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The Frenchmarker department of Calvados is part of the region of Basse-Normandiemarker in Normandy. It takes its name from a cluster of rocks off the coast.


Calvados is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. It was created from a part of the former province of Normandy. The name "Orne inférieure" was originally proposed for the department, but it was ultimately decided to call the area Calvados.

Its etymology is most likely derived from the Salvador, a ship from the Spanish Armada that sank by the rocks near Arromanches-les-bainsmarker in 1588. However, others insist that the name Calvados was derived from calva dorsa, meaning bare backs, in reference to two sparsely vegetated rocks off its shore.

On June 6, 1944, the Allied forces landed on the beaches of the Bay of the Seine in what became known as the Battle of Normandy.


Calvados belongs to the region of Basse-Normandiemarker and is surrounded by the departments of Seine-Maritimemarker, Euremarker, Ornemarker and Manchemarker. On the north is la Baie de Seine, part of the English Channelmarker. On the east, the Seine Rivermarker forms the boundary with Seine-Maritime. Calvados includes the Bessin area, the Pays d'Augemarker and the area known as the "Suisse normande" ("Norman Switzerland").

Calvados' most notable places include Deauvillemarker and the formerly elegant 19th-century casino resorts of the coast.


Agriculture dominates the economy of Calvados. The area is known for producing butter, cheese, cider and the apple-based spirit that shares its name (see Calvados ).


The President of the General Council is the centrist Anne d'Ornano. She is the wife of Michel d'Ornano, the former dominant figure of the right and centre in the department.

Party seats
Socialist Partymarker 18
Miscellaneous Right 18
Union for a Popular Movement 6
Left Radical Party 3
New Centre 3
MoDem 1


The inhabitants of Calvados are called "Calvadosiens" (male) and "Calvadosiennes" (female). In 1999, Calvados counted 648,299 inhabitants, making it the 30th most populated French department.

Age distribution in Calvados:
  • 75 years and older: 7.2%
  • 60 – 74 years old: 13.16%
  • 40 – 59 years old: 25.52%
  • 20 – 39 years old: 28.53%
  • 0 – 19 years old: 25.6%


The Bayeux Tapestry is on display in Bayeuxmarker and makes the city one of the most-visited tourist destinations in Normandy.Juno Beach Centremarker at Courseulles-sur-Mermarker, Calvados, commemorates the D-Day landing of the Canadianmarker liberation forces at Juno Beachmarker during World War II in 1944. The cult of Saint Thérèse de Lisieux brings large numbers of people on pilgrimage to Lisieuxmarker, where she lived in a Carmelite convent. Every September, Deauville hosts the Festival of the American Movie and the beach resort of Cabourgmarker hosts the Festival of the Romantic Movie Annually, the city of Caen celebrates the festival of the electronical cultures called "Nordik Impakt".

The local dialect of the Norman language is known as Augeron. It is spoken by a minority of the population.


Calvados, via the port of Ouistrehammarker, is an entrance to the continent from Britain. There are two airports: Caen-Carpiquetmarker and Deauville-Saint Gatienmarker. The department of Calvados has several popular tourist areas: the Bessin, the Plaine of Caenmarker, the Bocage Virois, the Côte de Nacre, the Côte Fleuriemarker and the Pays d'Augemarker. Several beaches of Calvados are popular for water sports, including Cabourgmarker and Merville-Franceville-Plagemarker.

Tourist capacity (2001):
  • 7,818 hotel rooms
  • 13,734 camping sites
  • 1,176 beds (holiday villages)
  • 619 rural gites

The beaches of Calvados were received during the second half of the nineteenth century near Paris, development of railway network and fashion of sea bathing Duke of Morny created the seaside resort of Deauville in 1860, the train from Paris' s yarrête in 1863. The Coast Coast and pearl flowers (Houlgate, Deauville, Cabourg, Honfleur) are lined with villas secondary-like small mansions, the wealthy Parisian and English, built during the Belle Epoque.

Calvados hosts many tourists on the beaches of the landing of 1944. Several monuments of the history of landings on the Normandy coast:

Tourism History

    * The Memorial de Caen, Caen;
    * The museum D-Day Omaha Vierville-sur-Mer;
    * The Museum of the Battle of the Falaise pocket at Falaise;
    * The Museum of the battery at Merville Merville-Franceville-Plage;
    * The museum of the landing at Arromanches-les-Bains;
    * The memorial of General de Gaulle to Bayeux;
    * The Museum of the Atlantic Wall in Ouistreham;
    * The museum Juno beach in Courseulles-sur-Mer;
    * The Memorial Museum of the Battle of Normandy in Bayeux;
    * The Pegasus Memorial Museum in Ranville;

Architectural Tourism

    * The Castle of Pommeraye, Switzerland Norman;
    * The Chateau Ganne, The Pommeraye;

Gastronomic tourism

Increasingly, Norman gastronomy attracts tourists in search of "local products" such as Camembert, Livarot, l'évêque deck, calvados, pommel, cider, St. Jacques shells of Port en Bessin ... Rural tourism is growing much.

Ecological Tourism

    * The regional park of Marais du Cotentin and Bessin, near Isigny-sur-Mer;
    * The natural reserve of the hill from Mesnil-Soleil Damblainville;
    * The cliffs of black cows in Houlgate.
    * La Suisse Normande

Municipalities with more than 10% of second homes

According to the general census of the population of March 8, 1999, 19.2% of homes available in the department were second homes.


Aquatic sports are often played on the coasts and beaches, for example, kite surfing and beach volleyball. For the season 2007/2008, the soccer team of Caen will play in the Ligue 1 French championship (Elite).

See also


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