Lower Normandy

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Lower Normandy
Basse-Normandie  (French)
Basse-Normaundie  (Norman)
Basse-Normandie in France.svg
Country France
Prefecture Caen
  Total17,589 km2 (6,791 sq mi)
ISO 3166 code FR-P
NUTS Region FR2
Roadmap of the region CarteregionBasseNormandie.jpg
Roadmap of the region

Lower Normandy (French : Basse-Normandie, IPA:  [bɑs nɔʁmɑ̃di, bas -]( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); Norman : Basse-Normaundie) is a former administrative region of France. On 1 January 2016, Lower and Upper Normandy merged becoming one region called Normandy. [1]



The region included three departments, Calvados, Manche and Orne, that cover the part of Normandy traditionally termed "Lower Normandy" lying west of the river Dives, the Pays d'Auge (except a small part remaining in Upper Normandy), a small part of the Pays d'Ouche (the main part remaining in Upper Normandy), the Norman Perche, and part of the "French" Perche. It covers 10,857 km2, 3.2 percent of the surface area of France. [2]

The traditional districts of Lower Normandy include the Cotentin Peninsula and La Hague, the Campagne de Caen, the Norman Bocage, the Bessin, and the Avranchin.


Regions relating to Lower Normandy: Gallia Lugdunensis, Neustria, and Normandy.

The traditional province of Normandy, with an integral history reaching back to the 10th century, was divided in 1956 into two regions: Lower Normandy and Upper Normandy.

During the Roman era, the region was divided into several different city-states. That of Vieux was excavated in the 17th century, revealing numerous structures and vestiges bearing testimony to the prosperity of the Caen region.

The region was conquered by the Franks in the 5th century.

In the 9th century, the Norman conquests devastated the region. Much of the territory of Lower Normandy was added to the Duchy of Normandy in the 10th century.

In 1066, Duke William Il of Normandy conquered England. He was buried in Caen. After his death, Normandy went to his eldest son and England went to his second son, separating the two possessions.

The victory of Tinchebray in 1106 gave Normandy to the kings of England again. Nearly one hundred years later, in 1204, King Philip II Augustus of France conquered the region, apart from the Channel Islands. Then, during the Hundred Years' War, it was regained by the Plantagenets. However, the French recovered the mainland part of the region between 1436 and 1450. By 1453, the French monarchy controlled much of modern France apart from Calais, which remained in English hands.

During the Second World War, the main thrust of Operation Overlord was focused on Lower Normandy. The beaches of Calvados were the site of the D-Day landings in June 1944. Lower Normandy suffered badly during the War, with many of its towns and villages being destroyed or badly damaged during the Battle of Normandy.


Scenery of Lower Normandy Vauville Manche Basse-Normandie.JPG
Scenery of Lower Normandy

The region's economy is heavily agricultural, with livestock and dairy farming, textiles and fruit production among its major industries. The region is the leader in France in the sectors of butter, fromage frais, soft cheeses, cider apples, cider, leeks, turnips, and flax. The region also breeds more horses than any other in France. The western part of the region is used mainly for farming, because of the prairies. Iron ore is mined near Caen. Tourism is also a major industry. The region has direct ferry links to England (via the port of Cherbourg and Caen Ouistreham).


In addition to French, Normandy has its own regional language, Norman. It is still in use today in Lower Normandy, with the dialects of the Cotentin more in evidence than others. Lower Normandy has also been the home of many well-known French authors, including Guy de Maupassant, Marcel Proust, Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly. Notable Norman language authors connected especially with Lower Normandy include Alfred Rossel, Louis Beuve, and Côtis-Capel.

In terms of music, composer Erik Satie also hailed from this region. In the visual arts, Jean-François Millet was a native of La Hague. Eugène Boudin was born in Honfleur and Fernand Léger in Argentan. Important events include Deauville Asian Film Festival and Deauville American Film Festival.

Major communities

View of downtown Caen and the Abbey of St. Etienne Caen France (28).JPG
View of downtown Caen and the Abbey of St. Étienne

Related Research Articles

Normandy Geographical and cultural region of France

Normandy is a geographical and cultural region in Northwestern Europe, roughly coextensive with the historical Duchy of Normandy.

Calvados (department) Department of France

Calvados is a department in the Normandy region in northwestern France. It takes its name from a cluster of rocks off the English Channel coast.

Manche Department of France

Manche is a coastal French department in Normandy, on the English Channel, which is known as La Manche, literally "the sleeve", in French.

Caen Prefecture and commune in Normandy, France

Caen is a commune in northwestern France. It is the prefecture of the department of Calvados. The city proper has 108,365 inhabitants, while its urban area has 420,000, making Caen the largest city in former Lower Normandy. It is also the third largest municipality in all of Normandy after Le Havre and Rouen and the third largest city proper in Normandy, also after Rouen and Le Havre. The metropolitan area of Caen, in turn, is the second largest in Normandy after that of Rouen, the 21st largest in France.

