Fort de Vaux
Fort de Vaux is a series of forts situated in Vaux-devant-Damloup, near Verdun, that was built in the 1880s in order to house 150 soldiers. After Fort Douaumont, Fort de Vaux was unfortunately the second fort to fall to the Germans during the infamous Battle of Verdun in 1916, despite the fact that it was fully garrisoned. Enemies attacked repeatedly from June 2 to 7, initially to no avail as soldiers heroically refusing to evacuate. What was meant to happen eventually did happen, and the fort was handed over to the Germans only to be returned to the French in November of that same year. Today, many plaques commemorate the actions of the fort’s personnel during these attacks – including a carrier pigeon known as Cheramie, who helped carry messages at the request of Major Raynal, the commander of the fort during the Battle of Verdun. It is possible to visit the virtually untouched interior of Fort Vaux, which contains plenty of armories and even a pigeon loft. Visitors can also walk around the top of the Fort to learn more about the Battle of Verdun, and take in the scenery.