This chapter focuses on limestone in the context of the Normandy town of Caen, which is largely built atop and indeed from that stone. Caen is thus at once extraction site and extracted matter. Discussing both buildings within the city and the texts of a local historian, Charles de Bourgueville, which describe them and their destruction at the hands of Protestants during the Wars of Religion, this chapter seeks out some of the ways in which humans long for that stone’s endurance while also worrying about its fragility. Putting geological and human timelines into dialogue, the chapter thus situates the exterranean at the intersection of extraction, longing, and fear.
Keywords: Caen, geomedia, limestone, Normandy