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Ypres - To See & Do - Monuments & Historical Buildings

Town Centre

Cloth Hall (Lakenhalle)

Situated on the Grote Markt, this huge and impressive building was built in the 13th century and was one of the most beautiful Gothic buildings in Europe. Unfortunately this was destroyed in WWI and rebuilt between 1933 and 1967. Originally the Cloth Hall had no less than 48 doors opening from the selling halls onto the streets and the boats used to sail in and out on the river delivering products. Wool was stored during the winter on the upper floors and cats were brought in to keep the mice down. It was the notorious cats from this hall that were thrown from the windows to the hostile crowd below, and there began the Festival of the Cat (Kattestoet). The Belfry Tower is part of the Cloth hall and was used as a look out over the area and the comings and goings of the town.

Town hall (Staduis)

Attached to the east side of the Lakenhalle, the building is of both gothic and Renaissance style. The building rests on a grand arcaded gallery and boasts an array of windows, arches and gables and superb stained glass designs. The amazing council chamber of grand design can be viewed by the public when not in use from 8.30 am to 11.45 am.

Menin Gate

This is a lovely monument built on the site of the old Menepoort that served as the main route for British soldiers heading to the front. The fortifications of the eastern side of Ypres opened through Hangoart Poorte onto the Menen Road but by 1914 this was just a gap in the fortifications through which the soldiers passed through to reach the Salient. In 1927 the Menin Gate was put in its place to remember the dead. The long list of names seems never-ending, and will definitely leave you in awe of the men who fought here. 54,896 officers are named alongside another 34,984 men who died near the end of the war.

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