Traveling Ted is a blog that takes readers along on my adventures hiking, canoeing, skiing, and international backpacking. Many blogs focus on one aspect of backpacking, but I tackle both the outdoor adventure side and international exploration as well.

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Normandy France

Plaque memorializing Canadian POWs murdered

While watching a documentary on the D-Day Normandy landings the show suddenly started talking about the Ardenne Abbey or l’Abbaye d’Ardenne.  It is always neat to be watching a show that highlights an obscure place that you have visited.

The Ardenne Abbey was built in 1211 near Caen, France.  It lived a humble quiet existence for centuries, but this all changed on June 7, 1944.  The 27 Canadian Armoured Regiment attacked the Abbey, which was being defended by the 12 SS Hitler Youth Panzer Division commanded by Kurt Meyer.

Normandy France

L’Abbaye d’Ardennes near Caen, France

The attack failed and later that day 23 Canadian POWs were massacred by the SS.  There is a memorial plaque at the Abbey commemorating this tragic event.

Normandy France

Inside l’Abbaye d’Ardenne

As a Normandy Scholar I was able to tour this area with a class of 20 while at school at the University of Tennessee.  Later on they actually restored this building and future Normandy Scholar students actually lived here while learning about World War II.

Visiting Normandy is an incredible experience.  Most only know about the D-Day landings that took place on June 6, 1944.  The Allies were supposed to take Caen on the first day, but it took them a month of grueling fighting to achieve this.

The fact that the fight took a lot longer than expected it has turned the whole Provence into a battlefield.  For travelers and historians it has become an amazing place to view history.  Although the beaches and cemeteries are the top draw there are countless interesting museums inland as well.  The Abbaye D’Ardenne in Caen and the Caen Memorial Museum are two places inland that are definitely worth a visit.

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