- Verdun – Citadel
- Fort Vaux
- Fort Douaumont
- Douaumont Ossuary
- The Lion Monument
Tommy Tour 4
Never has a day invoked so much thought as the day we visited the Verdun area, this was the area of battle for mainly French/ German and the scene of much death and destruction of a piece of land.
Starting in the town of verdun, you will need a keen sense to find the Citadel, or a local map helps. There is a car park opposite and an entrance fee to this under ground city
A tour takes you around some of the 5 miles of tunnels by a ride on guide! You will get the feeling of what happened down in these tunnels, the life soldiers lived followed by a small museum. Prior to leaving walk around the corner to see the 16 statues of French generals from the Napoleonic wars throughout o WW1.
Leaving verdun now for Fort Vaux you will notice many memorials on your way, one in particular is the Faubourg Pavé Cemetery, this is worth a stop.
This is one of a few forts built in the area in the late 1800’s, and not the sort of fort you would first imagine, they are seemingly under ground, with walls some 7 ft thick and covered in earth & sand. You can go in to the fort and follow a self guided tour for the detailed and fascinating story of this fort – remember it is damp, dim and cold – could you live in here?
On now to the Ossuary and there is little I can say about this place to do it justice, the Ossuary has the bones of 130,000 visible through small windows at it base and surrounded by the graves of 15,000 soldiers. It is essential, I believe, for you to see the 20 minute film, then please wander around at your leisure before moving on to Fort Douaumont.
This fort is similar in date and construction to Fort Vaux, but the top has more to see. You will see from the picture (at the top) that views across the battlefield are possible, even Fort Vaux can be seen. Again there is a shop and tour available.
The Fleury Memorial Museum is the home to excellent displays on the battles that raged in the area along with artefacts, re construction of a battle field and a Fokker hanging from the roof.
Next to the museum is the village of Fleury, with markers indicating what the village used to be like prior to destruction.
My final place for you is the Wounded Lion monument at the cross roads called Chapelle Saint Fine, a place to contemplate and reflect on what you have seen today I think.
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