|Intercommunality||Pays de Falaise|
|• Mayor (2008–2014)||Eric Macé|
|Area1||11.84 km2 (4.57 sq mi)|
|• Density||710/km2 (1,800/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||14258 / 14700|
|Elevation||89–188 m (292–617 ft)
(avg. 132 m or 433 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.
The town was the birthplace of William the Conqueror, first of the Norman Kings of England. The Château de Falaise (12th-13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag (French: falaise), was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. Also, the Treaty of Falaise was signed at the castle in December 1174 between the captive William I, King of Scots, and the King of England Henry II Plantagenet.
The town is also the place where Rabbi Yom Tov of Falaise, grandchild of Rashi held his rabbinical court. In modern times it is known for the battle of the "Falaise Pocket" during the Allied reconquest of France (called Operation Overlord) in August 1944 in which two German armies were encircled and destroyed by the Allied armies. Some 10,000 German troops were killed and 50,000 taken prisoner.
Two-thirds of Falaise was destroyed by Allied bombing before the town was taken by a combined force of Canadian and Polish troops. Falaise was largely restored after the war.
Falaise is twinned with the town Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, England since 1974; Bad Neustadt an der Saale in Germany since 1969; Cassino in Italy since 1975; and Alma, Quebec in Canada since 1969.
Exhibits at the Museum of the Battle of the Falaise Pocket include several military vehicles, pieces of artillery, and other weapons. The weekly market takes place on Saturdays.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Falaise.|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1905 New International Encyclopedia article Falaise.|
- Castle William the Conqueror in Falaise, France. (Official website in English)
- Normandieweb on Falaise (in French)
- A Conqueror's change of heart Personal blog with good images of the William the Conqueror statue in Falaise
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