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Being a museum of reference, our Somme 1916 Museum is located inside a tunnel that dates back to the 13th century, rehabilitated into an air-raid shelter in 1938.
The museum opened its doors on the 1st of July 1992 following repairs and rehabilitation, and it’s at 10m below ground, after having descended the 62 steps into a 250m long gallery, where you may discover the life of our soldiers in the trenches during the 1st of July 1916 offensive.
With an exceptionally rich collection, you will discover our display cases presenting various objects, material and weapons used in that period. The display cases also allow for better understanding of evolution in weaponry and the appearance of new technologies such as gas and tanks… 15 scenes displaying the trenches allow for a very grasping reality, to understand the lives of the French, British and German soldiers during World War I, by different scenes such as :
* The sufferance that the wounded would have endured represented in the First Aid Post scene.
* The cold, the mud and the rats represented in the winter scene.
* At rest, apart from briefings and training, distractions were numerous. Letter writing, society games, trench art confection etc…
In the museum, the only thing that could be missing would be being able to give a voice to each of the mannequins to allow you to relive and understand the harsh reality lived through this conflict, and that this period in history has forever marked our region.
The visit ends in a corridor where a light and sound display can make you imagine how a bombardment during the night could be like. Then you will reach our souvenir gift shop, which you will find a large variety of poppy food products, tableware, museum souvenir objects, and books in French and English as well as militaria collections…