The port of Caen
During the middle ages, the Port of Caen was located at the foot of the walls of the Bourg Leroy, just before the Saint-Pierre Bridge. It is mentioned in documents dating back to the early 11th century.
River traffic played an important role in the economic development of the town. The bends in the river were straightened and canals were dug to favour communication by water. Landing stages were built downstream from the Saint-Pierre Bridge, between the parish church and the Tour Leroy. There was also a fishery on the Petite Orne. Gradually, down the centuries, with the expansion of the town, the port has moved further towards the sea –from the Saint Pierre Bridge to the Tour Leroy, to the Saint-Pierre dock, then to the Calix dock.
The port of Caen-Ouistreham is the 10th biggest port in France due to an annual traffic of about 4 millions tonnes and one million passengers.
The Saint-Pierre dock has downtown berths for 160 pleasure boats.
Bien qu’éloignée de la mer d’une quinzaine de kilomètres environ, la capitale bas-normande n’en reste pas moins une agglomération maritime. Dès le Moyen Âge, Caen est un port d’estuaire. À l’époque, l’Orne était navigable depuis les côtes de la Manche jusqu’à son confluent avec l’Odon. L’envasement du fleuve, mais surtout les contraintes du trafic fluvial contemporain, ont conduit au creusement d’un canal entre Caen et Ouistreham et à son inauguration en 1857.