Calvados facts for kids

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Calvados
Department
Flag of Calvados
Flag
Coat of arms of Calvados
Coat of arms
Location of Calvados in France
Location of Calvados in France
Country France
Region Normandy
Area
 • Total 5,548 km2 (2,142 sq mi)
Population (2007)
 • Total 673,667
 • Rank 31st
 • Density 121.425/km2 (314.490/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Department number 14
Arrondissements 4
Cantons 49
Communes 706
French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Calvados is a French department in Lower Normandy. It takes its name from a cluster of rocks off the English Channel coast.

History

Calvados is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 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 after a group of rocks off its coast.

One popular legend ascribes its etymology to the Salvador, a ship from the Spanish Armada that sank by the rocks near Arromanches-les-bains in 1588. It is more likely, however, that the name Calvados was derived from calva dorsa, meaning bare backs, in reference to two sparsely vegetated rocks off its shore.

After the allied victory at Waterloo the department was occupied by Prussian troops between June 1815 and November 1818.

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

Tourism

Calvados is one of the most visited areas in France because of its seaside resorts which are among the most prestigious in France with their luxurious hotels, casinos, green countryside, manors, castles, the quiet, the chalk cliffs, the typical Norman houses, the history of William the Conqueror, Caen, Bayeux, Lisieux, the famous D-day beaches and numerous museums about the Second World War. The culinary specialties from the verdant countryside of Calvados are abundant: cider, calvados, camembert and Pont-l'Évêque cheeses.

One of the advantage of Calvados is to be fairly near large urban centers (Paris, Ile de France). Calvados is therefore often preferred for holidays and for weekends and sometimes considered as the countryside of Paris .

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