Karabiniers Grenadiers1914 – 1918, these four war years are forever engraved on the collective memory. The Great War was one of the first international conflicts ever. Soldiers from more than 50 countries fought each other for four years. West Flanders, and more specifically, the Westhoek and the region around Ypres, was severely affected. The devastating war left marks in the landscape, the culture and buildings, which can still be clearly seen today.

The Third Battle of Ypres, also known as the Battle of Passchendaele, took place in 1917. Half a million victims (dead, missing and wounded) were the result of a succession of battles over a period of five months. During the terrible fighting in a landscape that had been transformed by the bombardment of the heavy artillery and the fierce rain into a sea of mud where no-one could hide, the frontline shifted just eight kilometres. MuseumweekendThe Allies objective was the ruins of the town of Passchendaele. The battle ended after the town was taken by Canadian troops at the beginning of November. A few months later, German troops retook the ridge in less than a week.

To find out more about the history of the Battle of Passchendaele, click here.

Victims from all countries have been commemorated since the end of the war. Tyne Cot Cemetery in Passchendaele, the largest Commonwealth military cemetery in the world, is the most visited place related to the First World War in the whole of the Westhoek. In Zonnebeke, a few kilometres away from the cemetery, is the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, set in the historic chateau grounds. The museum tells the story of the First World War in the Westhoek with the focus on the Battle of Passchendaele.

Passchendaele CeremonyThe Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 is offering a diverse commemorative programme including numerous events and programmes during the centenary of the First World War. As well as annual, temporary exhibitions, there are many official commemorative ceremonies but also numerous cultural, touristic and participative events and projects. In all the events, which are a part of this programme, the serene, worthy and diverse commemoration of all victims – civilians and soldiers, irrespective of their nationality – is central.   The 2017 commemorative year is the highpoint of the programme.  

Discover the diverse range of events on this website, which will be taking place in Zonnebeke in 2014 – 2018.