Verdun is the biggest city in Meuse and sadly, its famous for its tragic past. Between 1914-1918, Verdun was the scene of a terrible battle that lasted 10 months and the area still shows signs of the battle today. The most important places in and around Verdun are the WWI memorials.
The American cemetery of Verdun is the biggest American cemetery in France. It is a place of remembrance and respect, in honour of the young American soldiers that fell at the battle of Verdun. The fields of white crosses are impressive and the solemn atmosphere will make you contemplate the importance of their sacrifice. The Verdun American cemetery is a must-see for anyone staying in Meuse.
The battle of Verdun has left its mark on the landscape many years later, and you can still see the humps on the land that have been left from the battlefields. More than 53 million shells were shot in 10 months in Verdun, this is the equivalent of 2 shells per second.
There are a lot of old forts around Verdun. The most famous being the forts of Vaux and of Douaumont. These strongholds were strategic places during the war, and are nowadays museums documenting life in the trenches and the battle of Verdun. You can also visit the underground citadel. This citadel was a shelter for the public and was arranged like a real town, with bakeries and shops which provided people with the essentials. Today you can visit this citadel and experience for yourself what life was like underground.
The Montmédy citadel is a fortified medieval city. You can wander the ramparts and appreciate the beautiful view of the Meuse countryside. This citadel has been fortified by the engineer Vauban, one of the greatest fortification specialists in French history.
Bar-le-Duc is a city located in the south west of Meuse and is the prefecture of the department. In its church you can find two well-known pieces by the famous sculptor, Ligier Richier, Calvary of Jesus and his masterpiece, The Transi. The Transi shows a six-foot skeleton staring at his heart in his left hand which is stretched towards the sky.