Falaise (fälĕzˈ) [key], town (1993 est. pop. 8,387), Calvados dept., N France, in Normandy. Once an important textile center, the town is now an agricultural marketplace and manufactures cheeses and household appliances. William I of England (William the Conqueror) was born in Falaise at the castle of the first dukes of Normandy. The town also has a château (12th–13th cent.) built on a promontory and housing a dungeon. Falaise was a key point in the Normandy campaign of World War II and was heavily damaged.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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