is a busy little cattle town at the heart of the regional park
of the Cotentin and Bessin marshlands. The town is 30 km from
Saint-Lô, 35 km from Coutances, 50 km from Cherbourg and
70 km from Granville. Carentan stands at the gateway to
Calvados, and Caen, the regional capital, is only 65 km away.
Carentan nestles at the southwest corner of the Baie des
Veys, 4 km as the crow flies from the sea, to which it is connected
by a navigable channel. Interesting are the facades and arcades
of the houses around the place de la République and the
gothic church Notre-Dame. Carentan is set in a region
of scattered farmsteads and hamlets and is becoming increasingly
popular with holidaymakers. The surrounding lowlands are occupied
by marshes and canals which give the area a particular charm,
and have led to the town being given the name of Capital
of the Eel Country or Capital of the Marsh.
The lush and very green grass of the marsh provides the pasture
for the magnificent herds of cattle which graze there. Carentan,
at the heart of a cattle rearing area, has a large covered market
where farmers and dealers gather every Monday morning.
Normandy gets its name from the Viking Norsemen who
sailed up the River Seine in the 9th century and colonized the
area, making Rouen their capital. Normandy has large ports with
important transatlantic trade, whilst inland it is overwhelmingly
agricultural. The image of Normandy is one of a lush, tranquil,
pastoral region of apple orchards, contented cattle, Calvados
and Camembert. There are ancient picturesque ports such as Honfleur
to visit, seaside resorts with elegant promenades, splendid centuries-old
half-timbered manor houses lining quiet countryside lanes and
extrordinary Romanesque and Gothic architectural treasures.