March 02, 2009

Carrières de Confrécourt / Quarries of Confrécourt

this picture and the next two courtesy of the
website rue des lumières

Dating back from 893, the Confrécourt farm, located near Soissons, in the area just north of the Aisne river, France, was the theatre of violent warfare between French and German troops in september 1914.

the farm

Near the farm the frontline between the armies came to stay and the troops for years had to fight a war from the trenches.

In the neighbourhood of the farm, still in ruins today, there are quarries, that during the war would serve as a depository, a hospital, a place for soldiers to rest, for better or worse it was a habitat for the soldiers.

The Confrécourt cave had a chapel, decorated and sculpted by soldiers, named la chapelle du père Doncoeur

the chapel of father Doncoeur

The caves, like other memorabilia from the war in the region, are cared for by a group of volunteers, the Association Soissonnais 14-18 One of their aims is to make better known and to protect the artworks made by soldiers during the war.

In 2008 this association published a book, Le Graffiti des tranchées, devoted to the many pictorial and sculptural creations in and around the trenches.

The Confrécourt caves can be visited on appointment with Soissonnais 14-18 (from March-September).

* website of the Association Soissonnais 14-18 
* article in Wikipedia 
* an academic study of trench art: Nicholas J. Saunders, Trench art: materialities and memories of war, Oxford (Berg), 2003 .

Carrières de Confrécourt
near Soissons, dept Aisne, region Hauts-de-France, France
can be visited on appointment

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post Henk ! As always, just enough to whet the appetite. I also did a post a while back about the trench graffiti book, which I picked up last November; I highly recommend it, really excellent photos and stories in that book. Will write more to you soon in e-mail... I went to see this past week "la Demeure du Chaos" and "le jardin de nous deux" near Lyon.