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Ardenne Abbey

Listed under Churches & Abbeys in Normandy, France.

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In 1943, in the heat of the Second World War, the owners of this abbey were arrested for being members of the Resistance and the abbey was taken to be used as the headquarters of the 25th SS Panzergernadier Regiment, one of the Hitler Youth SS Divisions under the command of Colone Kurt Meyer – known for being a rather nasty so and so.  The abbey had an excellent view of Juno Beach from where the Panzers watch the Canadian forces coming towards them.  The Panzer units here captured 18 Canadian soldiers then executed them, against the rules regarding the treatment of prisoners of war, and this crime is what the abbey has become most famous for.  There's a memorial to the dead Canadian Soldiers in the abbey's garden.  

Due to the heavy action the abbey saw much of what you see today is a rebuild, but the 1121 chapel and some of the medieval buildings surrounded it have survived. 

 

Written by  Toby Bright.

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