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December 23, 2015

France: Verdun

Filed under: Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , — anotherheader @ 9:14 pm

 

Gigi photo bombs the remains of a fort in Verdun.

Gigi photo bombs the remains of a fort in Verdun.

In the north of France roughly thirty kilometers by car from the Belgium border is Verdun. Though the town itself is attractive many visitors are like us and come to area primarily to see the World War I battlefield. The hills to the north of Verdun were the location of one of the biggest battles on the Western Front during World War I.

Fought from 21 February to 18 December 1916 the Battle of Verdun became the longest and one of the most costly battles in human history. It is estimated that casualties during the 303 daylong battle exceeded 700,000. Even today, the pockmarked landscape shows the results of the heavy shelling. Though it has been nearly 100 years since the first shots were fired seeing Verdun today is still sobering. Time has not yet erased the battle’s wounds to the land or to humanity.

The Douaumont ossuary, the final resting place of the bones of countless French and German soldiers

The Douaumont ossuary, the final resting place of the bones of countless French and German soldiers

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The facade of Fort Douamont shows damage from the heavy bombardments.

The facade of Fort Douamont shows damage from the heavy bombardments. Before the war, the fort looked like a building.

For miles and miles, the land shows the damage from the shelling that occurred 100 years ago.

For miles and miles, the land shows the damage from the shelling that occurred 100 years ago.

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Marked graves show the resting places of soldiers lost during the battle.

The skeletal remains of at least 130,000 unidentified combatants fill the alcoves at the lower edge of the Douaumont ossuary.

The skeletal remains of at least 130,000 unidentified combatants fill the alcoves at the lower edge of the Douaumont ossuary.

1 Comment »

  1. Love the photos!

    Comment by 1world2feet — December 23, 2015 @ 11:20 pm


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