Just down the hill from the Belleau Woods, and not far from Chateau Thierry one can find a quiet, well kept spot for the final resting place of soldiers who died in the cause of freedom far from home. They were among the first Americans ever to die on foreign soil. The chapel and grounds are a respectful reminder of their sacrifice and our loss. We were there at noon when the bell tower produced songs in tribute.
A must stop for World War 1 itinerary
"The first battle"
Today Chateau Thierry seemed like a great little town. There is an old castle that looked worth investigating, small shops and restaurants. But we had little time and came only to see the memorial and try to find the bridge over the Marne that was so vital to Paris's defense. You learn about history in books,,,but here the history still lives.
Chateau-Thierry - Western Champagne
"Stopping spot on Road Trips (close to CDG)"
We have visited Chateau-Thierry at least eight times. It is conveniently located just an hour's drive from/to Charles De Gaul Airport so several times our last night in France prior to dropping off the leased or hired car at the airport has been spent here. It is also a logical overnight stop on a river cruise up the Marne to La Champagne.
The town is not without its inherent attractions as well. Located on the Marne River it is in the western area of the Vallee de la Marne grape growing region so provides access to Champagne.
We overnight at the Campanile Hotel - see the tip below.
"World War One Battle Ground"
There are significant World War One Battle Sites and Memorials in and around Chateau-Thierry. Of particular interest, the American memorial overlooking the town from hill 204 to the west & the American Cemetery (10.5 kms NW).
The Battle of Belleau Woods and subsequent turning back of the final German assault of WWI by American and French troops were events worth studying before your visit to the Marne. Be prepared to shed a tear when visiting the American Cemetery.
"Favourite Son of Chateau-Thierry: La Fontaine"
I remember the story of the Raven & the Fox from my Grade 3 Reading Book. Quite a thrill to see the statue of its author, Jean de La Fontaine, in Chateau-Thierry and to visit the museum:
Perch'd on a lofty oak,
Sir Raven held a lunch of cheese;
Sir Fox, who smelt it in the breeze,
Thus to the holder spoke:--
'Ha! how do you do, Sir Raven?
Well, your coat, sir, is a brave one!
So black and glossy, on my word, sir,
With voice to match, you were a bird, sir,
Well fit to be the Phoenix of these days.'
Sir Raven, overset with praise,
Must show how musical his croak.
Down fell the luncheon from the oak;
Which snatching up, Sir Fox thus spoke:--
'The flatterer, my good sir,
Aye liveth on his listener;
Which lesson, if you please,
Is doubtless worth the cheese.'
A bit too late, Sir Raven swore
The rogue should never cheat him more.