Fort and museum of the Resistance in Bondues.
Overlooking the confluence of the rivers Marque and Deûle, on the N17 road connecting Lille and Menin, Fort Lobau was erected in the 1880s, becoming part of the defence system designed by Séré de Rivières in the Lille region.
It has ramparts with a perimeter of 720 metres, protected by a wide ditch. It was impressive. It could accommodate 800 men and 40 pieces of artillery. However, although it had an armoured dome, it was not sufficient to provide shelter from new forms of explosives. Another weakness was linked to the fact that it could be opposed from the high ground of Mouvaux.
The peculiarity of the site is that it wasn't really used by French soldiers, but by German soldiers. It was actually occupied during the two wars in the 20th century. In the second world war it was linked to an airfield as of July 1940 and was used to store bombs for German aircraft.
But it was much more than this: from 17 March 1943 to 1 May 1944, it was a site of execution for the 68 members of the French Resistance in the region. Before they left on 1 September 1944, the Germans bombed the entire site. All that was left was a third of its original structure.
It was rediscovered by accident, and the Fort's casemates were renovated, following the original plans. The Sacred Courtyard, where executions had taken place, was inaugurated in 1986. The Fort is an interesting example of military architecture from the end of the 19th century (restored casemates, different courtyards: battery courtyard, courtyard of honour and Sacred courtyard).
The Fort houses the Musée de la Résistance, inaugurated on 20 September 1997.
The museum retraces the activities of the French Resistance in the region of Nord - Pas de Calais during the Second World War. Organised by theme, an educational trail explains the backgrounds of the men and women who belonged to the "shadow army", with collections of objects and documents from the time.
The museum has different rooms, organised by theme: the Memory room recalls the sacrifice made by the members of the Resistance killed at the Fort; the Refusal room explains the reasons for wanting to fight the occupier; the Courage room illustrates the different forms of resistance, from collecting information to carrying out spectacular actions; the Enrolment room describes the paths of the Resistance members and the different organisations (networks and movements) to help understand their reasons for joining; lastly, the Sacrifice room exposes the repression and the conditions of detention experienced by the arrested members.
The Museum also has an area dedicated to the Voix du Nord newspaper showing 66 clandestine copies of Voix du Nord, from 1 April 1941 to 5 September 1944, and a library open to students who want to do some research. The Museum also has a conference room and a dining area.
Musée de la Résistance de Bondues
BP80001 59587 BONDUES Cedex
Tel.: +33 (0)3 20 28 88 32
Fax: +33 (0)3 20 28 94 95
Opening times Summer : Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 2 pm to 4.30 pm Other periods: open every day subject to booking, from 9 am to 12 pm and 2 pm to 5 pm. Open on the first Sunday of the month (except in August) from 2.30 pm to 6 pm - guided tours at 3.30 pm. Closed on Tuesday, the weekend and national holidays. Guided tours can be organised on request outside the usual opening times.
Prices Individuals: €5.00. Children under 12 accompanied by an adult: free. Groups (from 10 people): €4.50 per person. School groups (30 pupils maximum): €25.00 per class
Mairie de Bondues
BP 1 59587 BONDUES Cedex
Correspondance ASSOCIATION "UNION RESISTANCE VOIX DU NORD"
Espace Résistance Voix du Nord 200, rue de la Coeuillerie 59840 PREMESQUES
Tel.: +33 18.104.22.168.56
Quizz : Forts and citadels