Le Memorial at Caen | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Le Memorial at Caen

Caen, Normandy, France

Luke Tomes

24 Nov 2020
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Le Memorial at Caen

Le Memorial at Caen is a museum of history based in northern France, not too far from the locations of the beaches where the Normandy Landings took place.

Le Memorial at Caen history

The Memorial at Caen commemorates both the D-Day landings and the ensuing Battle Of Normandy, particularly the Battle of Caen which raged on for two months following Operation Overlord.

The Battle of Caen (6 June – 6 August 1944) was one of the most decisive battles of the Second World War and although the British and Canadians achieved their main aims during D-Day, the failure to capture Caen quickly caused a great deal of controversy.

Montgomery’s plan for the Battle of Normandy had always been to force the Germans to commit their strongest forces in the east, at what would appear to be the logical point for the Allied breakout towards Paris and the German frontier, allowing the Americans to break through further to the west and sweep into Brittany and behind the German armies fighting in Normandy.

However, the expectation had been that Caen would fall on D-Day or soon afterwards, giving the Allies control of the flat areas around the city, which were suitable for the construction of airfields. This, unfortunately, was not to be the case.Caen finally fell to the Allies.

The museum was officially opened on June 6, 1988 (the 44th anniversary of D-Day) by the French President François Mitterrand. The original building deals primarily with World War II, looking at the causes and course of the conflict.

Le Memorial at Caen today

Le Memorial at Caen explores the events which led up to the Normandy Landings of World War II, the Landings themselves, also known as D-Day, and the aftermath.

Le Memorial at Caen also offers day trips and longer guided tours around the sites of the Normandy Landings, which start at Caen Railway Station. Beyond its Second World War exhibits, Le Memorial at Caen also looks at the Cold War and beyond, exploring the concept of peace in the context of different conflicts.

Getting to Le Memorial at Caen

The address of Le Memorial at Caen is Le Mémorial de Caen, Esplanade Général Eisenhower, CS 55026, 14050 Caen Cedex 4.

If travelling by car from Paris take the A13 or the A84 if you are coming from Rennes (make sure to take northbound ringroad, exit number 7).

From the city centre of Caen, bus route 2 will take you directly to the memorial site – there is also easy access for disabled people.

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