PLACE DE GAULLE

Bayeux yesterday and today.

General_de_Gaulle_addressing_the_citizens_of_Bayeux,_14_June_1944._A24136 General de Gaulle addressing the citizens of Bayeux, 14 June 1944
P1050813 …and the same place today.

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Like so many places in Bayeux and Normandy, the apparent calm and tranquility hides a history of dramatic events. La Place de Gaulle was the location of General de Gaulle’s famous Bayeux Speeches, the first one taking place on June 14th, 1944 just a few days after the Normandy invasion. Today, high school students hang out on the sparse lawns and families bike weekends on its quaint paths.

ARROMANCHES

A lovely sleepy coastal town in Normandy.

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One of my favorite little towns on the D-Day beaches is Arromanches les Bains.

Site of Mulberry “B”, one of the artificial harbours assembled for allied invasion forces, this quaint little town consists of only a couple of hotels, restaurants, cafés and crèpe venders. My favorite spot, however, is the vintage carousel that sits right on top of the coastline next to the Arromanches D-Day museum, Musée du Débarquement.

For more information on Arromanches, check out this lovely piece in Historynet by James Ullrich.

CASTLE IN THE SNOW

A visit to a medieval landmark on a snowy afternoon.

Château de Creully, Normandy

chateau de Creully Normandy

flowers in the snow

Unfortunately, most of France seems to have the flu at this moment, so we took a family drive to Creully, a small town several miles east of Bayeux.

The Chateau de Creully is a rare medieval fortress which evolved greatly between the 11th to 17th centuries.

After D-Day it was the BBC’s headquarters who housed its transmitter in the tower.

It was perfectly silent and still the day we visited, the lawns covered with a light blanket of snow. Flower beds colored the landscape, hopefully a promise of Spring soon to come.

THE LIBERTY TREE

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In a back courtyard behind the cathedral is “l’arbre de liberté”, a 200+ year-old tree that was planted just after the French Revolution.

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