Located 15 minutes to the north of Arras, the Ring of Remembrance has become a key monument on the Great War Remembrance Trails. Inaugurated on 11 November 2014 on the site of the Necropolis of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, this contemporary memorial forms an enormous ellipsis engraved with the names of the 580,000 soldiers who fell during the Great War. A very powerful symbol of international peace.
From the Battles of Artois to the Necropolis
The plateau of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette was a strategic position occupied by the Germans from 1914.
In the distance, the towers of the Abbey of Mont-Saint-Eloi can be seen, on the other side of Vimy Ridge. Battles raged here from December 1914 onwards. Notre-Dame-de-Lorette was recaptured by the French in May 1915 and Vimy Ridge was taken by the Canadians in April 1917. Here, the landscape tells the story.
40 nationalities, 200,000 men fallen on this plateau, a bloodbath, and the creation from 1920 onwards of the biggest military necropolis in France (42,000 soldiers lie here), demonstrating the extent of the sacrifice made by the French nation in defence of its land.
A symbolic memorial
A project supported by the Region and inaugurated on 11 November 2014 by President François Hollande, the Ring of Remembrance is a powerful work.
Inspired by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, it reminds us that almost 40% of Great War soldiers have no known grave. This monument gives those fallen men a place of remembrance, a place where their names are preserved, commemorated and honoured.
Réunis sans distinction
Le génie de l’intention est d’avoir pensé un mémorial international qui regroupe tous les noms des soldats tombés au champ de bataille, de manière alphabétique, sans distinction de nationalité, de genre, de religion, ou de grade.
Il rassemble tous ces disparus dans une fraternité posthume éternelle pour délivrer un message de paix universel.
An astonishing work
Designed by the architect Philippe Prost, the Ring of Remembrance appears to be balancing, reminding citizens that peace is a fragile achievement.
345 metres in length and made up of 500 three-metre tall steel plates, this immense rounded shape is an architectural triumph. The first engraved name is that of a Nepalese sailor, the last that of a German soldier. The French graphic designer, typographer and typeface designer, Pierre di Sciullo, designed a unique font especially for these names: the Lorette. A superb alliance of art and nature in the service of remembrance.
The Ring of Remembrance in practice
Chemin de la Chapelle, 62153 Ablain-Saint-Nazaire. Next to the Notre-Dame de Lorette Necropolis. Open year-round.