Caen Memorial, France

Posted On December 2, 2009 

Caen memorial is been founded in the year 1988 and devoted to the peace, the Caen Memorial also known as Le Mémorial de Caen and un musée pour la paix is supposed to the best World War II museum located in France. “Peace is not a gift from God to man, but a gift from man to himself” is the statement quotes by Elie Wiesel which is very well observed in the museum.

Peace MemorialCaen Memorial is situated on the outskirts of Caen in the north side in Normandy. Also the Caen Memorial does include the various guided tours that will show you the D-Day beaches and exhibition. Such tours are organized on the days of failures as well as the triumphs of peace for example on September 11th as well as on the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Caen Memorial is constructed on the location of an old bunker, and was inaugurated by the by President François Mitterrand on June 6, 1988 which was the 44th anniversary of D-Day. German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and President Jacques Chirac later expanded the museum.

The Caen Memorial is located at a distance of 10 minutes from the Pegasus Bridge and at a distance of 15 minutes from the D-Day beaches. The building of the Caen memorial is a bare rectangular shaped structure. The museum is to be entered by a small door which is place on the long flat front façade. This symbolizes the Allies’ break of the “unassailable” Nazi Atlantic Wall. Across the façade there are few verses which are inscribed in the French language and say:

“Pain broke me; brotherhood lifted me.
From my wound sprang a river of freedom.”

The small door later opens into a large reception area, where the high-quality services of the museum are placed. The museum building also includes a large bookshop, cafe, library, children’s play area, and many more such options. Above the lobby hangs a Hawker Typhoon which was used by the RAF in the year 1941.

Caen Memorial

Entrance to the museum is also available through a descending circular staircase this staircase symbolize the tumble into the hell of war. Here numerous photographs are lined also it illustrates the growth of the Nazi power.

Inside, the museum the main exhibition includes extravagant video presentations of D-Day or Jour J that shows the various events from Allied and German viewpoint on a split-screen. Artifacts from the French Resistance; Models of bunkers, tribute to the Holocaust, battleships as well as the battlefields etc are also showcased in the museum.

Caen Memorial museumA new section which was added to the museum in the year 2002 hosts’ exhibitions on the Cold War and also the fall of the Berlin Wall. It also gives an idea about the expansion of the atomic bomb and the attacks of that took place on September 11, 2001. Initially the Caen Memorial was the first museum located outside the United States that display artifacts from the 9/11 attack. The last section which the tourists come across in the museum was been constructed in the year 1991. This part shows you an old bunker. The bunker is devoted to the peace movement which is going on. This section also includes a gallery of the nobel peace prizes which is celebrated with the figures like Desmond Tutu, Andrei Sakharov and Elie Wiesel.

The museum comprises of widespread relaxing gardens, which remembers the Allied forces and mutely illustrates the idea of peace. The American Garden, the Garden of Canada and lately the British Garden are been donated by Prince Charles in the year 2004.

D-Day beachesThe museum everyday organizes eight-person minivan guided tours to the D-Day beaches, which begins at the museum or at the Caen train station.

Caen – Carpiquet Airport is the nearest airport to the Caen Memorial and from the airport the museum is very well connected by the means of buses, cabs as well as the cars. You can get a quality accommodation in the city. Also guide tours are easily arranged.

The museum is designed by Yves Devraine and has a modern architectural look. The museum is daily open from 9 in the morning to 7 in the evening. The entrance fee for the adults is €16 while €16 for the children. The entrance is free for children 9 and under, World War II veterans, war widows, war disabilities etc. Photography is permitted inside the museum.

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