Le LionVerd

World War II

The three departments of Calvados, Orne and Manche contain all the sites, museums and memorials and the important landmarks connected with D-Day and the battles which followed.

There are several museums including Musée Leclerc in Alençon, Muséemorial, Un Musée pour la Paix in Caen and also close to Caen is the Montormel Memorial.

Even today the remnants of the artificial Mulberry harbour at Arromanches are a vivid reminder of the scale of the undertaking. Arromanches is home to museum which houses amongst other things a model of the harbour and a film made by the British Admiralty which follows the course of the entire operation. While a nearby cinema offers a panoramic film 'The Price of Freedom' shown on 9 screens provides the sensation of being at the very heart of the operation.

There are many museums to visit including Musée Leclerc in Alençon, Muséemorial, Un Musée pour la Paix in Caen and also close to Caen is the Montormel Memorial.

Normandy is forever linked with the momentous events of June 1944 and the months which followed leading to the liberation of France and the rest of Europe.


The bridge over the River Orne here had been an important crossing point and therefore the village suffered greatly as the Allies fought with the retreating Germans.

The village was liberated on the 18th August 1944.


'Falaise is William’s birthplace and Caen home to his ducal château which is one of the largest fortified enclosures in Europe.  

While in Bayeux you can visit the world famous tapestry recording his exploits.

William the Conqueror

Travel even further back into the Middle Ages.

Believed to have been built around 1100, in the medieval hilltop town of Domfront the remains of its walls and famous dungeon can be seen today.

Medieval times


History surrounds you and awaits to be discovered.

From Medieval times and William the Conqueror to the Second World War…..

View from the ruins of the Lion Verd

A Brief History of the Lion Verd

First Mentioned in a document dated 1623, the Lion Verd Hostel was built on the edge of the river next to the bridge by the Lord of Putanges.  The Hostel and three farms were generally let to the same tenant, who would then in turn sub-let the farms to maintain the Lion Verd.

The ‘Sergeant’ bedroom on the first floor would be used by the Lord as his court, and for other official meetings.

In 1689 documents records the poor conditions endured by the guests, with poor quality mattresses, no sheets, and broken furniture including:

In the kitchen, two big tables, four little benches, one big wooden chest, one big piece of tree trunk, one little military bed, one sideboard, one swing chair serving as a table, one big cracked cooking pot and two cooking tools holders.

In the ‘Sergeant’ bedroom, two beds, two tapestries, two used bed sheets, two tables, four old swing chairs, two chairs with one broken foot and finally one stepladder with one broken foot.

The story of the original Lion Verd building ends in August 1944. During the night of the 17th an ammunition truck immobilised near the hotel caught fire. The fire spread to the hotel, causing extensive damage.   At 11am the following morning, despite the heroic efforts of an English soldier who tried to extinguish the fire in the truck, it exploded demolishing the remains of the hotel.

A temporary wooden hotel was then built, until the current Lion Verd was constructed. It’s foundation stone was laid by local dignitaries and the  Italian builder Caesar Martinelli in 1949. The dated granite stone can be found outside the hotel to this day.