The Memorial of Caen


THE MEMORIAL OF CAEN

From the origins of the second World War to the end of the cold war, Mémorial paths take you through the events and explain what became the terrible story of the 20th century.

The Mémorial de Caen and the Arromanches 360 circular cinema comprise today the leading memorial centre of Europe, with 630,000 annual visitors. Constantly renewed over the past ten years, today’s Mémorial is at the heart of reflection on the role of History in society.
Caen, a martyred city of liberation, bombed in the summer of 1944, undoubtedly deserved a fitting tribute for the suffering it endured. Homage was indeed paid, but done in a spirit of Reconciliation, which remains the running theme of the Mémorial. This spirit, unique to the Mémorial de Caen, guides you through the different stages of the museum, plunging you into the core of 20th century History.

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©M Desdoits 2012 panoramique intérieur Mémorial

Jean-Marie Girault  founder of the Mémorial de Caen The extraordinary success of the Mémorial can be traced to the initial resolve of its founder, Jean-Marie Girault, senator and mayor of Caen for 31 years. On 6 June 1944, Jean-Marie Girault, at age 18, joined a volunteer emergency team of the French Red Cross, responsible for rescuing civilian bombing victims in Caen. Directly confronted by the horrors of war, he learned about human nature, be it heroic, ordinary, or cowardly.