HERITAGE AND WARTIME MEMORIES TOURS
From 1870 to 1944, the fate of France, and indeed of Europe, was played out on several occasions in the Ardennes. As witnesses to history, Sedan and its neighbouring communes tell poignant stories through the memorial sites that dot the battlefield. As you go through it, you'll be doing your duty to remember, but you'll also have the chance to contemplate our beautiful landscapes and remarkable heritage. On sale at the Sedan Tourist Office.
IMMERSE YOURSELF IN HISTORY!
Visit a museum or fortification to immerse yourself in history: the Maison de la Dernière Cartouche houses bullet holes, the Fort des Ayvelles and the Ouvrage de la Ferté recount the tragic fates of their garrisons, and the Musée Guerre et Paix en Ardenne retraces 100 years of war, presenting national and local military aspects of the wars of 1870, 1914-1918 and 1939-1945.
Less well known than the next two conflicts, the war of 1870 was the detonator that upset the balance of the world.
World War I
Between 1914 and 1918, Sedan was occupied by the German army. It became a hospital town, and the population suffered oppression, requisitioning and repression.
World War II
In May 1940, the German army's "coup de faux" fell on the French army during the Battle of Sedan.
The Battle of Sedan in 1870 can be seen at the Fortified Castle
The name of Sedan remains associated with the Prussian victory on the 1st of September 1870. A room in the fortified castle is dedicated to the war of 1870. The Panorama of Sedan by Louis BRAUN is shown there: a canvas of 11.30 metres wide by 1.57 metres high.
Come hear the Tale of Sedan during the Great War
Between 1914 and 1918, Sedan was occupied by the German army. It was transformed into a hospital-town, and the population were oppressed, subject to requisitions, and general repression. Thanks to the Heritage service of the City of Sedan, you can listen to the story of Sedan during the Great War on a free or guided tour.
World War II and the Reconstruction of Sedan
In May 1940, Sedan was one of the points by which the German army crossed the Meuse, known as the breakthrough of Sedan. To slow their progress, the Franco-British forces bombarded the town. After the war, a whole neighbourhood located on the bank of the Meuse was rebuilt by Jean de Mailly. Here there are guided tours by the Heritage service.
Augustin Trébuchon, the last Frontline Soldier Killed in Combat in 1918
Augustin Trébuchon fell at the last military operation of the Western Front of World War I. He is the emblem of the memorial cycle organised by the Ardennes Metropolitan urban area community.
The German monument in Sedan, a witness to the Great War
This monument to the dead, built by the German army in 1915 in the Saint-Charles cemetery, is one of the most important in the former occupied zone. Restored in 2017-2018 thanks to French and German funding, it is now a symbol of reconciliation.
Ouvrage de la Ferté (Fort of la Ferté)
For four days in May 1940, the 105 French soldiers in the garrison of the La Ferté fortress put up heroic resistance to the Germans, before dying of asphyxiation 25 metres underground. A fortified element of the powerful Maginot Line, the fortification was the very first fort to fall into German hands.
Les Libertés retrouvées 2023
Created in 2009, the "Libertés retrouvées" festival will bring the town of Donchery to life over a weekend. The event will be held in early September 2023. Programme to follow.
Musée Guerre et Paix en Ardenne (War and Peace Museum)
The Musée Guerre et Paix en Ardenne aims to present the history of the Ardennes during the three wars of 1870, 1914-1918 and 1939-1945. Its approach is highly original, since it is devoted to three major conflicts, whereas museums concerned with the history of contemporary wars generally focus on a single conflict.
Heritage and Wartime Memories Tours
The heritage and wartime memories tours presents the events and the history of the war and provides 5 mapped routes to follow in order to discover the battle sites. Book available at the tourist board of Sedan.