Top things to do in Verdun

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…
French in Verdun

L'Esprit Bistro

Such good old-fashioned, family-run bistros are a dying breed. No-nonsense L'Esprit goes for the classic look, with red-and-white checked tablecloths, tightly packed seating and day specials chalked on a board. Dish…
Bistro in Verdun

Le Clapier

The chef’s penchant for Provence’s balmy climes shines through on the menu at this cosy lime-walled bistro, whose name translates as 'the rabbit hutch'. Specialities like crumbly Brie tart and herb-infused leg of la…
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…
French in Verdun

Château des Monthairons

It's not every day you get to dine at a bona-fide castle, so it's worth the 15-minute drive south of Verdun to this whimsically turreted château overlooking parkland. Chef Benoit Thouvenin puts his own creative spin…
French in Verdun

Chez Mamie

The clue's in the name: family-run Chez Mamie does indeed dish up the kind of wholesome, hearty grub your French gran might make. Pull up a chair at one of the checked-cloth tables for satisfying dishes such as scal…