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“Very accessible & interesting”
Review of U Boat Pens

U Boat Pens
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
948 reviews
390 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 394 helpful votes
“Very accessible & interesting”
Reviewed February 11, 2014

A very interesting up close & personal visit to the U-boat pens here. They've built roof top decks and gardens on each of the two bunkers, and opened up a few halls with a restaurant, bar and museums! It's very neat the city is making the space into a public space, and I think they're doing a good job of 'taking back the port' where the Germans left these massive eye sores. Inside they're spooky and massive. There are walk ways all the way out to the water - very accessible. These bunkers (in Brittany) are more interesting and accessible than the ones in Bordeaux, Brest, La Rochelle or Lorient.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank Linda S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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19 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
London
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Not in Languedoc!”
Reviewed July 31, 2013 via mobile

A warning! This attraction is not in the Saint Nazaire next to the sea near Perpignan - this trip advisor entry seems to think it is.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
6 Thank Jon L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
63 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Austere and chilling”
Reviewed July 9, 2013

I am a huge WWII buff and was in the area so wanted to visit the St. Nazaire Uboat pens. The place is easy to find : It's MASSIVE. There is no fee and you can just walk in. The place is obviously not maintained. You can literally feel the history of this gigantic and austere looking place. Note the 30ft thing ceilings (see from outside) and the 10ft thick walls: amazing. When you get near the water, watch your step as there were some slippery spots and pigeons overhead. Also, don't go here after dark since I saw little lighting and I can easily imagine shady characters hanging out here. During the day it was fine. If you are not into WWII stuff, this place is a waste of time for you. However, if you have read WWII history about the German Atlantic operations, its a neat (free) visit that you can easily do in under 1h.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
10 Thank Roombaguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitchurch, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
87 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Wartime history; up close & personal”
Reviewed July 2, 2013

There is for some reason very little information on the web about this fantastic attraction. If you are the slightest bit interested in WW2 military history, this site is not to be missed. Located, obviously enough, on the waterfront, there are no signs, although when you get close enough you can't really miss them! Head for Tourist Information, which is located actually inside the landward side of one of the pens. The pens themselves open onto the Basin de Saint-Nazaire, the Boulevard de la Leigonne d'Honneur runs along the landward side. There is a small open space at the eastern end of the Boulevard, it's a free carpark & there's plenty of room there for a couple of motorhomes, it's where we parked. Try not to block the grass ramp down to the factory units, it is used by vehicular traffic & although there's another way round you won't win any points from locals.

The pens are open to just wander around. Not all of them. but certainly enough to give a flavour of what went on there. Across the road there's a ramp leading back to the pens which takes you to the roof. It's an interesting thirty to forty-five minutes wandering around up there even when it's raining (it was), a longer visit would be on the cards if the sun were shining. Back downstairs & inside, anywhere which isn't physically barred is accessible; brilliant. BE CAREFUL! At the basin end the concrete is ever so slightly green & when wet closely resembles an ice rink. My wife was first there & promptly went armpit over elbow, which considering she was already wearing a cast for a broken hand, didn't go down too well. It's not easy to discern & if I'd been first I'd have gone over, just take care.

Once done in the pens, the entire basin is also well worth a walk around, especially if you're not overly familiar with things nautical. There's a HUGE dry dock, the first one I've seen in real life rather than pictures, plus lots of other interesting dockside paraphernalia, cranes & suchlike.

All in all it was the main reason for visiting Saint-Nazaire (for me) if not Brittany as a whole; I wasn't disappointed.

By the way, it's free!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
17 Thank Phil B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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