Fort Douaumont, set on hill 388, was originally part of the defense system built by General Séré de Rivières to protect France from a German Invasion following the Treaty of Frankfurt.
The building work began in 1882 and it was modernised seven times in the run up to 1914. Its initial stonework, which was reinforced after the "high explosive shell crisis", was protected by a thick layer of sand to muffle the blasts and a layer of concrete measuring 1.5 metres by 2.5 metres.
It was surrounded by ditches featuring metal fences and armed with breach guns, a 155mm gun cupola, a "casemate de Bourge" -type bunker for two 75mm guns and three "armour-plated cupolas with two Hotchkiss machine guns and six armour - plated observation posts. In August 1915, it was partially disarmed and its garrison, closed.
By 25th February 1916, all that remained was the fixed 155mm and the 75mm gun cupolas and a small team of forty territorial artillerymen.
German shelling took its toll on the building - the damage drawbridge lay open, the observation towers were demolished, the concrete shell was weakened and the scarp and counterscarp were in ruins.
The 24th Brandenburg Infantery regiment captured the Fort without resistance.
Following an initial failed attempt, the fort was recaptured on 24th October 1916.
Open every day :
- 15 March 2017 : 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- April : 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
- May / June : 10 a.m. - 6.30 p.m.
- July / August : 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
- September : 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
- October : 10 a.m. - 5.30 p.m.
- November : 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- December : 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
The most heavily armed and most important fort of the region. Visit the two levels of the galleries ans casemates.
Observatory with machine guns ans canons from 75 to 155.
Visit the commanders station, chapel and walled cemetery and the area where ammunition was stored.
- € 1 per pupil
- 1 free for every 10 paying students
- € 3 per additional adult