<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
Just £2 per issue Subscribe to one of our France Magazines click here

7 eye-opening World War I museums in northern France

PUBLISHED: 16:39 24 February 2016 | UPDATED: 16:48 24 February 2016

Thiepval Memorial © Amanda Slater

Thiepval Memorial © Amanda Slater

Archant

To commemorate the centenery of the First World War, museums and memorials in northern France are holding special exhibitions and events to teach visitors about the war and its infamous battles. Here are 7 you should visit

Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, Thiepval

The Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme bears the names of the 73,357 British and South African men who died in Somme between July 1916 and March 1918 and have no known grave. There is also a small cemetery the graves of Commonwealth and French soldiers and you can learn more about the infamous Battle of the Somme in July 1916 in the nearby visitor centre. Exhibitions in English, French and German give an overview of the First World War as well as events during the Battle of the Somme. The visitor centre is open every day, except Christmas and New Year, and admission is free.

www.somme-battlefields.com

Musee Somme 1916 © Musée Somme 1916 Musee Somme 1916 © Musée Somme 1916

Musée Somme 1916, Albert

The Musée Somme 1916, in Albert, is set in what was originally the crypt beneath the Basilique Notre-Dame de Brebières. These tunnels are 10 metres below ground and 250 metres long and were used as air raid shelters in the Second World War. The tunnels now house recreated sleeping quarters military operations rooms, hospital wards, store rooms, a sniper position and a German trench from the Battle of the Somme. There are also cases showing weapons and other war materials found in the surrounding fields and trenches after the war.

www.musee-somme-1916.eu

Memorial Verdun © Jean-Marie Mangeot Memorial Verdun © Jean-Marie Mangeot

Mémorial Verdun

After two years of extensive renovation and expansion the Mémorial Verdun museum reopened in February 2016 to mark the centenary of the start of the Battle of Verdun. Located on the former battlefield, the museum is close to the village of Fleury which was completely destroyed during the battle which was the longest battle in WWI, lasting from 21 February until 18 December 1916 and claimed the lives of an estimated 800,000 men. The museum tells the story of the battle from both French and German soldiers’s perspectives and exhibits include photographs, eyewitness accounts and audiovisual clips.

memorial-verdun.fr

Musee de la Grande Guerre de Meaux © Prosopee Musee de la Grande Guerre de Meaux © Prosopee

Musée de la Grande Guerre, Meaux, near Paris

The Musée de la Grande Guerre (Museum of the Great War) in Meaux was opened in 2011 and uses technology to reconstruct a battlefield with projections, sound effects and interactive displays. The permanent exhibition looks at all aspects of the war including technological developments, the role of women in the war, life in the trenches, the role of America and the war strategies of leading commanders. The museum also sets WWI in context with explanations of the tensions that contributed to the onset of war and the lasting effects of the war. The museum is closed Tuesdays and from 4-22 January and admission costs €10.

www.museedelagrandeguerre.eu

Historial de La Grande Guerre © Bodoklecksel Historial de La Grande Guerre © Bodoklecksel

Historial de La Grande Guerre, Péronne

The Historial de la Grande Guerre museum in Péronne, in Somme, was opened in 1992 and is an international museum designed to show the experiences of France, Britain and Germany in the First World War. There are explanations of the conflict, its origins and legacy as well as exhibitions to show what life was like for a soldier on the front line and for civilians caught up in the war. To experience the harsh impact of war, go to the Central Room where life-size and larger photographs of people from all round the world before the outbreak of hostilities are contrasted with Der Krieg (War), a series of powerful prints by the German artist Otto Dix. He was deeply affected by his experiences in the trenches and these nightmarish, pain-racked images were his attempt to force society to face up to what it had allowed to happen. It does not make easy viewing, but brings home the reality of war and its emotional effects.

www.historial.org

Pheasant Wood cemetery, Fromelles © Nord-Pas-de-Calais Pheasant Wood cemetery, Fromelles © Nord-Pas-de-Calais

