In Flanders Fields Museum
" sharing history "
In a country where war has raged, it lingers, even if that war is already a century behind us. For each of the more than 600,000 dead who fell in Belgium, for each of the more than 425,000 graves and names on memorials and for the hundreds of traces and relics in the front region, for each of the millions affected (physically or psychologically wounded, refugees and deportees) there is a story of grief, pain and ordeal somewhere in the world.
The In Flanders Fields Museum conserves the link with this war past. Because the nature of war does not change over time, the museum considers presenting this war story to be a universal and contemporary message of peace, and therefore an important social mission. The museum works closely with partners who share its mission and works within the framework of Ypres City of Peace.
the Cloth Hall
The museum presents the story of the First World War in the West Flanders front region. It is located in the rebuilt Cloth Hall of Ypres, an important symbol of wartime hardship and later recovery.
From this symbolic accommodation, the museum also pays great attention to the contemporary landscape as one of the last tangible witnesses of the war history. From 21 September 2020, however, it will no longer be possible to visit the Belfry due to restoration works. From Easter 2022 (and after climbing the 231 steps), the tower will once again offer a view of the city and the surrounding battlefields.
The permanent exhibition tells the story of the invasion of Belgium and the first months of movement war, the four years of trench war in the Westhoek, the end of the war, and the permanent remembrance ever since.
The focus is the human war experience. Hundreds of authentic objects and images are presented in an experience-orientated layout. Lifelike characters and interactive installations confront the contemporary visitor with his or her peers in the war a century ago.
Within the context of a conflict that has co-defined world history, the museum emphasizes personal testimonies. Upon arrival each visitor receives an identification bracelet, enabling the discovery of some historical persons' stories in the permanent exhibition.
People from five continents and from more than a hundred different countries and cultures took part in the war in Flanders. Likewise, the museum's public is diverse and extremely international.
The museum outside
After having become acquainted with the history of the First World War in the West Flanders front region, you can go out on your own. Three areas near Ypres, with numerous war relics, are connected by walking and cycling routes. From Nieuwpoort to the border with France, recently planted trees remind you of the former front lines, and a few apps will help you understand the current landscape as a great witness of the Great War.
The Museum Café is the perfect place to catch your breath after a visit to the museum. A cup of coffee or a regional beer, lunch or Afternoon Tea, we will be happy to serve it to you. By the way, in the summer it's great to stay in the courtyard of the Cloth Hall.
Schools that visit the In Flanders Fields Museum or Yper Museum can have a picnic here (subject to consumption). You can book the picnic area together with your visit.
In the Museum Shop you can browse through a very wide range of publications on the First World War and various other themes relating to Ypres and the Westhoek. You will also find a wide choice of postcards, posters, T-shirts, car, cycling and walking maps, pins, magnets and lots of other gadgets.
The In Flanders Fields Museum publications can also be purchased remotely by ordering them in our Museumshop.