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Normandy

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The Normandy region of France consists of a 600 km coast with sheer cliffs, little fishing villages with granite houses and fine sand and pebbly beaches but is most known for being the World War II landing beaches. Monuments, museums, bunkers and cemeteries can be found all along the beaches commemorating the Battle of Normandy between the Allied Forces and Germany on D-Day.

The largest of these is the American Cemetery located on a cliff overlooking Omaha Beach in Colleville-sur Mer. It covers 70 hectares and contains the remains of 9,387 American soldiers. The names of 1,557 Americans who lost their lives in the conflict but could not be located and/or identified are inscribed on the walls of a semicircular garden at the east side of the memorial. The cemetery is featured at the beginning and end of Steven Spielberg's film Saving Private Ryan starting Tom Hanks and Matt Damon.

The coastline is lovely and includes cute seaside villages like Deauville, site of a famous American film festival each year, and the historic Honfleur harbour town. Close to the American cemetery are Mont Saint Michel and other places of interest like Bayeau.

As well as its war history, Normandy is well known for its beach resorts, port villages, unique architecture, crepes, seafood and cider. Driving along the coast road you come across many great places including Deauville, site of a famous American film festival each year, and the gorgeous and historic Honfleur harbour town. It is no wonder, many artists, including Monet, spent a lot of painting time there.

Return to places to see north.

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