The museum of the Somme 1916 in Albert !!

I came upon another historical dandy and nice town. This is the wonderful Albert in the Somme dept 80 of the Hauts de France region. And I like to update this older post and give you more on the musée Somme 1916 d’Albert.

The wonderful museum of the Somme 1916 or musée Somme 1916, an old underground museum that connects to the basilica of Notre Dame de Brébiéres (see post), civil defense and life in the trenches  during WWI. It was indeed a nice educational family trip!

albert mus somme 1916 underground ent apr10

The city of Albert was at stake in terrible fighting during the WWI (call the grande guerre or great war in France). These were from September 25 to 29, 1914, during the Battle of Albert, as part of the Race to the Sea; during the year 1915, the city was the object of numerous artillery rounds which almost completely destroyed it. The bell tower of the basilica was hit and the Golden Virgin on top remained leaning over the void; also, during the Battle of the Somme in 1916, from July 1 to November 18; during the battle of Kaiser in spring 1918, the ruined city was occupied by German troops; in 1918, general Douglas Haig launched a counter-offensive in Albert, on August 21. The main attack was launched by the 3rd British Army, which was joined by the 2nd United States CorpsAlbert fell on August 22, 1918.

Albert mus somme16 PF 23avr10

The city of Albert became one of the main poles of tourism in memory of WWI in the Somme. The Somme 1916 museum was created in 1992. Every July 1, a bagpipes concert is given in front of the basilica in memory of the soldiers who fell in battle. The Somme 1916 museum, located at rue Anicet Godin.

The Somme 1916 museum, formerly the Shelter Museum, is set up in a civil defense underground and presents life in the trenches during WWI at ten meters deep and 230 meters long. Its entrance is located to the right of the Basilica Notre-Dame de Brebières. The museum opened to the public on July 1, 1992. About twenty showcases present objects, equipment and weapons of the time. They make it possible to understand the evolution of armament and the appearance of new techniques such as gas or tanks. It is with a striking realism that about fifteen scenes reconstructed in trenches evoke the life of the soldiers (Irish shelter, gas alert, the aid station, Captain Nevill, etc.) in their daily life. The visit continues with a reconstruction of a trench under the night bombardments (sound and visual effects).

albert mus somme 1916 tunnel apr07

This underground museum is made up of about fifteen alcoves or shelters, on either side of a gallery 230 meters long. In the gallery, weapons and military equipment are displayed in display cases as well as posters, newspaper articles and photographs. In the alcoves were reconstructed various scenes illustrating the daily life of soldiers in the trenches during the Franco-British offensive of 1916 during the Battle of the Somme with scenes from German, Australian, British, Canadian or French trenches; infirmary scene; soldiers’ rest and distraction scene; and attack scene, at the exit of the underground. To end the visit, the Gallery of Heroes retraces the journey of certain characters who distinguished themselves during the Battle of the Somme. Also, projection of documentary films on the Great War; animation on the soldier’s equipment at the front. The museum exit gives access to the public garden where the Ancre river flows, under the remains of the city walls of Albert. Awesome!!

Albert mus somme tunnel RF et NF 23avr10

The official Museum of the Somme 1916:

The city of Albert on the museum

The Somme dept 80 tourist office on the museum

This is another wonderful historical, educational museum to see ,at Albert. The Museum of 1916 make you reflect on the bounties of life, an unbelievable experience. Hope never to be repeated. Hope you enjoy the post, and do come to see it , it’s a must. Good for the whole family.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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