Fleury-devant-Douaumont, France

Although I’ve been to Verdun four times, it was a first time for me when I stopped at Fleury last month. It lays right next to the Verdun Memorial and just two kilometers away from the Douaumont Ossuary. When the Battle of Verdun began, the population of roughly 400 evacuated the village in a hurry. It is said that soldiers found half-eaten meals on the kitchen tables.

After 300 days of hell and after up to 60 million shells were fired, there was nothing left of the little village. Today, only signs show the visitors which buildings had to make room for destruction and the craters that are left. Fleury-devant-Douaumont and other eight villages in the region that suffered the same fate are called “villages detruit”, destroyed villages.

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The road leading to the Verdun Memorial
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A wooden sculpture of a ‘Poilu’, a French infantryman
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Fleury is still a commune, although its population is ‘0’. The only building is the chapel which was built in 1979.
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Signs like the one in the bottom left corner show what was there before. In this case, you’re looking at a cafe.
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The memorial for the fallen of the village

Equipment:

Nikon D5300
Nikon DX VR AF-P NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
iPhone 6s

Editing:

Adobe Lightroom CC

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