Bayeux War Cemetery#7 in Best Things To Do in Normandy
Price & Hours
The Bayeux War Cemetery is one of the largest of 18 military cemeteries in Normandy, with more than 4,000 graves – many of which mark the plots of soldiers who were never identified. These headstones are inscribed with "A Soldier Known Unto God." Keep in mind that if you're an American looking for your ancestors, you'll most likely have more luck at the American cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer. The Bayeux War Cemetery contains soldiers from the United Kingdom and "the Continent," including some from Germany.
Recent visitors found the cemetery to be quite moving and somber. Others said this is a "must-see," applauding the beautiful grounds.
The cemetery itself is free to visit 24/7. Many reviewers reported combining a visit to the cemetery with a stop at the nearby Museum of the Battle of Normandy, which most travelers find a good contextual accompaniment to the cemetery. The museum, which sprawls across nearly 25,000 square feet of exhibit space, displays equipment, artifacts, maps, films and dioramas to detail the military operations of the summer of 1944. Museum admission costs 7.50 euros (about $8.25) for adults; entrance fees are waived for children 10 and younger. The museum is open daily from February through December; it is closed for the month of January. See the website for more information.
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#1 D-Day Beaches
World War II's successful Operation Overlord took place on the coast of France. Although there were heavy Allied casualties, this invasion turned the tide in the war and helped lead to the fall of Nazi Germany. Today this piece of coastline, which includes Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha and Utah beaches, is collectively known as the D-Day Beaches.
Visitors can tour the approximately 50-mile stretch of sand and pop by a number of museums, memorials and cemeteries that are spread out alongside the coastline either with a tour or on their own. If you're driving yourself, start in the town of Arromanches, which hosts two museums that help provide context for the battle sites. The American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer and the Pointe-du-Hoc bomb craters are also especially moving. If you'd rather let someone else do the driving, recent visitors recommend going with a tour guide to fully appreciate the area's historic importance and receive a comprehensive overview. If you're visiting in June, you'll likely come across several ceremonies and reenactment groups commemorating the anniversary. Thanks to Normandy's unpredictable weather, you'll want to dress in layers (no matter the time of your visit) and bring rain gear, according to past visitors.
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