These regions are home to the many sites that bear the scars of two world wars. The sites commemorate the selfless sacrifice of those who took part and now, thanks to the regional Remembrance Trails, you can discover them at your leisure along local cycling and hiking routes. Each route develops a specific theme and is accompanied by an illustrated guide. Consult the guide on your mobile (or download it) to discover the human side of these conflicts and learn about the region and its history in an original and compelling way.
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Use this map to visualize all the available routes. Each symbol represents a route. Click on the symbol to display the general description of the route on this page. You can then examine the route in greater detail (route map, sites, photos, practical information, download the guide, and more).
In 1915 the French Army retook the hill known as Notre-Dame-de-Lorette. In 1917 the Canadians liberated Vimy Ridge. Today the remembrance sites of the Artois Hills commemorate these major events of the First World War.
On 4 November 1918 the British Army launched an operation to cross the Sambre–Oise Canal at the village of Ors. Among the soldiers who died that day was Wilfred Owen, one of the greatest British poets of the twentieth century.
On 19 July 1916 Australian soldiers fought alongside their British counterparts in an attack at Fromelles to divert enemy resources from the main Somme Offensive. Today the mass graves in Pheasant Wood, discovered in 2008, and the new Fromelles Museum bear witness to this major event in the history of the Australian nation.
In late August 1914, German troops advancing on Paris came up against the fortified town of Maubeuge and besieged it. German heavy artillery eventually breached the French defences and the town surrendered on 8 September after what turned out to be the longest siege of the Great War.
Following its surrender on 8 September 1914, the fortified town of Maubeuge came under the harsh regime of the occupying German Army. Shortages, requisitions and numerous restrictions were part of everyday civilian life until the townw liberation on 9 November 1918.
Armentières, barely a mile and a half from the Western Front, was host to thousands of British soldiers during World War I and shall ever be remembered as the subject of the song, Mademoiselle from Armentières. After the war the town council, influenced by architect L.-M. Cordonnier, chose to rebuild Armentières in the Flemish style.
Béthune was an important town in the British sector during the Great War. It provided quarters, care and entertainment for the soldiers and was home to British command. Destroyed during the Battle of the Lys in the spring of 1918, the town was rebuilt after the war and adopted an architectural style combining regionalism and art deco.
The many remembrance sites around Béthune reflect the great diversity of nations which fought in the sector between 1914 and 1918. They make it very clear to us, even today, to what point the ‘Great War’ was indeed a world war.
Totally destroyed in the battle fought on the Lys Plain in April 1918, the town of Bailleul was rebuilt in the aftermath of the Great War in the traditional style of the region. Under the influence of architect Louis-Marie Cordonnier public and private buildings were built to designs inspired by the architecture of Bruges (Belgium) and this confers on the town a remarkable Flemish atmosphere.
Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, situated at the foot of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette Hill, was reduced to a pile of rubble during the French offensive in Artois in 1915. After the war the village was rebuilt and the largest French military cemetery was founded on the plateau that overlooks it.