The Memorial Charles de Gaulle
The Genesis of the Memorial
Much more than a traditional presentation of the man who launched the “Appeal of the 18 June” or of the first President of the 5th French Republic, the Memorial constitutes a true rendezvous with 20th century history and an encounter with Charles de Gaulle.
Considered as the pedestal of the Cross of Lorraine, the building takes in the character of Charles de Gaulle at the heart of modernity and in the landscapes of Colombey-les-deux-églises, which he had particular affection for.
It was in this village that he decided to settle with his family in 1934, and it was here that he made history by greeting the German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer.
His family home, La Boisserie has been open to the public for several decades, but Colombey-les-deux églises has to be visited to gain a better understanding of his character.
The Memorial Charles de Gaulle, by fulfilling this role, adds to the remembrance of this most illustrious of Frenchmen.
The permanent exhibition
The visitor is successively plunged into the atmosphere of different periods, with the technological equipment acting as a sort of interpretation centre that allows each one of us to discover the personality of Charles de Gaulle and immerse ourselves in the great events of history through explanatory and educational texts.
The permanent exhibition looks at all aspects of Charles de Gaulle and his time. The permanent exhibition considers the General as a writer, as the leader of Free France, as a father and as a politician; it also appraises the legacy he left behind and the criticisms and caricatures which he inspired.
Spread over 1,600 square metres, the permanent exhibition looks at its subject from an unusual angle: Charles de Gaulle’s attachment to the village of Colombey-les-deux-églises and the surrounding countryside.
A place of living history, the Memorial Charles de Gaulle is rich with a wide variety of media envisaged by the scenographies of Nausicaa, Christian Le Conte and Geneviève Noirot : decors, films on giant screens, multimedia terminals, sound designs, written commentaries, slideshows, and sound and audio-visual archives.
From a technological viewpoint, everything is covered.
Visiting the permanent exhibition
the visit takes place over two floors and is divided up into a detailed chronological series of sequences through themed sections.
The visit starts on the second floor of the Memorial, and is accessible by the panoramic lift especially designed for the Memorial.
More details on the visit:
The entrance to the exhibition enables one to see immediately the close link between Charles de Gaulle and the landscapes of the Haute – Marne.
The chronological sequences are devoted to Charles de Gaulle’s early life, his early military career and his arrival in the Haute-Marne, as well as the Second World War and the establishment of the 5th Republic, and end with Charles de Gaulle’s exit from power with the referendum of 1969.
- 4,000 square metres set out at the foot of the Cross of Lorraine
- A modern building looking out over the countryside of Haute-Marne
- An exhibition area of 1,800 square metres
- Average tour of the permanent exhibition lasting 2 hours
- 50 audio-visual installations, multimedia and interactive terminals
- 1 000 photographs, 40 maps, 240 graphic panels
- A resource centre with the largest bibliographical collection on General de Gaulle outside the Fondation Charles de Gaulle in Paris
- A lecture hall with seating for 194 for hire or for performances
- Two teaching rooms
- One committee room