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7 of the best World War I sites you can visit

By: Josh Lew on Sept. 22, 2016, 3:20 p.m.
The battlefield of Verdun

Photo: Oeuvre personnelle/Wikimedia Commons

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Verdun

The battle of Verdun lasted for almost the entirety of 1916. During the 303-day confrontation, German and French forces faced off in one what became one of the costliest battles of the war. Though no one is sure exactly how many people were killed or wounded at Verdun in 1916, scholars estimate that the total number of casualties was nearly 1 million. French forces were able to repel the German offensive, but the battle was, more or less, a stalemate because neither side was able to gain a significant advantage in the war as a whole.

Shell craters are still visible on the battlefield (pictured). Numerous memorials, including a building called the Ossuary that contains the remains of more than 100,000 soldiers, are scattered throughout the 39-square-mile patch of land where most of the fighting took place. Visitors can also explore fortresses such as Fort Douaumont and Fort Vaux. These structures, built during a war with Prussia in the 19th century, were already old when the Germans attacked them in 1916.

The Verdun Memorial Museum features exhibits and artifacts that show what it was like in the trenches in 1916. Guests follow a "Visitors Trail" that leads through the exhibits and up to rooftop terraces that overlook the surrounding battlefield.