Guided tour of the High Citadel

Discovered to the lantern of a centre of First World War recently opened to visit

  • Visite commentée / Conférence
  • Gratuit
©Cecile Thouvenin Quinet / Tourisme Grand Verdun

If the underground low, said citadel is open to the public for a long time, the high part(party) of the citadel is open to the public only since 2009. In this secret stayed place, is redrawn the history(story) of the medieval site in our days. Meeting place: Place(Square) of Roche. 3 possible departures: 10 h-14 h-16 h for a duration of circuit of 2 h. Important: take a flashlight(torch) and comfortable shoes for the walking(step) because there is a hundred of walking(steps) to be climbed!

About the venue

place de la roche, Verdun 55100
  • Édifice militaire, enceinte urbaine
  • ,
  • Monument historique

The Citadel extends over a nearby immediate 20 hectare area of the heart of Verdun. The high citadel is built from 1567 till 1634, on the site of the old(former) abbey Saint gate(crack). From 1624, the engineers of the king and mathematicians Pierre de Conty d' Argencour, Jacques Aleaume and Claude Chastillon manage construction according to the plans of the military barisien engineer Jean Errard. Four new bastions are done up from 1624 till 1635, under the direction of marshal de Marillac, then governor of the city. During the 4th quarter of the XVIIth century, Vauban improves its defence system. With the conception(design) of the system Séré of Rivers from 1875, it is from now on since the nearby hills which(where) makes the defence of Verdun. The last spectacular arrangements(developments) are made from 1887 till 1894, with the digging of the underground galleries under the authority of the commander(major) Guinot.
Its role of underground city during the World War I, confers on it a national and international prestige which the choice(selection) of the unknown soldier in 1920 will come sit(base) definitely. «Powerful cubbyhole covered with heavy masses of earth(ground), the Citadel of Verdun is more than a barracks, it is one redoubt, it is a point of contact between the Front and the Back. It is there that all successions succeed, it is there that they all leave. It is the station of sorting between War and Peace», wrote Gaston Gras in Douaumont October 24th, 1916\. On February 21st, 1916 at 8 h 15, the first German shells fall on the citadel.
As planned, the top management(general staff) of the place(square) finds refuge in these galleries dug(accentuated) under sixteen metres of rock. From then on, the citadel gets organised as a small underground city in the uninterrupted activity which turns out essential to 2 000 men(people) in transit during the battle of The Citadel extends over a nearby immediate 20 hectare area of the heart of Verdun. The first large-scale constructions date of 1570\. Four new bastions are done up from 1624 till 1635, under the direction of marshal de Marillac, then governor of the city. With the conception(design) of the system Séré of Rivers from 1875, it is from now on since the nearby hills which(where) makes the defence of Verdun. The last spectacular arrangements(developments) are made from 1887 till 1894, with the digging of the underground galleries under the authority of the commander(major) Guinot.
Its role of underground city during the World War I, confers on it a national and international prestige which the choice(selection) of the unknown soldier in 1920 will come sit(base) definitely.

Citadelle Haute ©CAGV-Jean-Marie PERRAUX