Hartmannswillerkopf, a place of memory in Alsace


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Hartmannswillerkopf, a place of memory in Alsace

The Hartmannswillerkopf is a must-see place for history buffs staying in Alsace, as well as for those curious to understand a dark page of the region's past. But it is above all a place of commemoration, which should never be forgotten.

A long and deadly battle


The Hartmannswillerkopf is a rocky outcrop in the Vosges mountains that occupies a strategic position, offering a choice observatory over the Alsace plain. The battle of Hartmannswillerkopf took place there during the First World War, between the German and French armed forces, from January 1915 to January 1916. Although it took place on a secondary front, the extremely violent fighting and the harsh climate of the Vosges made this battle terrifying and trying, just like the more famous ones at the Marne, the Meuse and the Somme. The exact number of victims of the battle of Hartmannswillerkopf is unknown. It is currently estimated that several tens of thousands of people died on both sides. These soldiers fought for an insignificant military result and rest today in the French and German military cemeteries in the vicinity. The mountain is sometimes called the "man-eater" or the "mountain of death", and rightly so...

An international place of memory

The Hartmannswillerkopf is today a Franco-German memorial of the First World War, in memory of the soldiers of both countries who fell for their country during the deadly battle of the same name. The top of the mountain is classified as a historical monument and can be explored on foot on tens of kilometers of trails, allowing to understand the difficulty of the progression of the soldiers during the conflict. Many vestiges of the war are still visible today, such as trenches and concrete shelters. The Crypt contains an ossuary with the remains of more than ten thousand unknown soldiers, as well as weapons found on the battlefield. The national necropolis of Silberloch includes many graves of identified soldiers. Other monuments, such as a majestic illuminated concrete summit cross and a bronze monument dedicated to the 152nd Infantry Regiment, dot the mountain.


  • Memorial

Tourist areas : Vosges

SVG coordinates : 742,1068