Escorted Rail Tours to Peronne
Discover a medieval town with a turbulent past in northern France’s Somme Valley
In most respects Peronne is the epitome of a small, idyllic rural French town. Situated atop a hill beside the Somme River and surrounded by swathes of picturesque open farmland, Peronne dates back to medieval times when it was a heavily fortified village; traces of the original defensive walls dating from the ninth century can still be seen today.
That anything of Peronne remains to be visited today could be regarded as a minor miracle. The town has endured a particularly turbulent history. Peronne was burned and ransacked during the Norman Era, suffered extensive damage during Spanish occupation in the sixteenth century, was the site of further devastation during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, was almost entirely laid to ruin during the First World War and was bombed and burned again in World War II.
It is Peronne's strong links with French history and particularly with the First World War and the events that took place on the battlefields of the Somme that make the town a compelling destination for visitors today. Centuries of repeated destruction have removed much of the town's ancient architecture, although Peronne's medieval castle constructed in 1204 has largely survived and now houses the outstanding Historial de la Grande Guerre (Museum of the Great War) which is a must-see attraction for anyone interested in modern military history.