WW1 Museums in the Ypres Salient, Belgium
There are a growing number of public and private First World War museums in the Ypres Salient area. They contain military collections ranging from rare battlefield relics and archive collections to original trench systems, dugouts and commemorative sites.
In the list below click to show the place on the map or to expand the details.
In Flanders Fields Museum, Ypres / Ieper
This award winning museum is located in the Cloth Hall (Lakenhallen) in central Ieper/Ypres.
As well as the main exhibition depicting scenes from Ypres Salient battles the Research Centre contains over 5,000 books on the First World War. A well stocked museum shop sells a wide range of First World War related books, guides, maps, postcards, CDs and gift items.
Hooge Crater Museum
Hooge (4 kilometres east of Ypres).
Situated on the Menin Road this is a very good private museum with fine collections and exhibits. There is a large café with indoor and outdoor seating, and the museum provides good facilities and options of varied rates for group visits.
Lijssenthoek Visitor Centre
Poperinge (3 kilometres south of Poperinge)
The visitor centre focuses on the medical services in the Ypres Salient. A database is in the process of being compiled containing the details of over 10,000 named burials in the neighbouring British Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery.
Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917
Zonnebeke (8 kilometres north-east of Ypres)
Housed in a château at Zonnebeke this excellent museum focuses on the Third Battle of Ypres. It includes a life-size replica complex of bunkers and trenches built in the cellars of the château. There is an excellent replica trench constructed in the grounds of the museum for visitors to walk through.
Mesen/Messines Information Point
Mesen/Messines (10 kilometres south of Ypres)
The Information Point provides the visitor to Mesen/Messines with the story of Mesen/Messines through the ages and the historic Mesen/Messines Abbey. There is a special focus on the First World War, the part played by the New Zealanders in this area during the battles and the Island of Ireland Peace Tower, which is situated on the south edge of the town.
The Information Point is free and open Monday - Friday mornings 08.30-12.00; Tuesday 13.30-17.00; Thursday 13.30-17.30.
To visit outside these hours or book a group/guided visit please contact the Information Point.
Address: Markt 22, 8957 Mesen
Telephone: +32 57 22 17 14
Fax +32 57 48 65 63
Plugstreet 1418 Interpretation Centre
Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing (13 kilometres south of Ypres)
Situated at Plugstreet Wood and close to the British Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing.
Open every day from 10.00 - 17.00 hours, except the first Friday of the month when the centre is open from 10.00 - 19.00, with the sounding of Last Post ceremony at 19.00 hours.
See the website at:
Pond Farm near St. Julien
St. Julien (6 kilometres north-east of Ypres)
The farm near St. Julien was known as Pond Farm on British Army trench maps, and Kazerne Häseler on German military maps. After the Second Battle of Ypres in May 1915 the farm was in German occupied ground. By 1917 Pond Farm was one of many reinforced strongpoints in the German Army's defensive line. Three large bunkers, small bunkers, tunnels and cellars formed the fortifications at this place. A private museum at the farm includes a collection of antique items from the First World War period and many fascinating relics found on the battlefields around the farm.
For a comprehensive history of the farm with photos and what visitors can see there go to the website at www.depondfarm.be
Sanctuary Wood Museum (Hill 62)
Zillebeke (5 kilometres east of Ypres)
A rare site to see the layout of an original British trench system complete with a tunnel through which you can walk with suitable waterproof footware.
Talbot House (TOC H)
Poperinge (10 kilometres west of Ypres)
Talbot House was founded in December 1915 by Padre Tubby Clayton as an Everyman's Club, where officers and soldiers could leave their rank at the front door and relax together in a house with homely comforts behind the fighting lines.
The house is a living museum but it is also a place where visitors can stay.
Tyne Cot Visitors' Centre
Passchendaele (3 kilometres south of Passendale - Passchendaele)
Visitors' Centre next to Tyne Cot Military Cemetery, the largest British military cemetery in the world.
Battlefield Museums on the Western Front
Photograph of Pond Farm courtesy of www.depondfarm.be