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Trip Report Verdun ceremonies -- 100th anniversary of the battle

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This weekend was chosen for the Franco-German commemorations of the Battle of Verdun in World War 1. This pitted one million French troops against one million German troops and lasted 10 months. 700,000 soldiers were wounded or killed in this battle alone.

Anyway, there is no lack of documentation about the battle, so I am not going to try to repeat it here, but it might be useful to know that there will be quite a few travel disruptions in eastern France this weekend, and the general public will have little or no access to the battlefield areas until the VIPs clear out. The most important day will be Sunday May 29th when François Hollande and Angela Merkel will have a very full agenda in Verdun. The A4 autoroute between France and Germany will remain open, but there is a good chance of traffic congestion during the day.

On the morning of the 29th, the ceremonies will be at the German cemetery of Consenvoye (10h30) and the city of Verdun (11h15) -- the city hall and Place de la Nation.

Then there will be a generous lunch break of course. Afternoon ceremonies will be at the Mémorial de Verdun (14h30) and the Douaumont Ossuary (15h30).

The Verdun area is very much overlooked by most foreign visitors except the Germans, and it is both lovely and tragic. I was there 10 days ago and took a number of photos which show that the scars of war are as visible as ever: http://tinyurl.com/hjkrm4m

I also visited the Mémorial de Verdun and found it every bit as interesting as the Mémorial de Caen. It has just reopened after being closed for renovation for 3 years, and it is quite spectacular: http://tinyurl.com/memorialverdun

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