Battlefields of the Marne
The tour below invites you to discover the places where the fighting took place following the exact chronology of events, in the direction of the advance of French troops on the ground:
- Dormans Memorial: This 'Chapel of the Victories of the Marne’ is a national monument in Romano-Gothic style and is the emblematic memorial for the two Battles of the Marne. The site was chosen by General Foch as a compromise between the locations of the two battles. The imposing structure looks out over the Marne Valley, offering visitors panoramic views of the 1918 battlefield, and marking symbolically the crossing of the Marne by German troops in 1914 and 1918, threatening Paris on both occasions. The crypt under the chapel commemorates the fallen, and the remains of 1,500 unidentified soldiers rest in the memorial’s ossuary.
- The American Monument: this huge monument 26 metres high erected near the Museum of the Great War has been christened "Liberty weeping". The sculptor Frederick Mac Monnies symbolised the victory of the Marne in September 1914, by representing France as a Spartan mother, resigned to the sacrifice of her sons for their country, but also a sorrowful mother, standing heroically as her heart bleeds.
- The Monument to the dead Place Doumer Meaux: erected in memory of the soldiers killed during the war of 1870 and colonial wars. It also lists the names of the children of Meaux who died for their country during the First World War.
- The Saint-Barthélémy Church in Chauconin-Neufmontiers: the ru de Rutel, a small stream at the entrance to the village, offered the French a makeshift shelter from enemy fire. On 5th and 6th September 1914, the counter-offensive launched by Joffre led the regiments of Ile-de-France and Seine-et-Marne to fight alongside the army regiments of Africa. The village was destroyed and the church turned into a field hospital.
- The Notre-Dame de la Marne de Barcy monument: this site saw some of the heaviest fighting in attempts to take its decisive position. On September 8th 1914, the Bishop of Meaux promised to erect a monument if the Episcopal city of Meaux was spared.
- The Memorial of Charles Péguy and Grande Tombe of Chauconin-Neufmontiers: Lieutenant Charles Péguy, killed on 5th September 1914 in Villeroy, lies resting in the Grande Tombe of Chauconin alongside his comrades-in-arms.
- The Chambry communal cemetery: Zouaves and Germans became entrenched here in succession, digging murder holes which are still visible in the wall. The "Battlefields of the Marne" route includes a stop at the German military cemetery and the French necropolis.
This tour can be done by bus.
Office de Tourisme du Pays de Meaux
1 Place Paul Doumer
Tel. : +33 (0)1 64 33 02 26