Caen is known for its historical buildings built during the reign of William the Conqueror, who was buried there, and for the Battle for Caen—heavy fighting that took place in and around Caen during the Battle of Normandy in 1944, destroying much of the city.
Two hours north-west of Paris, and connected to the south of England by the Caen-(Ouistreham)-Portsmouth ferry route, Caen is located in the centre of its northern region, over which it is a centre of political, economic and cultural power.
As the city of William the Conqueror, the city has a long and complex history. In the Second World War, it was a key site of the Battle of Normandy, and suffered considerable destruction. The city has preserved the memory by erecting a memorial for peace.