Ypres is situated in the Belgian province of West Flanders. Ieper, which is Dutch is the official name but the cities French name Ypres is most commonly used in English.
The famous Cloth Hall was built in the 13th century. It lay in ruins after World War 1. The hall was meticulously reconstructed between 1933 and 1967. Cloth Hall is located in the centre of Ypres and now houses the In Flanders Fields Museum and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
The gothic style St Martins Cathedral built in 1221, was also completely restructured after the war but now with a higher spire.
The Menin Gate is a memorial to commemorate the missing soldiers of the British Commonwealth. The Menin Gate Memorial only records the names of soldiers for whom there is no known grave. As graves are identified, the names of those buried in them are removed from the Gate.
Every evening at 8 o’clock, traffic is stopped at Menin Gate Memorial while the ‘Last Post’ is sounded beneath the gate by the local fire brigade in honour of the British Empire soldiers who fought and died there.
Ypres, is not be a huge City but it is definitely the ideal place for a weekend break. It obviously is steeped with history and significance but it also has a wonderful buzzing atmosphere. Of course, we had to give the Belgian beer a try. Colin was very happy with it!