Watertravel & Waterside DestinationsPeople from the commune of Arromanches-les-Bains collecting mussels on the WWII caissons at low tide.

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Gold Beach, Arromanches les Bains

Considering the passage of more than six decades, the caissons put in place at Arromanches-les-Bains are still in remarkably good shape.

The caissons at Arromanches-les-Bains in Normandy formed a semicircular breakwater known as Port Winston.These structures formed the semicircular breakwater known as Port Winston, one of the two Mulberry Harbors. In the decades since the war ended, they’ve become a major feature of the ecosystem, providing a habitat for fish and shellfish. That in turn provides seafood dinners for many of the local people, who were out in numbers when the photography shown here was being done. To get the best view of caissons, plan your trip so as to arrive during a minus tide if possible, or at least the lowest tide of the day.

Arromanches 360° is a theater located on the bluff which overlooks Gold Beach from the east.  The audience stands about the room holding onto a bar whose usefulness becomes plain when the program starts. A 360° projection with historical footage of the invasion of Normandy as well as well as modern images including shots from a helicopter with banking turns that makes it feel as though the whole room is tilting. It is one of the wildest rides one can experience while standing still.

The sun was setting as people from the town calmly climbed about the structures in search of shellfish. It provided a quiet moment to bow the head in memory of what happened here.

Gold Beach and the commune of Arromanches- les-Bains as seen from the bluff where the theater, Arromanches 360° is located.

Copyright © Don Douglas