Calvados (department)

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Abbaye aux Dames 1.JPG
Bayeux Historic Centre.jpg
France-000813 - Omaha Beach (14880489210).jpg
Manoir de Boissey facade sud.JPG
From top down, left to right: Abbaye aux Dames in Caen, Bayeux's historic centre, Omaha Beach and timber framing house in Boissey
Flag of Calvados.svg
Arms of the French Department of Calvados.svg
Coat of arms
Location of Calvados in France
Coordinates: 49°02′N0°15′E / 49.033°N 0.250°E / 49.033; 0.250 Coordinates: 49°02′N0°15′E / 49.033°N 0.250°E / 49.033; 0.250
Region Normandy
Prefecture Caen
Subprefectures Bayeux
   President of the General Council Jean-Léonce Dupont (New Centre)
  Total5,535 km2 (2,137 sq mi)
  Rank 34th
  Density130/km2 (320/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Department number 14
Arrondissements 4
Cantons 25
Communes 528
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Calvados ( /ˌkɑːlvəˈds/ ; French:  [kalvados] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ))[ needs Norman IPA ] is a department in the Normandy region in northwestern France. [1] It takes its name from a cluster of rocks off the English Channel coast.



Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
source: [2]

Calvados is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790, in application of the law of 22 December, 1789. It had been part of the former province of Normandy. The name "Orne inférieure" was originally proposed, but it was ultimately called Calvados after a group of rocks off its coast.

One popular legend ascribes its etymology to the Salvador, a ship from the Spanish Armada that sank by the rocks near Arromanches-les-bains in 1588. It is more likely, however, that the name Calvados was derived from calva dorsa, meaning bare backs, in reference to two sparsely vegetated rocks off its shore. [3]

After the allied victory at Waterloo the department was occupied by Prussian troops between June 1815 and November 1818.

On 6 June 1944, the Allied forces landed on the beaches of the Bay of the Seine in what became known as the Battle of Normandy.


Calvados belongs to the region of Normandy and is surrounded by the departments of Seine-Maritime, Eure, Orne and Manche. To the north is the Baie de la Seine, part of the English Channel. On the east, the Seine River forms the boundary with Seine-Maritime. Calvados includes the Bessin area, the Pays d'Auge and the area known as the "Suisse normande" ("Norman Switzerland").

The most notable places in Calvados include Deauville and the formerly elegant 19th-century casino resorts of the coast.


Agriculture dominates the economy of Calvados. The area is known for producing butter, cheese, cider and Calvados, the apple spirit that takes its name from the area.


The President of the General Council is the centrist Jean-Léonce Dupont, the former dominant figure of the right and centre in the department. The Conseil General of Calvados and Devon County Council signed a Twinning Charter in 1971 to develop links with the English county of Devon. [4]

Socialist Party 18
Miscellaneous Right 18
The Republicans 6
Left Radical Party 3
New Centre 3
MoDem 1

Current National Assembly Representatives

Calvados's 1st constituency Fabrice Le Vigoureux La République En Marche!
Calvados's 2nd constituency Laurence Dumont Socialist Party
Calvados's 3rd constituency Sébastien Leclerc The Republicans
Calvados's 4th constituency Christophe Blanchet La République En Marche!
Calvados's 5th constituency Bertrand Bouyx La République En Marche!
Calvados's 6th constituency Alain Tourret La République En Marche!


The inhabitants of Calvados are called "Calvadosiens" (male) and "Calvadosiennes" (female). In 1999, Calvados had 648,299 inhabitants, making it the 30th most populated French department.

Age distribution in Calvados:


The Bayeux Tapestry is on display in Bayeux and makes the city one of the most-visited tourist destinations in Normandy.

Juno Beach Centre at Courseulles-sur-Mer, Calvados, commemorates the D-Day landing of the Canadian liberation forces at Juno Beach during World War II in 1944. The cult of Saint Thérèse de Lisieux brings large numbers of people on pilgrimage to Lisieux, where she lived in a Carmelite convent. Every September, Deauville hosts the Festival of the American Movie and the beach resort of Cabourg hosts the Festival of the Romantic Movie. Annually, the city of Caen celebrates the festival of the electronical cultures called "Nordik Impakt" & The festival of Beauregard, just around Caen.

The local dialect of the Norman language is known as Augeron. It is spoken by a minority of the population.


