|Vimoutiers, Normandy, France
|In the heart of Camembert country, Vimoutiers hosts one of the Camembert Museums.
As we were driving from Bayeux to Rouen, we took a detour to Camembert (map), to learn about and taste the delicious cheese.
About 5 kilometers (3 miles) before Camembert we passed through the village of Vimoutiers. With its flower-bedecked street and the Vie River running through, it is an attractive place for a brief visit.
It is home to a Musée du Camembert, highlighting the region's most famous product. The museum focuses on the history and traditions of Camembert, as well as cheese production. It is open afternoons from April 1 until October 31, closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Vimoutiers suffered during World War II, when it was accidentally bombed by US forces, destroying the village in 20 minutes and leaving over 200 people dead. In the center of town is a large cauldron, which was used to make soup and feed the survivors for three months after the bombing.
Also in the center is a statue of Marie Harel, who is credited with the creation of Camembert. The inscription reads, This statue is offered by 400 men and women making cheese in Van Wert, Ohio, USA, with the cooperation of the Committee on Aid to Vimoutiers. This reflects some of the interesting history of Camembert. More...
Today, Vimoutiers has been rebuilt and is a popular spot for hiking in the nearby forests. Its economy also remains focused on agriculture, and in particular cheese, as evidenced by the cow sculpture in front of the Hôtel de Ville.
Vimoutiers has a couple of hotels, including the Soleil d'Or on the main square, and a number of restaurants and cafes.