Memorial to the Battles of the Marne

Dormans, France

Built between 1921 and 1931, the Dormans Memorial commemorates the victories won in the Marne between 1914 and 1918. The impressive ensemble was designed by architects Marcel and Closson. A monumental staircase leads to a large square with a sundial and a viewpoint indicator that shows the names of the villages in the Marne Valley where the Battle of 1918 was fought. The square itself leads to a crypt that is overlooked by the church that boasts a bell tower and two ridge towers.

The four columns standing on the crypt’s vaulted bases are decorated with sculptures depicting the four great invasions of France by the Huns, the Arabs, the English and the Germans, which were all contained (the Catalunian Plains in 451, Poitiers in 732, Orleans in 1429 and Dormans 1914-1918).

The 52-metre tower houses several bells, the largest weighing 304 kg. Beside the chapel is a cloister. Rather austere in appearance with its pointed arch, from the side it is attached to a funerary building housing the ossuary, close to a lantern tower for the dead. At its entrance, a medallion features the effigies of marshals Foch and Joffree, the two victors of the battles of the Marne, while the names of all the soldiers who fought in the battles are engraved in the wall plaques.

Inside the ossuary, the mortal remains of 1,332 French soldiers who fell between 1914 and 1918 are held in 130 coffins; only 11 of these men were identified. The funerary chamber also holds two urns: the first one contains earth taken from the cemetery in Italy where soldiers of the Free French Forces killed during the battles in 1943-1944 in Monte Cassino are buried; the other holds the ashes of deportees returned from Dachau in 1948.

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Address

Dormans, France
See all sites in Dormans

Details

Founded: 1921
Category: Cemeteries, mausoleums and burial places in France

More Information

www.cheminsdememoire.gouv.fr

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Marty Lewis (8 months ago)
Google is wrong. Entry is from direction of the chateau and it is only open April To Nov 11! Wasted an hour getting here
Rolf van der Hagen (9 months ago)
Impressive. situated in a nice park. No graveyard, but a beautiful building with information on the sight itself and some memorabilia's on the great war. Take the stairs to the top for a nice view. Definitely worth a visit.
Karl-Heinz van Hardeveld (17 months ago)
Impressive, unfortunately we couldn't see the inside, but building is a worthy tribute to those who lost their lives during the first World War
Kimmo Lahtinen (18 months ago)
Impressive history, impressive place.
Juliana Santos (2 years ago)
The memorial is very beautiful and respectful. It’s a solemn visit, at least for me, so in a way it always makes me sad to visit these places (and I rarely come back). But it’s beautiful and worth a visit, especially if you’re into history.
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