Go to the Centenary Mission website Go to the Verdun 2016 website Download the young visitors' exhibition discovery booklet (pdf, 4 MB) Go to the online series
On 21 February, the German high command triggered an offensive in the Verdun sector that would be the first act in one of the conflict's "hyperbattles", marked in particular by intense fire, massive concentration of soldiers and accumulation of material resources. But it was not just the scale of Verdun that made it one of the most important battles in the Great War. From the start, it was also the symbol of the determination of France and its fighters to "hold on" and embody national unity. In a way that benefited the collective construction of remembrance, it very soon became an event that for many people summed up a four-year conflict all by itself, or at least showed its meaning to a large extent. In this Centenary year, the main cartographic reference points, the evocation of emblematic combat locations, and the reminder of this extraordinary battle's characteristics offer an overview of the battle, completed by the story of the main phases in the construction of remembrance, from veteran initiatives to the centre of Franco-German reconciliation.