The Observatory of the path of the ladies and the Abbey of Vauclair

A hike in the Champagne region to discover the remains of the first world war

The Observatory and the Abbey of Vauclair are distant from 6,7 miles (15 miles round trip), the two sites are connected by a forest path. This path is called the "path of the postman (chemin du facteur in French)" because it was the path taken by the postman before the war. The path is difficult with bad weather conditions there are also many mosquitoes in the summer. Furthermore it is quite difficult to see the remains of the fightings of the WWI along the way. If you prefer you can visit the both sites by car without walking. Everything is free, there is no right of entry. The Observatory is really worth a look.

Interest: ratinggood (1 user)
Difficulty: difficulty
Duration: 1 h.

Parking at the Observatory of the Chemin des Dames

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Parking at the Observatory of the Chemin des Dames
The parking lot is next to the Observatory. The parking is located at the former place of the village of Craonne. The village was completely destroyed during the war, it is even difficult to find some traces.

Ascent to the Observatory

Ascent to the Observatory
The area is still in a red zone that means that nobody can live here due to the military devices that are still in the ground!

View of the Observatory

View of the Observatory
A lot of information about the battle. The view on the Observatory worth the glance even if the forest has covered all the traces of the battle.

The Observatory

The Observatory
The Observatory is huge!

The cemetery

The cemetery
From the road you can see the old cemetery of Craonne.

The path of the postman

The path of the postman

The Abbey of Vauclair

The Abbey of Vauclair

The remains of the walls

The remains of the walls
The Cistercian monks built the Abbey in the 12th century.

The remains of the Abbey

The remains of the Abbey

the path

the path
The Abbey was destroyed in 1917 by the French artillery. Today it’s only a ruin.

The pond around the Abbey

The pond around the Abbey
Start of the walk (Google Maps)

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