Palais Bénédictine#14 in Best Things To Do in Normandy
Bénédictine liqueur is a big deal in Normandy and if you want to learn more about it, as well as take in the Palais Bénédictine – a Gothic- and Renaissance-inspired building erected in the late 1800s – this is the spot. Le Palais Bénédictine was built in honor of the Bénédictine liqueur by Alexandre Le Grand, a wine merchant from Fécamp who discovered a lost recipe for a potent elixir dating back to 1510 created by a Bénédictine monk. Le Grand named the liqueur after the monks. He also stocked the palace with his art collection.
Today, visitors can explore the museum on a guided tour, which features collections of sacred and ancient art related to the legacy of Bénédictine, as well as a room dedicated to its industrial history. After the museum tour, you head to the only Bénédictine distillery in the world and enjoy a tasting of the liqueur in the palace's Winter Garden.
Recent visitors said Palais Bénédictine is an interesting place to visit and that the samples at the end are a nice treat.
The museum, which is located along the coast in Fécamp (about one hour from Rouen and a little more than two hours from Paris) is open daily from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Hours may vary seasonally. Tickets cost 12 euros (about $13) for adults, 7 euros (about $7.70) for youths ages 12 to 18, and is free for children age 11 and younger. For more information, visit the museum's website.
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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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