the mount valerian

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1.1. name

1.1.1. Gallien, son of the emperor Valérien, ordered the building of an edifice on the mount paying tribute to his father ( but we have no proof of the presence of a Roman construction)

1.1.2. comes from a pamphlet written by the hermite Valerian in which he describes the mount.

1.2. historical

1.2.1. Religious aspect (before 1830) IIIrd century : Saint Maurice would have made the mount Montmartre and the mount Valérien with the land of Saint-Denis. Few centuries later, hermits transformed the site into a place of pilgrimage. 17th : used by Cardinal Richelieu. This religious period was interrupted with the French Revolution and came to its definitive end with the “Monarchie de Juillet” in 1830.

1.2.2. military aspect (after 1830) from 1830: military place receiving the french army’s transmissions fortress was built on the hill in order to protect Paris according to Adolphe Thiers’s order 1870: important role by resisting the Prussians force. 1913 : a regiment of the French army established there and left it to go to the front in september 1939 Few months later, the German army invaded the fortress and made it a place of executions. More than 1000 men were rifled in the glade between mars 1941 and august 1944.


2.1. More than 1000 rifled people, making the Mont-Valérien the principal place of execution of the whole occupied area.

2.2. during the war

2.2.1. 1939 September: the first day of mobilisation, the 8th “ régiment du génie” leaves the mount to reach the front.

2.2.2. 1940 3th June : first German bombs hit the fortress. 24th of June :The Wehrmacht enters Suresnes on the and the fort was opened for them. August : units of infantry, of anti air defense and artillery stay for a bit.

2.2.3. 1941 Services of stewardship held up there.The perimeter of the mount has become a forbidden area. In the fortifications, the glade is used as a discreet place for the executions of the resistants and hostages that were transported from the prisons and camps from the parisian region.

2.2.4. 1944 20th of August: the German that were residing at Suresnes, joined by the French militia seek refugee in the fortress. August : After the fights for the liberation of Neuilly, the company of Suresnes, composed by young resistants from Suresnes, Nanterre, Puteaux, Courbevoie et de Boulogne, circled the fort but the officer in charge of the German troops refused to surrender to fighters without uniforms. The colonel of the 1st regiment of march of Moroccan fighters of the 2nd division was called to negotiate. The German finally accepted to surrender. 26th of August : the French flag was floating upon the Mont-Valérien.

2.2.5. 1960 18th of June : inauguration of the “memorial de la France combattante”, inaugurated the by the general de Gaulle. It was built in order to pay tribute to all the dead of WWII.

2.3. and the "myth résistantialiste"

2.3.1. def After the war, the French society remembers France as an ever-fighting country from 1939 to 1945 that we call the “myth resistantialiste”. The memory of war was mostly based on fight and resistance. Different commemorations and places of memory, as for example the memorial of the Mont Valerien, insisted on fight, resistance, army, military aspect in general.

2.3.2. the memorial The memorial of the Mont Valérien in Turenne was one on the first memorial built after the war. It was built on a place where hundreds of resisters were executed. It presents symbols of French resistance as for example the “Croix de Lorraine” (doc), which is a symbol of resistance adopted by De Gaulle during the war in opposition with the svastika. from 1944, De gaulle had the wish to build a monument paying tribute to the fallen of the war. Therefore, the “Mémorial de la france combattante” was finalised in 1960.

3. The “memorial de la France combattante”

3.1. Construction of the building and tribute to the victims

3.1.1. 1997: Robert Badinter initiates the project of construction for a monument paying tribute to riffled people of the Mont Valerien. It would permit the establishment of an accurate list of names. A commission reuniting collectivises, associations and historians was therefore created

3.1.2. After 5 years of researches, this commission finally had a list of 1010 names. Rectified few years ago, she is composed of 1008 names.

3.1.3. The artist Pascal Convert was chosen during a contest, made a mould of a bell. So, this monument was opened on the 20th of September in 2003 thanks to the Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin. On it, are written the 1009 names of the Dead by chronological order of execution.

3.2. Few dates of commemorations

3.2.1. 25th of May annual ceremony of the association for the remembrance of the rifled of the mount and of the l'Île-de-France

3.2.2. 18th of June commemoration of the 18 of June’s Call which is an annual ceremony organised by the Order of Liberation.

3.2.3. 14th of October ceremony of the Association of the Memories of the Mount Valerian

3.2.4. 15th of December Commemoration of the execution that took place on the 15th of December 1941, linked with the Shoah memorial and the association of “Fils et Filles de Déportés Juifs de France”.

4. Today’s use of the mount

4.1. the fortress shelters today the 8th regiment of transmissions

4.2. the museum of military pigeon fancying

4.3. museum of transmissions

4.4. An information and reception centre has been opened since 2009 next to the memorial.

4.5. great place of memory of Resistance for all French

5. Description of the monument of the fighting France

5.1. The esplanade of the monument is over 1,000 m2. A wall of 150 m long, in pink sandstone, is attached to the fortified wall of the fortress.

5.2. In the middle of this wall, a large Lorraine cross of 12 m high marks the entrance to the crypt where the 16 fighters rest

5.3. In front of the cross of Lorraine, a flame springs permanently from a bronze burner.

5.4. Along the wall, 16 different sculptures, equivalent to the Greek metopes, in bronze, symbolize the different forms of fighting for the Liberation.

5.5. An information and reception center has been opened since 2009 next to the memorial.

5.6. On the foot of the cross is engraved the inscription extracted from the Appeal of June 18: "QUOI QU'IL ARRIVE LA FLAMME DE LA RESISTANCE NE S'ETEINDRA PAS June 18th , 1940 Charles DE GAULLE »

5.7. The vault number 9 awaits the last companion of the Liberation. The 17 vaults are arranged in an arc of circle, with in the centre an urn containing ashes collected in concentration camps, adorned with a metal sculpture representing a flame.