Verdun attractions

Historic Site in Verdun

Citadelle Souterraine

Comprising 7km of underground galleries, this cavernous subterranean citadel was designed by military engineer Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban in the 17th century and completed in 1838. In 1916 it was turned into an …
Memorial in Verdun

Ossuaire de Douaumont

Rising like a gigantic artillery shell above 15,000 crosses that bleed into the distance, this sombre, 137m-long ossuary, inaugurated in 1932, is one of France’s most important WWI memorials. A ticket to the 20-minu…
Fort in Verdun

Fort de Douaumont

Sitting high on a hill, this is the strongest of the 38 fortresses and bastions built along a 45km front to protect Verdun. When the Battle of Verdun began, 400m-long Douaumont – whose 3km network of cold, dripping …
Memorial in Verdun

Mémorial de Verdun

The village of Fleury, wiped off the face of the earth in the course of being captured and recaptured 16 times, is now the site of this memorial. It tells the story of ‘300 days, 300,000 dead, 400,000 wounded’, with…
Fort in Verdun

Fort de Vaux

Located in crater-scarred countryside 10km northeast of Verdun, this fort was constructed between 1881 and 1884. It was the second fort – Douaumont was the first – to fall in the Battle of Verdun, and became the sit…
Memorial in Verdun

Tranchée des Baïonnettes

On 12 June 1916, two companies of the 137th Infantry Regiment of the French army were sheltered in their tranchées (trenches), baïonnettes (bayonets) fixed, waiting for a ferocious artillery bombardment to end. It n…
Museum in Verdun

Centre Mondial de la Paix

Set in Verdun’s handsomely classical former bishop’s palace, built in 1724, this museum’s permanent exhibition touches upon wars, their causes and solutions; human rights; and the fragility of peace.
Cathedral in Verdun

Cathédrale Notre Dame

Perched on a hillside, this Romanesque-meets-Gothic cathedral shelters a gilded Baroque baldachin, restored after WWI damage. Much of the stained glass is from the interwar period.
Monument in Verdun

Monument à la Victoire

Steep steps lead up to this austere 1920s monument commemorating war victims and survivors. The crypt hides a book listing the soldiers who fought in the Battle of Verdun.
Gate in Verdun

Porte St-Paul

Built in 1877, this city gate is adorned with a marble plaque recalling the ‘victorious peace’ that inspired a ‘cry of joy’.