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Caudebec-en-Caux, France: home of the first waterproof hat

Updated: Oct 6, 2022

A wonderful French river cruise destination along the Seine

Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts!

If you do an internet search for Caudebec-en-Caux, France, you’ll see immediately what the town is famous for: in the 16th century, the first waterproof hat was invented in this small French town along the Seine River.

The dictionary definition of “Caudebec” is “a rain hat made from lambswool or camel hair.” Caudebec’s industries historically included tanning and leather-making, so it’s probably not surprising that someone here was the inventor of a waterproof hat.

Caudebec-en-Caux’s most famous landmark today is the beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral. On our river cruise on the Seine River next year, we’ll make an overnight stop in Caudebec-en-Caux, and have opportunities to see the cathedral and explore the area around this beautiful little city in depth.

There are so many excursion choices, I’m already worried about not getting to see and do everything in this area!

I might choose to take the scenic biking tour from Rouen to Caudebec rather than board the ship to make the journey.

Once we arrive, we’ll have the choice of visiting the Chateau d’Etelan, which is the first Italian Renaissance Chateau built in France in 1494, where there’s a wonderful chapel with original wall paintings, and a guard house dating back to 1350. It’s known as one of the loveliest chateaux of the Seine Valley.

From our port in Caudebec, we’ll also have the option to visit Bayeux, which has a medieval city center and the world-renowned Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts the 1066 Norman invasion of England.

Another option is to visit the town of Caen, where one of the top sites is the Chateau de Caen, an 11th-century castle built by William the Conqueror.

Or, there’s an opportunity to visit the Harcourt Arboretum, with 30 acres and nearly 3,000 trees, and the palatial Chateau du Champ de Bataille and the communev of Le Bec-Hellouin and its 11th-century abbey.

See what I mean? It’s a good thing we’ll be in Caudebec-en-Caux overnight, so we’ll have a better chance to see and do everything we want to experience! My husband Sean and I are excited for this cruise, and I can’t wait to have you join us, if you’d like!

I have some group space blocked out just for you, so if a river cruise has been on your bucket list, you should come with us! There are different room categories and price points available, and all of your food and excursions are included on this magical cruise on the Seine River!

In a previous post, I talked about another stop on this cruise, the Beaches of Normandy. Click here to read about them.

If you’d like more info on the cruise, click here. It’s happening Oct. 14-21, 2023, and I’d absolutely love to have some friends come along!


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