Our pick #5
Located in the Belgian province of West Flanders, Ypres was the site of several major battles during the First World War. Although it was never occupied by German forces, some 300,000 Allied soldiers lost their lives in Ypres and the town was completely flattened by bombardment. But despite the devastation, Ypres was resurrected and has a wonderful restored medieval core. The Ypres Lakenhalle is now one of the most impressive buildings in Belgium and many beautiful church towers mark the city’s skyline. The front line during WWI, known as the Salient, is dotted with cemeteries and bunkers. Visitors to Ypres can take a tour of the Flanders battlefields, learn more at the In Flanders Fields Museum and attend the moving Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate Memorial. A visit to Ypres will undoubtedly be a sombre experience, but with its lovely market square, traditional Flemish cuisine and top-notch local beer, Ypres is the ideal place to gain an introduction into WWI history.