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Abbaye aux Dames à Caen (Calvados)From the 10th to the 12th centuries, the Normans built a network of states from the north to the south of Europe contemporary with the profound changes affecting Western Europe between the collapse of the Carolingian world and the construction of the western Kingdoms
This "Norman Empire", which grew out of the ambition of a few men and their military success, never constituted a unified area but on the contrary a network of principalities rich in reciprocal exchanges and characterised by the original synthesis between "indigenous" cultures and those of the "conquerors".
From William the Conqueror to Richard the Lion Heart, from Robert Guiscard to the Emperor Frederic II, the great men and feats of arms of this period are familiar to many. It now remains for their traces and where their passage has left its mark to be discovered.


Penny of William the Conqueror, Musée des Antiquités de RouenIn the context of the European RAPHAEL Programme 1998, the city of Caen has won the support of the European Commission for the realisation of an internet site dedicated to the European Norman heritage: "The Normans : a European people".
The object of this internet site is to present the historical heritage of the Norman societies from the 10th to the 12th century in every location affected by Norman expansion during the Middle Ages, especially in Normandy, England, Southern Italy and in Sicily.
The primary objective of the project is to highlight the existing evidence of medieval Norman architecture in the countries affected by the development of the Duchy of Normandy and the conquests and settlements of the Normans in England, Italy and Sicily. After this, archaeological collections and various items of artistic and cultural evidence of the Norman civilisation will be included in the site which will be updated over time.
In order to implement this project, the city of Caen has set up a network of partners, each contributing from the point of view of its geographical domain to the collection of documentation intended to present archaeological monuments and collections of the Norman period. The city of Caen is also in charge of the production and maintenance of the internet site.