As early as September 1914, the Munster region saw bloody fighting on the Hohrodberg, the Reichackerkopf and Metzeral, where the French wrested a victory in June 1915. A new large-scale offensive began on 20th July which did not end until late October 1915 on the Linge-Barrenkopf range. The battalions of French Alpine Chasers came one after the other without respite, coming up against the German trenches hidden by the forest. Between November 1915 and the Armistice, the two adversaries were each content to maintain their gains. This offensive cost 17,000 lives from the elite of the French army and the German regiments, without advancement by either side.
Classified in 1921, the Le Linge battlefield languished in obscurity before once again gaining interest from 1968 onwards. Since 1981, a museum located in the heart of the trenches, where the two armies measured up against one another just a few metres apart, highlights the particular features of fighting in this region: mountain warfare. The French national cemetery at Wettstein, also known as the Chasers Cemetery or the Le Linge cemetery, was opened on 13th August 1939 and was completely refurbished in 1965. 3,600 French soldiers were laid to rest there. The German cemetery at Baerenstall, founded in 1930 to bring together the tombs of 2,438 German soldiers from the Le Linge area, was previously located on the opposite slope near the pyramid-shaped monument and was built in 1916.
Opening hours: from 9:00 to 12:30 and 14:00 to 18:00
Period: from Good Friday to November 11th inclusive
Admission: Individuals: €4; Under 16s: free. Groups: €3 per person for 10 visitors. Guided tours (F, D, GB): €5 by reservation. School groups: €20 per class.
Getting there: via the Collet du Linge between Orbey and Munster on the D11, 25 km west of Colmar
Car park: yes
Coach parking spaces: 3
Office de Tourisme de la Vallée de Kaysersberg, Vignoble et Montagne
48 rue Charles de Gaulle - BP 03
Tel: +33(0)3 89 71 30 11
Office de Tourisme de la Vallée de Munster
1 rue du Couvent
Tel:+33 (0)3 89 77 31 80