Vauquois 1914-1918

Dive deep into history, exploring the underground galleries and the trenches and fortifications on both sides of the huge mine craters on Vauquois Hill.

This site of the Great War is an absolutely unique memorial to the war underground!  Even today, more than ten kilometers of German and French underground galleries exist.  Trenches, fortifications and the underground systems are well maintained by a French association and are worth a visit.

At Vaquois Hill the mine-warfare first started in the end of 1914 with relatively small explosions, creating small mine craters.  With the evolution of mine-warfare and deeper encroachment by both armies into the hill for protection, the size and scale of explosives reached unbelievable levels.  The largest explosion in May 1916 used around 60 tons of explosives.  During the course of the war, the tiny village of Vauquois, initially situated on top of the hill had been completely annihilated by the explosions.

The craters that resulted are among the largest on the Western Front and are truly exceptional.

Tour length and geography can vary based on client availability, interest level and physical ability.  This tour includes a visit to the narrow underground galleries—a truly unique experience.  However, due to the narrow dimensions of the galleries, large groups should expect to be underground for a few hours.  (Thousands of visitors explore the galleries every year.)