Le Musée de la Bataille de Fromelles, Nord

The Musée de la Bataille de Fromelles in Fromelles, near Lille, opened in 2014 to commemorate the Battle of Fromelles on 19 and 20 July 1916, which claimed the lives of more than 1,700 Australian soldiers and 500 British troops, and left nearly 5,000 other casualties. The attack was mounted in a failed attempt to draw the Germans away from the bigger battle on the Somme. Although the tragedy was eclipsed in Britain by the slaughter on the Somme, Fromelles is remembered in Australia as the worst 24 hours in its military history. The museum displays a collection of uniforms, equipment, photos, documents and battlefield objects and is next to Pheasant Wood Cemetery where the graves of 250 Allied soldiers can be found.

www.musee-bataille-fromelles.fr

Carriere Wellington, Arras © Dsch67 Carriere Wellington, Arras © Dsch67

Carrière Wellington, Arras

The Carrière Wellington (Wellington Quarry) museum in Arras tells the story of the lead up to the Battle of Arras on 9 April 1917. The Allied troops decided to create a huge network of rooms and tunnels to hide thousands of troops near the German front line, ready to launch an attack. The museum is underground, in these tunnels and quarries and commemorates the soldiers who fought in the battle and the New Zealand tunnelers who dug the tunnels. A guided tour along the tunnels reveals film presentations, graffiti and relics from the troops. Also visit the Vimy Ridge memorial just 10km away which commemorates the Canadian soldiers who died capturing the ridge in 1917 as part of the Battle of Arras.

www.explorearras.com

Like this? You might enjoy:

France’s new war memorial

World War I: Journey of rememberance

8 World War I museums to visit

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Complete France visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Complete France staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Complete France account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Article by France Magazine France Magazine

More from Travel

Thu, 13:00

Visit Aude in Occitanie in the south of France and discover numerous vineyards and wines as well as the character cities of Carcassonne and Narbonne

Read more
Languedoc-Roussillon
Wed, 11:36

A weekend visit to Paris has never been so easy, but have you uncovered all the city’s hidden secrets? Follow our steps for an unusual and alternative visit to Paris.

Read more
Paris
Thursday, June 15, 2017

We would find it tough to choose just one French village as our favourite but the French public have managed! The winner of the title of ‘France’s favourite village’ this year isn’t necessarily the one you would expect but it is definitely worth a visit

Read more
Alsace
Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Looking forward to summer in the French Alps this year? Peak Retreats has created an A–Z summer activity guide, featuring the best activities available in the mountains this summer!

Read more
French Alps
Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Plan your next trip to France with our guide to the 11 French wine regions

Read more
French wine & vineyards
Tuesday, June 13, 2017

There are 13 villages on the shortlist to win the title of ‘France’s favourite village 2017’ – explore them all and vote in our poll to let us know which one is your favourite

Read more
Image links
Monday, June 5, 2017

With its cultural heritage, delicious food, sunny weather and numerous attractions, Toulouse in south-west France is the perfect destination for a weekend city break

Read more
Midi-Pyrenees
Friday, June 2, 2017

From Voltaire to Zola, France has produced some of the world’s finest writers. Here is our pick of classic French novels you should read

Read more
Friday, June 2, 2017

Tripadvisor listed these 10 beaches as the best beaches in France chosen by their Travellers’ Choice awards – do you agree?

Read more
French beaches
Thursday, June 1, 2017

From arts festivals to wonderful food markets, there is plenty to do in Provence this summer

Read more
Provence-Alpes-Cote d Azur

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

France Forum

Questions about France? Visit our free France forum to get help and advice from thousands of other Francophiles and expats. Topics include: property, tax, law, travelling, pets, education, healthcare and much more.

Join the forum

Most Read

Join us on social media

France magazine
Living France magazine
French Property News magazine

Enter our competitions

Win books, DVDs, travel and even holidays in France in our great competitions! Take a look at our latest competitions…

Enter now