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The national necropolis of Sigolsheim is a place of memory in Alsace located in Sigolsheim, in the Kaysersberg Valley, not far from Colmar.
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 burials in the Vosges, the Upper Rhine and the Belfort territory to be installed in this military cemetery of Sigolsheim.
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.
My photos of the Sigolsheim necropolis
The access to the necropolis of Sigolsheim is free.
The address is as follows: National Necropolis of Sigolsheim 68240 Sigolsheim. It is located at:
- 12 km from Colmar (about 20 minutes)
- 55 km from Mulhouse (about 45 minutes)
- 66 km from Strasbourg (about 50 minutes)
By public transport
It is possible to reach the center of Sigolsheim by public transport and then to walk to the necropolis (about 15 minutes of ascent). To plan the trip, go to Fluo.