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Sites of the

Ypres Salient

The Cloth Hall

The Cloth Hall is one of Ypres’ grandest buildings. When the Ypres canal was still

navigable, ships could sail through its gate and load and unload cargo. Its 48 doors gave

access from the street to the selling halls. Originally built in 1304, it was completely

destroyed in World War I, as from every vantage point, the Germans could see the spires

of the Cloth Hall, hence, it was regularly used for target practice. The hall and belfry were

rebuilt in their original form between 1928 and 1967.

St. Martin’s Cathedral

Completely destroyed during World War I, St. Martin’s Cathedral was subsequently

reconstructed as a bishop’s church, constructed in the gothic style. It is now open to

visitors, except during services.

St. George’s Memorial Church

This Anglican church was built between 1928 and 1929. Everything in it, including the

furniture, has been donated over the years in order to commemorate units or individuals

who fought in Ypres during World War I.

‘In Flanders Fields’ Museum

This interactive museum provides a series of exhibitions that take visitors through

experiences of both soldiers and civilians during World War I. On admission, the group is

provided with individual ‘personality’ cards that can be used whilst exploring the

museum’s exhibits. The cards represent individuals who lived through the war and are a

great way of giving students an idea of the experiences of those who existed through this

terrible period of history. There are many notable sections of the museum: a night attack

across ‘No Man’s Land’ giving an insight into what soldiers experienced as they went over

the top; a gas attack; and dressing station, to name but a few.

The Menin Gate

The Menin Gate is a ‘Hall of Memory’ – a memorial to the British and Commonwealth

servicemen who lost their lives at Ypres and have no known grave. Over 54,000 names

are carved into Portland stone panels there. The memorial, located on the eastern side of

the town, was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield and unveiled in 1927 by Field Marshall

Plumer. It is only a five minute walk from the main square in Ypres and an essential part of

any Battlefield tour of Belgium. Since 1928, each evening at 8pm, a dedicated team of

local buglers has sounded the Last Post. The ceremony is extremely moving and is the

perfect opportunity for any visiting group to pay their respects and lay a wreath to those

who gave their lives.

Hill 60

Hill 60 is at the northern end of the Messines Ridge. Although just 60 metres above sea

level, it was a crucial, strategic vantage point from where the Germans could look down

onto Ypres. It was captured and recaptured several times by the opposing sides. As you

ascend the hill you will be aware of certain remnants of the war, such as the pillbox, mines

and machine gun posts, providing the group with the opportunity to explore.

Tyne Cot Cemetery

Tyne Cot is the largest British military cemetery in the world with 11,871 graves. It lies at

the top of the Passchendaele ridge. Students find this a very emotive place and it

generates a strong feeling of respect and pride. The cemetery is perfectly maintained and

very peaceful.

6

Top to bottom:

Langemarck German

Cemetery; The Cloth

Hall; Hill 62

Ypres, in the region of Flanders, has been an important

historical site throughout the ages. Following the First

Battle of Ypres in the late autumn of 1914, Ypres became

the centre of a bitter struggle. Decimated by the war, its

citizens worked together to rebuild both the city and their

lives. When visiting Ypres, it is hard to appreciate the

devastation of the area at that time, however, the period

photographs shown in many of the museums help to

bring the text to life.

Last Post Ceremony, Menin Gate