Bayeux War Cemetery#4 in Best Things To Do in Normandy
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The Bayeux War Cemetery is one of the largest of 18 military cemeteries in Normandy, with somewhere around 4,000 graves -- many of which mark the plots of soldiers who were never identified. These headstones are inscribed with "A Solider 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. This one contains soldiers from the United Kingdom and "the Continent," including some from Germany.
One TripAdvisor user was very touched by the cemetery, saying: "We visited the cemetery before going to the museum. I found it very moving to see the graves of so many young men, who must have been so terrified of what they were about to face. Some of the graves are touching each other where 2-3 soldiers/airmen/navymen died together." Another TripAdvisor user says this: If you need a simple lesson in the consequences of war, just come here and look at the many lives cut short. The sacrifices on both sides of the conflict … have given us peace in much of Europe for over 60 years."
For an admission fee of €6.50 EUR or about $9 USD, you can also visit the nearby Musée Mémorial de la Bataille de Normandie, which most travelers find a good contextual accompaniment to the graveyard. This is open everyday except Sundays; 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 about 50-mile stretch of beach and pop by a number of museums, memorials and cemeteries that have spread out alongside the sand. The American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer and the Pointe-du-Hoc bomb craters are especially moving. Many recent travelers recommend exploring the beaches with a tour guide.
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