World War One Sites and Battlefields

What are the most important World War One sites and battlefields?

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For many people, visiting World War One sites can be one of the most immersive ways to learn about the conflict known as the “Great War”. There's are many fascinating World War One sites and battlefields to visit and among the most prominent are the Somme battlefields, Fort Douaumont and Lochnagar Crater. Other important sites tend to include Anzac Cove, Menin Gate and Douaumont Ossuary.

For those seeking to discover these poignant places there are World War One sites ranging from museums and memorials to battle sites and airfields which all stand in testimony to this terrible conflict. You can explore our selection of these WWI sites below and also view our WWI sites map above.

Whether you’re interested in the Western Front or the Gallipoli Campaign, we’ve set out an experts guide to the World War 1 sites, museums monuments and landmarks around the globe with our top ten places to visit as well as a full list of WW1 sites which shouldn’t be ignored if you have the time.

1. Somme battlefields

Incorporating several World War One sites, these battlefields are the locations at which the infamous Battle of the Somme was fought from July to November 1916. The Battle of the Somme was renowned for the exceptionally high number of casualties borne by the Allied forces.

Most visitors follow the Circuit of Remembrance, a forty mile route winding through numerous battle sites, memorials and museums. This Somme battlefields tour explores the individual battles as well as going through individual towns occupied by different forces with signs along the way. Those who wish to embark on this route can download audio guides to the route for free from various sources, including from the website of the Historial de la Grande Guerre museum.

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2. Fort Douaumont

Built following the Franco-Prussian wars, this fort acted as a shelter for locals during the Battle of Verdun. However, in the confusion, it was soon captured and destroyed by the Germans. Today, it remains one of the least changed of the World War 1 sites, with visitors able to see it as it was at the end of the war. You can take a tour through its three levels and see the guns, turrets and weaponry which remain. Despite the destruction, much of Fort Douaumont is well preserved including the barrack rooms and command posts. There is also a graveyard.

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3. Lochnagar Crater

This is one of the more vivid of World War I sites, it being the vast crater left behind by one of the first mine explosions of the Battle of the Somme on 1 July 1916. Set off by British forces the mine which created the Lochnagar Crater was one of the biggest ever detonated at that time and Lochnagar itself is an astounding 100 metres in diameter and 30 metres deep.

Today, visitors can see Lochnagar Crater, either as a one off site or as part of the Circuit of Remembrance, a route which explores the Battle of the Somme, one of the biggest battles in World War One.

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4. Anzac Cove

One of the most important World War 1 sites of the Gallipoli Campaign in Turkey, Anzac Cove was where Australian and New Zealander troops landed on 25 April 1915. The Anzac Cove landings were part of the Gallipoli Campaign, an effort by the Commonwealth and by the French to remove Turkey from World War I. Today, there are several memorials at Anzac Cove and it is the site where Anzac Day ceremonies are held.

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5. Menin Gate

This is a famous monument is one of the most significant World War 1 sites in Ypres and is a memorial to the British and Commonwealth troops who went missing in action in Belgium during this conflict. Ypres was a vital strategic point during the war and the site of fierce fighting, including three main battles together known as the Battle of Ypres. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers perished or went missing during this period and Menin Gate bears the names of 54,896 missing British and Commonwealth soldiers who died without graves. Menin Gate is one of the most important First World War sites and has a daily memorial ceremony at 8pm known as the Last Post Ceremony.

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6. Douaumont Ossuary

This vast memorial, museum and cemetery commemorates those soldiers who lost their lives in the fierce Battle of Verdun. The Battle of Verdun was one of the fiercest during World War One, lasting from 21 February 1916 to December 1916 and resulting in estimated casualties of 400,000 soldiers for each of the French and German armies who fought in it. This site is home to the bones of 130,000 unknown soldiers, marking a fitting reminder to the savage consequences of this battle and the war as a whole.

Made up of an imposing stone structure with a 46 metre tower and beautifully maintained fields which house a cemetery with the graves of a further 15,000 French soldiers, Douaumont overlooks the battlefield of the Battle of Verdun. Visitors can climb to the top of its tower for panoramic views of these fields.

