Verdun is a 19,400 inhabitant town located in the Meuse department and in the Lorraine region. It is sadly worldwide renowned for the bloodiest battle that took place during WWI, the 19th of December 1916. However, Verdun is a charming and lovely town and nowadays it is not the sad grey town that is often pictured in History books.
Indeed, after WWI, the town was given funding to be rebuilt and as a result the whole town centre was renovated and has today a young and modern face. The town centre was rebuilt in a ‘New Art’ architectural style, which was fashionable at that time, and also a marina was built along the Meuse River. Next to the Marina stands the London wharf, named in honour of the English capital which helped financially the town to reconstruct.
When we talk about Verdun we often forget to mention its past before WWI. The town has been existed since the Gallo-Roman era. Indeed, its name actually comes from the Gaulish word dunos meaning castle or fortress. The area was first conquered by Francs, then belonged to the Lotharingie (ancestor of Lorraine), before it was integrated by the Holy Roman Empire. Along the centuries the region changed many times identity, from German to French. In 1766 it was annexed to France until the ‘Frankfurt treaty’ in 1871, which gave a part of Lorraine to Germany. During both world wars a part of Lorraine belonged to Germany and the region was finally definitely integrated to France after WWII.
Since national average for house prices is around €3,200 /sq m, Verdun, with €1,598 /sq m is a fairly reasonable area. However, when compared to its department, prices are higher, as the Meuse average does not reach €1,100 /sq m. Understandable as Verdun is the largest town in the department, and prices in the countryside are always lower than in towns.
As far as rentals are concerned, with 60% of residents being tenants, the town offers great rental opportunities. It is also a rather touristic destination and as a result you should not have difficulties renting your investment either long year long, either during high touristic period.
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Marina and springs: the lovely and peaceful but busy marina is unexpectedly located in the centre of the town. It gets very crowded from spring to autumn and gives the town a beach resort likeness. To its left it is bordered by the London wharf which is overlooked by the Chaussée Tower. In the entire town you will find many springs and fountains, reminding visitors the presence of the Meuse River and canals running through the town. An artificial river has also been created, running from the Victory Monument until the Meuse River, as a symbol of life.
Cultural and historical heritage: even though the town was partly destroyed during world wars, many historical monuments have survived bombings and attacks. Religious heritage is rather large in the town, for instance you can visit the cathedral. The first cathedral was built during the 4th century, but it was then destroyed and the current one was built during the 10th century, following the Renan pattern of large basilicas. You can also see a synagogue built during the 19th century and a Protestant temple also built during the 19th century.
Art and architectural heritage: thanks to its historical heritage, and owing to the reconstruction that followed WWI, Verdun is a lovely combination of old architecture and modern one, the latter being leaded by the ‘New Art’. The town centre has been almost entirely renovated, and is mainly composed of large pedestrian streets bordered with trees. Both architecture styles added to numerous fountains and springs make Verdun such a lovely and charming town.
Commemorative place: there are some monuments in Verdun in honour of French soldiers who died during the bloodiest battle of WWI. Many people go every year and have a special thought for them. Monuments include: underground Citadelle, Vaux castle, Verdun memorial in Douaumont.
Townhouses: in Verdun there is no a special architectural style, apart from ‘New Art’ architecture used mainly for large monuments. Houses can be detached or half-detached, however there is also around 30% of apartments.
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