With a collection that is unique in Europe, the Museum of the Great War, Pays de Meaux offers a new perspective on the first global conflict, through innovative displays which illustrate the huge social changes and upheaval it caused. These attractive displays open up the Great War to people from all different backgrounds. From the reconstruction of a battlefield to the planes and tanks in the main gallery, through projections, soundscapes and interactive displays, the museum plays on visitors' senses (items to touch and handle, etc.) using the most up-to-date techniques.
Over a space of 3,000m², the permanent exhibition looks at all aspects of the conflict, showing that 1914-1918 was the period when the world moved from the 19th to the 20th century.
The main tour lasts around 1 hr 15 mins and provides complete immersion in history. Visitors leave the present behind, and are plunged into the 1870s, back when the initial tensions (French loss of the Alsace-Moselle region and the desire for revenge, naval, colonial and economic rivalries, the separation into two opposing blocs, the arms race, etc.) that contributed to the onset of the First World War began to surface, then continuing up to 1939, the eve of World War Two.
The visit ends with themed areas (for a visit of half a day to a day). Visitors can explore different aspects of the conflict, in particular:
- A new war: technological developments such as artillery, camouflage, communications, etc.
- Women at war: the decisive role and place of women in the conflict
- Daily life in the trenches: the life of millions of men during trench warfare
- Tactics and strategy: how strategies evolved and the biographies of some of the men who developed them
- Globalisation: the game of alliances and the involvement of colonial empires
- From over the hills to the trenches: the role in the conflict of men from the French colonies and protectorates
- The United States of America: reconstruction of an American camp and the importance of the American Expeditionary Forces in the final victory
How to get there
By car: A4 motorway, follow Meaux RN3 direction Meaux, then Soissons.
Free 120-space car park.By public transport: 30 minutes from Paris departing from the Gare de l’Est railway station - 10 minutes from Meaux railway station by bus line M6 or 35 minutes from Chessy Marne-la-Vallée RER A/TGV station, then shuttles.
Musée de la Grande Guerre du Pays de Meaux
Rue Lazare Ponticelli
Tel: +33(0)1 60 32 14 18