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7. Ulster Memorial Tower

The Ulster Memorial Tower in Thiepval in France is a 70-foot high stone structure built as a memorial to the men of Ulster who fought and gave their lives during World War I. The first memorial to be built on the Western Front, the Ulster Memorial Tower is a replica of Helen’s Tower, an important monument which is located in County Down in Northern Ireland.

Located on what was the German front line during the Battle of the Somme, the Ulster Memorial Tower faces Thiepval Wood, the site from which the 36th (Ulster) Division made its charge on the first day of the famous offensive, 1 July 1916. Today, the site offers guided tours of these woods from its visitor centre.

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8. Hill 62 Sanctuary Wood Museum

The Hill 62 Sanctuary Wood Museum contains an impressive partially-restored WWI trench system as well as artefacts and images from the site. Located near to the original front lines, the Sanctuary Wood Trenches were left in place by the owner of the land after the war and were preserved in-situ from that time. A museum was later opened at the site and the trenches were partially-restored to ensure they survived the increasing number of visitors. Today visitors can explore these trenches and covered passageways as well as a section of the underground tunnel system.

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9. Verdun Memorial

The Verdun Memorial is both a memorial site and a museum located in the Verdun Battlefield in France. The Battle of Verdun was a fierce clash between French and German forces in 1916 during the First World War which resulted in hundreds of thousands of casualties. Laid out over two floors, the Verdun Memorial Museum immerses the visitor in the realities of the battle by recreating the trench system and using multimedia presentations to guide visitors through the events of the war.

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10. Newfoundland Memorial

The Newfoundland Memorial represents the best surviving trench system from World War One and commemorates the efforts of the 1st Battalion of the Canadian Newfoundland Regiment.

Once the site of fierce fighting and destruction, the location of the Newfoundland Memorial is now peaceful parkland, indented with the remains of wartime trenches. In fact, the trenches at the site of the Newfoundland Memorial are some of the best preserved of their kind and offer visitors an invaluable insight into the conditions of the Great War.

The memorial consists of a number of battle sites, each of which are signposted, several cemeteries, memorials to the Newfoundland Division and to the Highland Division. Information panels guide the way through each of the battle sites and remains.

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Full list of World War One Sites and Battlefields

Beyond the most famous WW1 sites, monuments and landmarks there’s many similar places to visit, including the Ulster Memorial Tower, Hill 62 Sanctuary Wood Museum and Historial de la Grande Guerre to name but a few. We’re constantly expanding this list of World War One sites and battlefields and you can view the current selection below.

Aisne-Marne American Cemetery

This World War One site is a cemetery on the location of the Battle of Belleau Wood (1-26 June 1918), where American marines prevented German forces from crossing the Marne River, thus securing the area.

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Ari Burnu Cemetery

Ari Burnu Cemetery is a World War I Commonwealth cemetery in the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey.

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Arlington National Cemetery

This famous US military cemetery commemorates all American soldiers who died for their country and is also the site of the Tomb of the Unknowns, one of whom is an unidentified soldier from World War I.

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Averof Museum

The most famous Greek warship, the Averof saw action for over 40 years including during the two world wars.

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Bucharest Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The Bucharest Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a national Romanian World War I monument.

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Canadian National War Memorial

The Canadian National War Memorial commemorates losses from World War I, World War II and the Korean War.

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Canadian War Museum

The Canadian War Museum is the national military history museum.

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Chateau-Thierry American Monument

One of the main American World War 1 sites, the Chateau-Thierry American Monument commemorates US soldiers who fought in this war. A grand memorial, it overlooks the River Marne, site of two important battles.

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Cimetière Chinois de Nolette

One of the lesser known World War 1 sites, Cimetière Chinois de Nolette is home to the graves of 849 Chinese workers who perished in the “Great War”.

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College Park Aviation Museum

College Park Aviation Museum in Maryland is a museum which charts America’s history of aviation.

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Como Monument to the Fallen

Como's Monument to the Fallen is an imposing memorial designed to honour fallen soldiers of World War I.

