Normandy

Arromanches-les-Bains

At the centre of the landing beaches of June 1944, Arromanches owes its fame to the remains of the artificial harbour, Port Mulberry, built in great secrecy.
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Arromanches-les-Bains, more commonly known only as Arromanches, is infamous for the leading role it played in the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944, the famous D-Day.

Arromanches was an important landing point and its beach, codenamed Gold Beach during the military operations: it was chosen to host the artificial landing ports known as Port Mulberry, during the invasion of France that would lead to the end of World War II.

To prepare for the invasion of Normandy, British Prime Minister Whiston Churchill had two prefabricated harbours built on the Thames that were erected in Arromanches Bay: 146 concrete caissons sunk to form a semi-circular breakwater to which floating bridges were anchored.

The harbours were designed so that they could be transported across the Channel in great secrecy, to serve as temporary support for the D-Day landings.

Things to do in Arromanches

Arromanches is really small, a village of only 616 inhabitants, although summer visitors increase its population considerably. Most tourists come for the historical significance of the town.

Landing Beaches

114117 Arromanches-les-Bains, France

The beach of Arromanches is a beautiful tongue of golden sand and the town is pretty, with a lively atmosphere. There are plenty of bars, hotels and restaurants that make it a good holiday base.

Beyond the main beach, located in the centre of Arromanches, is a long line of high white cliffs. The best view of the town and the beach is from the hill to the east of the centre of Arromanches: we suggest you climb the hill and follow the path to the top of the cliffs.

Port Mulberry

2Rue Lucien Joly, France

Port Mulberry was one of two artificial harbours designed and built by the British in World War II to facilitate the unloading of supply ships off the Normandy coast immediately after the invasion of Europe on D-Day, 6 June 1944. Mulberry A was built off Saint-Laurent at Omaha Beach in the American sector, and the other, Mulberry B, was built off Arromanches at Gold Beach in the British sector.

Each port had the capacity to move 7,000 tonnes of vehicles and supplies per day from ship to shore: it consisted of approximately 10 km of flexible steel roads, floating on steel or concrete pontoons. The roads ended on large jetties, called Spuds, which were raised and lowered on legs resting on the seabed. These structures were sheltered from the sea by lines of massive sunken caissons, lines of sunken ships and a line of floating breakwaters.

The various parts of the Mulberries were secretly manufactured in Britain and were placed immediately after D-Day. Within 12 days of the landings (D-Day plus 12), both ports were operational. Two and a half million men, half a million vehicles and four million tonnes of supplies landed in Europe through the artificial port of Arromanches.

Even today, the remains of this mammoth operation can be seen both on the beach, where parts of the concrete harbours lie, and offshore, a sombre reminder of human wickedness.

Landing Museum

3Place du 6 Juin, 14117 Arromanches-les-Bains, France (Website)

This interesting museum provides detailed information on Operation Overlord and Mulberry Harbour, as well as many World War II weapons.

The museum is entirely dedicated to the incredible technical challenge of building and installing the harbour: a set of 30-metre long models and 2 audiovisuals will help you better understand what was the key to victory in Normandy. Guided tours are in French but visit tools are available in 19 languages and audiovisuals in 9 languages.

Arromanches 360

4Rue du Calvaire, 14117 Arromanches-les-Bains, France (Website)

The Arromanches 360° circular cinema presents a film produced by the authors of the Apocalypse event series, The Price of Freedom. The film contains images and archives of the landing and immerses the visitor in a recreation of the wartime experience.

In contrast, the film The 100 Days of Normandy traces the history of the Battle of Normandy, from the preparations for the Normandy landings to the liberation of Paris. Archival images from around the world are shown on 9 screens, in 360°.

Map

In the following map you can see the location of the main places of interest mentioned in this article

Arromanches-les-Bains Weather

What's the weather at Arromanches-les-Bains? Below are the temperatures and the weather forecast at Arromanches-les-Bains for the next few days.

Sunday 3
Monday 4
10°
Tuesday 5
10°
Wednesday 6
13°
Thursday 7
11°
Friday 8
12°

Where to stay in Arromanches-les-Bains

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Where is located Arromanches-les-Bains

This small village of 616 inhabitants is located in the Calvados department, a few kilometres from Bayeux.

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