The subterranean citadel

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Underneath the citadel of Verdun subterranean shafts have been dug out between 1886 and 1893. In 1914 the total length of the shafts was around 4 km. At the end of the war, the subterranean citadel (La citadelle souterraine) counted 7 km of shafts.

La citadelle souterraine

Set up to accommodate 2 000 people and to nourish them, these shafts were composed of 6 powder depots, 7 munitions depots, a bakery, a mill, a telephone and telegraph central, lifting machines for water for the city and the forts, kitchens and huge depots. Its bread ovens ran day and night, producing 28 000 bread rations a day. On 13th November 1916 a ceremony was organized in one of the shafts to hand over the first decorations to the city of Verdun.

On 10th November 1920 the Unknown Soldier (soldat inconnu), who lies underneath the Arc de Triomphe (triumphal arch) in Paris today, has been appointed.

Nowadays you can visit a part of the subterranean shafts in a tipper wagon. A tour will show you how the soldiers lived there. At the end of your visiting you will attend a re-enactment of the scene of the choice of the Unknown Soldier (soldat inconnu).


Warning, there are not visits from 12 to 13:15, weekends and holidays.
  • Adults : 8 €
  • Children from 8 to 16 years : 4 €
  • Children younger than 8 years : free
  • Family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) : 20 €
  • Pupils, “ambassadeurs de Lorraine”, soldiers, veterans, jobseekers : 7 €

Opening time

  • February : 9:30am-12:30 / 1:30pm-5:30pm
  • March : 9:30am – 5:30pm
  • April, Mai and June : 9am – 6pm
  • July and August : 9am – 7pm
  • September : 9am – 6pm
  • October and November : 9:30am – 5:30pm
  • December : 10am-12 / 2pm-5pm

Reservations strongly recommended on 03 29 84 84 42 or

Guided tour of the upper citadel

t the foot of the hill flows the “Meuse endormeuse” (poem) of Péguy and the city walls tower around it and seem to be trying to keep its secrets jealously… You would like to push the doors open to see the medieval tower or to sneak in between the walls and surprise the soldiers while they are preparing themselves for going to the front… You will be able to satisfy your expectations.