|Location within Lower Normandy region [[|[show]]]Coutances|
|Elevation||12–150 m (39–490 ft)|
|Land area1||12.51 km2 (4.83 sq mi)|
|- Density||763 /km2 (1,980 /sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||50147/ 50200|
|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.|
Capital of the Unelli, a Gaulish tribe, the town took the name of Constantia in 298 during the reign of Roman emperor Constantius Chlorus. The surrounding region, called in Latin the pagus Constantinus subsequently became known as the Cotentin Peninsula.
The arms of Coutances are blazoned: Azure, in fess 3 columns argent, and on a chief gules, a leopard Or armed and langued azure.
Coutances Cathedral is one of the major buildings of Norman architecture and contains a chapel and stained glass dedicated to Saint Marcouf. The bishop of Coutances exercised ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the Channel Islands until the Reformation, despite the secular division of Normandy in 1204. The final rupture occurred definitively in 1569.
Coutances houses a well-known botanical garden and an art museum.