Charles de Gaulle Memorial in Colombey-les-deux-églises
In 2008, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel inaugurated a new memorial dedicated to former French president Charles de Gaulle. Located in the small village of Colombey-les-deux-églises in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France, the memorial is a simply designed yet extremely modern monument where visitors can immerse themselves in the life of the statesman, soldier, father, and writer. Visitors will gain a better understanding not only of de Gaulle’s life, but of the 20th century he so actively helped to shape.
Designed to tell the story of de Gaulle using the most cutting-edge technology, the museum is a center for “living history” that strives to connect with visitors of all ages. It consists of 1,800 square-meters of exhibition space; 50 audiovisual, multimedia, and interactive installations; 1,000 photographs; 40 maps; a 100-seat amphitheater; and a documentation center rivaled only by the library of the Charles de Gaulle Foundation in Paris.
The memorial also hosts rotating temporary exhibitions. The first, called “De Gaulle-Adenauer: A Franco-German Reconciliation,” explored the relationship between De Gaulle and former German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. The relationship between the heads of state shaped the destiny of Franco-German relations from 1958 up to the present day.
Colombey-les-Deux-Églises is a village of 400 people located in the Haute-Marne department of France’s Champagne region. De Gaulle bought an estate, called “La Boisserie,” here in 1934, and often came to the area for retreats. He died there in 1970, and is buried on the grounds of the estate, walking distance from the new memorial.