February 27, 2024

Reading time: 7 min

Normandy is not just a story of colorful seasides and green countryside with apple trees in bloom. It is also a land rich in history and anecdotes.

If you want to test your knowledge or develop your general knowledge, here are 20 anecdotes to discover.

1.Marcel Proust slept at the Grand Hôtel de Cabourg 500 times during his life

Illustrious character in French literature, Marcel Proust was a regular at the resort in Normandy and particularly on the Côte Fleurie. Cabourg and Grand Hotel were also a great source of inspiration for the writing of his works, including In the shade of young girls in flower.

2.It took 1 words to write In search of lost time

With its 2400 pages and its 1,5 kg, reading the work will last you 6 and a half years if you decide to read one page per day.

3.The town of Houlgate is a veritable open-air museum with its 300 Belle Époque villas

Pearl of Côte Fleurie, Houlgate has nothing to envy of its seaside sisters. What makes its richness and its charm is certainly its very particular relief and its proximity to nature, like the cliffs of Vaches Noires.

4.A soldier is buried with his dog in the Ranville cemetery

Émile Corteil rests with Glen, his German Shepherd, at Ranville British War Cemetery. If you want to know more about the history of this inseparable duo, you can consult the article just here.

5.There are more horses than inhabitants in the Pays d’Auge

It's a fact, you will come across a lot of horses in Normandy and even more so in our territory, because the Pays d'Auge is the cradle of horse breeding. This is also why in the Pays d'Auge, we have more horses than inhabitants, because there is a stud farm every 4 km2.

6.Beuvron comes from Latin Beaver, which means beaver.

Nothing to do with Justin the singer! Here the origin is not Canadian, but rather Latin! Beuvron-en-Auge would be called that because the Beuvronnet and the Doigt (rivers which border and cross the village) would make perfect playgrounds for these small animals.

7.The Redoute de Merville is not a military building from the Second World War

It is a Vauban construction, which is older than the military structures from the war of 39-45. It belongs to a set of three artillery-carrying structures which were built between 1779 and 1780 around the estuary to strengthen the armed defenses against England. The other two, based in Ouistreham and Colleville-Montgomery, have disappeared.

Additional anecdote: the Redoubt of Merville reopens its doors after a long restoration. More information on schedules and visits here.

Redoute de Merville

8.The Promenade Marcel Proust is the longest pedestrian promenade in Europe

Along its 3,6 km, if you look carefully, you will see on the promenade 104 nails in the ground which symbolize the Meridian of love.

9.There is not one, but two healing fountains on our territory

These are the Sainte-Honorine fountain which is close to the church of Notre-Dame de l'Assomption and that of Saint-Roch close to the church of Grangues. The first would cure certain eye diseases, the second, whooping cough. Find their location in our route Discovering the country’s heritage.

10.Walter Elias Disney says Walt Disney is… Norman

If you didn't know, Walt Disney's family is of Norman origin and is said to be descended from Hugues and Robert Suhard d’Isigny, both counts of Isigny and companions of William the Conqueror, the victor of the Battle of Hastings. The coat of arms of the Isigny family is visible on one of the walls of the tourist office of Dives-sur-Mer, which holds another treasure over 500 years old, the stained glass windows of the Musical Angels. Direction the art village of William the Conqueror to observe them both.

11.The altitude record achieved by Roland Garros flying from Houlgate beach is 4 meters

This feat was accomplished on September 6, 1912 aboard a Blériot XI-80, the only example made of fir. The takeoff was opposite the villa les Mouettes, which still exists, along the Roland Garros Promenade.

12.The medieval halls of Dives-sur-Mer can be completely dismantled

The frame, still in its original state, rests on 66 oak pillars. Dating surveys carried out in 2012 showed that this building date of the beginning of the 15th centurye century, between 1405 and 1423.

Every Saturday morning, the Medieval halls shelter the Dives-sur-Mer market. The opportunity to discover good local products and chat with local producers to add Normandy to your dishes.

13.The Poterie du Mesnil de Bavent is home to centuries-old know-how

Pottery specializes in ceramics and the manufacture of ridge caps, these famous ornaments visible on the roofs of Belle Époque villas and Norman manors. In 2023, pottery celebrated its 180 years of history.

14.A Norman chatelaine created a rabbit in 1902

We owe this rabbit to Eugénie Bernhard, a chatelaine who lived in Hotot-en-Auge. His motivation: to have a white rabbit with black eyes. She then came across a Flemish giant rabbit, a French Papillon and a Vienna white rabbit. Which gave rise to the Blanc de Hotot rabbit, whose breed was recognized in 1922. You can observe it at the Roncheville orchard.

15.A star lived in the old presbytery of Cresseveuille

Why Cresseveuille ? Why Pays d’Auge? Quite simply because the panorama reminded him of his native land. A place “more beautiful than England and Scotland”, according to him. Have you guessed who it is? From Jane Birkin, who lived with Serge Gainsbourg, in the presbytery of Cresseveuille in the 70s.

16.Heuland is the smallest municipality in the territory with its 3 km2

Heuland is the calm of the countryside. There tiny town in Calvados is home to 115 residents. Despite her small size, she became famous in 2015 thanks to Heula's quirky humor

17.The first fossil discovered at the Vaches Noires cliffs dates from 1770

It was a Streptospondylus altdorfensis, an ancient species of carnivorous dinosaur that was several meters long. THE Cliffs of the Black Cows are also a remarkable natural site classified as a natural area of ​​ecological, fauna and flora interest, many secrets of which remain to be discovered. But as with everything, it's a question of... time and luck.

18.There are 5 places that bear witness to the history of William the Conqueror

Indeed, although the marks of the passage of the Norman duke who became king of England are rare, you can find in Dives-sur-Mer, Houlgate and Varaville, places or objects that pay homage to him such as a stele, a column, a long engraving or even a particular paving.

19.Remains of an old church are still visible in Bréville-les-Monts

At the time of XNUMX Landing, Bréville-les-Monts was at the center of armed conflicts, like other surrounding municipalities. At the end of these, only a village remained in ruins. However, vestiges of the old Saint-Pierre church remained. They are currently visible in the town cemetery. If you go there, you can see a sculpture of the Virgin and Child, which dates from the 14th century.e and XVe centuries.

20. Poppies, used during commemorations, are also symbols of remembrance in Commonwealth countries

The origin of this tradition stems from the poem entitled In Flanders Fields, written on May 3, 1915 by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, a doctor in the Royal Canadian Medical Corps.  

Recent Posts

Dormir dans un manoir ou un château

#Relaxation #Lifestyle #Weekend

Sleep in a mansion or castle

Expériences culinaires

#Gastronomy #Lifestyle

Culinary experiences

Aujourd’hui on brunche !

#Gastronomy #Lifestyle #Weekend

Today we're having brunch!