The Juno Beach Centre or is a museum situated immediately behind the beach codenamed Juno, the section of the Allied beachhead on which 14,000 Canadian troops landed on D-Day 6 June 1944.

The Centre was conceived in the 1990s by a group of Canadian veterans who felt that the contributions and sacrifices of Canadian soldiers during the liberation of Europe were not properly commemorated and represented in the Normandy region. The project, spearheaded by veteran Garth Webb and his companion Lise Cooper, began initially as a grassroots fundraising campaign that eventually gained the financial support of many institutions and businesses and the Canadian and French governments at many levels. The Centre was inaugurated on 6 June 2003. Over one thousand Canadian veterans attended the inauguration in 2003, as well as the 2004 ceremony for the 60th anniversary of D-Day.

The museum's scope is not only the D-Day landings. Through detailed and interactive exhibition rooms, the museum relates the story of life in Canada before the outbreak of the war, Canada’s civilian and military contribution to the war effort, and contemporary Canadian society in the decades since World War II.

The building itself, designed by Canadian architect Brian K. Chamberlain, is a single-storey structure with five main points, resembling a stylized maple leaf. The exterior is clad in titanium scales and stands about 100 meters back from the present line of sand dunes. A ceremonial area, which features a statue entitled Remembrance and Renewal, stands between the Centre and the dunes. A gap in the dunes is filled by a symbolic structure shaped as a landing craft—a memorial to the French Resistance. An intact German bunker, once an observation post, stands immediately in front of this memorial.

The museum also houses a temporary exhibition space which changes approximately once per year and which highlights various histories and themes relating to Canada past and present.

The Juno Beach Centre is open year round and closes routinely for the month of January. It offers guided visits of Juno Beach that are provided by Canadian students.

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Category: Museums in France

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Kevin A (3 months ago)
Honestly such a great museum for anyone interested in D-day history, particularly the Canadian version. The museum really delves deep and provides detailed information about the Canadian role in the war. There is also a temporary exhibit about Dieppe which is well worth visiting. Highly recommended for all and there is free parking.
Alex Ainsworth (4 months ago)
This is a must visit if coming to Normandy to learn more about D-Day. Deep dive into the landings on Juno, which were the second bloodiest of the landings, but also a wider look at Canadian society and Canadian war effort in WW2, which was fascinating. Worthwhile doing the Juno Bunker Tour too if you have the extra 45mins to go into some renovated bunkers which aren’t accessible to the public. Also the grounds and area nearby is littered with other cool bunkers & memorials so a great place to wander around
Rick (5 months ago)
What a wonderful centre. The displays are really innovative and informative. The young man on reception was great and the whole experience was 5 stars. Some very clever ideas here. BUT to top it all for us was the secure bike lockers and the tool stand that deserves a big thanks. In 2019 we had our bikes stolen in Spain so now worried everytime we need to leave them. The lockers are brilliant, well done to whoever decided to install these and the idea of offering a discount on the entrance charge for using said lockers is a genius. Do not miss this centre it is a bargain and a educational resource for those who want to understand why so many soldiers died so we could have a better future.
Antoine Noel (5 months ago)
A very well thought out museum. It takes the approach to understand the implications of canada entering the war and provide a great presentation of what was happening in Canada and what was happening in the battlefield. As a consequence, this quite a mature museum with a lot of reading and not too much to see. The bunker visit is also interesting if you have never done one.
Amanda Cooke (5 months ago)
A must for anyone visiting Juno beach to learn about D-Day and to appreciate the sacrifice of the Canadian soldiers there. This is a small museum with some interesting exhibits. Your visit begins with a short immersive video of landing on the beach on D-Day (not graphic, suitable for children) before the entrance to the exhibits. The first room is mainly information about Canada, but the main exhibit contains radio broadcasts and information on WWII planes and much more. Your visit ends with a longer film on the war (also suitable for children). The final room of the museum before the gift shop is mostly anecdotes for Canadians, citizens and immigrants about what it is like to be Canadian. As others have mentioned, the museum can be a bit dry. There’s a lot of information presented within a short time. And at least 50% of it is about Canada, rather than the war, Juno Beach, and/or Canadian soldiers - which I found a bit strange given the location. But also, maybe it’s just that I am Canadian, so the information wasn’t new to me. Overall: Worth the visit.
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