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WWI War Memorials, Battlefields and Cemeteries

Places to visit in Europe relating to the World War I

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Below is a selection of World War memorials and cemeteries you can visit on your European vacation, mostly in northeastern France and western Belgium. The last two entries are for organized tours, which can take you to places you might not reach efficiently on your own. Click the links to find out more about each entry.

Meuse Argonne American Cemetery

WWI, war memorial
James Martin
Buried along 130 acres of land along the Muese river are the largest number of American Dead in Europe, almost 15,000. Most were victims of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in World War I. The Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery is located east of the village of Romagne-sous-Montfaucon in the Meuse region of northeastern France near the border with Belgium. It is 46 kilometers north of Verdun.

Verdun / Fort Douaumont Virtual Tour (France)

verdun, verdun france, wwi, war memorial
James Martin
Take a virtual tour of Verdun and Fort Douaumont, where the remains of a staggering 130,000 unidentified soldiers lie in the Douaumont Ossuary.

The Trench of Death - Diksmuide, Belgium

wwi memorial, belgium, dixmude, dixmuide
James Martin

For the real flavor of what horrors could be experienced in trench warfare, The Trench of Death is the place to see.

The town of Diksmuide is interesting in itself, even though it was bombed during the war and rebuilt. The statue in the picture is in the large main square. Don't miss the Blankaart Nature Preserve if you're a nature lover. It's just south of town.

Ypres, Belgium - The Western Front

The link goes to a film presented by the In Flanders Fields Museum which gives you a pretty good idea of the Ypres of today, which was totally demolished during WWI and rebuilt. Besides the Museum, there's the Menin Gate Memorial, Sanctuary Wood and Hill 62 to visit.

Every evening at 8pm, the Last Post, the traditional bugle salute to the fallen warrior, is played under Ypres' Menin Gate Memorial.

Ypres has a train station (Ieper). Bicycles can be rented at the station, where you'll also find taxis.

Remembrance Tour: The Great War in the Lille region

The Lille Tourist office has announced a new WWI remembrance tour startings on April 4, 2010. Covered are memorials, battlefields and cemeteries in the Fromelles and the Weppes area.

The Battle of Fromelles was the first important battle on the western front involving Australian troops. It is also considered to be the bloodiest 24 hours in Australian military history.

Museum of the Great War - Péronne, France

Here's where to find out about the great battles of the Somme in France. The site has very comprehensive coverage of WWI in English. You can go on a guided tour of the battlefields outside of Péronne from the museum.

You can also download free audio tours of Somme, and Circuit of Remembrance. One of the largest battles of the first world war took place in the Somme.

Small-group WWI Somme Battlefields Day Trip from Paris

If you're on vacation in Paris and are looking to get out of town for a little different view of WWI battlefields, this Viator tour might just suite you.

"On this small group tour of the Somme battlefields, you will discover a part of France that suffered severely in the violent and bloody battles of the Great War. A dramatic period of history took place here, and you will see the major sites including memorials, cemeteries and traces of battles. Numbers are limited to a maximum of 19 people, ensuring you'll receive personalized attention from your knowledgeable guide."

4-Day ANZAC Tour: Istanbul, Gallipoli and Troy

After two nights in Istanbul, you'll have an early departure for Gallipoli, Anzac Cove, Lone Pine Cemetery and other famous memorials from World War One. Crossing the Dardanelles, you'll spend the night in Canakkale. A Viator Tour.

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