Cherbourg is a naval base on the northwest coast of France, with an important military history and roots that stretch back to the 9th century Viking invasion. The town was occupied by Germans during World War II and liberated by Allies following the invasion of Normandy, so a visit to the Musée de la Libération, which serves as a memorial of the events, will provide insight into the region’s important past; or take a day-trip along the Norman countryside to famed D-Day beaches, battlefields, bunkers and monuments. Art aficionados should see the Musée d’art Thomas Henry, which boasts an impressive collection of Italian Renaissance and Flemish works, and the iconic Mont Saint-Michel, a Gothic-style Benedictine abbey. However, the Cité de la Mer is the stop that tops everyone’s list. Originally constructed to handle two ocean liners this building is now home to a de-commissioned nuclear submarine, an aquarium and exhibits of sea life.
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