10 must-visit places to understand WW1

For more than a century, especially since then, the memory of fights in the heads of individuals has been erased. hairy end He traveled to other skies for over 10 years. But the great war is gone more permanent traces in the landscape 14-18 of certain regions of France.

Verdun on the Meuse

This name resonates in the collective memory. About three-quarters of the French soldiers mobilized during the First World War “made” Verdun. Between 21 February and 18 December 1916 More than 300,000 soldiers were killed400,000 injured. Destroyed by millions of shells, the ground continues to predict the severity of the conflict. Yet this battlefield has become an extraordinary jungle. historical sites It has been preserved to explore as it traverses the forests where protected species now take refuge, while practicing hiking, biking, and even electric scooters.

Visit Verdun and its surroundings - The Douaumont ossuary
Visit Verdun: Douaumont tomb © Meuse Attractiveness / Guillaume Ramon

to know more Verdun Monumenta museum located right on the battlefield is a must, because Douaumont Cemetery, Douaumont and Vaux castles and destroyed villages. In Verdun, you can explore the Underground Fortress on a new and immersive journey using augmented reality technologies.

? READ ALSO : Things to visit in Verdun

Butte de Montsec in Lorraine Regional Natural Park

Yet on the Meuse, places full of history are also sometimes the most beautiful. Of course, the Montsec mound, which can be observed from its top, is considered. A clear view of Lake Madine in the heart of Lorraine Regional Natural Park On the Côtes de Meuse. A highly strategic point in 1914, the German army occupied it from the start of the First World War conflict until the Americans recaptured the hill during the offensive in September 1918.

Butte de Montsec Meuse World War I - C Rigolot
Butte de Montsec on the Meuse © Meuse Attractif / C. Rigolot

Built in 1932, this neoclassical rotunda impresses and calls for respect those who fight for freedom in a homeland that is not theirs. This is the first time in its history that the United States has intervened with its first international military.

Eparges ridge on the Meuse

This sector, a few kilometers southeast of Verdun, was hit hard during the fighting in 1915. huge craters caused by mine warfare. Hiking trails now allow you to explore this land marked by history.

Monument among the places to visit to understand the 1st world war
Monument to the 106th Infantry Regiment © Thierry Collet / Wikimedia commons

We learn that many writers who were mobilized during the First World War, such as Jean Giono, Ernst Jünger, and academician Maurice Genevoix, author of the monumental testimony of the “14s”, fought here. Some died there: Alain Fournier, author of “Grand Meaulnes,” and naturalist writer Louis Pergaud, whose novel “The War of the Buttons” spans the ages.

Notre-Dame-de-Lorette National Necropolis

We couldn’t write this list of landmarks to visit to understand WW1 without mentioning France’s largest military cemetery. Meet for it twenty minutes from the lensInside Pas-de-CalaisIn the National Necropolis of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette.

Notre-Dame-de-Lorette World War I National Cemetery
Notre-Dame-de-Lorette National Cemetery © VincentBesse

Here are the remains and bones 20,000 men fighting in the hills of Artois and even 22,000 more people could not be identified who may rest in peace. It’s a place full of tears and blood, but it’s important to visit to understand all the bullshit of war in all its forms.

History of the Great War at Péronne

This Battle of the Somme it is also an important event of the Great War. And here again he bears witness to the frenzy of decision makers who have driven more than a million people to hell for very modest territorial gains.

Historial de Péronne, the place to go to understand WW1
Péronne History © olivierguerinphoto – stock.adobe.com

Between July and December 1916Only a dozen kilometers had been gained by the French and British allies before they even managed to break through the front at the end of the war! To fully understand everything features of this grotesque warGo to Péronne.

Thiepval at the Somme

Thiepval, also located in the Somme, is one of the must-visit places to understand World War I in depth. we can gather here Monuments to the glory of British and South African soldiers fell during the conflict.

Monument in Thiepval
Thiepval monument © guitou60

But also learn more about the features of a “innovative” war in many ways. HORSE Thiepval Historyso we will find out that the first tanks were used or used on the battlefield of the Somme. cinema was used to produce propaganda images.

Dormans Monument in Champagne

The first battle of the Marne is particularly famous. confiscation of taxis Imposed by the French army during the First World War to quickly bring its men to the front. at the same time first major battle of the conflict for opposing the combatants from the first days of September.

Dormans monument among the places to visit to understand the 1st World War
Dormans Monument © ADT Marne / Wikimedia Commons

In fact, the fights take place on the arc of a 225 km circle passing through Brie, Argonne and Champagne. If you had to visit one place to fully grasp its importance, this would definitely be it. Dorman Monument. Searched by Marshal Foch himself, this area commemorates the soldiers’ memories, houses their relics and offers a unique view of the battlefield.

Wellington Quarry near Arras

Six of the city of Arras is one of the must-visit places to understand the First World War. Indeed, from this Wellington quarry, dug to a depth of 20 meters and was designed to house approximately 24,000 soldiers when the surprise attack on German forces was launched.

Wellington Quarry
Wellington Quarry | © Paul Arps / Flickr

Today, the venue aims to keep alive the memory of those who gave their lives for the freedom of France. everyday objects of soldiers thanks to portraits or a garden planted in honor of warriors. We highly recommend the guided tour which was extremely informative!

Dragon Cave in Chemin des Dames

Chemin des Dames is once again one of the most painful memories of the First World War. many times on this road armies clashedPointless, deadly to thousands of men, and strategically completely questionable, especially during the tragic Nivelle offensive.

Dragon Cave
Dragon’s Cave © Poudou99 / Wikimedia Commons

Dragon Cave It is a particularly interesting place for passionate visitors, as it has changed hands several times, is a scene of forced cohabitation among soldiers, and is an ideal starting point for today. guided tours to all points of interest From Chemin des Dames.

Armistice Monument in Compiègne

Finally, to end this list of places to visit to understand World War I, it seemed obvious to us. Armistice Monument in Compiegne. Indeed, here we can observe, among other things, a replica of the wagon. Hitler did indeed burn the original signed by Field Marshal Foch and the German generals in 1945. Peace on this famous day of November 11, 1918. An ideal ending point for touring the highlights of the Great War!

Location of the Wagon during the Armistice
Layout of the Wagon during the Armistice © TCY / Wikimedia Commons

And to go further…

Destination from Verdun to Bastogne Land of Memory It offers an intense experience to explore symbolic historical sites in four countries (France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany) that witnessed major world conflicts and the subsequent building of Europe.

It is very important to visit these sites in order to better understand and understand the era we live in.

Between 1914 and 1918 some of the most horrific wars of the century took place. However, just a few decades later, the planet was on fire again. Therefore, the memory must be permanent.prevent new generations from making the mistakes that their elders make. In order to better understand and understand the era we live in, it is essential to visit the sites from the 1st World War. And this can be done in an active and enjoyable way, combining visits with leisure practice. Today the sites offer scenarios and innovative educational tools for all ages. Then let’s go!

And for those with an insatiable historical appetite, check out this article on places marked by French history for other enriching excursions in perspective!

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