Ypres Travel Guide

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Bunkers at Kemmel

Bunkers at Kemmel

Liz Millward

Ypres (locally: Ieper) is a small cosy town in Western Flanders, Belgium's coastal region. Its roots are back in the early middle ages. In those days, Ypres lived from its sheet-weaving industry. The trade was mainly with France, London, Italian States, and also up north with the Hanze. As the wealth was amounting quickly, the inhabitants raised some very impressing buildings, such as the cathedral. In the end of the 18th century, Flanders and Ieper were under French rule. Their famous architect Vauban designed the impressing fortifications, still in place today.

In the first world war, Ypres was just 8 km away from the frontline, within shooting range of the german canons. The whole town was completely destroyed, all old buildings where truly gone. It is said that a man on a horse could oversee the entire city ! Around Ypres, there are a lot of British, Canadian, Belgian, German, French, Australian,... war cemeteries. During the 1920's, the town was reconstructed in the original style. So today, it is like a living museum. At the Menin gate, there is a monument with thousands of names of commonwealth soldiers, still missed today... Every night at eight, there is still a short moment of honour for all those fallen in the Great War - Last Post played by the Buglers (local firemen) - get there early to soak in the atmosphere and remember those who died for us to be free!

Take a walk around the Ramparts - beautiful views and feel of the countryside - feed the ducks, visit the Ramparts Cemetery - wonderful feeling of peace - visit the Cafe K'leine d'reisal just by the Medival Lille Gate and have local beer, good food and be sure to look at Phil's WW1 Museum - with the smells and noise of WW1 - Brilliant!

Ypres is easy to travel to by train, motorway... and has over 10 hotels and plenty of B&B's.

Make sure you don't miss out Ieper on your trip through Belgium!

Come and try the Local Belguim Beer and Chocolates.

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June 30, 2005 change by giorgio

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