Verdun, France

Trip Start Mar 02, 2009
Trip End May 25, 2009

Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Hide lines

Flag of France  ,
Monday, March 23, 2009

We drive north 31/2 hours and are warmly welcomed by Ben, Isa and their daughter Lauren; wonderful folks with warm hearts and wonderful accommodations. Ben is a wonderful ambassador to the area and he encourages Mikes historical interest in WWI history [and opens the eyes of the rest of the family to the history of this war.] We have come to learn more in the 3 days we spend here than anything that could have been imparted from a textbook. Ben is an excellent guide and takes us on a tour of forts near Verdun called Ouverage de froide Terre.
It took 30,000 shells and direct target hits. We crawl into forts that are restricted but with Ben's knowledge we see what the men lived like in reality before touring the "museum" fort Vaux that has been  recreated for tourists. Mike and the kids take turns crawling up into a turret that still contains 2 75 mm guns, no breaches in the abandoned fort.
One can iimagine the hell. We compare this to Fort Vaux which is sterile and clean. We see the Verdun Museum which is an excellent source of information and has collections from the ruins. The tour of the ostuarie of Verdun made me cry for the mothers who lost not one son but their whole families, villages. The crosses row upon row speak volumes and I was shocked to learn each one has 4 bodies of very young soldiers. Ben makes sure we see the real bones beneath the ostuary which can e seen thru plastic windows around the base of the ostuary. Very moving and creepy compared to the beauty of the gardens and the cemetary. Ben notes correctly that the tourists aren't shown these piles of bones but they shold be part of the "tours" as they  truly speak to the history of this war. 
Slideshow Report as Spam
Where I stayed
Ben Agostini's home
  • Your comment has been posted. Click here or reload this page to see it below.

  • Please enter a comment.
  • Please provide your name.
  • Please avoid using symbols in your name.
  • This name is a bit long. Please shorten it, or avoid special characters.
  • Please enter your email address to receive notification
  • Please enter a valid email address


hollingers on

Re: hello back!
Thanks Rhonda, We have been so fortunate to have this amazing experience. Yesterday we spen the day at the most amazing beach -just 20 min from our home in Portugal. We too are looking forward to W &M visit-we haven't even been to Lisbon yet as we just got back from travelling in France. Did you say in Facebook you may travel with the family in Europe? If you need help/ideas I can help. Deanna

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: