Esplanade Jean-Marie Louvel, 14000 Caen, France

Caen was William the Conqueror’s city and this 11th-century abbey was his final resting place. Founded by William himself in 1066, the former Benedictine monastery and its adjoining Église St-Étienne are among the most important Romanesque buildings in Normandy. The abbey features elegant interiors (now home to Caen’s City Hall), while the church showcases Gothic additions like a ribbed vault, rosette windows, and flying buttresses. Though William the Conqueror’s tomb was destroyed in the 16th century and again during the French Revolution, a stone marks its original spot just in front of the church’s magnificent choir.

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