Flanders Fields are a remaining testament to the horrors of World War I. The coast villages of West Flanders are littered with war ceremonies, war museums, and monuments, and to get the most out of the experience, we’ve selected the six striking places to view the landscape where the war took place.
The Menin Gate is located in the town of Ypres, and is a monument to all the missing soldiers in WWI, who were never found and properly buried. Their names are inscribed upon the walls of the gate, but as it was too small to properly contain all of the soldiers’ names, the list is continued at the Tyne Cot War Cemetery. You can climb to the top of the monument for a beautiful view over Ypres. Try and be there at 8pm, when the ceremony of the Last Post is performed everyday to give thanks to all the soldiers who gave their lives for the townspeople of Ypres.
While in Ypres, you absolutely have to stop by the Lakenhalle, which incidentally also houses the extremely interesting and recently refurbished In Flanders FieldsMuseum. While in the museum, you can climb all 231 steps to the top of the Bell Tower, which gives a stunning view of the surrounding village and battlefields.
Located in Diksmuide, the Trench of Death has a small museum tower built next to it, which provides visitors with a great view over the trench itself, as well as over the Yser river which runs next to it.
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 10am-6pm (in summer) & Tue/Thu 10am-4:30pm
Housing the extensive Museum at the Yser, the Yser Tower is almost 84m high and as such can boast having the best view, or at least the highest view, over the surrounding landscape. There are also 22 floors inside, all dedicated to different aspects of WWI.
The battle of Passendale was one of the most violent and bloody battles fought by the British in WWI, and the Tyne Cot Cemetery is home to the soldiers who succumbed during that battle. As it is located on a hill, it provides a good overview of the expansive cemetery grounds, sadly reminding us how great the toll of war was.
A Canadian outpost, Hill 62 has an impressive view of the surrounding landscape, which was also used during WWI by the soldiers posted here to keep an eye on German lines. The adjacent Sanctuary Wood Museum is also definitely worth a look.