Bénouville is a small village in the Calvados region of the French province of Normandy, situated between Ouistreham and Caen. The village is located on the banks of the Orne River. Tourists visit this small community of less than 2,000 residents mainly to check out the Château de Bénouville and the Pegasus Bridge.
The Château de Bénouville was designed by 18th century architect, Jean-Nicolas Ledoux. The property is now owned by the Calvados County Council. The castle is one of the best preserved buildings of Ledoux and one of the best examples of neoclassical architecture. The highlight of this structure is its monumental staircase, which was remarkably ahead of its time when it was constructed.
The Pegasus Bridge (or Bénouville Bridge) is the village’s other main attraction. It is a drawbridge made famous by the battle between the British and the Germans for control over it during D-Day, WWII and by the movie “The Longest Day”. The objective of the British 6th Airborne Division was to capture it to prevent a German counterattack from the east. The British sent gliders who dropped onto the bridge, which was surrounded by barbed wires. They secured the machine guns, cut the wires, and removed the detonation devices that had been planted. The German garrison was surprised by the maneuver and some of the Germans actually fled the scene when defeat became apparent. Today, there is a museum and memorial by the site of the old bridge.
“Bénouville, Calvados.” <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%C3%A9nouville%2C_Calvados>
“Château de Bénouville.” <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch%C3%A2teau_de_B%C3%A9nouville>
Gaudez, René, Hervé Champollion, and Angela Moyon. Tour of Normandy. Rennes: Éditions Ouest-France, 1996. ISBN: 2737317185.
“Pegasus Bridge.” <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pegasus_Bridge>
 Gaudez, 31