Situated on the heights of Deauville, in Bénerville-sur-mer, the Mont-Canisy offers a breathtaking view, dominating the “Côte Fleurie” from a height of 110 m. The Mont-Canisy has been a seigniorial domain for centuries, and is today a natural site protected by the Conservatoire du littoral -which preserves its flora and fauna- and charged with history.

© Sandrine Boyer Engel
© Sandrine Boyer Engel
© Sandrine Boyer Engel

Kingdom of orchids and many other plant species, the Mont-Canisy offers one of the nicest botanic strolls of all Normandy. This site also hosts three protected species of birds in Normandy, the common nightingale, the common grasshopper warbler and the melodious warbler, and a viper, the Coronella austriaca, protected at a national level. This area also favours the presence of bats, including the Natterer's bat, the greater mouse-eared bat, the greater horseshoe bat and the whiskered bat.

The strategic position of the Mont-Casiny, a hill full of history, situated in front of the Le Havre Port and the Seine bay, was the reason why this area was transformed into a coast artillery position: it was a seigniorial stronghold broken up in 1793, an anti-submarine defense post in 1917-1918, a coastal battery between 1935 and 1940, then the most important artillery fulcrum of the Atlantic Wall between Cherbourg and Le Havre from 1941 and 1944. There are still some vestiges of that time: pillboxes and 155 mm cannon tanks, shelter-bunkers, protecting tobruks, shot direction post... as well as an underground structure placed 15 m under the ground, unique on more than 150 m of coast, including 250 m of tunnels, 25 confinement cells, 6 stairs for the surface access, 25 ammunition stores…

© Sandrine Boyer Engel
© Sandrine Boyer Engel
© Sandrine Boyer Engel

The Mont-Canisy batteries

The calendar of history visits here

Some safety and good conduct rules to comply with:

The access to the Mont-Canisy is free. People can walk there under their own responsibility.

- do not leave the existing pedestrian paths: some structures are half-buried, hidden under vegetation, and getting close to them poses permanent risks.
- any visits of structures whose access is not prepared is then dangerous: your access is done knowingly and under your own responsibility.
- as on any protected sites, some "practices" are forbidden (camping, fires, motocross, hunting, broken bottles, damaging of vegetation, …) and henceforth punishable with fines under the responsibility of the “Garde du Conservatoire”.
- do not leave any garbage defacing the strolling zone: bottles, paper, …
- even if it’s always tempting to pick some flowers, to bring with you flowered branches, be aware that, most of the time, they perish before being put in a vase: spare them!


The Mont-Canisy Batteries Practical information here