Orchard Dump
Webmatters : The Battle of Verdun 1916 : The Battlefield Museum

The Museum


The Memorial Museum is located at the key point of the Verdun battlefield.

Clearly sign posted from all directions the two major routes from Verdun are via the D 112 which brings you directly up through the forest to the Memorial Museum or, alternatively by remaining on the D 630 and turning left on to the D 913 (which passes by the route leading to Fort Vaux).

Decimal49.195045.43364 Map

Practical Information

Last entry times to the museum are one hour before closing time.

Opening TimesHoraires
Every Day Tous les jours
09:30 to 17:00 hours 9h30 à 17h00
Mid December to mid February Mi-decembre au mi-fevrier
Entrance FeeTarifs
12€ Adult
7.50€ Child/enfant (8—16)
7.50€ Reduced/Réduit

The above is a rough guide as the closing times vary throughout the year and not by exact months. Contact the Memorial Museum for the latest information — the site is multilingual.


The battle for Verdun lasted from 21 February to 15 December 1916 and originated in the mind of the German General Falkenhayn. He realised that because of the emotional significance of Verdun an attack on it would provoke a passionate response from the French.

He is reputed to have said that his intention was to bleed France to death as she sent more and more soldiers into the killing fields of the German artillery.

It has also been suggested, that as he said this after the initial attack had failed to take the town, it may have just been a bit of bravado to account for a seeming failure.

Regardless of the veracity of his memoirs, there is a certain truth to the initial phases of the battle as the French threw everything they had to hold the line. By mid-June however, the German High Command began to believe in the real possibility of actually taking Verdun — which would have opened up the road to Paris.

This led them into ever more desperate attacks on the French positions in and around the village of Fleury-devant-Douaumont and at Fort Souville, a short distance away. As with all the Allied offensives these attempts to finally break through cost the Germans dearly and by the end of the battle the bleeding to death was fairly evenly proportioned.

Falkenhayn was relieved of his command, which passed to the final duo of Hindenberg and Ludendorf.

Formally opened on 17th September 1967 on the site of the old village railway station, the museum owes its creation to a group led by the veteran and writer, Maurice Genevoix, (and member of the Académie française). In readiness for the centenary of the battle the museum closed for renovations in 2015 for a year.

Now reopened, the enlarged centre provides and even better experience for those wishing to learn about this immense battle.

On the occasions I have been there you were not supposed to take photographs inside, so buy the guide.

Everything is trilingual and visually informative. In fact there is almost too much information, and to do the museum justice you would probably need to be in there for hours — they suggest a minimum of ninety minutes.