The traditional province of Normandy, with an integral history reaching back to the 10th century, was divided in 1957 into two regions: Lower Normandy (Basse-Normandie) and Upper Normandy (Haute-Normandie).
During the Roman era, the region was divided into several different city-states. That of Vieux-la-Romaine was excavated in the 17th century, revealing numerous structures and vestiges bearing testimony to the prosperity of the Caen region.
The region was conquered by the Franks in the 5th century.
In the 9th century, the Norman conquests devastated the region. Much of the territory of Lower Normandy was added to the Duchy of Normandy in the 10th century.
In 1066, William the Bastard conquered England, becoming William the Conqueror, or William I of England. He was buried in Caen.
The victory of Tinchebray in 1106 gave Normandy to the Plantagenets. Nearly one hundred years later, in 1204, Philippe Auguste confiscated the region. Then, during the Hundred Years' War, the region was annexed by England.
The French regained the region from 1436 to 1450. By 1468, it was entirely under the control of the French monarchy.
The main thrust of Operation Overlord during World War II was focused on Lower Normandy. The beaches of Calvados were the site of the D-Day landings in June 1944. Lower Normandy suffered badly during World War II, with many of the region's towns and villages being destroyed during the Battle of Normandy.