Top 18 attractions to explore in Normandy
Northwesternmost of the 18 regions of France. Normandy's name comes from the settlement of the territory by mainly Danish and Norwegian Vikings ("Northmen") from the 9th century.
Jumièges is one of the most famous abbeys in Normandy which was founded Founded in the 7th century by Saint Philibert. It was transformed into a stone quarry after the French Revolution, the remains are magisterial and offer an unforgettable vision. Jumièges Abbey was called “the most beautiful ruin in France”, and benefited from the image of an outdoor site impregnated with Romanticism.
The Airborne Museum has become the largest museum in Europe dedicated to the American paratroopers of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions of the United States Army. Unique of its kind in Europe, it features a life-sized scene depicting a stick of paratroopers belonging to the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the US 101st Airborne Division enplaning at an English aerodrome in June 1944.
Caen Castle is one of the largest medieval enclosures in Europe. It was built of Caen stone around 1060. It stood first and foremost as a place of power, where the Dukes of Normandy and Kings of England regularly held their major assemblies. It is now home to the Musée de Normandie and the Musée des Beaux-Arts. Its terrace and ramparts command fine views over the town and there is also a public park surrounding this castle.
Notre-Dame de Rouen cathedral is a monument where you can read all the evolution of Gothic art. The construction of the building was undertaken in the middle of the 12th century, on the site of the Romanesque cathedral whose crypt has been preserved. The facade thus represents a precious testimony of the evolution of Gothic art from the middle of the 12th century to the beginning of the 16th century.
Château Gaillard is a 12th-century castle built by Richard the Lion-Heart on the Andelys cliff overlooking the Seine River in France. The castle was long plundered for its stones as building materials so that by 1573 it had already dissolved into an uninhabited ruin. In 1862, Château Gaillard was designated a Monument Historique. It was also one of the earliest European castles to use machicolations.
The Juno Beach Centre is Canada’s Second World War museum and cultural center located in Normandy, France. center's permanent exhibition covers an area of 650m2 and tells the story of the Canadians who volunteered for military service or mobilized their energies, skills, and resources at home, thereby contributing greatly to the war effort. Through detailed and interactive exhibition rooms, the museum relates the story of life in Canada before the outbreak of the war.
A large Benedictine monastery founded around 1060 by William the Conqueror and his wife. It is a gem of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. It also houses William the Conqueror’s tomb. Today the buildings have become the seat of the town hall. Together with the recently rehabilitated Place Saint-Sauveur, the Abbaye-aux-Hommes forms a unique heritage complex.
La Cité de la Mer is a scientific and fun park, inaugurated on April 29, 2002and located in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, dedicated to underwater exploration and the discovery of the great depths, completed in 2012 by a new Titanic space, back to Cherbourg. The idea of a museum around the Redoutable, the first French nuclear submarine, dates from the launch of its dismantling in the late 1980s.
Le Gros-Horloge is a beautifully decorated astronomical clock that was made in the year of 1389. It is one of the oldest working clocks in Europe. This popular tourist landmark in the old town of Rouen is flanked by a Gothic belfry from the 14th century. It was heavily damaged during the second world war. Above the clock face, a globe shows the phases of the moon. Many depictions of sheep show the importance of the wool trade. it was one of the prime attractions in this area.
The Caen Memorial is a museum and war memorial located in Caen on the history of the xx th century whose thematic whole while facing the fragility of the peace, but it is primarily a history museum. In 2007, it was the most visited French museum outside Île-de-France with 400,000 visitors. The Caen Memorial has received the " Musée de France " label and is part of the International Network of Museums for Peace. Since 2006, the Caen Memorial has been constantly changing, each year its permanent r
It is a tidal island and mainland commune in Normandy, France. An important medieval pilgrimage destination, Mont Saint-Michel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Both the 11th- to 13th-century Abbey of Saint-Michel and the Bay of Saint-Michel are protected under this designation. The island has had strategic fortifications since ancient times. It is 247 acres in size and it has a population of 44. People that live there are called the Montois.
The Musée du Débarquement is a French museum in Arromanches near Bayeux, Normandy region. It documents Operation Overlord, also known as the Normandy Landing, the landing of Allied troops in World War II on June 6, 1944, and is located in the center of the town with the main man-made port. The museum, which is about 500 m² in size, had around 330,000 visitors in 2009. It exhibits the model of the artificial harbor, Allied uniforms and medals, weapons, jeeps, and many photos of the landing site
This 19th century majestic fine arts museum was established by Napoleon I. One of the richest and most visited museums in France which has an extensive and varied collection of painting, sculpture, drawing, and decorative arts in 63 rooms. The museum's exceptional Depeaux collection, consisting of paintings donation in 1909, places it at the forefront of French provincial museums for Impressionism. It is one of the worth visit places in this area.
The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in France is located in Colleville-sur-Mer, on the site of the temporary American St. Laurent Cemetery it was established by the U.S. First Army on June 8, 1944. The memorial consists of a semicircular colonnade with a loggia at each end containing large maps and narratives of the military operations and at its centre is a bronze statue “Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves.”. It is the most visited cemetery run by the American Battle Monume
The Benedictine Palace is a building mixing styles Gothic and neo-Renaissance, built in the late XIXth century to Fecamp for Alexander The Great Prosper, a dealer in spirits and who made his fortune by inventing and selling liqueur Benedictine. It contains a museum presenting various collections of carved ivories, coins, locks, old religious paintings and so more, and also there is an exhibition space dedicated to contemporary art was created in 1988.
Normandie-Maine Regional Nature Park covers 257,000 hectares across two regions and four départements. It consists of hedged farmland, forests, orchards, rivers, lakes, marshland, moors and peat bogs, and is home to the Mancelles Alps. There are several beautiful trails through the park that make a good way of exploring its natural beauty. The park also encompasses the Sarthe river valley and the large Forest of Andaines. There’s a real sense of adventure when exploring this part of Normandy.
This vertical lift bridge across the Seine in Normandy is 56 metres tall and 55 metres long. Its deck is lifted straight up by a butterfly-shaped pulley system so tall ships can pass through. It takes 12 minutes to raise the section. It is the highest drawbridge in the world. The length of the pulling part of the bridge is 116 meters, and its general extent is much greater and reaches 670 meters. The unique design features enable the traffic of ships of various sizes.
Rouen, situated on the banks of the River Seine, is Normandy’s vibrant, historic and cultural capital. Wandering around the old town of Rouen, visitors will enjoy the historical ambience found in the winding cobblestone lanes, which are lined with maisons à colombages. Today, it deserves a visit for its monuments, Gothic art being particularly well represented, but also for the charm of its alleyways and the many half-timbered houses there are.
Map of attractions in Normandy