Ardenne is the third largest abbey in Caen region. It was founded in 1121 by a small Christian community. During the 1789 Revolution, the religious community was expelled from Ardenne Abbey, the building's original purpose was modified and it was stripped of the furniture and works of art which had been collected.
On 7 June 1944, the second day of Normandy Invasion, the Germans took Canadian soldiers prisoner and escorted them to the abbey where eighteen of them were executed, in contempt of the Geneva Convention and prisoners’ rights. Other summary executions took place during this month of fighting. The abbey was taken back from the Germans on 8 July 1944. Today, a memorial at the site commemorates this tragic event. In 1994, on the initiative of the Regional Council, a first wave of restoration and development works were launched at the farinier, the stables, Bayeux gate and the main building.References:
Claude Monet lived for forty-three years, from 1883 to 1926, in Giverny. With a passion for gardening as well as for colours, he conceived both his flower garden and water garden as true works of art. Walking through his house and gardens, visitors can still feel the atmosphere which reigned at the home of the Master of Impressionnism and marvel at the floral compositions and nymphéas, his greatest sources of inspiration.
In 1890 Monet had enough money to buy the house and land outright and set out to create the magnificent gardens he wanted to paint. Some of his most famous paintings were of his garden in Giverny, famous for its rectangular Clos normand, with archways of climbing plants entwined around colored shrubs, and the water garden, formed by a tributary to the Epte, with the Japanese bridge, the pond with the water lilies, the wisterias and the azaleas.
Today the Monet's Garden is open to the public.