Falaise

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Falaise Watercolor by Émile Appay (1876-1935)

Falaise is a commune in the Calvados department in the Basse-Normandie region in northwestern France.[a]

Geography[change | edit source]

Falaise is located on the river Ante near Caen in France. The Ante river flows into the larger Dives river. Falaise is in the Normandy region of France.

History[change | edit source]

Medieval Normandy[change | edit source]

Castle of William the Conqueror
Liberation of Falaise, 1944

Faliase is where William the Conqueror was born.[1] William became Duke of Normandy when he was just a boy.[2] He went on to become the first Norman king of England in 1066.[3] Falaise was where many of the dukes of Normandy resided before William. It is where the Treaty of Falaise was signed in December 1174. It was a treaty between William I of Scotland, King of Scots, and the King of England Henry II Plantagenet.

The town is also the place where Rabbi Yom Tov of Falaise, grandchild of Rashi held his court.

In World War II[change | edit source]

In modern times it is known for the battle of the "Falaise Pocket" during Operation Overlord) in August 1944. Two German armies were surrounded by the Allied armies. About 10,000 German soldiers were killed. Over 50,000 were taken prisoner.

Much of Falaise was destroyed by Allied bombs. It was then captured by Canadian and Polish solders. Falaise was restored after the war.

Notes[change | edit source]

  1. A commune in France is similar to a village or town elsewhere. A French department is similar to a county. A region is an area.

References[change | edit source]

  1. David C. Douglas, William The Conqueror (Berkeley; Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1964), p. 15
  2. David Crouch, The Normans; The History of a Dynasty (London; New York: Hambledon Continuum, 2007), p. 59
  3. François Neveux, The Normans; The Conquests that Changed the Face of Europe, trans: Howard Curtis (London: Constable & Robinson, 2008), pp. 36-38

Other websites[change | edit source]