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Understand. Analyse. Express. Share. Here, historians are our guides. Opened in 2016, this fully redesigned museum tells the story of the longest battle of the Great War’s, seen from either side of no man’s land.
In these verdant dells, it is hard to imagine the violence that shaped these green valleys. But look closer, and you will notice that even 100 years later the ground beneath your feet bears the scars of combat.
Notice the symmetry of the white crosses aligned with the engraved stones of the cloister. A moment of silence and contemplation, as if to savor the sweetness of the air before departure.
Two narrow furrows, one on each side. Two camps facing each other. A century later trees have grown all around. This hostile expanse has become a mossy forest, and, your pilgrimage, a bucolic walk.
With its white stone, Nauroy chapel is a sober reminder that here an entire village was wiped from the map, never to be rebuilt. Not far from here, you can also enter the pretty Russian chapel in Saint-Hilaire-le-Grand and climb the steps of Blanc-Mont, the American memorial.
This clearing was chosen for its isolated tranquillity in the heart of the Compiègne forest. Your pilgrimage ends here in Rethondes, where the armistice between France, its allies and Germany was signed on November 11th, 1918.