Musée Juin 44

Parking

There is a large car park outside the museum, which is opposite the town hall.

Toilets

There are no toilets inside, but public toilets are nearby behind the building.

Gift Shop

There are a few small items for sale for sale, but no significant gift shop.

The Musée Juin 44 is sadly showing its age. It is a product of a different era and, unfortuantely, it really does show. It was opened in 1953, making it the oldest D-Day/Battle of Normandy museum - beating the Musée du Débarquemnt in Arromanches by one year. It was opened by Madame la Maréchale Leclerc de Hauteclocque, wife of General Leclerc, commander of the French 2nd Armoured Division during the Battle of Normandy. The museum is situated within an outbuilding of Château de L'Aigle which is actually far nicer than it sounds. Also in the building are the local Toursit Office and a few other unrelated exhibits that can be viewed before after your visit. One of these is a metiorite that landed in L'Aigle in April 1803 amigst a shower of small fragnments.

The Second World War part of the museum is upstairs, and comprises chiefly of twelve life-sized dioramas of specific scenes from the period in front of painted backgrounds. These are accompanied by audio using the actual recorded voices of the famous subjects. The scenes start with the depiction of General de Gaulle making his famous appeal in June 1940 for the French to rise up against the Germans, whilst next door are the broadcaster of "Ici Londres" at the BBC. The other scenes depict a variety a subjects, including the resistance, Allied leaders, the French collaborator Jean Herold Paqui who is depicted making a propaganda broadcast from Paris, Hitler and even a wounded Rommel being tended to at Livarot.

The figures used in the dioramas are waxworks rather than mannuquins, as obviously many of them need to depct the likeness of their subject - at least that was the idea. We're pretty sure the team from Madame Tussauds weren't involved in their construction. The depictions of Churchil, Stalin and Roosevelt at the Tehran conference are almost laughable, not really looking the their subjects and seated in the must unnatural positions. It's a shame really beacuse the idea was probably very original at the time. The museum describes itself as the "first talking museum in France".

In addition to the main feature of the museum which are the dioramas and audio recordings, there are a few other recovered artefacts (albeit with French description only) from the battlefield and some other displays. There is also a large 36m² relief map of of the Normandy battlefield.

It's a little more difficult for us to review this museum fairly, as when we visited the operators were having "technical difficulties" with the audio part of the display. They were apologetic and actually didn't charge us the full amount (which is not very much anyway at €3.60). Maybe it was because there was no audio and we were the only visitors at the time, but it actually felt a little creepy inside. Even so, this is a tired looking museum, but if you are in the area why not take a look? It is open from April to September and visits will probably take 30-45 minutes at most.

Although not part of the museum, around the corner from the building is an American half-track and two blue NTL totems.


Updated: June 2015



Contact Details:

  • Musée Juin 44
  • Place Fulbert de Beïna
  • 61300 L'Aigle

  • +33 (0)2 33 84 44 44

  • N/A
  • N/A

Normandy Museums: