As soon as you enter Souilly, you will be captivated by the calm and mysterious atmosphere that reigns there. In the old town hall of the village, the Museum of the Voie Savrée (or Museum of the Sacred Way) is installed. This site is very symbolic of the town. Indeed, at the time, it was converted into the headquarters for the supervision of the Battle of Verdun. It was later transformed into an American command center.
Throughout the exhibition, we discover what life was like in Souilly before the war. But then, we examine the upheaval that the city faced during the Great War. Thus, we learn how the villagers’ plots of land were requisitioned to build facilities, hospitals, airfields, and even a prison camp.
Beyond the practical adaptations forced by the war, the museum also allows us to discover the complex reality of daily life during the war. Indeed, life was punctuated by civilian refugees, shootings, burials, among many other challenges. Vietnamese workers from French colonies were also brought to the area to ease labor shortages caused by the war.
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the war, the museum was revamped and now offers a modern and interactive exhibition. Numerous archival photos, unique period objects, and poignant videos are gathered there.