Tourists from all continents come more and more to visit the Great War memorial sites in Europe. UNESCO has therefore undertaken to preserve the memory of this conflict by including 139 memorial sites of the Great War on its list of World Heritage.
The Verdun Battlefield, France, is one such must-see site. Symbol of the tenacity of French and German soldiers, it embodies the brutality of combat. The remains, the cemeteries and the Douaumont Ossuary remind us of the extent of the human losses.
A few kilometers away is Fort de Douaumont, another silent witness to the clashes. Falling into enemy hands in 1916, it was recaptured by French troops and symbolizes the reconquest.
Breaking through the Hindenburg Line was a major challenge. The Thiepval memorial, in the Somme, honors the 72,000 British soldiers lost during the Battle of the Somme. Its majestic architecture recalls the magnitude of the sacrifice.
The Tyne Cot cemetery, in Belgium, is also a poignant place of memory. It houses the graves of nearly 12,000 Commonwealth soldiers, reminding us of the scale of the losses suffered.
The Fort of Breendonk, near Brussels, recalls the Nazi occupation in Belgium. Used as a concentration camp, it bears witness to the horrors suffered by many prisoners.
In Germany, the Langemark War Memorial and the Vladslo military cemetery are places of contemplation. They remind us that the war affected all the nations involved.