IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR

Visit

Historic sites

Discover

The Epic Adventure

Have fun

Kids corner

News

William’s agenda

William the Conqueror’s Epic Adventure

Although born almost a thousand years ago, William the Conqueror remains a historic figure who transformed the face of modern-day Europe, for evermore. To this very day, Queen Elizabeth II still bears the blood of this Norman, who crossed the Channel to conquer England .

Follow in the footsteps of the Duke of Normandy, later to become King of England, over William the Conqueror’s Epic Adventure.

William the Bastard, Duke of Normandy

Robert the Magnificent had designated William as heir to the Duchy of Normandy. However, although the Norman barons had sworn loyalty to the young duke, they broke their oath upon Robert’s death.
From the age of eight to eighteen, the young duke was to foil several assassination attempts by his viscounts. Their refusal to submit to William’s authority was under the pretext of his illegitimacy, for he was only Robert’s natural son through his union with one of his frillas . Yet, at the time, it was not rare for Norman chiefs to have several spouses.
This was the reason behind the young duke being nicknamed William the Bastard.
At the age of eighteen, very probably weary of living in the fear of the next attack, William decided to establish his authority once and for all. He led many victorious battles, married the daughter of one of Europe’s most powerful Counts, and had a castle and two abbeys built in Caen.
This sudden change of stance, from flight to confrontation, and from fear to victory, had a considerable impact that later offered William the Bastard the title of William I of England.

Statue of William the Conqueror
Statue of William the Conqueror

William the Conqueror, King of England

The 14th of October 1066 was a date that marked History, and the outcome of the Battle of Hastings made William King of England. The date continues to divide to this very day, depending on which side of the English Channel one is on.
For, although the French consider their valiant Norman to have been full of courage, many English people still see in him a power-hungry invader.
Yet, whatever the home shores, no one can deny William the Conqueror’s great influence on present-day Europe.
Certain words of the English language, still in use today, originate from old Norman.
Throughout England, the king also had many fortified castles and abbeys built which are still open to the public today.
Proof, if need be, that King William I, born in Falaise circa 1027, successfully established, on the opposite shores of the Channel, a little bit of Calvados that remains to this very day.

From Falaise to Caen, via Hastings: discover William the Conqueror’s the Epic Adventure

And although England is where William the Conqueror undertook his most impressive enterprises, such as the Battle of Hastings or the creation of the Domesday Book, he felt truly at home in Calvados. Born in Falaise, the Duke of Normandy achieved great victories on the opposite side of the sea. Yet, it was in Rouen that he passed away on the 9th of September 1087, to be buried in the Men’s Abbey he had built in Caen.