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Saint Martin
Saint Martin
Coat of arms of Ryes
Coat of arms
Ryes is located in France
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Country France
Region Normandy
Department Calvados
Arrondissement Bayeux
Canton Ryes
Intercommunality Bayeux Intercom
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Françoise Marie
Area1 9.59 km2 (3.70 sq mi)
Population (2008)2 485
 • Density 51/km2 (130/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 14552 / 14400
Elevation 15–59 m (49–194 ft)
(avg. 20 m or 66 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries. 2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Ryes is a commune in the Calvados department in the Basse-Normandie region in northwestern France.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1962 359 —    
1968 377 +5.0%
1975 338 −10.3%
1982 317 −6.2%
1990 421 +32.8%
1999 450 +6.9%
2008 485 +7.8%


Ryes is the seat of the canton of Ryes, which includes 25 communes.


In 1060, Ryes was mentioned under the name Rigia.

The ancient forms of its name are apparently related to the French word "raie" (Old French "roie"), deriving from the Gallo-Roman "rica", from the Gallic word "Rica" meaning a "furrow": cf. Middle Gallic "Rych", meaning a "groove", and Old Breton "rec" (modern Breton "rec'h"), meaning a "tear". The word occurred throughout the Gallo-Roman region and is attested in Low Latin in the forms "riga", "rega" and "rige" (FEW volume 10, pp. 393-394).


Lord Hubert of Ryes welcomed Duke William during his struggle with his rebellious barons. He then saved William by sending him to Falaise escorted by his three sons while Hubert sent the rebellious barons in another direction.

On 1 July 1899, a 60 cm gauge shortline railroad between Courseulles and Bayeux was opened by Railways Calvados. The same day, a branch starting from Ryes to Arromanches also entered service. The main line and the branch were decommissioned from the network on 29 September 1932.

See also