Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Memorial sites near Paris Beauvais Airport

Newdoundland Memorial Beaumount-Hamel
 creativecommons image adriam_fl on Flickr
While we tend to criticize Paris Beauvais Airport for its location (it is a LONG way from Paris) and lack of services, Beauvais does have a huge upside:
It is situated relatively near 6 important war memorial sites

Destination Beauvais Paris, a service of Beauvais Tourism, provides excellent information on each of the memorial sites, how to reach them, opening hours and website links.

The "Armistice Clearing" and Armistice Museum
Just 1 hour from Paris Beauvais Airport, tucked in the Compiègne Forest, lies the "Armistice Clearing", where the 1918 and 1940 armistices were signed. In the Armistice Museum, you can see a replica of the famous railway carriage in which, at 5am on November 11, 1918 the fist armistice was signed.

The Internment and Deportation Memorial and Royallieu Camp site 
Another Compiègne memorial site, the Internment and Deportation Memorial, site tells the story of nearly 45,000 Jews, political prisoners, French Resistance fighters, communists, Russian and American civilians interned at Royallieu Camp between 1941 and 1944.

The Historial of the Great War Museum in Péronne 
Just 1.5 hours from Paris Beauvais Airport in Péronne, the Historial of the Great War Museum aims to share the day-to-day lives of French, English and German soldiers during the First World War. Of particular interest are everyday items left behind by the soldiers.

The Somme 1916 Museum in Albert 
Recognizing the central role northern Somme played during the First World War, the Somme 1916 Museum highlights the everyday lives of the many brave soldiers.

The "Chemin des Dames" memorial trail 
This World War I memorial trail overs 35 kilometres, and is just ,2 hours from Paris Beauvais Airport.

The Battle of the Somme, 1916 - the Memorial Route
The Memorial Route near Beauvais allows you to grasp the Battle of Somme's magnitude. Numerous sites, memorials and chapels pay tribute to the soldiers from no less than 25 nations, including:
  • The Thiepval Missing Soldiers Memorial and the Tower of Ulster - 16 pillars atop the hill at Thiepval list the names of soldiers whose bodies were never found during the battle. Nearby, Ulster Tower commemorates the bravery of Irish soldiers. 
  • The Newfoundland Memorial of Beaumont-Hamel - erected to honour the many Canadians who fought and died at Somme. The memorial includes a cariibou statue, and a panoramic view of the well-preserved battlefield, complete with trenches. 
  • The Lochnagar Crater at La Boisselle - created from the explosion of mines that launched the Battle of Somme and led to the death of many Allied infantry. A commemorative ceremony is held in the immense crater every July 1st. 
  • The Australian Memorials of Pozières and Villers-Bretonneux - commemorate the Australian soldiers who stopped German troops on April 25, 1918, which led to the November 11th Armistice. Anzac Day is commemorated at Villers-Bretonneux annually. 
  • The South African Memorial and Museum of Longueval - pay tribute to the bravery and loss of South African lives at Delville Woods (Devil's Wood). 
  •  For more information, be sure to visit the Destination Beauvais Paris - Memorial Tourism website.

Related resources
10 unique Paris tours
Rock Your Layover: Paris
Layover ideas for the world's worst airports (2015)
Paris Beauvais-Tille Airport (BVA) transportation guide
Beauvais-Paris - more than just a stopover, it's a destination

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