From 1914 to 1918, from the Argonne to the St Mihiel Salient and from Vauquois to Les Eparges, the whole of Meuse was in the frontline during the Great War. Europeans, Africans, Americans fought in Meuse.
Hundreds of thousands of young men died here. Many of them were buried, many were never found. Dozens of villages and towns suffered irreversible damage. Farmland and forest were turned into wastelands of death classified as ‘Red Zones’, now a wooded sanctuary that has been created to keep memory alive.
Today, Meuse boasts the richest Great War heritage in the world: Forts (Douaumont, Vaux, Troyon…), artillery batteries and concrete trenches, bunkers and communication trenches, mine craters and shell holes, tunnels, monuments, the Douaumont Ossuary, French and German necropolis, the American cemeteries at Meuse Argonne and Saint Mihiel, tombstones, ruined villages…The battlefields are maintained as authentic battle sites and remains, testimonials to the fighting waged during the Great War.
Among all the battlefields, the largest is world-famous – Verdun. The Battle of Verdun was one of the fiercest of the 20th century, with 300 days and nights of unbroken fighting from February until the end of 1916.
In 2016, the centenary of the Battle of Verdun saw the opening of the new Memorial museum which aims to promote understanding of the strategy but also the human conditions suffered in Verdun.
Not to miss in Verdun:
‘What remains of the Great War?’ at the World Centre for Peace, Freedom and Human Rights – This exhibition will use cutting-edge technology (3D, augmented reality, videos, etc.) to convey the drama and importance of the war in 20th and 21st century history. Until December 2018.
Sound and light show: ‘From flames to light’ – Each summer every Friday and Saturday from end of June until the end of July. An amazing sound and light show in Verdun with 250 actors on stage, 900 costumes, 1,000 projectors, special effects. Immerse yourself for a night in the greatest sound and light show about the Great War and discover the Battle of Verdun. For more information visit http://spectacle-verdun.com/en
The Great War Centenary gives you an appointment in Meuse and its major sites to understand WWI and give a lighting onto the world of today. For more information please visit the Meuse regional tourism website.
Great open-air exhibition -“Beauty will save the World”) at Verdun until 31 August 2018.
This monumental photography exhibition delivers a strong message of humanity and optimism through the presentation of huge pictures of wonders of todays world.
The moving views lead the visitors from the Verdun Memorial Museum located on the WWI battlefield to the town center of Verdun like a symbolic itinerary to
celebrate the end of the First World War, 100 years after. A cultural event based on the work of Thierry Suzan, famous reporter for GEO magazine, recognized
for its high quality and in-depth investigated reports on the great aims on Planet Earth.
From June 2018
“Saint-Mihiel 1914-1918, from the occupation to liberation” honouring the memory of the Americans, at the Benedictine abbey in Saint-Mihiel.
Originally published on sister site FrenchEntrée.com