|• Land1||12.51 km2 (4.83 sq mi)|
|• Population2 density||760/km2 (2,000/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||50147 / 50200|
|Elevation||12–150 m (39–492 ft)|
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Capital 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.
On July 17, 1944, during World War II, the city was bombed during the Allied offensive against the occupying Germans.
Coutances 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.
Coutances houses a well-known botanical garden and an art museum.
Coutances is the location of Jazz sous les pommiers ("Jazz under the apple trees"), a yearly recurring international jazz festival that has been held since 1982. The festival traditionally takes place during the week of Ascension.
Twin towns – sister cities
Coutances is twinned with:
|The arms of Coutances are blazoned :
Azure, in fess 3 columns argent, and on a chief gules, a leopard Or armed and langued azure.
- "British towns twinned with French towns [via WaybackMachine.com]". Archant Community Media Ltd. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
- "Ilkley and Coutances celebrate twin-ship". Ilkley Gazette. Newsquest Media Group. 29 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-27.
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