- The ladies path
- The Vauquois small hill
- Verdun memorial museum
- The cathedral Notre Dame of Reims
- Visit of the Big champagne houses in Reims, the Pommery-Vranken champagne house
Visit the dragon cavern, the ladies path, the Vauquois small hill, the Verdun museum and the Douaumont ossuary
Visit the memorial sites of the war 1914-1918 :
World War I, from 1914 to 1918, has left deep imprints in our minds and the landscapes of several french territories.
Memorial sites are plentiful in France. Going back to memory lane allows us to maintain, pass down the history to the new generations and pay tribute to the missing persons who served our country. A real transportation in the past, with profound emotions and historical education, is awaiting visitors in Oulches-La-Vallée-Foulon in the department of Aisne (Picardie)
Before the conflict, the Craonne village was situated on the higher lands, at the south-eastern end of the Ladies path plateau. The pretty name of this path is given in the Adélaïde and Victoire’s honour who are Louis XV’s daughters. The village has suffered from terrible disasters during wartime.
The Germans occupied the path tops and took possession of the Creute cavern, near the Hurtebise Isthmus. This cave offers a refuge and underground barrack. Owing to its strategic geographic situation, the French and the Germans fought for this cave, from September 1914 to November 1918.
The cave took the appearance of a furnished den during this time. The Germans used the site to establish resting places, kitchens, water places, aid stations, operating theaters, command posts and ammunition stocks. This tunnel, called by the Germans “Dragon cavern” (Drachenhöle), is reminiscent of the flamethrowers used during battles, as dragons which breathe fire.
On the 16th of April 1917, General Nivelle’s assault was a real failure and rapidly caused the loss of 30 000 WWI French soldiers. Thereafter, French soldiers conquered the Dragon cavern part back. In May, General Pétain replaced Nivelle. After various battles, Germans retreated on the Ailette between Laon and Soissons.
A chronological and explanatory frieze of 17 meters was provided in the gallery. It shows the complicated reconstruction of the villages and churches which were destroyed during the Great War attacks. With vestiges that are still present on the site and the numerous animations provided, you will better understand how the fighters lived underground.
Visit memorial sites of the war 1914-1918
The village of Vauquois, the center of World War I, would know the same fate.
The guided visit of the French and Germans’ underground installations of the Vauquois small hill and the Verdun memorial allow us to understand the violent struggle that occurred in this village. The pictures and the audiovisual devices give you a snapshot of the life of fighters occupying the rugged areas.
During this battle between Germans and French in 1916, many soldiers lost their lives and the village was wrecked by landmines and mortar bombs. Americans reconquered the region on the 26th of September 1918 and discovered a catastrophic landscape. Even if today, nature reasserted itself, the craters show you the extent of the confrontation.
The Douaumont ossuary, situated to the limit of the town of the Douaumont-Vaux and Fleury-Devant-Douaumont, is specially dedicated to the Great War memory. The historical monument, constructed in memory of the WWI French soldiers, contains the skeletal remains of more than 130 000 unidentified soldiers. Only 16,142 have been identified and buried in the cemetery which is in front of the Douaumont ossuary.
After going through this emotional journey, finishing this getaway on a sparkling touch is necessary! A guided visit to one of the biggest champagne houses in the world, Vranken-Pommery, situated in Reims, will make you discover this charming vineyard with its ancestral savoir-faire.
At the death of her husband, Jeanne-Alexandrine Pommery came back to the Pommery & Greno society. She was dedicated to her work to create the most beautiful vineyard of Champagne. In 1874, the first brut champagne was born: the Pommery Plain. Fine and pure, it was on its way to make enormous commercial success.
From 1860 to 1910, Mrs Pommery never stopped to buy lands and extend the estate. She built property of 65 hectares! The Pommery’s lineage and their partners maintained and perpetuated the tradition of this house, bought in 2002 by the Vranken Monopole.
Visiting the war 1914-1918 memorial sites, discovering different stages of the work, caves, works of arts, frescos and galleries will promise you exclusive moments around fascinating stories.
The guided tour programme is defined as follows :
Site of the ladies path and dragon cavern :