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Photographer's Note

This row of houses close to the Hotel-de-Ville in the town of Falaise caught my attention.

Falaise is a small town and commune in the Calvados department in the Basse-Normandie region in northwestern France. It lies on the Ante River, about 30 kilometres (19 miles) south-east of Caen. The population in 2008 was 8387.

The town was the birthplace of William I the Conqueror, first of the Norman Kings of England. He was born in the Château of Falaise (12th-13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag from which the town receives its name (falaise is French for crag or cliff), The castle was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. 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.

In modern times it is known for the battle of the "Falaise Pocket", a battle of fierce proportions and recognised as the decisive engagement of the Battle of Normandy. During the Allied reconquest of France (Operation Overlord) in August 1944 two German armies were encircled and destroyed around the town of Falaise by Allied armies. Though estimates vary, it is thought that some 10,000 German troops were killed and 50,000 taken prisoner. Two days after the battle Paris was liberated, and by 30 August the last German remnants had retreated across the Seine, effectively ending Operation Overlord. There is a museum dedicated to the battle that includes several military vehicles, pieces of artillery, and other weapons.

Two-thirds of Falaise was destroyed by Allied bombing before the town was taken by a combined force of Canadian and Polish troops. The town was largely restored after the war.

Taken from articles on Wikipedea.

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Additional Photos by Stephen Nunney (snunney) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6031 W: 61 N: 17495] (78751)
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