Basse-Normandie

Infobox French region
native_name = Région Basse-Normandie
common_name = Lower Normandy




image_logo_size = 140px

Region flag
capital = Caen
area = 17,589
area_scale = 10
Regional president = Laurent Beauvais
(PS) (since 2008)
population_rank = 17th
population_census = 1,422,193
population_census_year = 1999
population_estimate = 1,453,000
population_estimate_year = 2007
population_density = 83
population_density_year = 2007
arrondissements = 11
cantons = 141
communes = 1,812
official_languages = French
departments = Calvados
Manche
Orne

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Basse-Normandie ( _en. 'Lower Normandy') is an administrative region of France. It was created in 1956, when the Normandy region was divided into Basse-Normandie and Haute-Normandie ( _en. Upper Normandy). The region includes three departments, Calvados, Manche and Orne, that cover the part of Normandy traditionally termed "Lower Normandy" lying west of the Dives River, the Pays d'Auge (except a small part remaining in Haute-Normandie), a small part of the Pays d'Ouche (the main part remaining in Haute-Normandie), the Norman Perche and part of the "French" Perche. It covers 10,857 square miles, 3.2 percent of the surface area of France [(Northcutt, 1996, p. 181)] .

Traditional regions of Lower Normandy include the Cotentin Peninsula and La Hague, the Campagne de Caen, the Norman Bocage, the Bessin and the Avranchin.

History

:"Regions relating to Basse-Normandie: Gallia Lugdunensis, Neustria, and Normandy."

The traditional province of Normandy, with an integral history reaching back to the 10th century, was divided in 1957 into two regions: Basse-Normandie and Haute-Normandie ("Upper Normandy").

During the Roman era, the region was divided into several different city-states. That of Vieux was excavated in the 17th century, revealing numerous structures and vestiges bearing testimony to the prosperity of the Caen region.

The region was conquered by the Franks in the 5th century.

In the 9th century, the Norman conquests devastated the region. Much of the territory of Lower Normandy was added to the Duchy of Normandy in the 10th century.

In 1066, William the Bastard conquered England, becoming William the Conqueror, or William I of England. He was buried in Caen.

The victory of Tinchebray in 1106 gave Normandy to the Plantagenets. Nearly one hundred years later, in 1204, Philippe Auguste confiscated the region. Then, during the Hundred Years' War, the region was annexed by England.

The French regained the region from 1436 to 1450. By 1468, it was entirely under the control of the French monarchy.

The main thrust of Operation Overlord during World War II was focused on Basse-Normandie. The beaches of Calvados were the site of the D-Day landings in June 1944. Basse-Normandie suffered badly during World War II, with many of the region's towns and villages being destroyed during the Battle of Normandy.

Economy

The region's economy is heavily agricultural, with livestock and dairy farming, textiles and fruit production among its major industries. The region is the leader in France in the sectors of butter, fromage frais, soft cheeses, cider apples, cider, leeks, turnips, and flax. The region also breeds more horses than any other in France. The western part of the region is used mainly for farming, because of the prairies. Iron ore is mined near Caen. Tourism is also a major industry. The region has direct ferry links to England (via the port of Cherbourg and Caen Ouistreham).

Culture

Normandy has its own regional language, the Norman language. This language is still in use today in Basse-Normandie, with the dialects of the Cotentin more in evidence than others. Lower Normandy has also been the home of many well-known French authors, including Guy de Maupassant, Marcel Proust, Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly, and Gustave Flaubert. Notable Norman language authors connected especially with Lower Normandy include Alfred Rossel, Louis Beuve, and Côtis-Capel.

In terms of music, composer Erik Satie also hailed from this region. And in the visual arts, Jean-François Millet was a native of La Hague. Eugène Boudin was born in Honfleur and Fernand Léger in Argentan. Importants events include Deauville Asian Film Festival and Deauville American Film Festival.

Major communities

*Alençon
*Argentan
*Caen
*Cherbourg-Octeville
*Équeurdreville-Hainneville
*Flers
*Hérouville-Saint-Clair
*Lisieux
*Saint-Lô
*Tourlaville

References

*Northcutt, Wayne; "The Regions of France, A Reference Guide to History and Culture"; 1996; Greenwood Press; ISBN 0-313-29223-X
*Some of the content of this article comes from the [http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basse-Normandie equivalent French-language Wikipedia article] .

External links

* [http://www.cr-basse-normandie.fr/ Région-Basse-Normandie] Official website
* [http://www.honfleur-magazine.fr/ Honfleur Magazine - Actualité from Calvados, Basse & Haute Normandie]
* ODP|Regional/Europe/France/Regions/Lower_Normandy|Lower Normandy


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