Brasseries and fast-food joints line up along riverside quai de Londres (a plaque on the wall near rue Beaurepaire explains the origin of the name, which refers to the City of London choosing Verdun as the most poignant location to reunite the two countries in the aftermath of WWI).

Feature: More Sweet than Bitter

Verdun’s sweet claim to fame is as the dragée (sugared almond) capital of the world. In 1220 a local pharmacist dabbling with almonds, sugar and honey created the tooth-rotting delights that later graced the tables of royalty and nobility – Napoléon and Charles de Gaulle included. Braquier has been making Verdun’s celebrated dragées since 1783 and offers free guided tours of its factory. Or buy a box at the more central shop.