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Caen

Caen, a French town, capital of the department of Calvados in Normandy, and head of arrondissement, at the junction of the Odon and the Orne, 149 miles from Paris and 83 from Cherbourg. The junction of the rivers forms a port, consisting of a basin, which communicates with the railway from Paris to Cherbourg, and is connected with the English Channel by a canal. Caen imports chiefly Norwegian timber, corn, salt, coal, iron, wine, and colonial produce, and exports the produce of the country round, and materials for ship-building. A good deal of lace is manufactured in the town. There are four dockyards, and the ships of three or four hundred tons, built at Caen, are much esteemed. Caen is in a pleasant valley, and is well built, well laid out, and clean, and has fine public buildings. The only remains of the old fortifications are King William's tower and a kind of citadel called "The Castle." The most noted of its churches is that of St. Etienne, founded in 1064 by William I. of England. In the choir of this church is a slab of blue stone with Latin inscription, which marks the spot where some of the remains of William the Conqueror still lie. Another interesting church is that of Holy Trinity, called "L'Abbaye aux Dames," founded by Queen Mathilde in 1066. The Abbess of this convent had special privileges, one of which was that she was called Madame de Caen. There are some magnificent old houses in Caen; and the sixteenth century Hotel de Ville has a fine library. The museum has a fine collection of paintings, the best of them being, perhaps, Perugino's Marriage of the Virgin. There are also pictures of Paul Veronese, Leonardo da Vinci, Rubens, Ruysdael, and many other noted painters. Charlotte Corday lived at Caen, but her house is now pulled down.

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