In the Meuse Region, marked trails lead to nine ghost villages destroyed by bombing during the Battle of Verdun in 1916.
The villages are Beaumont-en-Verdunois, Bezonvaux, Cumières-le-Mort-Homme, Douaumont, Fleury-devant-Douaumont, Haumont-près-Samogneux, Louvemont-Côte-du-Poivre, Ornes, and Vaux-devant-Damloup. All located in the “Red Zone”, they were wiped off the map and were never rebuilt. The red zone represents 120,000 hectares of battlefields in France. To this day, the law prohibits activities in the zone, due to remains of bodies, ammunition, and major physical damage on the landscape.
The markers on the trail lead us to the traces of destroyed houses and public places to discover the activities and old trades of the time. Thus,these dead villages are symbols where chapels and memorial sites leave an emotionally moving imprint. It is also possible to visit some underground galleries.
Today, the destroyed villages are classified as historical monuments. Moreover, their nine communes are all members of the Communauté d’agglomération du Grand Verdun.