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Sights in Ypres

  • Cloth Hall |Belfry

The Cloth Hallserved as a covered sales and storage place for cloth on the (now vaulted) waterway called the Ieperlee. The construction of the hall was completed in 1304. During the 1914-18 war the building was completely destroyed except for a section of the tower and a couple of walls. The reconstruction occurred under the guidance of architects J. Coomans and P.A. Pauwels. The sturdy Belfry(70m) projects from the middle of the long face (125 m) of the building. The present spire with its openwork helmet and dragon (1692) was restored to its original form. Originally, the bottom tower section was used as a treasury. The middle section used to be an arms depot. The “Cat throwing” occurred from this fl oor. The 49 bells of the carillon are suspended in the “Bellringer’s house”. Above the central archway entrance “Donkerpoort”, under the coat of arms, is a statue of Our Lady of Thuyne, the patron of Ypres.

You can visit the 1st fl oor of the Cloth Halls via the In Flanders Fields Museum and combine your visit to the museum with a visit to the belfry tower. The Ypres and Westhoek visitors centre, the Museum Knowledge Centre, the museum cafe and the museum entrance are all located on the ground floor.

  • Townhall | Nieuwerck

The Nieuwerck was built in 1619 against the east face of the hall and town hall. Resting on a row of pointed arches with large cross windows and a classical church window, this construction still has a fairly Gothic appearance, however, the decorations in the tympanums tend towards the Renaissance. In the council chamber there is a splendid stain glass window after a design by Arno Brys and draft of murals by Charles Degroux (ca. 1870). This chamber is open to the public during the opening hours of the town hall.

  • Saint-Martin’s Cathedral

The cathedral is a former Episcopal church in Gothic style reconstructed after the First World War. Bishop Jansenius and Count Robert of Bethune, the ‘Lion of Flanders’ are buried here. There is also a beautiful side altar with an altarpiece and the miracle statue of Our Lady of Thuyne. The cathedral is open to the public, except during worship. (closed between noon and 2 pm). The tower is 100 m high and is not open to the public. The Lapidarium contains the old ruins of Saint-Martin’s deanery. The Monastery building can be visited on the north side of the cathedral.

Ypres Belgium City walls
  • Saint-George’s Memorial Church

This Anglican church was built in 1928-29 following the plans of London architect Sir Reginald Blomfield. This “Memorial Church” holds many reminders of the First World War. Everything down to the furniture was donated by British associations, regiments or individuals. This church is open to the public daily. (April – September from 9.30 am till 8 pm; October – March from 9.30 am till 4.30 pm).

  • Cloister Gate | Theatre
  • Old Seignory Building 15th century.

The facade of this building displays a series of medallions representing the seven deadly sins. It was temporarily used as a town hall after the First World War.

  • Courthouse On the Grote Markt.

Built by Arch. J. Coomans in Flemish Renaissance style. The hospital of Our Blessed Lady was located here before the First World War.

  • Menin Gate

This well-known British war monument of WW1 was built in classic style after a design by Sir Reginald Blomfield. This gate displays the names of 54,896 soldiers missing in action. Every evening at 8 pm the Last Post is sounded.

  • Saint-James’ Church

The choir dates back to the 14th century; the lower church is in Late Gothic style. The tower was built in 1636 and was given a stone spire during the reconstruction.

  • Irish Cross | Munster War Memorial

The Irish Cross was built to commemorate the soldiers originating from the Province of Munster (Ireland), who fell in the Ypres Salient during the First World War.

  • Saint-Peter’s Church

A section of the west tower and one of the crossing pillars are all that remain of this originally Romanesque church (12th century).

  • Wooden house

The wooden house in the Rijselsestraat is a reconstruction of a 16th century house. At the beginning of the 19th century Ypres had more than 90 wooden houses. This house is not open to the public.

  • Lille Gate

The oldest still standing town gate with Burgundian towers (14th century).

  • Het Steen

The only preserved Ypres Steen (a stone house in the Middle Ages) was built at the end of the 13th century.