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Dunkirk Cemetery and Memorial

The Dunkirk Cemetery and Memorial commemorate the commonwealth troops that fought there in both World Wars.

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Endless Column Complex

The Endless Column Complex is a set of three sculptures commemorating Romania’s war heroes from World War One.

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Essex Farm Cemetery

Essex Farm Cemetery is a CWGC cemetery and famed as the site where John McCrae wrote 'In Flanders Fields'.

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Etaples Military Cemetery

The Etaples Military Cemetery is a commonwealth cemetery built on the former site of a WW1 military hospital.

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Fort Lytton

Fort Lytton 19th century garrison which helped protect Brisbane until the end of World War II.

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Fort Vaux

Fort Vaux was a French fortress occupied by the Germans in the Battle of Verdun.

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Grey Point Fort

Grey Point Fort is a WWI era coastal defence battery and one of the best preserved early 20th century coastal forts anywhere in the British Isles.

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Hill 60 Cemetery

Located in the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey, this Commonwealth Graves Commission cemetery is one of the World War One sites for those solider who died in the Gallipoli Campaign.

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Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum is a London-based museum dedicated to world conflict.

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Imperial War Museum Duxford

Duxford Imperial War Museum in Cambridge explores military history on land, by air and by sea.

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In Flanders Field Museum

The In Flanders Field Museum in Belgium is a comprehensive museum of the First World War and Ypres’s role in the conflict.

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Irish Peace Tower

The Irish Peace Tower is an imposing 100-ft memorial to all First World War Irish casualties and remembers soldiers from both the Catholic and Protestant communities.

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Kabatepe Museum

Located amidst the World War 1 sites of the Turkish Gallipoli Peninsula, this museum exhibits items related to the Gallipoli Campaign.

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Konigstein Fortress

Konigstein Fortress in Dresden has been everything from a stronghold to a World War II prisoner of war camp.

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Kranji War Cemetery

Kranji War Cemetery is a veterans’ cemetery and the burial place of two of Singapore’s presidents.

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Kungsö Battery

The Kungso Battery in Aland was a World War I Russian fortification.

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Langemark Cemetery

Located at one of the World War 1 sites of the Battle of Ypres, this cemetery is where approximately 44,000 German troops are buried, many in mass graves.

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Le P’tit Train de la Haute Somme

Le P’tit Train de la Haute Somme is a reconstruction of the supply line used by allied forces in France during World War I.

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Lone Pine Cemetery

This is a Commonwealth cemetery located on one of the World War 1 battle sites of the Gallipoli Campaign and housing the graves of over a thousand casualties of this episode of the war.

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Lone Pine Memorial

The Lone Pine Memorial commemorates Anzac soldiers who died during the Gallipoli Campaign in World War I.

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Louvemont

Formerly a village but now utterly silent, Louvemont is said to have “died for France” because the extent of the damage caused to it during the war meant it was abandoned. This is one of the more haunting of World War One sites.

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Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917

A museum all about the Battle of Passchendaele including details of the World War One sites in the area, the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 provides a comprehensive account of the battle.

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Museum of the Great War

The Museum of the Great War guides visitors through the years of the First World War using a vast archive of objects, that are displayed across multimedia exhibitions.

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National Memorial Fortress of Breendonk

Fort Breendonk is better known as is best known as Auffanglager, a Nazi prison camp during the German occupation of Belgium.

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National World War I Museum

The US National World War I Museum is a comprehensive museum of the history and legacy of this global conflict.

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Oise-Aisne American Cemetery

Oise-Aisne American Cemetery is a World War I cemetery and memorial containing the grave of 6,012 American soldiers who lost their lives in this conflict.

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Passchendaele New British Cemetery

Passchendaele New British Cemetery in Belgium is a First World War burial and memorial site.

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Ploegsteert Memorial

The Ploegsteert Memorial commemorates over 11,000 British and South African servicemen who died in this region during WWI and have no known grave.

