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A Pilgrimage through 1,000 Years of History


Hamilton in France students embarked on their last excursion of the academic year, a two-day long an excursion to Normandy. The April trip to the region in northwest France began with a visit to the Caen Memorial, a war museum commemorating the Battle of Caen in World War II. Touring the facility, students were presented with a detailed history of factors leading to the rise of the Nazi party to power in Germany as well as an overview of French culture during the war.

Accompanied by a guide, the group visited the Pointe du Hoc, a cliff located between the Omaha and Utah beaches, sites of disembarkation of the Allied forces during the war. The tour proceeded to the Omaha beach, where German bunkers still remain.

 Later, the group paid a visit to the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, overlooking Omaha Beach. This memorial honors the American troops that came to the rescue of German-occupied France during the war.

The group spent the evening in Saint Malo, a port city in the region of Brittany. The city includes an old town surrounded by granite walls with unique architectural details.  

The next day, the group headed to the famous Saint Michel’s Mount, an island commune which includes an abbey that dates back to the 10th century. Considered a sacred space by many, the abbey has served as a pilgrimage destination for individuals from various religious groups. The Mount continues to be a venue for pilgrims to the present day.

This excursion. led by Director Roberta Krueger and Assistant Director Laurence Lemaire,  marks the sixth and last excursion in the academic year. Throughout the year, the Hamilton in France program has taken students to visit various regions in France, enriching their exposure to French culture. Regions visited by the group include the Chateau du Fontainbleau, Chateau de la Loire, Strasbourg, Marseille and Burgundy.

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