Sunday 9 June 2019
Overlooking Cherbourg is a cliff, Roule mountain, upon which is perched Fort du Roule.
Beneath the Fort are four gun casements built by the Germans to defend Cherbourg, two visible in this photo. It’s a half hour walk from the town.
The town was bathed in sunlight and far more welcoming.
Climbing the hill, you pass the access to the tunnels dug to service the gun emplacements.
Occasional tours are offered by a local group. The tunnels look extensive.
From the top there is a great view over the town.
A ferry was coming into dock. To its left is a white cruise ship, and left of that the green roof of the Cité De La Mer where Big Al is parked.
Behind the big shopping centre in the foreground lie the docks where 91 submarines have been built – another pixelated area on Google maps. There is an obvious but low key military presence in the town.
As I returned to the town, the sailing ship in the photo above left port.
The Fort is in the background.
Cherbourg, not a place to visit for its good looks; it doesn’t pass the romantic weekend test. Given it was thoroughly bombed by the allies, then trashed by the Germans when defeat was imminent, this is not surprising.
Cherbourg is a working port and an industrial area. That said, it’s a pleasant place with its own character and drenched in significant history.
I posted this photo yesterday but for the ongoing unknown technical reason it didn’t make the email.
It gives some idea of the level of destruction, with the ships scuppered by the Germans to block the harbour.
37,000 German prisoners were taken. I’ve just found this photo –
having taken this one this afternoon.
History feels present in Cherbourg. It’s worth a visit.