National Necropolis of Sigolsheim – Important place of memory in Alsace

Updated on 2024-05-15

The national necropolis of Sigolsheim is a place of memory in Alsace located in Sigolsheim, in the Kaysersberg Valley, not far from Colmar.

Laurène is the blog's creator. Originally from Brittany but now living in Alsace, she has fallen in love with her adopted region and loves exploring its every nook and cranny to unearth great ideas to share with you!

History of the necropolis of Sigolsheim

In the aftermath of the Second World War, General de Lattre de Tassigny expressed his wish to regroup the bodies of the soldiers of the First French Army “Rhine and Danube” in a place where the fighting had been the most deadly.

The choice was made to erect the necropolis in Sigolsheim, on the “blutberg” (mountain of blood), hill so named by the German fighters because of the horror of the terrible battles which took place there during the fighting for the liberation of the Colmar pocket during the winter of 44-45, under the orders of Marshal de Lattre de Tassigny. These battles led to the liberation of Colmar in February 1945.

Here is the text on the memorial plaque that I found striking: “On these slopes of the Vosges, in this Alsatian Plain, in high snow and twenty degrees below zero, soldiers from France, Africa, and the United States of America, amalgamated in the First French Army under the command of General de Lattre de Tassigny, forced victory in the fierce struggles of the Battle of Colmar, from January 20 to February 9, 1945.”

The military cemetery

The national necropolis of Sigolsheim is a military cemetery which shelters 1 601 bodies of soldiers fallen for France (including 94 unknown soldiers) during the Second World War, during the fighting of the reduction of the Colmar Pocket. We count:

  • 792 Muslim headstones
  • 773 Christian crosses
  • 19 Jewish headstones

The bodies of these soldiers were exhumed from municipal cemeteries and isolated temporary graves in the Vosges, Haut-Rhin and Belfort regions, and transferred to the Sigolsheim military cemetery. Needless to say, the place is very touching…

The American monument

Below the military cemetery is a pink sandstone monument, inaugurated in 1995 and dedicated to the American soldiers who died in Alsace for freedom.


A goal of walking

The necropolis is a place to visit for people wishing to pay their respects to the soldiers’ graves but also for hikers: the view from the necropolis, on the Alsace plain, the Vosges summits and the Black Forest, is magnificent… It is possible to go for a walk in the area and to take advantage of it to pass by the necropolis and thus combine remembrance tourism and landscape discoveries.