Caen is one of those places over which many fret on it pronunciation. For the record, it’s “cong”, as in Lough Cong but with a distinctly nasal accent. Another good idea is to pronounce the work “honk” but drop the “k” and put it in place of the “h”.
In any case, poor Caen also got a ferocious walloping during the Second World War, leaving not a pretty French town redolent of Douce France, but a battered French town that defiantly rebuilt itself after the Allied-induced reconstruction.
For the Second World War history enthusiast, there is much to see in Caen, mostly focused on the Mémorial de Caen; a museum opened by François Mitterand back in the day and one which valiantly attempts to sum up the enormity of the brutality of the Second World War in one concrete building. It largely succeeds.
On the market front, the town does enjoy the largest in the region by a country mile. The weekly Sunday market (from 08:00 to 13:00) attracts a whopping 400 traders to ply their wares for your perusal on the Place Courtonne – a surprisingly water-dominated elongated square in the centre of this city-sized provincial capital.
The next biggest market is a Friday one, where more than 200 traders gather from 08:00 to 13:00 on Place Saint-Sauveur and spill onto Rue Pémagnie with an array of everything under the sun (within reason, but it’s not limited to food).
Then on Saturday, over 100 traders gather to entertain you on Place du Docteur Henri Buot with a market that runs from 08:00 to 13:00.
Finally, there are two other lesser markets, both of which take place on a Tuesday from 08:00 to 13:00. The first is the Marché de la rue Bayeux on the corner of Rue Bayeux et rue Tournières. The second is the Marché de la Grâce de Dieu on the Place du Commerce with about 35 food stalls.
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