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
. It is located in Douaumont
, France, near Verdun
During the 300 days of the Battle of Verdun
(21 February 1916
–19 December 1916
) approximately 230,000
men died out of a total of 700,000 casualties (dead, wounded and captured).
The battle was known as the 'Verdun meat grinder' and was in fact conducted on a battlefield less than twenty square kilometers.
is a memorial containing the remains of soldiers who died on the battlefield. Through small windows, the remains of 130,000 unidentified French and German soldiers can actually be seen filling small, windowed alcoves around the edge of the building. Inside, the ceiling and walls are covered by some of the names of soldiers who fell in the battle of Verdun. Some of the names are from the fighting in the area in WWII. The families of the individual soldiers recognized here paid for their plaques. In front of the monument lies the largest cemetery of France outside Paris with 25,000 graves.
The ossuary was officially inaugurated on 7 August 1932
by French President Albert Lebrun
The architects of the ossuary were Léon Azéma
, Max Edrei
and Jacques Hardy
; Georges Desvallières
designed the stained glass. The tower is 46 meters high and has a panoramic view of the battlefields. The tower contains a death-bell, Bourdon de la Victoire
, which is sounded at official ceremonies and the lantern of the death which shines on the battlefields. The cloister is 137 meters long and contains 42 alcoves. On the first floor is the war-museum with the remains of the destroyed villages, 3D-photos
, and arms