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Granville is a commune in the Manche department in north-western France. It is situated on the Cotentin Peninsula at the mouth of Bosq and Pointe du Roc (Cap Lihou) which in part closes in the north of the bay of Mont-Saint-Michel. Its inhabitants, of which there were 12687 in 1999, are called Granvillais.

The town was founded in 12th century and was taken several times by the English who fortified it in 1437. In 1441, Louis XI granted a charter so that the town once again became French. During the following centuries, Granville was bombarded by the English in 1645 and 1803. Later on, the town resisted the attacks of the Huguenots in 1695 and Vendéan in 1793.

In October 1793 a force of some 25,000 Vendéan troops (followed by thousands of civilians of all ages), commanded by Henri de la Rochejaquelein, headed for the port of Granville where they expected to be greeted by a British fleet and an army of exiled French nobles. Arriving at Granville, they found the walled city surrounded by Republican forces, with no British ships in sight. Their attempts to take the city were unsuccessful. During the retreat the extended columns fell prey to Republican forces. Suffering from hunger and disease, thousands died.

The old town preserves much of the history of its military and religious past. The lower town was partly built on land reclaimed from the sea. The upper part of the old town is surrounded by ramparts dating from the fifteenth century. These are entered through the drawbridge (Grand'Porte), the bloody theatre of the "Siège des Vendéens" in 1793.

Inside the walls of the upper town are some beautiful houses, of which several are concentrated on Rue Saint-Jean. The ancient church of Notre-Dame du Cap Lihou (1441-1796), which dominates the heights, is an imposing granite building in the Romanesque / early Gothic style. It was built by the English during the Hundred Years' War.

Extracted from a much longer and rather disjointed article on Wikipedea.

Map references are approximate only.

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Additional Photos by Stephen Nunney (snunney) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6306 W: 61 N: 18291] (82559)
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