English author Michael Morpurgo poignantly described the Belgian settlement of Ypres as “a sad town, but an enormously positive one”. Located in Flanders, Ypres will forever be fettered to its tragic past. It is known first and foremost for being the site of three colossal battles during the First World War, the biggest of which was the Battle of Passchendaele, which took place in 1917 and claimed the lives of 325,000 Allied and 260,000 German soldiers. Thousands of people visit Ypres each year to pay their respects to the fallen at monuments such as Menin Gate and Tyne Cot Cemetery. Learn about the area during the Great War years with a visit to the displays and bunkers of the In Flanders Fields Museum, arguably the world’s most comprehensive exhibition on the First World War. But while remembering the past, the inhabitants of Ypres prefer to think of their town as a homage to peace. The whole area has been lovingly pieced back together since the war years, and the medieval core of Ypres features the restored Ypres Lakenhalle, one of the most remarkable buildings in Belgium.

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Places To Visit

Tyne Cot Cemetery

The largest First World War cemetery in the world

Menin Gate

A ‘Memorial to the Missing’ dedicated to British and Commonwealth soldiers killed in Ypres

Lakenhal Building

Huge medieval Cloth Hall built in the 13th century, home to the In Flanders Fields Museum

La Belle Alliance Cemetery

Commonwealth War Graves Commission burial ground

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