Hartmannswillerkopf National Cemetery Vieil-Armand-Silberboch
La nécropole nationale du Hartmannswillerkopf Vieil-Armand-Silberboch. © Guillaume Pichard
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Located in Wattwiller, Harmannswillerkopf National Cemetery lies on the site of positions held by the 28th Chasseurs battalion in December 1914. It holds the remains of soldiers who died for France during the 1914-1918 war. Established between 1921 and 1926, it contains bodies exhumed from the battlefields or from the military cemeteries in Wattwiller, Steinbach, Uffoltz and Willer, as well as to the south of Thann and La Doller. 1,640 soldiers are buried here, including 384 unidentified bodies buried in 6 ossuaries.
In front of the cemetery stands the National Monument containing the bodies of nearly 12,000 unknown French soldiers in an ossuary built into a crypt, together with three chapels - Catholic, Protestant and Jewish.
Above the monument, there is the Altar of La Patrie. On its sides it bears the names of the cities which donated money to build the memorial. On either side of the entrance to the monument, two bronze Winged Victory statues stand guard, the work of sculptor Antoine Bourdelle. The memorial is overlooked by the summit of HWK, where many reminders of the battles that took place here in 1915 are conserved, and which to this day remains a cemetery open to the sky.