The Historial: New for 2016
In 2016, the Historial Museum of the Great War is continuing with its renovation programme.
Visitors will be delighted to discover its new exhibitions and activities including the new audiovisual room and a young visitors app.
The Historial will be gaining a brand new reception area at the entrance to its castle. Museum galleries are now open at the Thiepval Visitor Centre in complement to its present exhibition.
Work to the Historial's New Entrance
Until Automn 2016, work is being carried out to the main entrance of the museum (castle entrance) in order to provide visitors with a brand new reception area.
Temporarily, visitors are invited to use the secondary entrance, behind the castle, that leads directly to the museum's café.
Providing an introduction to the museum visit, a new audiovisual room shows a projection combining archive images and animated maps to provide visitors with details about the First World War before they enter the museum's galleries.
The five galleries that study life behind the lines or on the battlefields have seen their multimedia updated, with visual displays, interactive content and sound systems.
The first gallery, devoted to the outbreak of war, has been completely renewed with new artefacts and a timeline detailing the events that led to declarations of war.
New Young Visitor App
Children from 6 to 13 will have access to a fun and educational young visitors app, which is available in four languages: French, English, German and Dutch.
The app invites children to take on the role of a First World War reporter, following the stories of three soldiers: Jules, a Frenchman; Johann, a German; and Walter a British man.
The app offers a whole host of activities to the children including looking for particular objects in the display cases and making drawings. It is also adapted to each age group and to preferences; the user can decide if he or she would like to learn more about a particular subject, or continue on to a new activity in another part of the museum.
Using the museum's WIFI, the app can be downloaded for free on to a visitor's smartphone or tablet (Reporter 14-18 app from Google Play), or one of the museum's tablets can be borrowed from reception.
This activity is included in the price of an entry ticket and is sure to be a great hit with children, families and groups!
For 2016, the Otto Dix Gallery has been renovated in order to place an even greater focus on the work of this artist and soldier. One of his etchings has been reproduced on a glass wall at the entrance to this gallery.
A projection from the ceiling onto the floor highlights the detail of his work, superimposing it onto other artworks that inspired the artist.
From 28 June to 16 November 2016, the Historial presents a new, original and fascinating temporary exhibition: Writers in War 14-18. This exhibition about the soldier-writers and their work transports visitors back to the era of the First World War. Through the eyes and voices of writers who experienced war, either on the front lines or from a distance behind the lines, come and learn about these men who spoke out about the conflict and its aftermath, and were inspired to write novels based on their personal experiences.
The exhibition touches on the life stories and work of great literary figures from British, German and French ranks, including Blaise Cendrars, Ernst Jünger, Guillaume Apollinaire, Wilfred Owen, Ivor Gurney, August Stramm, Pierre Mac Orlan and Jaques Vaché.
The layout presents a chronological, topical and polyphonic view of one of the worst conflicts in history.
New Musuem at the Thiepval Visitor Centre
At the Historial's second site, the Thiepval Visitor and Interpretation Centre, new museum galleries are now open. Through this extension and in complement to the Historial's galleries and the present exhibition at the Centre, The Thiepval Visitor Centre becomes an on-site museum, housing in particular the spectacular mural by American illustrator Joe Sacco and shedding new light on the Great War and remembrance.