Coutances

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Coutances
Coutances vue nord.jpg
Coutances Cathedral
Location of Coutances
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Coutances
Normandie region location map.svg
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Coutances
Coordinates: 49°03′N1°26′W / 49.05°N 1.44°W / 49.05; -1.44 Coordinates: 49°03′N1°26′W / 49.05°N 1.44°W / 49.05; -1.44
Country France
Region Normandy
Department Manche
Arrondissement Coutances
Canton Coutances
Area
1
12.51 km2 (4.83 sq mi)
Population
 (2016-01-01)2 [1]
9,897
  Density790/km2 (2,000/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
50147 /50200
Elevation12–150 m (39–492 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries. 2 Population without double counting : residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Coutances (French pronunciation:  [kutɑ̃s] ) is a commune in the Manche department in Normandy in north-western France.

The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain. The United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered. The communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France.

Manche Department of France

Manche is a French department in Normandy (Normandie), named for the English Channel, which is known as La Manche, literally "the sleeve" in French. The department borders its northern and western shores and part of its eastern shore.

In the administrative divisions of France, the department is one of the three levels of government below the national level, between the administrative regions and the commune. Ninety-six departments are in metropolitan France, and five are overseas departments, which are also classified as regions. Departments are further subdivided into 334 arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons; the last two have no autonomy, and are used for the organisation of police, fire departments, and sometimes, elections.

Contents

History

American armored and infantry forces pass through Coutances, France, in July 1944 Cobra Coutances.jpg
American armored and infantry forces pass through Coutances, France, in July 1944

Capital of the Unelli, a Gaulish tribe, the town was given the name of Constantia in 298 during the reign of Roman emperor Constantius Chlorus. The surrounding region, called in Latin the pagus Constantinus subsequently became known as the Cotentin Peninsula.

The Unelli or Veneli were one of the Armoric or maritime states of Gallia. Ptolemy names Crociatonum the capital of the Veneli. The people occupied the peninsula of Cotantin or Cotentin, which is now comprehended in the department of Manche, except a small part which is included in the department of Calvados.

Gauls Celtic inhabitants of a large part of Europe called Gaul, before the Roman domination

The Gauls were a group of Celtic peoples of West-Central Europe in the Iron Age and the Roman period. The area they inhabited was known as Gaul. Their Gaulish language forms the main branch of the Continental Celtic languages.

Constantius Chlorus Roman emperor

Constantius I, commonly known as Constantius Chlorus, was a Caesar from 293 to 305 and a Roman Emperor from 305 to 306. He was the father of Constantine the Great and founder of the Constantinian dynasty.

The town was destroyed by invading Normans in 866, who later established settlements and incorporated the whole peninsula into the Duchy of Normandy in 933.

Normans European ethnic group emerging in the 10th and 11th century in France

The Normans were an ethnic group that arose in Normandy, a northern region of France, from contact between indigenous Franks, Gallo-Romans, and Norse Viking settlers. The settlements followed a series of raids on the French coast from Denmark, Norway, and Iceland, and they gained political legitimacy when the Viking leader Rollo agreed to swear fealty to King Charles III of West Francia. The distinct cultural and ethnic identity of the Normans emerged initially in the first half of the 10th century, and it continued to evolve over the succeeding centuries.

Duchy of Normandy Medieval duchy in northern France

The Duchy of Normandy grew out of the 911 Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte between King Charles III of West Francia and Rollo, leader of the Vikings. The duchy was named for its inhabitants, the Normans.

On 17 July 1944, during the Battle for Normandy in World War II, the city was bombed during the Allied offensive against the occupying Germans.

Operation Overlord Successful invasion of Nazi-held northern Europe in World War II

Operation Overlord was the codename for the Battle of Normandy, the Allied operation that launched the successful invasion of German-occupied Western Europe during World War II. The operation was launched on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings. A 1,200-plane airborne assault preceded an amphibious assault involving more than 5,000 vessels. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on 6 June, and more than two million Allied troops were in France by the end of August.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Sights

Coutances Cathedral is one of the major buildings of Norman architecture and contains a chapel and stained glass dedicated to Saint Marcouf. The bishop of Coutances exercised ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the Channel Islands until the Reformation, despite the secular division of Normandy in 1204. The final rupture occurred definitively in 1569.

Coutances Cathedral Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral located in Manche, in France

Coutances Cathedral is a Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral constructed from 1210 to 1274 in the town of Coutances, Normandy, France. It incorporated the remains of an earlier Norman cathedral.

Norman architecture sub-type of Romanesque architecture

The term Norman architecture is used to categorise styles of Romanesque architecture developed by the Normans in the various lands under their dominion or influence in the 11th and 12th centuries. In particular the term is traditionally used for English Romanesque architecture. The Normans introduced large numbers of castles and fortifications including Norman keeps, and at the same time monasteries, abbeys, churches and cathedrals, in a style characterised by the usual Romanesque rounded arches and especially massive proportions compared to other regional variations of the style.

Saint Marcouf Abbot of Nantus in the Cotentin

Saint Marcouf, Abbot of Nantus (Nanteuil-en-Cotentin) 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.

Coutances houses a well-known botanical garden and an art museum.

Jazz festival

Coutances is the location of Jazz sous les pommiers ("Jazz under the apple trees"), an annual jazz festival held since 1982. The festival traditionally takes place during the week of Ascension.

Jazz sous les pommiers is an annual week-long jazz festival in Coutances, France. The festival was first held in 1982, and is usually staged during the Feast of the Ascension, in May.

Feast of the Ascension religious holiday

The Feast of the Ascension of Jesus Christ, also called Ascension Day, Ascension Thursday, or sometimes Holy Thursday, commemorates the Christian belief of the bodily Ascension of Jesus into heaven. It is one of the ecumenical feasts of Christian churches, ranking with the feasts of the Passion, of Easter, and Pentecost. Ascension Day is traditionally celebrated on a Thursday, the fortieth day of Easter, although some Christian denominations have moved the observance to the following Sunday.

International relations

Twin towns – sister cities

Coutances is twinned with:

Heraldry

Arms of Coutances Blason Coutances.svg
Arms of Coutances
The arms of Coutances are blazoned  :
Azure, in fess 3 columns argent, and on a chief gules, a leopard Or armed and langued azure.

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History of Normandy

Normandy was a province in the North-West of France under the Ancien Régime which lasted until the latter part of the 18th century. Initially populated by Celtic tribes in the West and Belgic tribes in the North East, it was conquered in AD 98 by the Romans and integrated into the province of Gallia Lugdunensis by Augustus. In the 4th century, Gratian divided the province into the civitates that constitute the historical borders. After the fall of Rome in the 5th century, the Franks became the dominant ethnic group in the area, built several monasteries, and replaced the barbarism of the region with the civilization of the Carolingian Empire. Towards the end of the 8th century, Viking raids devastated the region, prompting the establishment of the Duchy of Normandy in 911. After 150 years of expansion, the borders of Normandy reached relative stability. These old borders roughly correspond to the present borders of Lower Normandy, Upper Normandy and the Channel Islands. Mainland Normandy was integrated into the Kingdom of France in 1204. The region was badly damaged during the Hundred Years War and the Wars of Religion, the Normans having more converts to Protestantism than other peoples of France. In the 20th century, D-Day, the 1944 Allied invasion of Western Europe, started in Normandy. In 1956, mainland Normandy was separated into two régions, Lower Normandy and Upper Normandy, and were reunified in 2016.

References

  1. "Populations légales 2016". INSEE . Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  2. "British towns twinned with French towns [via WaybackMachine.com]". Archant Community Media Ltd. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  3. "Ilkley and Coutances celebrate twin-ship". Ilkley Gazette. Newsquest Media Group. 29 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-27.