This fortified gatehouse served as the official entry to the city ever since its construction in the 14th century, as part of the Grand Rampart which surrounded Verdun in the Middle Ages. The gatehouse was offered to the city by Wautrec, a rich citizen who was an alderman. It symbolised the new status of Verdun which was made an “imperial free city” in 1374. By this the city was obliged to maintain its own ramparts and to look to its own defence in the case of an attack.
La Hougue Bie is a Neolithic ritual site which was in use around 3500 BC. Hougue is a Jèrriais/Norman language word meaning a \'mound\' and comes from the Old Norse word haugr. The site consists of 18.6m long passage chamber covered by a 12.2m high mound. The site was first excavated in 1925 by the Société Jersiaise. Fragments of twenty vase supports were found along with the scattered remains of at least eight individuals. Gravegoods, mostly pottery, were also present. At some time in the past, the site had evidently been entered and ransacked.
In Western Europe, it is one of the largest and best preserved passage graves and the most impressive and best preserved monument of Armorican Passage Grave group. Although they are termed \'passage graves\', they were ceremonial sites, whose function was more similar to churches or cathedrals, where burials were incidental.