Fort Douaumont (Fort de Douamont) was originally constructed in around 1885 following the Franco-Prussian wars, with ongoing works carried out until just before the First World War.
As a fully fortified structure with sophisticated weaponry and a sunken position on high ground, Fort Douaumont was considered to be a vital defensive post. However, when the Battle of Verdun commenced in February 1916, the village of Douaumont was in chaos. People went to shelter in Fort Douaumont but, in the confusion, nobody was firing the fort’s guns. German soldiers managed to infiltrate Fort Douaumont and its destruction ensued.
Today, visitors can see Fort Douaumont as it was at the end of World War One. 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.
Fort Douaumont is in Verdun, approximately 167 miles from Paris. By car from Paris, you can reach the fort via route A4 (a partial toll road, exit 30 to Verdun. There are trains to Verdun from Paris’s Gare de L’Est, but with most of them you have to change at Chalons-en-Champagne. Direct trains are infrequent, but available. With the change, the journey takes just over 3 hours and without it takes 1 hour 40.
Fort Douaumont is open daily from February to December. Dec & Feb-March: Open 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm April-June: 10am-6:30pm July-August: 9am-7pm September: 10am-5:30pm October-November: 10am-5pm Last admission is half an hour before closing. Entry costs €3 for adults, €1.50 for children, with concessions for groups and families.
Fort Douaumont, Off Route D913, Verdun-sur-Meuse, Alsace-Lorraine, 551
03 29 84 41 91
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