A Visit To Ypres

Market Square and St Martin’s Cathedral

We would have never come to Ypres if it hadn’t been for our quest to find the inscription of the name of a fallen relative during WWI on the Menin Gate, but it was obvious as were walking towards this monument, that this is a fine and beautiful city, well worth a detour and it definitely deserves a place on a tourist schedule for anyone visiting Belgium. It is remarkable and almost unbelievable to think that this city was completely flattened during WWI, but the most important landmarks were rebuilt afterwards. It is certainly striking and awe-inspiring and we decided to spend an extra day to explore it a little bit further.

Some buildings that caught my eye on our way to Market Square
St Martin’s Cathedral, one of the tallest building in Belgium

After our visit to the Menin Gate, we were very keen to find out more about the war and the battles fought in and around Ypres and we spent a couple of hours at the amazing Flanders Fields Museum, which offers a wealth of information about the subject with lots of exhibits and artefacts from WWI, as well as videos and recordings of real testimonies from soldiers, medical and other war personnel. This is a must when visiting Ypres.

Courthouse in the Grote Market

Rollercoaster in Market Square!

We were lucky to find a wonderful motorhome aire where to stop for our 2-day stay at Zillebeke, just south of Ypres and only about 20 minutes walk from the city itself, right by a gorgeous lake, ideal for walking or running and I took my time walking Beano all the way round and stopping often to photograph the lovely area, bathed in the late afternoon in a most beautiful northern light.

The lake by the motorhome aire with a B&B and restaurant in background
Loving the light at Zillebeke lake in the late afternoon

Nearing sunset
Almost the end of the round-the-lake walk

We returned to the city centre for an early evening drink and to enjoy the Christmas lights, being late December, which added even more charm to this enchanting place.

We were quite amused to find Santa hanging from a rollercoaster outside the Cathedral!

One cannot come to Ypres without visiting Tyne Cot cemetery, the largest Commonwealth War Cemetery in the world, the final resting place of almost 12,000 WWI servicemen, of whom more than 8,300 remain unidentified. We could only wonder whether W.H. Saysell was buried here, although there are many more cemeteries around Ypres.

The entrance to Tyne Cot Cemetery

Utterly heartbreaking

We made this our last stop in Ypres in order to pay our respects to the fallen, but we made a promise to return in the near future and discover more delights of this beautiful and almost miraculous city.

10 thoughts on “A Visit To Ypres

    1. Strangely for us, we didn’t go inside the Cathedral this time, but we visited the museum round the back, which took over 2 hours. It is a most beautiful city, but the heavy traffic spoils the photos. Make sure you visit some time. πŸ‘


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s