Leonardo’s da Vinci moved to Le Chateau du Clos Luce which is in Amboise, France. On the grounds are replicas of many of his inventions. I wasn’t aware that he designed a machine gun but he did and here it is.
In the Loire Valley we saw several fields of sunflowers as we were driving around. After ignoring them for a couple days we had a stormy afternoon with heavy rain that provided a background to highlight them well enough.
The Chateau De la Barre has been in the Vanssay family since the 1400’s and was our home base while touring the Loire Valley. One of the remaining battlements that still exists on the property is shown here about to catch the morning light.
After touring Normandy we rented a car and drove to the Chateau De la Barre near Saint Calais in the Loire Valley. This was our first morning taken from the window in our room.
This 150MM German gun is located on a cliff near the town of Longues-sur-Mer overlooking the beaches of Normandy and were used to fire on the ships during the invasion. Town mayors, after the war, were allowed by the government to remove any metal, equipment, food, materials, etc. and sell/use the items for the good of the people. The mayor of Longues sur Mer decided to leave the guns intact as a monument to the hostilities.
Sainte Marie Du Mont, as depicted in the television series Band of Brothers, was the first village to be liberated in Normandy during the D-Day invasion in 1944. The Germans used this church steeple for an observation post on D Day but they were removed by well placed US artillery. The steeple was repaired in 1946.
This pier is located near the small town of Vierville-sur-Mer and is at the west end of Omaha Beach. Just to the right of the pier is where elements of the US Army 5 Corps landed on D Day.
This is where 1st Lieutenant Jimmie W. Monteith Jr is honored in the American Cemetery. The lieutenant is one of three medal of honor winners interned in this remarkable and moving place. The other two are Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr and T/Sgt Frank Peregory.
Most everyone is aware of the US cemetery in Normandy but I suspect many may not be aware there is a German Cemetery as well. In total there are 21,222 German soldiers commemorated here, of which 207 unknown and 89 identified are buried in a kamaradengraben (mass grave) that you see in the center of the photo under the monument. I will post photos of the American Cemetery soon and you will see the contrast in style and color.