What's essential

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    A • His birth in 1027 in Falaise

    His birth in 1027 in Falaise

    William the "Bastard" became Duke of Normandy at the age of just 7, when his father, Robert, died at the age of 25 on his way home from the Holy Land, where he had travelled to expiate his sins. The early years of his duchy were troubled times. He even needed to go into hiding. Three of his successive tutors were assassinated. Find out more on the epic adventure blog ›

    B • His first victory at Val-ès-Dunes

    His first victory at Val-ès-Dunes

    Henry I, King of France, who was at the head of a 10,000 man-strong army, gave William a helping hand to defy the rebellious Norman barons. The battle took place on the 10th of August 1047. Victory was total. A year earlier, the young duke had narrowly escaped a plot to assassinate him at Valognes. Find out more on the epic adventure blog ›

    C • His marriage with Matilda

    His marriage with Matilda

    Pope Leo IX was opposed to their marriage due their 5th degree cousinship. Yet love was to triumph: William married Matilda of Flanders in 1053 in Rouen. In 1059, Pope Nicholas II nevertheless officialised their union provided that each spouse found an abbey. Matilda founded the Ladies' Abbey and William founded the Men's Abbey in Caen. View more pictures ›

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    A • The great crossing

    The great crossing

    To claim back the throne of England, which was rightfully his, William crossed the English Channel after 6 months of intensive preparation with a fleet of 700 ships boarded by over 10,000 men and 300 horses. The flagship was called Mora. She was a gift from Matilda. The Norman army landed on English soil on the 29th of September 1066. Find out more on the epic adventure blog ›

    B • The Battle of Hastings

    The Battle of Hastings

    On the 14th of October 1066, the Normans and the English waged a terrible battle at Hastings. It lasted the whole day. Although for a long time uncertain, the outcome was finally in William's favour. The traitor Harold fell on the battlefield after being hit in the eye by an arrow. William was crowned king on the 25th of December 1066 in Westminster Abbey. Find out more on the epic adventure blog ›

    C • Hastings, a diabolical game

    Hastings, a diabolical game

    Normans against Saxons:
    Welcome to a day in hell. Choose your camp and wage battle. You can test your bravery and your tactical prowess over four levels and ten battles. Who will be the first to bite the dust? The answer on Facebook... Play the game ›

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    A • His death in 1087

    His death in 1087

    After so many bitter battles, William died from an accidental injury sustained on his way back from an ultimate skirmish with Philippe I on the 9th of September 1087. Matilda had already passed away four years previously. She is laid to rest in the Ladies' Abbey. William is buried nearby, in the Men's Abbey in Caen. Find out more on the epic adventure blog ›

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    A • The epic adventure

    The epic adventure

    Find out all you need to know about this exceptional figure by embarking on The Epic Adventure. This tour offers the opportunity to discover five majors sites associated with his life: Bayeux (The Tapestry), Caen (the castle, the Ladies' Abbey, the Men's Abbey), Falaise (William the Conqueror's castle). All five sites are equipped with explanatory panels. Visit the Epic Adventure website ›

    B • William in augmented reality

    William in augmented reality

    At Caen Castle, digital tablets and 3D films literally plunge you into the story of William the Conqueror. At Falaise Castle, thanks to state-of-the-art technology, you can discover reproductions of period interiors, you can listen to Matilda and William as they tell you of the castle they used to know, you can relive the construction of this fine fortress and discover the many different siege engines that endeavoured to capture it... Open in April 2014. William in augmented reality ›