Many times you find yourself with some spare time or in need of a day trip, with nothing planned and no idea what to do. That’s why we created our series “Detour”. Sights that deserve mentioning, but not enough for a journey of their own. Ypres District Worth a Detour offers you a few more sights to explore. Did we miss something? Let us know!
Worth a Detour in the Ypres District
The castle might be a private house today, but it was the location of a pivotal moment in WWI. Two battalions- 1st South Wales Borderers and the 2nd Worcesters, held off the Germans. It was also the place where Adolf Hitler fought, as a member of the Bavarian Army, during the Battle of Yper, a large German offensive in Belgium and France: from Bethune (France) to the coast of Belgium. Hitler’s Regiment took part in that battle. Hitler describes the situations about this period in a letter. A known location where Hitler’s regiment fought was at the castle park in Geluveld. They did eventually take Geluveld, but List (Hitler’s commander) died in the castle park. The original castle and church and were destroyed. You can park at the current church and walk on a path toward the castle, or other paths. There are information panels and monuments along the way.
*Ypres roundabout-art: on the roundabout “Zuiderring” andSteverlynkclaan
For the “kid” in all of us, who still believe in magic.
*Bellewaerde Theme Park
Bellewaerde is the oldest operating theme park in Belgium. Originally a zoo and safari, the park expanded in the early eighties to become more of a general theme- and thrill park. The park is famous for its beautiful gardens and marvelous landscaping.
Today there are still leopards and elephants and you can enjoy attractions such as Huracan and Dawson Duel.
More info here.
The area is famous for its excellent tobacco and has a tobacco museum. The museum teaches you how tobacco conquered the world. The museum houses over 12,000 items and introduces you to the history of tobacco. They also have a very eclectic collection of pipes.
Between Wijtschate and Voormezele
*Bayernwald (Bayern Wood)
Bayernwald is a true-to-life reconstruction, including 300 meters of trenches. It has four bunkers and two mine shafts (40 meters in depth and close to 300 meters in length each). You can access the site, via a footpath which passes through the restored network of trenches. A series of information panels give details of the events which took place here and explain what life at the front was like. Bayernwald is unique, because it tells the history of the Battle of Wijtschate-Messines Ridge from a German perspective.
The August festival was created in 1975 by the people of the youth club “De Zon”. Eventually it evolved into a world music festival with a mix of local and some well known names. In 1997 and 1998, it won the ZAMU award for best musical event. In 2016 45,000 were in attendance. There is also a folk museum.
*International Gregorian Festival
Trained voices bring ancient music and texts to life during the International Gregorian Festival. Watou is, as far as Gregorian chant goes, the most important festival in the world. For people who love silence and Gregorian chant Watou is a beloved location. The next festival is in 2018, and occurs every 3 years.
The Kunsten Festival’s theme for 2017 is “solitude and unbearable loneliness.” The theme is brought to life through collected stories of artists and poets. The visitors follow a trail along eleven locations and find an interaction of visual arts and poetry in a grain shed, a brewery cellar, a farm and a park, to name a few locations.
Tapjesvlees is brine veal or pork that is larded. The meat is plugged with bacon. The meat is then braised and slowly stewed on a bed of vegetables.
The Senateur tart is an old regional specialty from the 1950’s. The origin of the name is unknown. It is made with puff pastry, biscuit, butter, apricot jam and toasted sliced almonds.
The Ypres rusks are made of a special biscuit dough. Each slice is sprinkled with powdered sugar and then goes back into the oven. The sugar is thereby slightly baked into it.
Ypres is known as the cat city.The cat’s claw originated here. This is coffee cake from raised puff pastry in the form of a claw. It is filled with pastry cream, sugar candy, or small pieces of apple and raisins.
This cake is ideal with tea. It is made with almonds and candied fruit.
Terrine van Hondshaai
Dogfish is better known as Conger eels. To preserve the remains of fish, a loaf was made with herbal jelly, spinach and basil.
Ieperse katjes A true delight for lovers of Belgian chocolate. Ieper kittens and cats are filled with different flavors.