10 Reasons to Visit Juno Beach



10 Reasons to Visit Juno Beach

On June 6, 1944, 14,000 Canadian soldiers and 6,400 British soldiers landed on Juno Beach to do their bit in the fight for the liberation of Europe. On June 6, 2023, the Juno Beach Centre, a non-profit association, opened its doors with Canadian D-Day veteran Garth Webb at its head. A year on, Normandy is marking 80 years since the momentous operation which altered the course of the Second World War. Here are ten reasons to visit… 

1. The only Canadian museum on the D-Day Beaches

Located between Arromanches and Ouistreham, the Juno Beach Centre is the only Canadian museum on the Normandy landing beaches. It provides a better understanding of Canada’s contribution to the Second World War but also allows, by looking at the Canada of today, a better understanding of the country’s values ​​and culture. 

The Juno Beach Centre located between Arromanches and Ouistreham © CJB & G Wait

2. A museum on the beach where Anglo-Canadian troops landed 

The Juno Beach Centre is located right on Juno Beach, the very beach where 14,000 Canadians and 6,400 British soldiers landed on June 6, 1944. It pays tribute to the 45,000 Canadians who lost their lives during the Second World War, of whom 5,500 died during the Battle of Normandy and 381 on D-Day itself.

Juno Beach, where 14,000 Canadians and 6,400 British soldiers landed on D-Day © CJB & P Henry

3. An authentic welcome from young guides 

The founding veterans of the Juno Beach Centre wanted to recruit young Canadian guides to pass on the memory of what took place here to younger generations. The bilingual guides, who are aged about 20, put into perspective the young age of the soldiers who landed on the beaches of Normandy in 1944. They help to give the Juno Beach Centre its full dimension as a Canadian place in France. 

Young Canadian guides are ready to welcome you © CJB

4. The youth circuit ‘Explore Juno’  

The Juno Beach Centre is resolutely focused on passing on the act of remembrance to younger generations. The youth circuit ‘Explore Juno’, integrated into the museography, raises awareness among young people of the role played by Canada during the Second World War, using both a human and historical approach. Thanks to interactive modules and touch screens, ‘Explore Juno’ makes discovering the museum an experience for all the family.

The youth circuit ‘Explore Juno’ will appeal to younger visitors © CJB & Ph Delval

5. Guided tour of the bunkers 

From April to October, Canadian guides from the Juno Beach Centre offer guided tours of the bunkers. This allows you to discover the evolution of the defences of the Atlantic Wall and the history of the Canadian landing on Juno Beach. The tour includes a command post and an observation bunker built during the German occupation of Courseulles-sur-Mer. 

From April to October, you can take a guided tour of the bunkers © CJB & G Wait

6. They Walk With You film 

The film They Walk With You, at the end of the museum tour, is an immersive, emotional experience. It features the voices of great Canadian war correspondents Marcel Ouimet and Matthew Halton and illustrates the role and sacrifice of Canadian soldiers during D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. 

They Walk With You film brings D-Day to life © CJB & Ph Delval

7. Exhibition on the Royal Canadian Air Force 

From March 1, 2024, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), the Juno Beach Centre presents ‘Rising to the Challenge’, a new temporary exhibition that commemorates the role of the RCAF during the Second World War. Between 1939 and 1945, nearly 250,000 Canadians served in the Royal Canadian Air Force, which worked closely with Britain’s Royal Air Force; more than 40 Royal Canadian Air Force squadrons were attached to the RAF.

This year there is an exhibition on the Royal Canadian Air Force at the centre CJB & L. Besnoist

8. A little piece of Canada in Normandy 

The Juno Beach Centre is also a Canadian cultural centre where you can learn more about the country itself. The last room of the museum, ‘Faces of Canada Today’, presents the country that the Canadian veterans helped to build. All year round, the Juno Beach Centre holds events linked to Canadian culture such as Canada Day on July 1, Halloween and a Canadian-style Christmas. The museum boutique offers a multitude of products imported from Canada, including the famous maple products. 

The Juno Beach Centre also acts as a Canadian cultural centre © CJB

9. Committed to sustainable development 

The Juno Beach Centre looks back on yesterday to help us understand today and prepare for tomorrow. In line with the 2030 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Agenda and the engagement of France to contribute to the international plan (Paris Accord), the Juno Beach Centre is committed to reducing its carbon footprint by 5% yearly until 2050 (based on its 2019 data). 

The centre is committed to sustainable development © CJB

10. Juno Beach memorial sites 

The Juno Beach Centre is located in the seaside town of Courseulles-sur-Mer in the heart of Normandy’s landing beaches, and Juno Beach itself extends over 8km of coastline, between Graye-sur-Mer and Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer. The Maison des Canadiens in Bernières-sur-Mer, the Canadian military cemetery in Bény/Reviers, and the various monuments around the area are all well worth visiting to remember the 5,500 Canadians killed during the Battle of Normandy. 

Find out more at www.junobeach.org 

Be sure to visit the many remembrance sites near Juno Beach

Lead photo credit : Some 14,000 Canadians landed at Juno Beach on June 6, 1944

Share to:  Facebook  Twitter   LinkedIn   Email

More in beaches, D-Day, D-Day landings, travel, World War II

Previous Article French City Break: Dole
Next Article New at the Carrières des Lumières: Time of the Pharaohs

Related Articles

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *