Visit the Sadi Carnot shelter

The Sadi Carnot shelter in Brest, witness to the Second World War 

The Sadi Carnot shelter, one of Brest's most moving sites. Discover it for the sake of memory and history.

The Sadi Carnot Shelter in Brest, a place of remembrance

Among the must-sees in Brest, L'Abri Sadi Carnot is a memorial to the Second World War, the scene of a tragedy that claimed the lives of several hundred Brest residents one night in September 1944. It's a poignant visit from which you won't emerge completely unscathed.

Brest during the war

A destroyed city

To understand the emotion you feel when you visit the Abri Sadi Carnot, you have to go back to 1940, during the Second World War. Brest and its port were occupied by the German army, which held a strategic position there. The Allied troops were unable to land by sea, so they attacked by air. The city was the scene of increasingly increasingly frequent.

  • Media: "Brest under the bombs".


Read the video on Aerial view of Brest in black and white
Visit the interior of the Abri Sadi Carnot in Brest
Visit to Abri Sadi Carnot

L'Abri Sadi Carnot, a bomb shelter

Built for the people of Brest

4 anti-bombardment shelter construction projects were launched in Brest to protect civilians from attack. Only 2 saw the light of day, including the infamous Abri Sadi Carnot, built in 1 year and ready for use in 1943. a 300-meter-long tunnel running from Rue Sadi Carnot to the Tourville military gate.. Inhabitants came here almost daily to take refuge from the Allied bombing raids.

But on August 14, 1944, American troops planned to encircle the town and bomb it continuously until liberation. The civilians are evacuatedAll civilians were evacuated, except for a few die-hards, the civil authorities and emergency services, who had to stay behind and took refuge in the Sadi Carnot shelter. Part of the shelter was requisitioned by the Germans, separated from the people of Brest by a simple partition. A large stock of ammunition was also stored there...

September 9, 1944

A night of horror

For 27 days, the people of Brest had taken refuge underground, in poor conditions of promiscuity and hygiene, with little respite between two bombardments. On the night of September 9, after a soldier had mishandled a generator, a huge fire and violent explosion broke out in the shelter.

Only a few civilians managed to get out, but 375 Brest residents and several hundred German soldiers burned to death within minutes.

To learn all about the construction of the Abri Sadi Carnot and hear the story of that tragic night, opt for a guided tour, available on selected dates. Further information is available from the Tourist Office.

Opening the Abri Sadi Carnot to the public

In 2008, a group of witnesses from the period, historians, associations and citizens discussed the idea of opening the Abri Sadi Carnot to the public, in order to make it a place of remembrance and to spread the message of peace. a place of remembrance and a message of peace.

After several months of exterior work and the creation of an interior scenography, the Abri Sadi Carnot is now open to visitors.

Listen to testimonials about Abri Sadi Carnot
Guided tour of Abri Sadi Carnot

Poignant photos and testimonials

The venue gives place for testimonialsand period photos.

The emotion is palpable, and the Sadi Carnot shelter is, for the people of Brest, a true place of memory, a reminder of the horror of war. 

Nearby attractions

Brest was almost entirely destroyed by the bombing. The 14th-century Tour Tanguylocated on the other side of the Recouvrance bridge, is one of the few monuments to have survived. Today, it houses a collection of dioramas by artist Jim Sevellec.

Here you can see reconstructions of scenes from the lives and streets of pre-1939 Brest.

Tanguy Tower

Not far from the Abri Sadi Carnot, discover the Musée National de la Marine, located in the Château de Brest.

It retraces the maritime history of the city and the Brest Arsenal.

Find out more

On the history of Brest

Brest, a city of art and history, has a rich heritage to discover in every season.

How do I get there?

The Sadi Carnot shelter is located right in the center of Brest:

  • Tramway: Château stop (line A)
  • Bus: Lines 2, 12 and 16
  • Cable car: Jean Moulin station
Getting there with Google Maps