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Caudebec-en-Caux Travel Guide

Caudebec en Caux, F-76

Caudebec-en-Caux is a french town in Normandy that is situated between the Rançon Valley and the Sainte-Gertrude Valley. The town offers quite a bit for nostalgics. Visitors can stroll through the gardens along the river banks of the Seine.[1] Such a stroll should unearth a sight of the 12th and 13th century[2] Knights Templars' house.[3] This domestic building is a rare example of a residence from this period and was saved for the purpose of housing a small museum dedicated to local history and archaeology.[4]

Caudebec-en-Caux also features the Musée de la marine de Seine, a museum describing the town’s rich maritime history and the history of river navigation along the Seine. You’ll also find of interest Caudebec’s Town Hall, which was built in 1800, an old style town house called the Hôtel du Bailli, and a former prison that dates back to the 14th century.[5]

The most impressive attraction of Caudebec, however, is its church. Described by Henri IV as “the most beautiful chapel in all the kingdom”, Caudebec is a pure gem of Flamboyant Gothic architecture. Designed by architect Guillaume Le Tellier and built in the 15th century, the chapel has a portal decorated with a series of statues and statuettes. The figurines are a working-class procession of generations of stonecutters and stonemasons, who carved each others’ portraits in limestone. The chapel boasts one engineering feat – an enormous keystone hanging in the Lady Chapel above the tomb of architect Tellier.[6]

It is worth venturing just outside of Caudebec to visit the Château d’Etelan. This Renaissance mansion was originally a castle when it was built in the 14th century but was later converted into a mansion in the 1490s. Its construction is of a flamboyant gothic style highlighted by a magnificent stone staircase and a chapel with stained-glass windows, wall paintings and statues. The mansion has hosted many famous people in history, including the likes of Catherine de’Medici, King Charles IX, Louis XI, Henry III, Henry IV, and Voltaire.[7]

“Caudebec-en-Caux.” <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caudebec-en-Caux>

“Etelan.” <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etelan>

Gaudez, René, Hervé Champollion, and Angela Moyon. Tour of Normandy. Rennes: Éditions Ouest-France, 1996. ISBN: 2737317185.

[1] Gaudez, 99
[2] Caudebec
[3] Gaudez, 99
[4] Caudebec
[5] Id.
[6] Gaudez, 99
[7] Etelan

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