The towering obelisk and military tank remind us of the sacrifices of General Patton, whose troops liberated Avranches and many other French towns.
Paying tribute to a U.S. general who liberated the town at the close of World War II, Place Patton is one of Normandy’s impressive war memorials. It stands at an important crossroads in Avranches and contains an obelisk alongside monuments in honor of General George Patton. Learn about Avranches’ place in the war and find out about the general’s story.
Marvel at the elegance of the tall obelisk and read the tributes inscribed on its body. It stands on a star-shaped platform, whose points symbolize the paths taken by the U.S. Army on its voyage to liberate the rest of France. Note that buried beneath the monument’s base are five copper containers holding the war souvenirs of 300 U.S. veterans. They will be ceremoniously excavated in 2044, before being reburied once more.
As you study the M4 tank that has stood on the plaza since 1989, imagine troops riding inside these military vehicles on their liberation of the country. Nearby lies a bronze bust of General Patton. A plaque commemorates the 406th Fighter Group. Gaze up at the national flags raised around the tank and obelisk. These include the symbols of France, the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany.
The monument was first set up here in 1948 by the architects André Cheftel and Henri-Marie Delaage. Appreciate the matching tone of the buildings surrounding the plaza. The site is open to the public at all times and is free to access.
Place Patton lies in the southeastern part of Avranches. Arrive at the town’s railway station and walk southeast and uphill for about 25 minutes to reach the square. You can also drive here and leave your car in the parking lot beside the plaza.
Surrounding sights include the Union Sportive d’Avranches, the National Gendarmerie and the Musée Municipal d’Art et d’Histoire.