Friday, February 17, 2012

The Douaumont Ossuary in Verdun, France

The Douaumont Ossuary is a memorial containing the remains of soldiers who died on the battlefield during the Battle of Verdun in World War I. The Ossuary was raised by a committee led by the Bishop of Verdun who raised funds not only throughout France, but internationally as well. Around the outside of the building you can see the coats of arms of all the cities which donated money towards the project.
Work began on 22 August 1920, by which time there was already a makeshift ossuary on the site. The remains of the dead were transferred one of eighteen alcoves, each containing a pair of tombs. On the wall above each tomb is an inscription showing which area of the battlefield the bodies were recovered from. Each tomb covers an 18 cubic metre vault. Some areas gave up far more bodies than could be contained in a single vault and these extra bodies are housed in two 150 cubic metre vaults, one at each end of the cloister.

The bones below the Ossuary. Photo credit Harm Frielink on Flickr
Unknown soldiers in the ossuary. Photo by fisherbray on Flickr

Photo credit: fisherbray on Flickr
Photo credit meuh57 on Flickr
Photo by POESIE
Photo credit Salfordian on Flickr
Photo by POESIE

Info from here

1 comment:

  1. I have been to this area of france. The story tells the survivors went insane from walking atop all the bodys. The battlefield is left the same way. The bunkers and bomb holes are still there.