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Coutances

Trip Planner Europe  /  France  /  Normandy  /  Basse-Normandie  /  Manche  /  Coutances
(4.5/5 based on 380+ reviews for 3 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, parks
Coutances is a commune in the Manche department in Normandy in north-western France.HistoryCapital of the Unelli, a Gaulish tribe, the town was given the name of Constantia in 298 during the reign of Roman emperor Constantius Chlorus. The surrounding region, called in Latin the pagus Constantinus subsequently became known as the Cotentin Peninsula.The town was destroyed by invading Normans in 866, who later established settlements and incorporated the whole peninsula into the Duchy of Normandy in 933.On July 17, 1944, during World War II, the city was bombed during the Allied offensive against the occupying Germans.SightsCoutances Cathedral is one of the major buildings of Norman architecture and contains a chapel and stained glass dedicated to Saint Marcouf. The bishop of Coutances exercised ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the Channel Islands until the Reformation, despite the secular division of Normandy in 1204. The final rupture occurred definitively in 1569.
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