THE SOMME VALLEY, GREEN LUNG OF GRAND AMIÉNOIS, IS FOUND TO THE EAST WHERE THE RIVER AND TWO TRIBUTARIES MEET. ON THE SCHEDULE: STROLL AMONGST PONDS AND WETLANDS, WATER-BASED ACTIVITIES, AND CULTURAL EXPLORATIONS IN CORBIE AND ON THE PATHWAYS OF MEMORY.
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Rejuvenate by the water
The Somme Valley marks the point where the Somme meets two rivers: the Hallue and the Ancre. In the watery landscapes of this location you can’t help but leave daily life behind you. Go fishing in one of the ponds, sail through the wetlands by boat, head out in a canoe or take a cruise on a narrowboat... There are plenty of water-based activities!
The Lamotte-Brebière lock-keeper’s house, on the edge of the Somme, is a perfect place for a pause on your walk or bike ride along the canal towpath. You can rent electric boats here, enjoy a picnic hamper, discover an exhibition, or take part in a creative studio session.
Let yourself be tempted by a stroll on foot around the heart of the ponds and marshlands found all around the river. The Marais des vaches, or cow’s marsh, in Méricourt-sur-Somme (33 km to the east of Amiens) is where you’ll find a 11-km route dotted with gorgeous viewpoints such as the belvédère du Camp de César, or the Gazebo of Caesar’s Camp, in Chipilly - it’s built on an ancient oppidum.
Visit Saint-Pierre Abbey - Corbie
Located 17 km east of Amiens, the little Somme town of Corbie is home to the ruins of a large royal benedictine abbey constructed between 657 and 662 by Saint Balthild, queen of France. Closed in 1791 during the French Revolution, then destroyed in 1918 before being reconstructed between the two World Wars, Saint-Pierre Abbey is a protected historical monument.
This neo-gothic religious building was Corbie Abbey’s main church which, at the height of its glory, was home to 300 benedictine monks. It was known throughout Europe. The abbey is home to numerous relics, from saints such as Mary Magdalene, Saint Peter and Pope Pius III. It’s also where you’ll find multiple works of art protected as historical monuments, and most notably, two paleochristian sculptures from the third century!
Don’t forget to climb the south tower, from where you can get an exceptional panoramic view over the Somme Valley. Guided tours are also on offer in July and August, and you’ll also have the chance to experience a virtual reality visit of Corbie abbey during the Easter, summer, and All Saint’s Day holidays.
Explore the “Memories in Perspectives” route
The new “Memories in Perspectives” route is composed of four memorial works of art on show in the Somme Valley, featuring four historical figures from the Great War. These modern works of anamorphosis art present the viewer with an unusual viewpoint which plays on perspective, like an optical illusion!
Explore the Somme Valley as you try to find these four anamorphic works:
- The Red Baron, in Vaux-sur-Somme
- Sir John Monash and the battle of the 4th of July, in Le Hamel
- Georges Guynemer and the Storks fighter squadron, in Cachy
- Georges Clemenceau on his visit to Bussy-les-Daours
The Memories in Perspectives route gives you the chance to discover other memorial locations such as the Australian National Memorial, the site of the very first tank battle, or the crash of the Red Baron.