About The Mardasson Memorial
The Mardasson Memorial is a World War Two memorial located in the Belgian town of Bastogne which commemorates the American soldiers who lost their lives during the Battle of the Bulge.
The Mardasson Memorial history
The Mardasson Memorial commemorates the Ardennes Counteroffensive that took place from 16 December 1944 to 16 January 1945. During this Battle, the Allies fought against the surprise offensive of the German army. Many people lost their lives, including numerous American soldiers.
The first step towards the memorial was undertaken on 4 July 4 1946, with the presentation of some earth from the site to U.S. President Harry Truman.
The memorial takes the form of a five-pointed star and includes artwork depicting the battle as well as listing the units who took part in the campaign and was inaugurated in 1950. It was designed by the architect Georges Dedoyard in remembrance of the 76,890 American soldiers killed, wounded or missing in action during the liberation of their towns and villages in the Battle of the Ardennes.
Now an important site for those remembering the battle, the Mardasson Memorial was also built to symbolise the friendship between Belgium and the US. At the foot of the Mardasson Memorial is a crypt with 3 altars, each representing a certain religion: Judaism, Protestantism and Catholicism. French artist Fernand Léger decorated the altars with mosaics.
The Mardasson Memorial today
Visitors can climb the memorial to take in views of the surrounding area and gain an understanding of the geography of the battlefield. The frieze of the monument contains the names of the then 48 American states in bronze letters.
There is a memorial stone in the middle of the monument. A spiral staircase leads to the top of the monument, overlooking an impressive panoramic view of the battlefields.
Getting to the Mardasson Memorial
Across the road from the memorial visitors can explore the history of the battle in the Bastogne War Museum. To get to the site by public transport visitors can take the bus and the nearest stop is Bastogne Route Du Mardasson.
The ultimate guide to the historic sites of Belgium, from Menin Gate to Waterloo Battlefield and more, includes an interactive map of Belgium's cultural monuments and landmarks.