Memorial A La Ligne Maginot

Bill Bryson would love this place! It’s the kind of museum he writes about so well in his travelogues. I’ll try to emulate his style…
I mentioned the Maginot Line a few days ago when I was on the Franco-Belgian border. Maginot was the French minister of war in the 1930s and he persuaded the government of the time to build a defensive barrier along the course of the Rhine to stop the Germans invading again. Tragically, and a bit comically, the Germans went through Belgium instead and in the words of the historical blurb at the entrance to this museum, after entering the country in May 1940 “were at the gates of Paris by June 14th”.
The museum itself consists of the large pillar box you can see in the picture (I imagine it didn’t have any of the writing on the side back in 1940) and half a dozen or so military vehicles from the time. The place is riddled with retrospectively ironic health and safety signs from the post war period; “access forbidden”, “do not climb on the roof” and the best which has an arrow pointing at the main door saying “entrance” in three languages, including of course German.
It is also pointed out that when the Germans did attack the place later in the summer of 1940 (to prove that the natural barrier of the Rhine was not impregnable), 90% of the town of Marckolsheim was destroyed. It is amazing to think that the place where I just had lunch had only 10% of the buildings standing 70 years ago…

Categories: Cycling

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  1. looks like you can camp next to the river to the east of the town centre in Colmar. piccies look good ont interweb.

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