Fine Arts Museum and the Normandy Museum are included in this chateau.

Chateau de Caen History

Chateau de Caen was built in 1060 by William the Conqueror. He conquered the entire of England by 1066. It became the favourite residence of the dukes of Normandy and the kings of England. In the beginning, this chateau had a simple structure, but at the beginning of the 1100s, William’s son, Henry I, added Saint George’s church, a large hall for ducal, and a keep in it.

In 1204, Chateau de Caen was captured by the French Crown along with all of Normandy. Philip II reinforced the fornications. This chateau hasn’t been involved in many actions for more than a century. Later, during the Hundred Years’ War, the chateau saw several engagements.

Chateau de Caen, by Christophe, is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

In 1793, during the French Revolution, the keep of this chateau was pulled down by order of the National Convention. During World War II, it was used as a barracks. In 1944, the overall chateau was bombed and massively damaged. In 1946, Michel de Bouard, an archaeologist, came forward and started the excavations in the chateau to bring back its medieval traces. In 1967, the Musee des Beaux-Arts, Chateau de Caen exhibition, was installed. It was opened to the public in 1971. Since then, it has gained much attention from tourists and locals.

Chateau de Caen Architecture

Chateau de Caen Architecture
Chateau de Caen Architecture by Christophe, is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Over the centuries, Chateau de Caen has been profoundly modified. It is now considered one of the largest medieval castles in Europe. The overall castle was built using Caen stone. Now, the castle is the home of the Fine Arts Museum and Normandy Museum, where you can enjoy the famous Chateau de Caen exhibition. It depicts the traces of the history of Caen.

Chateau de Caen in France
Chateau de Caen in France by Christophe, is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

You will enter the chateau via St. Peter’s Gate. The English built it at the end of the Hundred Year’s War. You will get a beautiful view of Caen from the top of the ramparts. Some walls of the chateau were built during the 12th and 15th centuries, which you must check out during your visit.

Inside Chateau de Caen

Chateau de Caen has an overall medieval theme. Inside the castle are two museums, Fine Arts Museum and Normandy Museum, which are must-explore for history lovers. The foundations of the palace and chapel of William the Conqueror from the 11th century also exist. You must also check them out.

You must explore these sections of the chateau during your visit:

  • The Auditorium
  • Saint George’s Chapel
  • The Exchequer Room
  • St. George’s Church
  • Governors’ Logis (It includes the Chateau de Caen exhibition.)
  • Dungeon

Every section of the chateau includes information panels so visitors can get a brief knowledge about them. However, you can pick the English guidebook to gain in-depth knowledge about it. You will need at least a half day to explore the entire chateau.

Chateau de Caen Facts

  • Various films, including Possession and Secrets d’Histoire, were shot in this chateau.
  • Chateau de Caen Exhibition is free for all. It is one of a few exhibitions that tourists can explore for free.

If you liked reading about Chateau de Caen, you should definitely check out our article on Château d’Annecy!

Frequently Asked Questions

When was the chateau de Caen built?

Chateau de Caen was built in 1060 by William of Normandy, famously known as William the Conqueror. His son Henry I carried forward the further contractions in the chateau.

Why is Caen famous?

Caen is a Norman city in Normandy famous for historical buildings built during the reign of William of Normandy. It is believed that he was buried in the city. Also, it is famous for the battle of Caen, which destroyed a large part of the city.

Have you visited this castle before? If yes, why not share some beautiful pictures with us!
You can email us your pictures of the castle at castrumtocastle@gmail.com. Please use the name of the castle in the subject line.
Also, don’t forget to mention your name and social media profile link if you want the credits!

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