Singular moments (2): Souville

More of those moments, however brief, when you come across something that strikes a chord, sticks in the mind…..

Verdun…the enormity of the French sacrifice in World War 1

Verdun – Douaumont Ossuary and graves

Exploring the woods around Verdun….we visited the forts of Vaux and Douaumont (both were restored to some degree, but still chilling reminders of WW1)…. water was constantly dripping through the walls, and it was cold and damp (I think I have posted on these previously, must check)

Further down the tracks in the woods I happened on the ruined remains of Souville…not open to the public, unrestored and largely forgotten. It is very unstable with roof falls in numerous places, deep shafts and rotted railings…  I peeked inside,but did not venture far! Maybe now, two decades later, it will have been fenced off. It wasn’t a place that would have been safe to explore……but here are some tantalising glimpses of a bit of lost history.

Souville was a very extensive fort, most of it underground. A few years later, I happened on another section of the fort, after walking down some tracks through the woods:

I am always drawn to tunnels:

…but I didn’t venture in, just as well I didn’t as there was a very large hole I noticed as I peered in:

…and some of the roof is falling away:

All in all, over 100 years have taken their toll……




  1. The battlefield memorials of WW1 are simply overwhelming. I visited twice, but not sure I could stand it again.
    Thiepval had me in tears…
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. I thought at first glance that it said “Soulville.” 🙂 Reminds me of some of the places we saw while in Normandy some years ago. So much history.


  3. Wow! You’ve been to some awe inspiring places in your quest for ruins and decay, Sue. I can’t say that I’ve ever been drawn to tunnels. 😳

  4. Oh goodness, teh building looks like a missile, what a strange design choice.

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