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. During your visit and after climbing the restored Belfry tower (by an additional 231 steps), you can look out over the city and the surrounding battlefields.
a Great War
Based on the museum collection, the permanent exhibition sets out the history of the First World War in Belgium, in the Westhoek, and near Ypres.
Hundreds of authentic objects and images are presented in a contemporary design, sometimes very grand, sometimes very intimate, but always experiential.
Within this general historical context, individual characters recount their own fates, in a direct and lifelike confrontation with the visitor.
and their stories
People from five continents and from more than a hundred different countries took part in the war. Their personal stories are all equally worthy of being passed on.
Of the 600,000 victims who died because of the war in Belgium, more than 550,000 fell in the Westhoek. Almost 30,000 of them were civilians.
For four years the war took hold in an arc-shaped front around Ypres. The museum helps to read the landscape of this Ypres Salient as an ancient battlefield.
The collection of war art is not a department in itself, but pops up throughout the exhibition to reflect the events of the war from an artistic distance..
Once it was over, the commemoration of the war was installed. The final part of the exhibition highlights and evaluates this culture of remembrance.
Accompaniment to the exhibition
Upon your arrival you receive an identification bracelet. With it, you decide which war witness you want to meet in the exhibition. All other interactive presentations are also displayed in your own language by means of your bracelet.
You can visit the museum with an audio guide. The basic tour explores the entire exhibition, but more in-depth information is offered all along the way. Children can follow their own, narrative trail.
Visiting a museum, about the war, with children - that is not an evident thing to do. Yet the In Flanders Fields Museum tries to gently lead children into the world as it was, is, or could be.
When the weather is nice, you can relax in the courtyard of the Cloth Hall. There you will also find a free picnic area.
Those who prefer to picnic inside the café can book this together with the group visit:
- maximum 50 people per half hour
- reservation subject to consumption
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.