NOR­MANDY: AT A GLANCE

Timeless Travels Magazine - - FRANCE -

Nor­mandy is a ge­o­graph­i­cal re­gion of France, cor­re­spond­ing to the for­mer Duchy of Nor­mandy, and forms c.5% of the whole of France. It used to be di­vided into two re­gions, Lower Nor­mandy (made up of the de­part­ments of Orne, Cal­va­dos, and Manche) and Up­per Nor­mandy (made up of the de­part­ments of Seine-Mar­itime and Eure), but th­ese were joined as one on 1 Jan­uary 2016.

Lower Nor­mandy is pre­dom­i­nantly agri­cul­tural in char­ac­ter, while Up­per Nor­mandy has a higher con­cen­tra­tion of in­dus­try. The re­gion is known for its cider pro­duc­tion and cal­va­dos, (the dis­tilled cider or ap­ple brandy) and Camem­bert. The Seine has long been used for the trans­porta­tion of goods to and from the heart of the con­ti­nent, and so has been cen­tral to the his­tory and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of North­ern France for mil­len­nia.

Celtic tribes first set­tled in the Seine Val­ley in the 1st cen­tury BCE and when Julius Cae­sar in­vaded Gaul there were nine dif­fer­ent Celtic tribes liv­ing in Nor­mandy.

Be­tween the third and sev­enth cen­turies, the Seine Val­ley saw a stream of in­vaders, and was oc­cu­pied in turn by Van­dals, Visig­oths and Huns.

The Duchy of Nor­mandy was cre­ated for the Vik­ing leader Hrólfr Rag­n­valds­son, or Rollo (also known as Robert of Nor­mandy). Rollo had be­sieged Paris but in 911 be­came a vas­sal to Charles the Sim­ple, king of West Fran­cia, through the Treaty of Saint-Clair­sur-Epte. Charles had ceded Rollo lands be­tween the mouth of the Seine and what is now the city of Rouen in ex­change for Rollo agree­ing to end his pil­lag­ing and pro­vide pro­tec­tion against fu­ture Vik­ing raids. The name Nor­mandy re­flects Rollo's Vik­ing (i.e. Norse­man or North­men) ori­gins.

Rollo's de­scen­dant, Wil­liam, be­came King of Eng­land in 1066 af­ter the bat­tle of Hast­ings, while still re­tain­ing the duchy of Nor­mandy. How­ever, in 1259, Henry III of Eng­land recog­nised the le­gal­ity of French pos­ses­sion of main­land Nor­mandy un­der the Treaty of Paris. His suc­ces­sors, how­ever, of­ten fought to re­gain con­trol of their

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