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Fort Douaumont, Douaumont

#1 of 84 in Things to do in Meuse
Must see · Historic Site · Tourist Spot
Fort Douaumont (French: Fort de Douaumont) was the largest and highest fort on the ring of 19 large defensive works which had protected the city of Verdun, France since the 1890s. By 1915, the French General Staff had concluded that even the best-protected forts of Verdun could not resist bombardments from the German 420 mm (16.5 in) Gamma guns. These new super-heavy howitzers had easily taken several large Belgian forts out of action in August 1914. Fort Douaumont and other Verdun forts were judged ineffective and had been partly disarmed and left virtually undefended since 1915. On 25 February 1916, Fort Douaumont was entered and occupied without a fight by a small German raiding party comprising only 19 officers and 79 men. The easy fall of Fort Douaumont, only three days after the beginning of the Battle of Verdun, shocked the French Army. It set the stage for the rest of a battle which lasted nine months, at enormous human cost. Douaumont was finally recaptured by three infantry divisions of the Second Army, during the First Offensive Battle of Verdun on 24 October 1916. This event brought closure to the battle in 1916.
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  • Must see part of the Verdun battle grounds. The fort was taken virtually intact by the German army and subsequently has sufferded severe shelling by the allied forces. It's huge and when walking the.....  more »
  • It's all been said before for sure, I just want to say that on a personal level, this place moved me deeply. As you travel through the tunnels and read the numbers that represent human lives lost...  more »
  • Must visit WW1 madness. The fort of Verdun was supposed to be the strongest in it's kind. Abandoned by the French. Taken by the Germans,... after 5500 dead soldiers retaken by the French. Impressive environment on top of a hill.
  • I will try to summarize everything you want to know about this place. Opening hours refer to inner part of the building. You can visit outer part at any time and for free. On the way to this place you can stop and see old trenches (they are visible from the road). Inner part: it takes about 1 hour. You receive an audioguide and visit the place on your own. You have 4 languages to choose: French, English, German and the last one I do not remember, it may be Spanish. Audioguide lasts about 30 minutes, that plus 30 minutes of walking completes 1 hour visit. The ticket costs 4 euro for adult person. Unfortunately, the rooms in fort barely have anything inside, they are rather empty. I know the price is only 4E, but still, I expected something more. If I did not love history, I would be disappointed. It is cold in the fort even in sunny August, so definitely bring the jacket with you.

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