Falaise, Calvados Commune in Normandy, France

Falaise is a commune in the Calvados department in the Normandy region in northwestern France.

Cherbourg-Octeville Former municipality in Manche, France

Cherbourg-Octeville is a subprefecture located at the northern end of the Cotentin peninsula in the northwestern French department of Manche officially formed when the commune of Cherbourg absorbed Octeville on 28 February 2000. Formerly a commune in its own right, it was merged into the new commune of Cherbourg-en-Cotentin on 1 January 2016.

Cotentin Peninsula Peninsula in Normandy, France

The Cotentin Peninsula, also known as the Cherbourg Peninsula, is a peninsula in Normandy that forms part of the northwest coast of France. It extends north-westward into the English Channel, towards Great Britain. To its west lie the Channel Islands and to the southwest lies the peninsula of Brittany.

Amfreville, Calvados Commune in Normandy, France

Amfreville is a commune in the Calvados department in the Normandy region of north-western France.

Lisieux Subprefecture and commune in Normandy, France

Lisieux is a commune in the Calvados department in the Normandy region in northwestern France. It is the capital of the Pays d'Auge area, which is characterised by valleys and hedged farmland.

Norman language Romance language of northwest France

Norman or Norman French is, depending on classification, either a French dialect or a Romance language which can be classified as one of the Oïl languages along with French, Picard and Walloon. The name "Norman French" is sometimes used to describe not only the Norman language, but also the administrative languages of Anglo-Norman and Law French used in England. For the most part, the written forms of Norman and modern French are mutually intelligible. This intelligibility was largely caused by the Norman language's planned adaptation to French orthography (writing).

Vire Part of Vire-Normandie in Normandy, France

Vire is a town and a former commune in the Calvados department in the Normandy region in northwestern France. On 1 January 2016, it was merged into the new commune of Vire-Normandie.

Argentan Subprefecture and commune in Normandy, France

Argentan is a commune and the seat of two cantons and of an arrondissement in the Orne department in northwestern France.

Valognes Commune in Normandy, France

Valognes is a commune in the Manche department in Normandy in north-western France.

Architecture of Normandy

The architecture of Normandy spans a thousand years.

TER Basse-Normandie

TER Basse-Normandie was the regional rail network serving Lower Normandy, France. In 2016 it was merged into the new TER Normandie. Its network was articulated around the city of Caen.

LGV Normandie Future French high-speed railway

The LGV Normandie is a French high-speed rail line project to link Paris and Normandy. Trains will run at 250 km/h (155 mph) with a new TGV station serving Rouen.

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 regions, Lower Normandy and Upper Normandy, which were reunified in 2016.

France 3 Normandie

France 3 Normandie is one of France 3's regional stations, serving the French region of Normandy. The station's headquarters, as well as the main broadcasting centre and studios, are located in Rouen. In addition, the station operates two local broadcasting centres with their own television facilities: one in Rouen serves the departments of Seine-Maritime and Eure, the other in Caen serves the departments of Calvados, Manche and Orne. Two distinctive programmings are broadcast from these centres, this includes two distinct editions of the channel's flagship news bulletins 12/13, 19/20 and Soir 3, prepared by the editorial teams based in Rouen and Caen. A local news bulletin called Baie de Seine, covers Le Havre and the area of the same name. It is produced by a team based in Le Havre. France 3 being known for having the most closely meshed network of news bureaus in France, its station in Normandy is no exception. France 3 Normandie has several crews scattered throughout the region. The bureaus in Dieppe and Évreux are managed by the editor-in-chief based at Rouen's centre, and the bureaus in Alençon, Avranches and Cherbourg-en-Cotentin are managed by the editor-in-chief based at Caen's centre. France 3 Normandie also produces entertainment shows in the morning on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and a political show on Sundays. Also, twice a month, the station aires a magazine scheduled after the nightly news bulletin Soir 3.

Normandy (administrative region) Region of France

Normandy is the northwesternmost of the eighteen regions of France, roughly coextensive with the historical Duchy of Normandy.

Cherbourg-en-Cotentin Subprefecture and commune in Normandy, France

Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, often known as just Cherbourg, is a commune in the department of Manche, Normandy, northwestern France, established on 1 January 2016. The commune takes its name from Cherbourg, the main town of the commune, and the Cotentin Peninsula. Cherbourg is an important commercial, ferry and military port on the English Channel. Cherbourg-en-Cotentin is a Maritime prefecture and sub-prefecture of Manche. Due to its union, it is the most populous commune in its department with 79,144 inhabitants as of 2018, making it the first city of the department before the Saint-Lô prefecture and the second in the region after Caen. Its urban unit is composed of three communes, and has 81,989 inhabitants (2017).


Coordinates: 49°00′N1°00′W / 49.000°N 1.000°W / 49.000; -1.000