Via Francigena

Day 10 – A place of memory and meditation: Ablain Saint Nazaire

The stage


👣 28 km by foot – Friday 24 June

A mid-long stage, mostly characterized by light rain, by now our leitmotiv in these first 10 days of walk.

In the morning 5 people from associations and from the French Randonnée Federation joined us for departure on the route. We enjoy seeing such participation!

We leave the city center of Bruay-La-Buissière to cross a couple of residential villages and enter a series of white paths. There is enough time to visit a beautiful mill, an abbey, and a castle from the XVIII century. The best part of the day came after 10 km, entering the wonderful nature and fun park of Olhain, with over 200 hectares of property land. A magical place inhabited by children enjoying there last days of school. A lot of trekking routes also spread out from here and there are a lot of panoramic spots showing the surrounding valley. Local welcoming is once again amazing, with a guided tour of the park. We are not left alone for lunch: we were joined by a couple of elementary school classes. We are happy to share our adventures with future pilgrims. Before leaving, we take a photo all together to support the Via Francigena UNESCO candidacy!

The main dish of the day was the arrival to the Ablain Saint Nazaire, a small municipality with 2000 inhabitants full of significance, memory and history: the national cemetery of Notre-Dame de Lorette, the largest military cemetery in France. It’s hard not to be moved thinking about the 1914-1918 war and the bloody wars that took place on this hill in 1915. Today we are led into meditation.

Tomorrow we leave for Arras!


Park Ohlain

National Cemetery of Notre-Dame de Lorette


Luca Bruschi, Director (EAVF)

Didier Morel (FFVF)

Clair Waïss (FFR)

Massimo Tedeschi, President (EAVF)

Mattia Poppa, videomaker

Local group of walkers