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October 1st 2010
Published: October 4th 2010
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1 October 2010

In wet weather we drove to Caen to start our investigation of the life of William the Conqueror. Before he took over England, Caen was William’s capital in Normandy. When he married his distant cousin, Mathilda this displeased the Pope and in order to get him to sanction the marriage and readmit them to the church they both had to vow build an abbey in Caen. These are now known as the Abbaye aux Hommes and Abbaye aux Dames and we had a look around them today including a guided tour of the Abbaye aux Hommes. After D day it took the Allies over two months to capture Caen and 75% of the city was destroyed. Fortunately the two abbeys were declared a protected zone and so that is why they survived.

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