Bastogne is a municipality situated in Belgium in the province of Luxembourg featuring a number of great attractions related to military and European history. With a population size of more than 15,000 inhabitants and an area of around 172 square kilometers, the municipality occupies great importance from the period of Roman Empire to that of the Second World War. As such, it is a great place to visit to learn more about 20th century European history.
The municipality of Bastogne holds immense significance in European history. As a region that fell into the Roman conquest in the 7th century and later being liberated by the Allies from Nazi German influence in the Second World War, Bastogne offers tourists with a great insight into the many important events shaping the world we live in today. For those obsessed with European and military history, this is nothing short of ideal. There are many things to do in Bastogne that can help you have an exciting adventure with your family or friends. Firstly, the Mardasson Monument is a great place to visit. This incredibly large monument is a tribute to all the division that took part in the Bastogne battles. Tourists visiting the site can find the information and details pertaining to the battles fought in the Second World War. Another place that you can add to your things to do in Bastogne list is the Bastogne Historical Centre, a museum that is packed with a considerable number of exhibits and information about the Second World War. Displayed via large dioramas, the site offers a fascinating account of the soldiers and items that were part of the wars in Bastogne at the time.
There are also many points of interest that tourists need to know about prior to visiting Bastogne. Some of these include the Boggess Monument, the site where the German siege was destroyed as a result of a series of tanks deployed under the command of Lieutenant Charles Boggess. The Lieutenant is reported to have engaged in a bloody fist fight after which he led the Sherman tanks to weaken the German stronghold, after which the siege was finally laid to rest. The heroics of Lieutenant Boggess is led to the site being named after him, and tourists can know more about the fascinating account of this groundbreaking battle by visiting the location. You can also visit the Bastogne Historical Center & Mardasson Memorial, which is dedicated to the famous Battle of the Bulge, in addition to the defense of Bastogne. Here, you can take a trip through time and experience what it was like fighting for the defense of Bastogne against the German army. The site includes a variety of tanks, ammunition, knives, and other equipment from the 1940s. You have plenty of opportunities to take amazing pictures and videos. Other points of interest that you can visit include the Patton Memorial, American Memorial, and Place McAuliffe.
Located in close proximity to one another, the two sites, both of which celebrate the War of Triumph, welcome tourists to come, and learn a lesson in history in an enjoyable way. While the memorial has an iconic star shaped structure design, the historical center is full of rich historical displays.
One of the first things to do in Bastogne Historical Center & Mardasson Memorial is to relive the iconic war that took place in the area. There are plenty of stones and inscriptions that you can read to understand the times better, one of which, written on a memorial stone, reads in Latin “The Belgian people will remember the American liberators”. Each wing of the 5 winged star structure of the Memorial also tells you a different tale of the battle.
When your interest in history is at its peak, one of the first things to do in Bastogne Historical Center & Mardasson Memorial is to visit the historical center and marvel at the M10 Achilles Self propelled gun which is displayed outside. Then inside, there is a lot for you to do from reading about the tale of war to looking at artifacts and actual weapons displayed and preserved from that era.
Located near the Mardasson Memorial, the Bastogne Historical Center is hidden in the lush green scenery in the area. The Museum that undergoes regular renovations is dedicated to highlighting the history of the Second World War as it happened in Belgium. The museum is also called the Bastogne War Museum.
If you want to look at the history of war in a unique and different way, some of the things to do in Bastogne Historical Center include looking at the Battle of Bulge, also known as the Ardennes Counteroffensive, as shown here. The center not only highlights the military battle back in the day, but also outlines the plight and lifestyle of civilians in the midst of war.
As you walk through the historical center, you will come across interactive, multi sensory flashbacks of the past, designed to ensure that one of your things to do in Bastogne Historical Center is enjoying the journey through time. Even if you are not a big history enthusiast, the scenic beauty of the area and the stunning setting of the historical center will be enough to captivate your attention and senses, making your trip memorable for sure.
A historical site of significance in the history of Belgium and the World War II, this monument is located at the point where the German siege was broken for the first time. Made to commemorate a tank battle, the monument is named after the man who led the tanks into battle, Lieutenant Charles Boggess.
When you reach the location and are deciding on your list of things to do in Boggess Monument, the first thing you should do is try to enter the iconic bunker where the German defenses were breached. The Bunker stands in all its glory, showing signs of a war that took away many lives. Small openings act as doors at the entrance of the bunker.
It is only once you are inside that you are able to witness the life of a soldier back in the ethos of war as part of your list of things to do in Boggess Monument. The bunker is small, it is packed and it is dark. The only thing you can witness in it is the hardship of soldiers in battle. When you come out of the bunker, you can then make use of your camera to take pictures of a war torn bunker standing alone in defiance, in a stunning landscape full of scenic beauty.
The town of Bastogne has experienced some of the most decisive battles of the Second World War and the presence of a number of museums highlights that. One such museum that offers you an insight into the battle of Bulge and a chance to witness the merchandize used in the war is the Small War Museum.
As you make your journey to the museum, among the first few things to do in Small War Museum is visiting and photographing the popular Sherman tank. The tank on display is a highlight of the war and is close by, with the Monument of General McAuliffe. You can photograph the tank as a lasting memory of the trip.
Despite being a very small museum, the place has so much to offer. On the first floor, you can take a look at the items made by recent locals and in the basement; you can get up close and personal with things that were used in the two world wars. If you have wanted to buy an artifact from world war times, then your list of things to do in Small War Museum should include buying souvenirs like helmets of WW2 worn by the actual soldiers, on offer at the museum shop.