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The Chemin des Dames

Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Aisne

The Chemin des Dames - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Aisne

Located between Laon, Soissons and Reims, the Chemin des Dames, a Memorial Trail 30 km long and 8 km wide, was the scene of violent combat during the First World War. The Nivelle offensive against the German army took place in April 1917 on this territory, as did the mutinies of the desperate French soldiers following the failed attack, considerable loss of life and appalling living conditions.

Nowadays, a number of memorial sites are dotted along this commemorative route: French and German military cemeteries; the Dragon's Lair in the commune of Oulches-la-Vallée-Foulon, converted into a space for exhibits on the First World War, the battles of the Chemin des Dames and the French soldiers' everyday life; Constellation of Pain, at the approach to the Dragon's Lair, a work by the artist Christian Lapie to commemorate the participation of thousands of West African men in the offensive; the Memorial of Cerny-en-Laonnois; the Basque Monument in the commune of Craonnelle; the California Plateau, dotted with remains of trenches and shell craters; the Tanks Monument in the commune of Berry-au-Bac; Craonne Arboretum, on the former site of the village of Craonne, which was destroyed; the Forts of Malmaison and Condé... So many tragic, moving and poignant places that bear witness to the despair of the French soldiers in the face of the horror and absurdity of war...

AddressChemin des Dames

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