Jaine's European Trip 2018 travel blog

The French Officers' Mess, our home for 3 nights

Daytime view of the Mess

Verdun damage after WWI

Charlemagne overlooking Verdun, where his Holy Roman Empire was divided among his...

Panoramic view of Verdun from my hotel room balcony. Note part of...

General Pershing's headquarters during WWI

Pershing's office

The handsome general

French war dead laid in the pews of the church

The church today

Altar of the church with relief of the war dead

One of several stained glass windows with images of the war dead...

Today, we stopped by General Pershing's headquarters in Souilly. They kept his office just the way he left it, they say. He is revered in France and almost every city in the northern part of the country has an Avenue de General Pershing.

After that, we went to a little church in nearby Marbotte where dead French soldiers from the battle in the town were brought. There is an iconic drawing of it that was published in newspapers worldwide. Today, you can see the images of the dead and wounded soldiers in the restored church's altar and stained glass windows.

We're staying for 3 nights at the beautifully restored WWI French Officers' Mess in Verdun, a fortified city founded in the 4th century. (Mess used to mean "a portion of food," but came to be understood as the place where the officers ate and had "recreation.") The city was heavily bombed during the Great War, but the Officers' Mess somehow escaped the worst. Now it's a 4-star hotel. This pretty city on the Meuse River was fought over in every war from the Napoleonic Wars to WWI.

There is a huge statue of Charlemagne overlooking the city because this is where the Holy Roman Empire was divided up among his 3 sons after his death.

I'm glad I have such a pretty view looking out on the river because my cold has set in with a vengeance. I'm going to be having room service here on my balcony and hitting the rack here in the mess, as they say.

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