  • Merghelynck Hotel-Museum

This stately building was built in 1774 after Lille master builder Thomas Gombert. François Merghelynck was the treasurer of Empress Maria-Theresia. See heading ‘Museums’.

Ypres Belgium Flanders Fields Museum
  • Belle Almshouse

This almshouse was one of the many foundations set up to care for the poor around 1276. The buildings were renovated in the 16th and 17th century. The most important items such as paintings and furniture have been gathered in the chapel. See also heading ‘Museums’.

  • Butcher’s House

The ground fl oor was built around 1275. The brick fl oor (1530) is crowned with 2 decorative stepped gables.

  • Old Fish Market | Fish Gate

In the old tollhouse (1899), also called Minckhuisje, the fi shmongers had to pay toll. A little further there are two covered stalls. The Fish Gate with Neptune, the god of the sea, was originally built in 1714.

  • Ypres Reservoir Cemetery
  • Ramparts Cemetery

Commonwealth military cemeteries.

Ypres Belgium
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The headquarters of the British Department for Military Cemeteries in Northern Europe is located in the Elverdingestraat 82. Visitors can request information on these cemeteries here. Tel. +32 (0)57 223 636, Fax: +32 (0)57 218 014

  • Saint-Nicolas’ Church

This church is a new construction in Romanesque-Byzantine style. There is little to remind you of the former church. The parish has been abolished since 1994 and today the church houses the Museum of Education.

  • Ramparts

War Museum Located near Lille Gate and the Ramparts Cemetery. Can be accessed via the café ‘’t Klein Rijsel’. See heading ‘Museums’

  • Guild houses

On the Veemarkt stand Ypres facades of the 17th century (reconstruction).

  • Biebuyck House

The Gothic stepped gable dates back to 1544. This house clearly betrays influences of Bruges. The facade survived the First World War virtually unscathed.

Ypres. St Martin's Cathedral
  • Cloth Hall Model

Gift of the Kiwanis service club. Executed in bronze. Explanatory text in Braille.

  • Casemats

Vaulted rooms in the ramparts. Can only be visited with a guide

  • Old Ice-cellar

The icehouse is a cylindrical cellar built in the rampart. This isolated space was used to store the blocks of ice that had been sawn out of the moats during frosty spells. The ice was not only used as a preservative but also as an anti-fever agent and as an anaesthetic for medical purposes. Can only be visited with a guide.

  • The Island
  • Gatekeeper’s House

Access to this vaulted room is at street level, to the left of Lille Gate. It is claimed that this is where staff offi cers of British Commander Plumer prepared the attack of 7 June 1917. That is when 19 depth mines were detonated under the German lines. Can only be visited with a guide.

  • Sluice Room

A low door, also at street level and to the right of Lille Gate, gives access to the sluice doors thus allowing to control both the lower lying Ieperlee and the rampart moats. The Ieperlee crosses the city from south to north and was navigable until the 15th century; today is it covered. Can only be visited with a guide.

  • Municipal Museum
  • Menin Gate Model

Gift of the Kiwanis service club. Executed in bronze. Explanatory text in Braille.

Ypres centre
  • Lion’s Tower and Dominican’s Tower

Both towers belonged to the medieval fortifications. The ground floor and the vaulted access to these towers have been well preserved.

  • Ammunition Dump

The ammunition dump dates back to 1817 and was built on the foundations of a former French ammunition dump by the army of the Netherlands under William I. The building survived WWI, and was restored in 1998. During a guided visit you will be given an audiovisual presentation of the rampart and town history. Can only be visited with a guide.

  • Australian Commemorative Plaque

Set up in 1993 to commemorate the more than 43,000 Australian soldiers who fell in the Ypres Salient during the First World War.

  • Indian Monument

This monument was erected at the initiative of the Indian government. The British-Indian troops first saw action to the south of Ypres on 25 October 1914.

  • Ypres Monument

Designed by Aloïs De Beule and unveiled on Sunday 27 June 1926, to honour the Ypres war victims, civilians and soldiers. The Ypres soldiers departed for the front from here. Since 2010 there is also a memorial plaque for the Ypres civilian victims of both World Wars.

last post Ypres

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