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Mémorial Notre-Dame de la Lorette

Mémorial Notre-Dame de la Lorette

WWI memorial Notre-Dame de Lorette

The French military cemetery and monument of Notre-Dame de Lorette, close to Lens, commemorates the thousands of soldiers who lost their lives in one of the heaviest battles during World War I.

Lorette's 165-metre-high hill explains why heavy fighting took place between October 1914 and October 1915 to capture the strategic lookout over the northern French mining basin. 

200,000 deaths

Almost 200,000 soldiers lost their lives in the battle, including 100,000 Frenchmen.


In 1925, the national cemetery was opened, including the Notre-Dame-de-Lorette basilica. The 'Lanterne des morts' is the 52-metre-high eye-catcher of the monument and is illuminated at night. 

The Anneau de la Mémoire was only added in 2011 and commemorates the centenary of the battle.

Visitor centre

At the foot of the hill, you can visit the visitor centre. The black concrete cubes refer to the bunkers that rose like mushrooms from the ground during the First World War.

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