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Escorted Rail Tours to Verdun battlefields

Pay tribute to those who fought in the First World War

Verdun will forever be associated with the horrific Battle of Verdun, which raged in the town and surrounding countryside in the First World War for 18 months between 1916 and 1917. Seeing huge devastation - some 800,000 people lost their lives - the town is now dedicated to peace and reconciliation. Several poignant landmarks can still be seen today.

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Fort Douaumont

Fort Douaumont was actually built in 1885, to prevent a repeat of France's humiliating defeat in the 1870 Franco-Prussian War. It fell to the Germans before the end of 1916, and a large section was destroyed by the bombardments of German artillery. Much of its ground level layout survives intact, but the damaged fortress was never rebuilt, and today it stands as an evocative ruin.

Bayonet Trench

Running close to Fort Douaumont, the Bayonet Trench was sadly ambushed whilst French forces were still inside, armed only with their bayonets. They were completely buried, and so this mass grave was left more or less as it was. It has since been roofed over.

Douaumont Ossuary

This moving site is perhaps France's most important monument to the First World War. Lined with thousands of memorial crosses, the ossuary contains the remains of some 130,000 unknown French and German soldiers. There is also a striking memorial hall dedicated to those who fell in the conflict.

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