The Flag of Normandy, it is said, goes back to the arms of William the Conquerer. The Normandy Flag has two lions and the English flag has three.
The Norman Language and culture are close to those of the Channel Islands. For a wealth of information about the language, its songs and customs go to Magène which is a delightful site however only a little is in English. To quote from the site:
is a non-profit-making organization. Its aim is to make the Norman
language survive and develop. Many people have joined this association,
especially in the Cotentin. Our main project is to produce songs and
records. We use old and contemporary Norman lyrics written by
local authors from Normandy and the Channel Islands. We write original
music for them. Thus, our songs are original productions as a new
traditional repertory. It would be a titanic work for me to translate
this entirely web site! What is important here is the shop (it's Norman
humour...) because you can order our products to make people know them
in your country. Thank you very much to have read this word ! Meet you
on the web ! Bye ! Daniel Bourdelès
L'Office du Jèrriais, Jèrri
Calvados A much favoured "digestif" in Brittany and in particular Normandy. Calvados is made from distilled cider. If you want to find out about this and other apple based drinks go to the Pomypom Site. Click on their logo to get there.
Cheeses Boiserin Bouille Bricquebec Brin de Paille Camembert de Normandie Cremerin Cremoit Normand Demi-Sel Fin de Siècle Livarot Maromme Mignot Monsieur Pont-l'Evêque
Camembert is particularly well known. It was invented by Marie Harel. In 1920’s, an American doctor came to the region and proclaimed that the cheese cured him of a serious stomach problem and he, with others raised funds to finance a monument to Camembert which monument was built in 1927.
Some of this information comes courtesy of the French Cheese Site which provides comprehensive information on the cheeses of France.
Lace making has long been an industry in Normandy and the Alençon lacemakers are particularly well known. Their oldest technique is called "point coupé" .In 1665 Colbert, who was one of Louis XIV's ministers, set up a Royal French Lace Workshop in Alençon. The lace makers there were aided by Italian Venetian lace makers and Venetian lace techniques were incorporated into what was to become Alençon lace at the end of the 17th century. The lace was very popular and used in various European courts on the clothes of royalty and nobility. Sadly the French Revolution caused a recession as the main customers of the industry were aristocrats. Another blow was the development of lace making machinery.
Normandy was determined to preserve the lace making tradition and founded the "National Alençon Lace Workshop" in 1976 and also opened the “Lace Road". Leading to the seven lace making towns of Alençon ,Argentan, Caen ,Courseulles, Villedieu-les-Poêles , and la Perrière. La Perrière is particularly famous for its netting.
Furniture No Norman family could be considered sociably acceptable without a marriage wardrobe and these were massive and heavily carved.
The Second World War Followers of history will know of the D-Day landings and the Battle of Normandy. Sadly about 20,000 young men died and many were buried in Normandy. The impact of this was colossal and the region has striven to ensure that the scale of this has never been forgotten. The Normandy Tourist Board provide Routes through the Historical Area of the Battle of Normandy. Visit the museum at Arromanches, the Caen Memorial and the many War Cemeteries. Visit the Battle of Normandy Memorial Musuem at Bayeux. Tel 02 33 2 31 51 46 90. Click here to go to the Second World War and Normandy Page
Films and T.V. Steven Spielberg's ten hour mini series about D-Day called "Band of Brothers" was premiered in Normandy in a 1,000 seater auditorium beside Normandy's Utah Beach, the scene of some of the fiercest D-Day fighting. Co-producer was Tom Hanks and the series cost about £64m to produce, making it one of the most expensive television programmes. The series was based on a true story adapted from the best-selling book by Stephen Ambrose.
Gustave Flaubert (1821-80): was alternately delighted and exasperated with the "bourgeoise" way of life in his native Normandy. His family home attached to the Hôtel-Dieu hospital, and his pavilion at nearby Croisset, can be visited. Each has a stuffed green parrot. Born in 1821 in Rouen, he was famous for the novel "Madame Bovary" which took him five years to complete.
Maurice Leblanc created the character of gentlemen burglar and these books proved very popular. Arsène Lupin was a combination of Robin Hood and Don Juan with an eye for the ladies. Like the English Raffles he is at both times a gentleman and burglar . Go to http://www.arsene-lupin.com to find out more. ns
Alexis de Tocqueville resided in a beautiful manor house where his study is preserved to this day. He wrote Democracy in America and the Old Regime of the Revolution.
George East Not a French Writer but and Englishman writing about France. Full of anecdotes familiar to the second home owner or immigrant to the area, George East's series of books detail the joy and laughter that living in Normandy has brought to both himself and his wife Donella. George is a publican turned author who has now written a series of six books that have attracted a worldwide readership of millions. Click here to go to http://www.la-puce.co.uk -