Ossuaire De Douaumont - Verdun - France

Address: Circuit Champ De Bataille/Verdun Area (See map)
Telephone: no telephone
Website: not available

Size of the museum/site: large
Year of visit: 2002

Description: A salient point that's visible throughout most parts of the Verdun battle area is the Ossuaire de Douaumont, or rather its 46 metres high tower. It was built between 1920 and 1932, with the bishop of Verdun as the driving force behind the construction. Actually, this place consists of two parts: the ossuary in which the remains of 130.000 unidentified soldiers are 'buried' (below the vault) and the national cemetery with the graves of 15.000 French soldiers.

The view of the massive and at the same time dignified ossuary combined with the numerous rows of crosses in the graveyard is something you won't easily forget. It's interesting to also see the 'Arabic' gravestones as well as the names of soldiers from other parts of the world/French colonies that took part in the fighting here. The Douaumont Ossuary is at the heart of the Verdun battlefield. This becomes very clear when you have a good look around. Craters of exploding grenades can even be seen in the woods and pieces of metal stick above the ground here and there.

Admission to the ossuary is free, but you have to pay separately to climb the tower and to watch a film.

The tower in the center of the ossuary.

Sideview of the building, showing the alcoves beneath which the remains of 130.000 unidentified soldiers are kept.

Coats of arms of different cities and regions decorate the ossuary.

These modest crosses mark the graves of 15.000 soldiers.

Gravestone of an Arab soldier from one of the French colonies.

Part of an authentic battlefield opposite the graveyard.