Verdun France lies on the Meuse River and for centuries has been a fought over locations for defense during times of war. It was one of France’s strongest points of defense during World War I.
The Battle of Verdun was one of the bloodiest of the war with more than a quarter of a million French lives lost and a near equal number of German losses. It was during the longest battle of World War I, the Battle of Verdun, that the village of Fleury was annihilated.
Driving the 4km from Verdun France toward the Douaumont Memorial , you pass by fields which still bear the scars of war. Follow the signs from Verdun north to Douaumont. The Verdun Memorial is located between Verdun and the Douaumont Memorial. The bookstore at the Verdun Memorial has a wonderful collection of books in multiple languages.
Standing at the front of the Verdun Memorial you will see the Douaumont Memorial on the horizon. It is truly imposing. As you drive toward Douaumont note the signs for Fort Douaumont which should be on your right and the signs for the now extinct village of Fleury which will be on your left. Be sure you stop and walk the paths of the streets of Fleury.
This memorial to André Maginot can be found between Douaumont and Verdun. Maginot, French Minister of War, served as an ordinary soldier in the Lorraine area during WWI and was instrumental following the war in getting the series of fortifications known as the Maginot Line built. It consisted of 500 individual fortified buildings, leading the Lorraine to be called to be the world’s largest open air museum of fortified sites today.