Museums, interpretation centres and must-see sites
By visiting our remembrance sites, you travel the world in a day ! The emotion is palpable and recollection is sincere in the face of the sacrifice for our freedom.
In 1916, the department of La Somme became a global focus, a meeting point for some twenty nationalities who came together to fight or work for the three empires (France, Germany and Great Britain).
For the United Kingdom and its former empire: South Africa / Australia / Canada / Newfoundland / New Zealand / India / Burma / Pakistan / Barbados / Rhodesia / Republic of Ireland, as well as - independently - Russia / Belgium / Italy / United States / China and Egypt.
For France and its former empire: Burkina-Faso / Ivory Coast / Guinea / Mali / Niger / Senegal / Vietnam / Madagascar / Algeria / Tunisia and Morocco.
If the Museums captivate us by recounting the conflict, the memorials are forever moving testimonies of this sometimes little-known history.
We walk the Newfoundland park at Beaumont Hamel where trenches are still visible at the foot of the great Caribou, and we are welcomed by young Canadians to the mine crater at La Boisselle, the famous “Lochanagar Crater” (100m diameter mine crater), a vestige of the terrible battle of July 1, 1916 during which the British recorded the heaviest losses in their military history.
From the pillars of the great arch of the Thiepval Memorial on which are inscribed the names of 72,205 soldiers whose bodies were never found and who lie for eternity in the soil of the Somme, representing the largest war memorial in the Commonwealth, to the “little” red dragon of the town of Mametz, quite difficult to find, but terribly moving… Did you know that the rugby players of the Wales national team never miss the opportunity to come here and reflect?
From the South African Memorial and Museum, to Delville Wood, which symbolises national courage and sacrifice from July 15th, 1916, when the outnumbered South Africans, practically decimated and attacked from three sides, managed to conserve part of the wood, to the “modest” Ulster Tower, a copy of a tower at Clandeboye Estate in Northern Ireland.
And without forgetting, the necropolis of Rancourt and its chapel of French remembrance where 8,566 soldiers rest in an area of 28,000 m2. But this list is far from exhaustive and each site of remembrance deserves a visit.
“Whatever the visitor’s origin, religion, age... these places command admiration, instil respect and provide solace, coupled with an indescribable feeling of eternity! It would be no surprise if tears come to your eyes...
As we said, a visit to the Somme is a trip around the world, thanks to our history!
The museums welcome you for a more total immersion
The internationally renowned Historial de Péronne combines German, French and British visions of the conflict.
Albert's Somme 1916 museum retraces daily life in the trenches through an underground section 250 metres long and 10 metres deep.
The Thiepval Interpretation Centre offers a unique experience thanks to the work of Joe Sacco with a work similar to a cartoon strip, 60 metres long and depicting the battle from 1 st July 1916.
The Sir John Monash Centre in Villers-Bretonneux is fully funded by Australia and offers multimedia content to illustrate the war on the Western Front from an Australian perspective. The immersive room is striking; it feels like you are in the heart of the battle and experiencing the hell of it.
The Museum of Villers-Bretonneux is Franco-Australian because the latter country greatly participated in the reconstruction of the town which suffered so much. The inscription “Do not Forget Australia” under the courtyard of the Victoria school demonstrates, if needed, the unfailing bonds of friendship between France and Australia.
The Single Command room in Doullens Town Hall and its stained glass window retraces the united command conferred on Marshal Foch by the British, French and American authorities on March 21, 1918! The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum is unique in France, with its collection of military railway equipment of the First World War, and many other sites worth your visit...
Hôtel-Restaurant Ibis Albert
You'll like: its location at the heart of Albert facing the superb Basilica, its family atmosphere and traditional...
Hôtel Le Royal Picardie
You'll like: its imposing architecture, elegant lounge-bar and restaurant, gourmet menu, location (outskirts of...
Hôtel Restaurant de la Paix
Cottage de l'Ancre
Gîte de Beaucourt-sur-Ancre
Amicale des Avions Anciens d'Albert
You can visit this incredible collection of old planes! Don't hesitate to contact one of the association's...