The combination of the words history and memorial conveys the historical and memorial aspects which the Historial combines with both museums at Péronne and Thiepval.
In Péronne, the Historial tells the story of the conflict across time, from its origins to its consequences, by interweaving the visions of the three major belligerent nations on the western front: Germany, France and Great Britain.
It sheds light on the historical and sociological dimensions of the conflict and invites visitors to reflect on the mechanisms and impacts of the war.
Thanks to the rooms that handle the conflict chronologically, the visitor, like contemporaries back in the days, switches from the world before 1914, to the world at war - a world that expands continuously from room to room. By way of a unique collection of more than 75,000 items and an outstanding scenography, the Historial explains, and compares realities and personal experiences, thus contributing to the understanding of the global explosion that the First World War was.
Inaugurated in 2016, near the Thiepval Memorial, the Thiepval Museum places the Historial of the Great War at the heart of the remembrance trail.
As an extension to the existing visitor centre (opened in 2004), the new Thiepval museum opened in 2016. It is devoted to the history of the battles of the Somme, especially the Somme Campaign of 1916, and to the memory of the Missing. The 400m2 permanent exhibition unites museum exhibits, archaeological artefacts, multimedia, and large-scale installations such as the replica of Georges Guynemer’s aeroplane. The 60-metre-long mural by Joe Sacco opens an imaginary window onto the 1st of July 1916 battlefield. This unique and original exhibition provides visitors with an immersive and emotional experience.