Utah Beach was the successful landing place of a number of American Divisions on 6th June 1944, and from here they pushed inland to the Carantan peninsula to meet up with US Airborne forces around St Mere Eglise. Between D Day and 1st November 1944 some 836,000 men and 220,000 vehicles came ashore here. The beach also marks the point of 'Liberty Way' which runs from Normandy to Bastogne in Belgium, and is marked by a memorial stone every kilometer - the 00 Kilometer stone being here (with another in St Mere Eglise).

The Utah Beach Museum was originally opened in the 1960s and then renovated for the 50th Anniversary of D Day in 1994. It tells the story of the American landings at Utah and also the Airborne operations around St Mere Eglise. The museum has many rare vehicles, weapons, photographs and veterans artifacts. There is a good 1/35th scale model of the landings, and a film show. There is also a book shop.

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Founded: 1960
Category: Museums in France

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Michal Thomas (2 years ago)
Incredible place to learn about the Normandy Invasion. There is much to see. There is a sweet spirit of reverence there.
Josh Howard (3 years ago)
You could spend hours upon hours inside here. The amount of information and material is truly staggering with a lot of it being incredibly interesting. Make sure you watch the film before the exhibits as it is surprisingly well-made (as I work in Hollywood, I’m particularly picky with films in tourist attractions) and gives a great overview of the history of Utah beach. The museum was a real treat. The room overlooking the beach is pretty cool. Also a large 1945 Bomber plane on display and painted to look like a wartime plane. There are a couple of abandoned bunkers in front of the museum as well, but more are around Omaha beach, visit the ones just east of the USA cemetery for better bunker remnants. Make sure you also visit the nearby village to read some interpretive signage around the village centre Relating to the Utah beach invasion and stories of paratroopers landing in the village. Super interesting!
Charles L (3 years ago)
Very straightforward exhibit, but very entertaining!!! A must do in the Normandy area besides all of the invasion stuff. This is also good for kids 7 years and up. You get an audio guide and it is a walkthrough of the tapestry depicting the Norman conquering of England with William the Conqueror.
Brandon Logronio (3 years ago)
Great experience, would definitely recommend watching the short film inside the museum before going around to have a better overall feel of the exhibits. The Sherman tank and the B26 bomber are just some of the highlights included in the museum, which boasts a wide range of authentic World War II era equipment from both the Allied and the German side. The beach itself was quite tranquil and, if I'm not mistaken, you can bring home some sand home with you via a small glass bottle you can buy in the gift shop. Definitely a must see for anyone interested in WWII.
Terry (3 years ago)
Nicely laid out museum. Well maintained displays and informative . Had the Americans not missed taking out the Maisey Battery in the beginning it would have made the landings here and Omaha a little bit easier. The Martin Marauder is a must see.
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Quimper Cathedral

From 1239, Raynaud, the Bishop of Quimper, decided on the building of a new chancel destined to replace that of the Romanesque era. He therefore started, in the far west, the construction of a great Gothic cathedral which would inspire cathedral reconstructions in the Ile de France and would in turn become a place of experimentation from where would later appear ideas adopted by the whole of lower Brittany. The date of 1239 marks the Bishop’s decision and does not imply an immediate start to construction. Observation of the pillar profiles, their bases, the canopies, the fitting of the ribbed vaults of the ambulatory or the alignment of the bays leads us to believe, however, that the construction was spread out over time.

The four circular pillars mark the start of the building site, but the four following adopt a lozenge-shaped layout which could indicate a change of project manager. The clumsiness of the vaulted archways of the north ambulatory, the start of the ribbed vaults at the height of the south ambulatory or the choice of the vaults descending in spoke-form from the semi-circle which allows the connection of the axis chapel to the choir – despite the manifest problems of alignment – conveys the hesitancy and diverse influences in the first phase of works which spread out until the start of the 14th century.

At the same time as this facade was built (to which were added the north and south gates) the building of the nave started in the east and would finish by 1460. The nave is made up of six bays with one at the level of the facade towers and flanked by double aisles – one wide and one narrow (split into side chapels) – in an extension of the choir arrangements.

The choir presents four right-hand bays with ambulatory and side chapels. It is extended towards the east of 3-sided chevet which opens onto a semi-circle composed of five chapels and an apsidal chapel of two bays and a flat chevet consecrated to Our Lady.

The three-level elevation with arches, triforium and galleries seems more uniform and expresses anglo-Norman influence in the thickness of the walls (Norman passageway at the gallery level) or the decorative style (heavy mouldings, decorative frieze under the triforium). This building site would have to have been overseen in one shot. Undoubtedly interrupted by the war of Succession (1341-1364) it draws to a close with the building of the lierne vaults (1410) and the fitting of stained-glass windows. Bishop Bertrand de Rosmadec and Duke Jean V, whose coat of arms would decorate these vaults, finished the chancel before starting on the building of the facade and the nave.

Isolated from its environment in the 19th century, the cathedral was – on the contrary – originally very linked to its surroundings. Its site and the orientation of the facade determined traffic flow in the town. Its positioning close to the south walls resulted in particuliarities such as the transfer of the side gates on to the north and south facades of the towers: the southern portal of Saint Catherine served the bishop’s gate and the hospital located on the left bank (the current Préfecture) and the north gate was the baptismal porch – a true parish porch with its benches and alcoves for the Apostles’ statues turned towards the town, completed by an ossuary (1514).

The west porch finds its natural place between the two towers. The entire aesthetic of these three gates springs from the Flamboyant era: trefoil, curly kale, finials, large gables which cut into the mouldings and balustrades. Pinnacles and recesses embellish the buttresses whilst an entire bestiary appears: monsters, dogs, mysterious figures, gargoyles, and with them a whole imaginary world promoting a religious and political programme. Even though most of the saints statues have disappeared an armorial survives which makes the doors of the cathedral one of the most beautiful heraldic pages imaginable: ducal ermine, the Montfort lion, Duchess Jeanne of France’s coat of arms side by side with the arms of the Cornouaille barons with their helmets and crests. One can imagine the impact of this sculpted decor with the colour and gilding which originally completed it.

At the start of the 16th century the construction of the spires was being prepared when building was interrupted, undoubtedly for financial reasons. Small conical roofs were therefore placed on top of the towers. The following centuries were essentially devoted to putting furnishings in place (funeral monuments, altars, statues, organs, pulpit). Note the fire which destroyed the spire of the transept cross in 1620 as well as the ransacking of the cathedral in 1793 when nearly all the furnishings disappeared in a « bonfire of the saints ».

The 19th century would therefore inherit an almost finished but mutilated building and would devote itself to its renovation according to the tastes and theories of the day.