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Haute Normandie



(27) Eure, Prefecture Evreux, sub prefectures Les Andelys, Bernay (76) Seine-Maritime, Prefecture and Regional capital Rouen, sub prefectures Dieppe, Le Havre


Archaeological finds, such as cave paintings, prove that humans were present in the region in prehistoric times. Belgae and Celts, known as Gauls, invaded Normandy in successive waves from the 4th to the 3rd century BC. When Julius Caesar invaded Gaul, there were nine different Gallic tribes in Normandy. The Romanisation of Normandy was achieved by the usual methods: Roman roads and a policy of urbanisation. Classicists have knowledge of many Gallo-Roman villas in Normandy. In the late 3rd century, barbarian raids devastated Normandy. Coastal settlements were raided by Saxon pirates. Christianity also began to enter the area during this period. In 406, Germanic tribes began invading from the east, while the Saxons subjugated the Norman coast. The Roman Emperor withdrew from most of Normandy. As early as 487, the area between the River Somme and the River Loire came under the control of the Frankish lord Clovis. The Vikings started to raid the Seine Valley during the middle of 9th century. After attacking and destroying monasteries, including one at Jumièges, they took advantage of the power vacuum created by the disintegration of Charlemagne's empire to take northern France. The fiefdom of Normandy was created for the Norwegian Viking leader Hrolf Ragnvaldsson, or Rollo (also known as Robert of Normandy). Rollo had besieged Paris but in 911 entered vassalage to the king of the West Franks, Charles the Simple, through the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte. In exchange for peace, Rollo legally gained the territory which he and his Viking allies had previously conquered. The name "Normandy" reflects Rollo's Viking (i.e. "Northman") origins. The descendants of Rollo and his followers adopted the local Gallo-Romance language and intermarried with the area's original inhabitants. They became the Normans – a Norman-speaking mixture of Scandinavians, Norwegians, Hiberno-Norse, Saxons, Orcadians, Anglo-Danish, and indigenous Franks and Gauls. Rollo's descendant William, Duke of Normandy, became king of England in 1066 in the Norman Conquest culminating at the Battle of Hastings, while retaining the fiefdom of Normandy for himself and his descendants. Besides the Norman conquest of England and the subsequent conquests of Wales and Ireland, the Normans expanded into other areas. Norman families, such as that of Tancred of Hauteville, played important parts in the Crusades. Tancred's sons William Iron Arm, Drogo of Hauteville, Humphrey of Hauteville, Robert Guiscard and Roger the Great Count conquered the Emirate of Sicily and additional territories in Southern Italy. They also carved out a place for themselves and their descendants in the Crusader states of Asia Minor and the Holy Land. The 14th century Norman explorer Jean de Béthencourt established a kingdom in the Canary Islands. Béthencourt received the title King of the Canary Islands but recognised as his overlord Henry III of Castile, who had provided aid during the conquest. In 1204, during the reign of England's King John, mainland Normandy was taken from England by France under Philip II of France. Insular Normandy (the Channel Islands) remained under English control. In 1259, Henry III of England recognised the legality of French possession of mainland Normandy under the Treaty of Paris. His successors, however, often fought to regain control of mainland French Normandy. The Charte aux Normands granted by Louis X of France in 1315 (and later re-confirmed in 1339) – like the analogous Magna Carta granted in England in the aftermath of 1204 – guaranteed the liberties and privileges of the province of Normandy. French Normandy was occupied by English forces during the Hundred Years' War in 1345–1360 and again in 1415–1450. Normandy lost three-quarters of its population during the war. Afterwards prosperity returned to Normandy until the Wars of Religion. When many Norman towns (Alençon, Rouen, Caen, Coutances, Bayeux) joined the Protestant Reformation, battles ensued throughout the province. In the Channel Islands, a period of Calvinism following the Reformation was suppressed when Anglicanism was imposed following the English Civil War. Samuel de Champlain left the port of Honfleur in 1604 and founded Acadia. Four years later, he founded Quebec City. From then onwards, Normans engaged in a policy of expansion in North America. They continued the exploration of the New World: René-Robert Cavelier de La Salle travelled in the area of the Great Lakes, then on the Mississippi River. Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville and his brother Lemoyne de Bienville founded Louisiana, Biloxi, Mobile and New Orleans. Territories located between Quebec and the Mississippi Delta were opened up to establish Canada and Louisiana. Colonists from Normandy were among the most active in New France, comprising Acadia, Canada, and Louisiana. During the 18C the area prospered from the links to the American colonies and slave trade. The ports of Le Havre, Rouen and Honfleur enjoyed an economic boom and a textile industry developed locally to benefit from the new cotton imports.The industrial revolution followed and factories multiplied particularly around Rouen. In 1956 the five Norman departments were divided into two administrative regions: Haute-Normandie and Basse-Normandie.


The region is bordered along the northern coasts by the English Channel. A large part of land has rolling hills, with low limestone cliffs rising up to 1,000 feet (305 m) above sea level on the coast. A notable feature of the landscape is created by the meanders of the Seine as it approaches its estuary. Normandy is a rich dairying area, with most farmland devoted to pastures. It also has apple orchards. Some iron ore is mined. Chief industries are textile manufacturing and food processing. Tourist resorts are on the coast. The largest cities are Le Havre and Rouen, which are also the chief ports and manufacturing centers. Both are on the Seine River.Normandy is sparsely forested: 12.8% of the territory is wooded.


Le Havre (76) Rouen (76) Évreux (27) Dieppe (76) Sotteville-lès-Rouen (76) Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray (76) Le Grand-Quevilly (76) Vernon (27) Le Petit-Quevilly (76) Mont-Saint-Aignan (76)


The climate and topology allows the region to be a major agricultural centre. Local products include duck, sole, scallops, cheeses, apples, pears, market gardening, brioche, honey, cider, calvados and beer.


Haute- Normandie main economic elements are :

60% of French production of lubricants, 50% plastics, 30% of cars.

It is the the fourth French region for foreign trade and No 1 for the production of flax.

There is a significant tourist industry.

Major companies include :

Autoliv to Gournay-en-Bray and Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray

Federal Mogul (automobile) (Garennes-sur-Eure)

Aircelle (Aeronautics) in Le Havre

EDF (nuclear Paluel and Penly)

Bayer rubber (tyres)

Carrier Transicold Industries (refrigeration equipment) in Mont-Saint-Aignan and Franqueville-Saint-Pierre

CIC Banque CIN (bank)

Renault Sandouville and Cleon Aubevoye

Total Montivilliers

ExxonMobil to Notre-Dame-de-Gravenchon

Shell and Petroplus in Petit-Couronne

BASF in Saint-Aubin-lès-Elbeuf

SNECMA Vernon (Ariane rocket)

Boursin (cheese) in Pacy-sur-Eure

Legrand Malaunay

EADS in Val-de-Reuil Caudebec-en-Caux


Area : 12,317 km2 (2% of France)

Population : 1,833,500 inhabitants (2.8% of France)

Youth : 32.2% of the population is under 25 years old.

The two biggest cities in the region are Le Havre with about 180,000 inhabitants and Rouen with 110,000 inhabitants


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