Normandy, (French: Normandie), a region and former province of France. It is in the northwestern part of the country, bounded by the English Channel and the regions of Picardy, Île-de-France, Maine, and Brittany. Much of the land is gently rolling hills, with low cliffs rising up to 1,000 feet (305 m) above sea level at the coast.
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.
The Norsemen who invaded the area in the ninth century gave Normandy its name. They established the duchy of Normandy in 911, and it became one of the largest in France. In the 11th century Normandy was united with England by William the Conqueror, who was duke of Normandy. In the following centuries Normandy shifted several times between English and French control. It came under permanent French control in 1450. In 1790 the province was divided into five departments. During World War II the Allied forces began the liberation of France from Normandy's north coast.