Amiens during the Great War
Amiens was a hub of activity during the Great War. Occupied by the Germans for just a few weeks at the beginning of September 1914, it was later used by the Allies as a garrison just behind the front lines. The city also teamed with industries that arose from the needs of war, temporary hospitals filled the schools and public buildings, and distractions and trade of every kind could be found throughout the streets - a city guide book was even printed in English!
Taking over sixty years to build, from 1220 to 1288, the Notre-Dame Cathedral of Amiens is notable for the coherence of its design and beautiful sculptures. The largest Cathedral in France at 145 metres in length and 70 metres in width at the transept, it also has the highest nave in France. Notre-Dame de Paris could fit inside this Cathedral twice! It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981, for the quality of its architecture and furnishings and was listed for a second time in 1998 for being a place of worship along the Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France.
Place of Remembance
It survived the Great War and is now a place of remembrance and a thanksgiving mass was even held in the cathedral on 17 November 1918. On the pillars of the south transept, commemorative plaques pay tribute to Field Marshal Foch, General Leclerc de Hautecloque and to the soldiers who came from all over the world to fight in the Somme. Six Allied flags hang in the Sacré-Coeur Chapel, in remembrance of those who fought and died here. Notre-Dame also contains other works of art which are connected to the Great War, like the Weeping Angel, made famous by soldiers sending its picture-postcard back to their homes all over the world.
- Open from 1/04 to 30/09 from 8:30am to 6:15pm and from 1/10 to 31:03 from 8:30am to 5:15pm
- Free admission and access
- Climb the towers: everyday except Tuesdays (for visitors' safety, towers closed in wet weather)
- Audioguides in six different languages, available from tourist office, from €3
- Colourisation of the Cathedral, every evening during the summer months and December.
- Open from Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 6.30pm (6pm from 1 November to 31 March) and Sunday from 10am to 12pm and from 2pm to 5pm.