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Carentan Travel Guide

Carentan is a French town located in the Manche region of French Normandy.[1] It is situated between the United States WWII landed beaches of Utah and Omaha[2] and is close to the sea via the Baie des Veys.[3]

Carentan is an important food-processing centre. It has a yachting marina set in the heart of the Manche countryside of French Normandy. The city has an iconic church with an octagonal bell-tower that overlooks dozens of miles of marshland, which in 1991 was officially named the “Cotentin and Bessin Marshes Country Park”. The marshes and peat bogs of this expanse are now designated as a natural reserve for ornithological and geological purposes. The best time to visit the marshes is in the spring when the flora and fauna “blossom”, springing to life.[4]

The main attraction of Carentan is the protected marshes and peat bogs of Cotentin and Bessin, which are both habitats for diverse flora and fauna.[5] The Dead Man’s Corner Museum is an interesting historical museum as well, worth a visit; it is dedicated to the 101st Airborne Division’s liberation of Carentan.[6]

There are some notable architectural structures and landmarks in Carentan including the town’s 17th century town hall which is fronted by an 18th century fountain. The town’s church called the Notre Dame is of 12th century construction and features an octagonal bell-tower; it offers panoramic views of the city and beyond at its top.[7]

Carentan is located near the site of the WWII, Battle of Bloody Gulch[8] which took place on June 13, 1944. The battle focused on capturing Carentan, considered strategically important for both the Allies and the Germans. For the Allies, the city represented a link between the U.S. landed beaches of Utah and Omaha. Carentan would provide a base for further encroachment into German-occupied France. The U.S.’ 101st Airborne Division initially entered Carentan without any resistance. However, the Germans wanted to recapture Carentan to drive a wedge between the two U.S. landed beaches of Utah and Omaha and disrupt the Allied invasion. In the battle, the Germans were close to breaking through the U.S. defenses but the Americans ultimately prevailed and forced the Germans to withdraw.[9]

“Battle of Bloody Gulch.” < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Bloody_Gulch>

“Battle of Carentan.” < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Carentan>

“Carentan.” < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carentan>

“Carentan Heritage.” < http://www.ot-carentan.fr/en/pageLibre000100dd.html>

“Dead Man’s Corner Museum.” < http://www.ot-carentan.fr/en/pageLibre0001030c.html>

“Gateway to the Cotentin Peninsula.” < http://www.ot-carentan.fr/en/pageLibre000100d7.html?nRedirect=1>

Gaudez, René, Hervé Champollion, and Angela Moyon. Tour of Normandy. Rennes: Éditions Ouest-France, 1996. ISBN: 2737317185.

“Les Ponts Douve Discovery Area.” < http://www.ot-carentan.fr/en/pageLibre00010374.html>

[1] Carentan
[2] Battle of Carentan
[3] Gateway
[4] Gaudez, 27
[5] Les Ponts
[6] Dead
[7] Carentan Heritage
[8] Carentan
[9] Battle of Bloody Gulch

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