In the very heart of the D-Day beaches, Arromanches is renowned for its artificial "Mulberry" harbour, known as "Port Winston", whose remains, both impressive and moving, continue to remind visitors of the remarkable technical feat of taking 600,000 tonnes of concrete and equipment across the Channel in wartime to serve as a base for Allied troops.
© Lesley Williamson
The sea resort was a priority target for the Allies, who intended to set up an artificial port for the supply of weapons and ammunition to invasion troops. Numerous remains of the harbour are strewn over the beaches which played such an important role in the liberation of Europe. Cemeteries, museums and panoramas have been designed to facilitate visitors' understanding of the issues being played out in the battle of Normandy. Nevertheless, it must not be forgotten that Arromanches had a long history before the Second World War : indeed, the first traces of human habitation date from the iron age. The ancient Arremancia was successively Celtic, Gallic and Viking, with a strategic position that soon led to the construction of a fort at the foot of the cliffs to protect it from sea-borne attacks. From the 1870s the little village of fishers and farmers became a popular holiday resort. The attractive little town nestling between the cliffs ensures peace and quiet for its visitors.
Worth a visit
- D-Day Museum : A reminder of the technical challenge represented by the construction of the Mulberry B artificial harbour, with models, videos and a diorama that movingly bring life to the displays.
- Arromanches 360 : The film "The Price of Liberty" is shown on 9 screens in the only circular cinema in France, which was opened on the 50th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Alternating views of present-day Normandy and images of 1944, this film is an unforgettable experience.