Arromanches, with the remains of the Mulberry harbour in its bay
|Intercommunality||Bessin, Seulles et Mer|
|• Mayor (2008–2014)||Patrick Jardin|
|• Land1||13.7 km2 (5.3 sq mi)|
|• Population2 density||43/km2 (110/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||14021 / 14117|
|Elevation||0–55 m (0–180 ft)
(avg. 15 m or 49 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
The inhabitants of the commune are known as Arromanchais or Arromanchaises
Arromanches-les-Bains is located some 12 km north-east of Bayeux and 10 km west of Courseulles-sur-Mer on the coast in the heart of the area where the Normandy landings took place on D-Day, 6 June 1944. Access to the commune is by the D514 road from Tracy-sur-Mer in the west passing through the town and continuing to Saint-Côme-de-Fresné in the east. The D87 road also goes from the town south to Ryes. The D65 road goes east to Meuvaines. About a third of the commune is the urban area of the town with the rest farmland.
||English Channel||English Channel||English Channel|
Arromanches is remembered as a historic place of the Normandy landings and in particular as the place where an artificial port was installed. This artificial port allowed the disembarkation of 9,000 tons of material per day.
It was on the beach of Arromanches that, during the Invasion of Normandy immediately after D-Day, the Allies established an artificial temporary harbour to allow the unloading of heavy equipment without waiting for the conquest of deep water ports such as Le Havre or Cherbourg. Although at the centre of the Gold Beach landing zone, Arromanches was spared the brunt of the fighting on D-Day so the installation and operation of the port could proceed as quickly as possible without damaging the beach and destroying surrounding lines of communication. The port was commissioned on 14 June 1944.
This location was one of two sites chosen to establish the necessary port facilities to unload quantities of supplies and troops needed for the invasion during June 1944, the other was built further West at Omaha Beach. The British built huge floating concrete caissons which, after being towed from England, then had to be assembled to form walls and piers forming and defining the artificial port called the Mulberry harbour. These comprised pontoons linked to the land by floating roadways. One of these ports was assembled at Arromanches and even today sections of the Mulberry Harbour still remain with huge concrete blocks sitting on the sand and more can be seen further out at sea.
Some key figures: by 12 June 1944 more than 300,000 men, 54,000 vehicles, 104,000 tons of supplies had been landed. During 100 days of operation of the port 2.5 million men, 500,000 vehicles, and 4 million tons of material were landed. The best performance of the port was in the last week of July 1944: during those seven days the traffic through Arromanches exceeded 136,000 tons or 20,000 tons per day.
- Detailed Article: Mulberry harbour
Today, Arromanches is mainly a tourist town. Situated in a good location for visiting all of the battle sites and War Cemeteries, there is also a museum at Arromanches with information about Operation Overlord and in particular, the Mulberry harbours.
On 21 September 2013, Bradford-based sand sculpting company Sand in Your Eye created a tribute called "The Fallen 9000". It was a temporary sculpture project—a visual representation of 9000 people drawn in the sand which equates the number of Civilians, Germans Forces and Allies that died during the D-day landings. It coincided with Peace Day, and was washed away with the tide at the end of the day.
List of Successive Mayors
(Not all data is known)
In 2010 the commune had 587 inhabitants. The evolution of the number of inhabitants is known from the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger towns that have a sample survey every year.[Note 1]
Sites and monuments
- The Museum of the Landings
- Arromanches 360 degrees
- Remains of the Mulberry harbour
- Arromanches Church
The Lavoir (public laundry)
Mulberry harbour in operation (1944)
Monument to Allan Beckett
Winston Churchill at Arromanches 21-23 July 1944
Sherman tank displayed at Arromanches
- Jules Carpentier, French inventor. A main street is named in his honour.
- François Carpentier, son of Jules Carpentier, French architect and mayor of the commune. He created the Museum of the Landings in Arromanche.
- Sylvie Joly owned a villa in the commune. Her father was mayor of the commune from 1947 to 1963.
- The Boisgelin family owned a large part of the commune and still have a large house.
- Tourist office website
- Satellite view of Arromanches on GoogleMaps: remains of the Mulberry harbour are still visible.
- Photos and information on the Musée du Débarquement at Arromanches (French)
- Arromanches-les-Bains on the INSEE website (French)
- The Battle of Arromanches of 1811 on the History of Normandy website. (French)
Notes and references
- At the beginning of the 21st century, the methods of identification have been modified by Law No. 2002-276 of 27 February 2002, the so-called "law of local democracy" and in particular Title V "census operations" allows, after a transitional period running from 2004 to 2008, the annual publication of the legal population of the different French administrative districts. For communes with a population greater than 10,000 inhabitants, a sample survey is conducted annually, the entire territory of these communes is taken into account at the end of the period of five years. The first "legal population" after 1999 under this new law came into force in 1 January 2009 and was based on the census of 2006.
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