Calvados is one of the most visited areas in France because of its seaside resorts which are among the most prestigious in France with their luxurious hotels, casinos, green countryside, manors, castles, the quiet, the chalk cliffs, the typical Norman houses, the history of William the Conqueror, Caen, Bayeux, Lisieux, the famous D-day beaches and numerous museums about the Second World War. The culinary specialties from the verdant countryside of Calvados are abundant: cider, calvados, camembert and Pont-l'Évêque cheeses.

One of the advantage of Calvados is to be fairly near large urban centers (Paris, Ile de France). Calvados is therefore often preferred for holidays and for weekends and sometimes considered as the countryside of Paris .

Calvados, via the port of Ouistreham, is an entrance to the continent from Britain. There are two airports: Caen-Carpiquet and Deauville-Saint Gatien. The department of Calvados has several popular tourist areas: the Bessin, the Plain of Caen, the Bocage Virois, the Côte de Nacre, the Côte Fleurie and the Pays d'Auge. Several beaches of Calvados are popular for water sports, including Cabourg and Merville-Franceville-Plage.

Tourist capacity (2001):

Municipalities with more than 10% of second homes

This ranking takes into account all the municipalities having over 10% of second homes in the departement of Calvados. 80% of owners are from the Paris area, 10% are English and 10% are local.

According to the general census of the population of 1 January 2006, 18.9% of housing available in the department were second homes.


CityMunicipal PopulationNumber of homesSecond home% Second home
Villers-sur-Mer 0 02,5410 09,2800 07,85784.67%
Cabourg 0 03,965010,1060 08,03979.54%
Houlgate 0 01,9020 04,6580 03,66578.67%
Tourgéville 0 0 09220 02,4230 01,88877.92%
Benerville-sur-Mer 0 0 04910 01,2330 0 092474.93%
Varaville 0 0 07670 01,4770 01,10674.88%
Gonneville-sur-Mer 0 0 05810 0 08990 0 065172.41%
Colleville-sur-Mer 0 0 01670 0 02700 0 019572.22%
Blonville-sur-Mer 0 01,5460 02,7140 01,95171.90%
Deauville 0 03,9730 07,7940 05,48470.36%
Merville-Franceville-Plage 0 01,7400 02,5350 01,69466.81%
Saint-Côme-de-Fresné 0 0 02190 0 02940 0 019666.64%
Danestal 0 0 02650 0 03250 0 021365.49%
Asnelles 0 0 05890 0 08360 0 054665.31%
Trouville-sur-Mer 0 04,9920 08,1100 05,15963.61%
Saint-Arnoult 0 0 09100 0 09220 0 057662.48%
Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer 0 01,8510 02,1110 01,27160.22%
Courseulles-sur-Mer 0 04,1060 05,0220 02,77555.26%
Villerville 0 0 07500 0 08130 0 042552.23%
Grandcamp-Maisy 0 01,7570 01,7590 0 082947.13%
Équemauville 0 01,2550 0 08800 0 039544.89%
Bernières-sur-Mer 0 02,3730 01,8540 0 078542.34%
Langrune-sur-Mer 0 01,6900 01,2360 0 047938.73%
Arromanches-les-Bains 0 0 06020 0 04880 0 018738.34%
Bonneville-la-Louvet 0 0 07680 0 05150 0 019537.92%
Ver-sur-Mer 0 01,5080 01,0420 0 039437.77%
Hermanville-sur-Mer 0 02,6920 01,6980 0 058634.53%
Colleville-Montgomery 0 02,2540 01,3390 0 044433.14%
Dives-sur-Mer 0 05,8640 03,9770 01,30532.81%
Luc-sur-Mer 0 03,1860 02,1790 0 070532.35%
Saint-Gatien-des-Bois 0 01,3120 0 07800 0 025132.18%
Ouistreham 0 09,2520 06,5190 02,02331.04%
Lion-sur-Mer 0 02,5680 01,5380 0 041126.75%
Touques 0 03,8480 02,6430 0 070626.69%
Port-en-Bessin-Huppain 0 01,9580 01,1340 0 020718.24%
Honfleur 0 08,1770 04,7930 0 066113.79%


Aquatic sports are often played on the coasts and beaches, for example, kite surfing and beach volleyball. Stade Malherbe Caen is a professional football team from Caen, who currently play in Ligue 1.

See also


  1. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Calvados"  . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  2. Site sur la Population et les Limites Administratives de la France
  3. Lepelley, René (1990). Calvados, qui es-tu, d'où viens-tu ou le nom énigmatique d'un département Français: Critique d'une tradition, hypothèses diverses, proposition d'interprétation. C. Corlet.
  4. "Twinning". Devon County Council. Archived from the original on 19 October 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2009.

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