The Via Francigena runs through a corner of the Somme department for a distance of 36km, passing through the area of France most devastated by the 1st World War.

Somme is now part of the region of Picardie, with a short sea coast and inland plateau. The river runs southeast to north-west to reach the sea at the channel. The climate is a mild continental climate with annual rainfall varying for 600mm inland to 1200 on the coast. Fertile parts of the plateaux are used for traditional farming and grazing and there are natural reserves on the coastal dunes and the estuary. Inland are also shallow lakes and woods. One of the earliest industries was jute weaving, set up by a Scotsman who also developed an early example of extensive housing and services for his employees.

History of Somme

This area saw most of the destruction of the 1st World War, when most historical buildings were destroyed and millions of young men killed. The Battle of the Somme was one of the most destructive battles of the war, lasting 4.5 months and killing or injuring one million men. It was the first battle where tanks were deployed and aircraft played a significant role. The 2nd World War brought more devastation as the British attempted to destroy V-rocket sites in the territory. Over 650 military cemeteries, mainly British and Canadian, attract some visitors. The route only runs for a short distance through Somme, passing through the regional park of the forest of the east.

Chateau de Peronne WWI Museum

The partly ruined chateau now consists of 3 towers and a connecting curtain wall, with the remains of a moat in front. Inside is a museum of the 1st World War. It was German occupied during the first world war and was very close to the battlefront.

Château de Péronne Wikipedia Page


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