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On the traces of a warThe Living Museum 14-18 of Ablain-Saint-Nazaire

The Living Museum 14-18 of Ablain-Saint-Nazaire

Courage, honor and strength are among the qualities that make a man a model in the eyes of a child. For Mr. Bardiaux, the real hero is his grandfather: a soldier during the First World War, he shares with him the memories of an important period for France. And from these moments of sharing was born a true passion. At Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, it is the vocation of a lifetime that is now open to a wide public. At the Musée Vivant 14-18 in Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, the collection exhibited in this interpretation center immerses visitors, whether they are enthusiasts or simply curious, in the daily life of the poilus. A visit particularly adapted to families.

A battle for memory...

For Monsieur Bardiaux, it was never a question of collecting stamps or playing cards like other children. At the age of 6, he discovers a rusty bayonet in a garden: a relic of a landmark war, it is the starting point of a battle for memory. Lulled by the stories of his grandfather, he pursued his quest, knocking on all the doors of the surrounding farms and became the happy owner of many objects witnessing the First World War.

Today, the passion of Mr. Bardiaux has borne fruit, and not far from the tree. If when he was younger his small museum was open to his relatives, now the interpretation center and museum of Ablain-Saint-Nazaire exposes to the world a large collection.

💡The Living 14-18 Museum shared its collection for the sets of the shooting of Albert Dupontel’s movie, “Au revoir là-haut”, featuring a survivor of the Great War.

A monument on a human scale

Nested on the hill of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, where the remains of the battlefield are located, the Living Museum 14-18 of Mr. Bardiaux is one of those monuments of memory and history. An exceptional place, near which the war raged for almost a year, from October 1914 to September 1915. The heights of Ablain-Saint-Nazaire saw one of the most violent battles of Artois: historical witnesses to the sacrifice of these soldiers for France, 20,000 identified bodies and 22,000 unknown dominate the hill from the Necropolis of Notre-Dame-De-Lorette.

The Interpretation Center and Museum of Ablain-Saint-Nazaire embarks you for a return to the past, a historical dive into the verisimilitude of the Great War. A visit in two parts, which begins with the collection of pieces found by Mr. Bardiaux supported by 400 stereoscopic views that complete this exhibition of images, sounds and lights. The journey continues through a reconstruction of the reality of the First World War from the underground shelters through the trenches where you will find cannons, machine guns, shells, barbed wire and armored turrets of the period.

💡Since December 27, 1928, Notre-Dame-de-Lorette is classified as a “Historic Site”.

A visit for everyone

The Living Museum of the 14-18 War encourages visitors of all ages to discover a fascinating period of French History. To collect oneself, to learn, or to feed one’s curiosity, this interpretation center leaves room for reality: each piece is a fragment of the past found on the battlefield of Ablain-Saint-Nazaire. A room of found objects, reconstructed scenes of the war, trenches animated by the sound of bombing on the Notre-Dame-de-Lorette hill… The collection is authentic and immersive!

Visit the Living Museum 14-18

All our practical information

The Living Museum 14-18 opens its doors every day from 9am to 7pm. For your visit to the site of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette:

  • Entry to the museum area: 5 euros for an adult
  • Entry to the museum area: 3 euros for a child
  • Tour of the battlefield : 1 euro per person
  • Access to the 1914/1918 Diorama: 0.40 euro per viewer

📍Address: Musée Vivant de Notre Dame de Lorette, Colline Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, 62153 Ablain-Saint-Nazaire

📞 Telephone: 03 21 45 15 80