The contrast with the lush green peace of the American site just down the hill is stark. All stone and metal and no greenery to soften up the edges. The best word to describe it is brutal.
What the above photo doesn't show very well are the 16 bronze reliefs by different sculptors depicting either specific battles or different aspects of the war. Saumur (below) describes the fall of soldiers in that town in June 1940 under horrific conditions. No romanticization of war here.
Sadly, despite this inscription, the eternal flame was not burning.
The site is always open but you should probably check the Web site before you go if you want to see all aspects of the memorial, some of which are only open limited hours. Like the American Cemetery, the site is accessible by the Transilien commuter train from La Defense and the T2 tramway.