The Voie Sacrée was the only road linking the front at Verdun with the rear (Bar-le-Duc). It was along this road that the Battle of Verdun was supplied with men (2,400,000) and munitions for 10 months, day and night.
The Voie Sacrée crossed behind the French front line. It had a great symbolic value - it marked the effort of a whole nation to attain victory. It linked the civilian zone, the logistical zone and the combat zone. It symbolised the "way of the cross" that the "Poilus" (French First World War soldiers) trod towards the hell that was Verdun, and it was the (temporary) way back to life from those who came back from the battlefield...
In 1916, the rear of the front line was structured around encampments, field hospitals, landing fields, and storage areas for munitions.
A milestone has been erected at each kilometre of the the Voie, from Bar-le-Duc to Verdun, via Souilly, the Headquarters of General Pétain, then of the American General Pershing.
This area is organised around:
- the battle sites (la Batterie de Duzey),
- the places where the soldiers camped and lived (The Marguerre Camp, the Elisabeth Camp situated on the site of the Vieux Métiers d'Azannes),
- the German National Necropolises, containing nearly 60,000 bodies.