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Pozieres

One of the First World War sites which played host to one of the clashes of the Battle of the Somme, the village of Pozieres was an important German stronghold in the war. Today, visitors can gain an insight into this battle with memorials, signposts and information panels as well as a museum.

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Quinn’s Post Cemetery

Quinn’s Post Cemetery is a World War I Commonwealth cemetery in the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey.

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Royal Navy Submarine Museum

Home of the WWII submarine HMS Alliance, the Royal Navy Submarine Museum is a family-orientated, interactive museum detailing the history of British submarine warfare.

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Sanctuary Wood Cemetery

Sanctuary Wood Cemetery is a WWI Commonwealth cemetery containing the remains of soldiers who were killed in the region during the conflict.

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Serbian Monument to the Unknown Hero

The Serbian Monument to the Unknown Hero is in memory of the victims of World War I and the Balkan Wars.

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Suomenlinna Fortress

Suomenlinna Fortress is an impressive, UNESCO-listed 18th century maritime fortification complex which has been property of the Swedish, the Russians and the Finnish.

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The Brest-Hero Fortress

The Brest-Hero Fortress played an important role in 20th century military history.

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The Canakkale Martyrs Memorial

The Canakkale Martyrs Memorial commemorates the Turkish soldiers who died in the Gallipoli Campaign.

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The Chapel of the Souvenir Francais

The Chapel of the Souvenir Francais is a memorial to French soldiers who fought in the Battle of the Somme.

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The Franco Australian Museum

One of the World War One sites dedicated to exploring this history of this war, The Franco Australian Museum focuses on the role of Australian in the conflict.

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The Helles Memorial

The Helles Memorial commemorates Commonwealth and French casualties from the Gallipoli Campaign.

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The Hill 60 New Zealand Memorial

Set at the World War 1 site of the Battle of Hill 60, this is a memorial to the New Zealand soldiers who died in this clash.

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The Liberty Memorial

The Liberty Memorial is a US national World War I monument in Kansas City in Missouri.

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The London Royal Air Force Museum

The London Royal Air Force Museum offers a great overview of the history of aviation in combat as well as housing over 100 aircraft from around the world.

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The Marasesti Mausoleum

The Marasesti Mausoleum is an elaborate Romanian World War I monument.

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The Museum of the Great War

Within reach of the World War I sites of the Battle of the Somme, the Museum of the Great War​ looks at the social and cultural effects of the Great War. The museum offers an in-depth insight into World War I from the perspective of the soldiers who fought in it and the civilians whom it affected. Its aims are to look at the social effects of the war both on civilians and soldiers.

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The Somme 1916 Museum

The Somme 1916 Museum explores the realities of the First World War Battle of the Somme.

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The Trench of Death

The Trench of Death is a network of First World War trenches in Belgium.

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Thiepval Memorial

The Thiepval Memorial is a Commonwealth memorial dedicated to over 72,000 servicemen who died in the Somme region during WWI.

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Tyne Cot Cemetery

Tyne Cot Cemetery is a WW1 Commonwealth cemetery in Belgium and the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world.

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Tyneham Village

Tyneham Village in Dorset was temporarily evacuated in 1943 during the height of WWII so the army could prepare for D-Day, but the residents never returned…

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Villers‑Bretonneux

In 1918, the Germans took the Somme village of Villers‑Bretonneux only for the 4th and 5th Australian divisions to retake the entire village the very next day. The memorial at Villers‑Bretonneux commemorates the Australians who fought and died in the Great War.

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Vimy Ridge Memorial

The Vimy Ridge Memorial commemorates the more than 60,000 Canadians who lost their lives in th First World War.

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Vis-En-Artois Cemetery

Vis-En-Artois Cemetery is a First World War burial site in France’s Pas de Calais region.

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Wellington Quarry

The Wellington Quarry in Arras is a remarkable network of underground tunnels built during WWI with a fascinating museum commemorating the soldiers who fought in the Battle of Arras.

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Our list of World War One sites and battlefields is growing all the time, but we may not cover them all. So, if you know of other WW1 sites, monuments, museums and landmarks, you can always add them to Trip Historic now by contacting us today.