Posts tagged ‘memorial’

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.


The road leading to the Verdun Memorial


A wooden sculpture of a ‘Poilu’, a French infantryman


Fleury is still a commune, although its population is ‘0’. The only building is the chapel which was built in 1979.


Signs like the one in the bottom left corner show what was there before. In this case, you’re looking at a cafe.


The memorial for the fallen of the village


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


Adobe Lightroom CC

Ysselsteyn, Netherlands – V

In my last post about Ysselsteyn, I promised it would be my second to last. Here is the fifth and last set of photos of the only German War Cemetery in the Netherlands. I have some more, but I don’t want to bore people with the same photos over and over again. For the holidays, I doubt I will upload any other pictures, but I will have more material in January.


The center of the cemetery has a cross made of concrete. The wreaths seen in the last photo are from the German Remembrance Day which took place three weeks before I shot this photo.

Like some of the photos from my earlier posts, these show how big the cemetery is. I used three different color settings I played with. Low saturation and vibrance for the first, an icy temperature setting which played well with the fog, and high contrast black-and-white for the last one.

Nikon D5300
Nikon DX VR AF-P NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD MACRO 1:2

Adobe Lightroom CC

Ossuaire de Douaumont, France

During my little military history trip, I spent the night in Verdun, France. Verdun is a well-known name in the history of World War One in Germany and France. It was a long battle which began on February 21st and ended on December 19th, 1916. A lot of the fighting happened on the Douaumont hill. Around 250,000 German and French soldiers died and much more suffered injuries or are missing.

In 1932, French President Lebrun inaugurated the Douaumont Ossuary. 130,000 unknown fallen soldiers from both nations lay here. Through little windows, people can look at the bones and skulls.

I arrived in the afternoon when it was about to get dark. With some spare time after driving to a nearby German War Cemetery, I decided to visit the ossuary and call it a day. I was glad I made that decision. Upon arriving, French servicemen faced the cemetery in front of the ossuary and sung a song. Unluckily, I wasn’t able to identify it.

dsc_0822-a-2dsc_0826-aI love the photos above. Lightroom CC did most of the work. Played with the highlights and clarity, but the result is astonishing.

This is from the top of the ossuary. With 16,142 graves, it’s the largest French cemetery of World War One.

This one is from my iPhone 6s with a quick edit using the Lightroom mobile app. It’s hard to see, but one section of the cemetery looks slightly different. These are fallen Muslims, facing East. The building visible in the middle of the photo is the memorial for the Muslim soldiers. A memorial for the Jewish dead is on the Western side of the cemetery.

These two photos are from the next morning. I visited Fleury, a destroyed village, and the Verdun Memorial.

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

Adobe Lightroom CC
Adobe Lightroom iPhone

Recogne, Belgium

Recogne is just about 6km away from Bastogne. The next closest town is Foy which some may know from the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers. German soldiers who died on Belgian territory in World War Two rest either in Lommel or Recogne. Almost all of the 6,807 servicemen did fall in the Winter of 1944/45. Just a few hundred meters away was the temporary cemetery of the American troops.
Recogne was my last stop before Bastogne, and the sun was beginning to set. It allowed me to play with the long shadows of the trees and gravestones.

Bastogne, Belgium

Today I started my military history weekend and currently, I’m in a hotel in Bastogne, Belgium. I visited La Gleize, Belgium, and the German War Cemetery in Recogne, Belgium. Photos will follow later.

In Bastogne, I finally got to see the Bastogne War Museum and the Mardasson Memorial. When I first visited Bastogne a couple of years ago, the memorial and the museum were under renovation.

Here are some photos from the outside, showing the Mardasson Memorial and a sculpture by Seward Johnson, called “The Kiss.” I used my Nikon D5300 with a Nikon DX VR AF-P NIKKOR 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G lens. Editing with Adobe Lightroom CC.