Mont-de-Huisnes is the most westerly of the Normandy cemeteries, situated not far from the historic abbey of Mont St Michel close to the border with Brittany. One kilometre north of the village of Huisnes-sur-Mer, the cemetery sits atop a 30m hill. There is ample good parking outside which benefits in the summer from the shade of mature trees. Entrance to the cemetery is via a set of easily negotiated steps, however, there is also a ramp for wheelchair access.
Upon entering the reception building visitors are presented with a beautiful, ornate floor-to-ceiling patterned window. Past this are some more shallow steps which need to be navigated to gain access to the cemetery proper - which is completely different to any other Normandy war grave site. The cemetery comprises a two-storey circular construction with 34 crypt chambers on each level. Each of these chambers holds 180 German war dead. The building surrounds a 47m diameter lawn which has a large cross in its center, and on the far side are steps to a viewing area which looks out across to the famous shape of Mont St Michel.
Inaugurated on 14th September 1963, the cemetery contains the remains of some 12,000 fallen soldiers. Some bodies were reinterred here from burial sites in the Channel Islands and from various other regions of France, including Sarthe, Morbihan and Ille-et-Vilaine. Upon many of the graves within the crypt rooms tributes of dried flowers have been left. This seems to be more common at German cemeteries than the placing of fresh flowers.
Mont-de-Huisnes really is an incredibly moving place to visit and the arrangement of the bodies gathered together in crypt rooms especially highlights the enormous human cost of battle. We strongly recommend making the journey from the landing beach area of Normandy.