Romagne, a soulful and inspiring place of memories
In Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, a village in northern France near Verdun and the Forest of Argonne, lies a small-scale museum, Romagne 14-18. In that museum owner Jean Paul de Vries has, over a period of over 40 years, assembled an extremely impressive collection. The collection consists largely of archaeological finds made within a radius of a few kilometers around the village. In the setting of this intimate museum, Jean-Paul tells the little story of a great war. In an area where in 1918 more than a million American soldiers came to fight German troops, Jean-Paul leads around, a century later, the descendants of those soldiers. But even people who have no direct ties to those who fought the battles so long ago know the road to Romagne. Each year many thousands of visitors travel from all over Europe, Japan and the United States to visit this soulful and inspiring place of remembrance. The museum is also appealing to a young audience, as demonstrated by the many schools from home and abroad who visit Romagne each year for the fascinating educational programs. Travel Guide Lonely Planet now counts Romagne 14-18 among the fifty hidden treasures of Europe - and rightly so. It is through the uniqueness of this collection and the remarkably personal and heartfelt way that it is presented by Jean-Paul de Vries that the emotions and understanding of the events that shaped this great drama that unfolded a century ago can be tied poignantly together for visitors.
Foundation Friends of Romagne 14-18
Romagne 14-18 is a private museum unsupported by any subsidies. Despite the daily commitment of Jean-Paul and a number of volunteers, the museum is greatly in need of support for the preservation of the collection as well as for the day-to-day operations of the museum. The foundation Friends of Romagne 14-18 supports this private initiative therefore wholeheartedly. We see it as our task to ensure the survival of the museum and to monitor the authenticity and character of the collection. The ‘future-proofing’ of Romagne 14-18 costs money – a lot of money. We are dependent on contributions from people who think that it is important that history is preserved and cherished, so that all of us, young and old, can continue to learn from it. If you feel called upon to contribute we would gratefully welcome your support. You do not just support a beautiful, but also a very meaningful thing.