Caen is one of those Norman cities that suffered damage during the war, but did not look back, and now the modern is merged with the historian. Before the Norman conquest of England, it was the hometown and William and Matilda and both are buried here
in noble Romanesque abbeys.
Caen is full of greenery, as you can see at Château de Caen, an august park where William's house stood until the French Revolution, now scattered with captivating historical fragments such as old houses and walls. The city is also an easy walk from the beaches
of Day D, the Belle Époque resort of Cabourg and Bayeux, where the famous tapestry is displayed.
Founded in 1988, the Caen Memorial is at the top of an underground bunker from which German General Wilhelm Richter coordinated the defense of Normandy beaches on D-day.
You can walk through this 70-meter long tunnel and then head for larger exhibits about the second world.
Caen's Memorial describes itself as a "museum of peace" with a message of hope.
The galleries graph the construction of the conflict, the French occupation, the Holocaust and then the post-war era.
There is a more recent exhibition about the Cold War, with artifacts such as an East German flying machine and a piece of the Berlin Wall.