Port du Bequet de Cherbourg en Cotentin
©Port du Bequet de Cherbourg en Cotentin|Estelle Hertault Cdt50
Unmissable in La Manche


Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, a mandatory stopover

Nestled at the northernmost point of the Cotentin Peninsula, Cherbourg offers a panorama like no other on the English Channel and on this territory rich in history. From Antiquity to the medieval period, from the Napoleonic period to the Second World War, entire sections of history were written in this place. The great roadstead, the Ravalet Castle, the Liberation Museum or the Roule battery are eloquent testimonies. But the wealth of this city goes beyond the “simple” historical framework. Also, discover the local know-how with a visit to the manufacture of parapluies de Cherbourg, stroll through the botanical park of the Roche Fauconnière, walk through the public garden or dive into the abyssal depths at the City of the Sea.

Port du Bequet de Cherbourg en Cotentin
©Port du Bequet de Cherbourg en Cotentin|Estelle Hertault Cdt50

La montagne du Roule: climb, visit, contemplate

Culminating at 117 meters, the montagne du Roule offers itself to the sight of all. Yet only those brave enough to take the montée des résistants, a hiking trail leading to it, can detect all its assets.

During this short ascent, pages of history will be told to you by the remains of this – more or less distant – past. Indeed, the Roll, it is a set of various structures: hermitages, fort, fortress, battery and galleries, Liberation Museum, as many reflections of the medieval, Napoleonic or even XX century.

The Roule mountain is also an extraordinary ecosystem including its moors classified as a “Natural Zone of Ecological, Faunistic and Floristic Interest” (ZNIEFF) and a most grandiose panorama of the city, the great harbor and the English Channel.

Did you know? When Cherbourg was almost named Napoleon Bourg

In May 1811, while Napoleon was visiting the construction site of the port of Cherbourg, this is how he is said to have expressed himself:”I had resolved to renew in Cherbourg the wonders of Egypt.” This quotation is also found on the base of his equestrian statue located on the eponymous square. No wonder then, given the Emperor’s attachment (at least strategic) to this city and the consequent works he undertook there, that the city council, as a tribute, thought for a moment, in 1813, of changing the name of Cherbourg to Napoleon Bourg. This idea was, as you might imagine, abandoned.

La Cité de la Mer, the Redoubtable Getaway

If there is one unavoidable, one immanquable, one indispensable and a whole lot of other “-able” words, it is the Cité de la Mer. It is no longer presented and yet there is so much to say about it. The Cité de la Mer is first of all a building, the former Transatlantic Maritime Station of Cherbourg. An art deco spirit, its many arches and concrete vault make it one of the most beautiful architectural elements of the city. It is also a magnificent set of 17 aquariums including the famous “Abyssal” with a depth of more than 10 meters, an exhibition of underwater exploration devices, an exhibition dedicated to the Titanic which called at Cherbourg on April 10, 1912. Finally, don’t miss the tour with audio guide of the submarine leRedoutable to discover and experience, for a moment, the life of a submariner.

The must-sees of your visit to Cherbourg-en-Cotentin

  • La Cité de la Mer
  • The Cherbourg Umbrella Factory
  • Musée de la Libération
  • The Roule battery
  • The great roadstead
  • The Church of Our Lady of the Vow
  • Holy Trinity Basilica
  • Botanical park of La Roche Fauconnière
  • The public garden
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Other major attractions in the department