- History (WWI & WWII)
WWI in the Somme and Pas-de-Calais
From Zola to trenches (WWI battlefields and coal mines World Heritage historic sites)
Overnight tour in the North of France including a visit to the Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin and First World War battle sites in he Somme.
2 days - 1 night
Departs Paris towards North to reach Lewarde close to Douai. Visit the historic museum of coal mines (UNESCO listed).
Learn about the coal production from the 18th to the 20th centuries in Northern France, the history of the French working in the 19th C whose harsh working and living conditions were immortalized in Emile Zola's novel, Germinal.
Put on a helmet and visit a gallery where the history of these men is told.
Continue to the suburb of Lens to see the “corons” these rows of labor houses once built by the mines owners to accommodate the workers on production sites. Most of them are still habited. See the two grand Terrils of Lens at the Base 11/19 the waste hills are 600 feet high.
Spend some time in Arras and see its beautiful 17th C. Grand Place and Place des Héros as well as it Belfry (UNESCO listed).
Overnight in Arras.
Visit the wonderful Louvre museum of Lens (a unique collection inaugurated in 2012 as a symbol of reconversion of the mining area).
Continue to Notre Dame de Lorette to see the largest Great War French cemetery and learn about the history of WWI (UNESCO listed) and the evolution of the war in the trenches. See the Ring of Memory inaugurated on the same site in 2014 during the commemoration of WWI centennial.
Drive South to Albert to visit the Somme 1916 museum telling us all the details of the war of Trenches with showcases of objects (uniforms, weapons, bombs...)
A little bit south of Albert discover the impressive gothic cathedral of Amiens, probably the best preserved gothic facade of Northern France with thousands of sculptures (UNECO listed).
Return to Paris.