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West Flanders is a living memorial to those who died in World War I. Museums, shrines and reconstructions of historic buildings are signs of the devastation that shook the region in the second decade of the 20th century. In addition to the war heritage, this part of Belgium fascinates with its picturesque towns, cities and beaches.
For a poignant study of the history and consequences of the war on West Flanders, visit Ypres (Ieper). The countryside around the city witnessed five major battles in which more than 1 million soldiers on both sides were killed or wounded.
Tour the In Flanders Field Museum where you will come across personal accounts of some of those who fought in the trenches. The museum is housed in the Cloth Hall (Lakenhalle), once a major trading hub in the Middle Ages. Step outside the hall into Ypres Market Square (Grote Markt), which is lined by reconstructed historical buildings. Behind the square is the Menin Gate Memorial.
After your exploration of World War I history, enjoy some of the region’s other major tourist draws. Go to Kortrijk, a city that can trace its history back to Gallo-Roman times. See the Broel Towers, once part of the medieval city walls, and browse the boutiques of K in Kortrijk, the largest shopping center in the entire province.
Visit Bruges, the capital of West Flanders and delight in the old world charm of its cobblestone streets and historic center crisscrossed by canals. Explore medieval buildings, such as the 13th-century Church of Our Lady.
Change the scenery with a trip to nearby Ostend Beach. The long, sandy expanse is a popular summer destination and is bordered by a seafront promenade. While you are here, stop by Fort Napoleon, a 19th-century polygonal defensive structure.
Reach West Flanders by flying into Lille or Bruges and rent a car to get around to the province’s World War I sites, beaches and medieval cities. You can also come by train from many other European destinations. Take the Coast Tram to travel between the seaside resorts in the north.
Located in the heart of Belgian Westhoek, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Ypres Open Golf, Menin Gate Memorial, and Ypres Market Square. Ypres Town Hall and Saint James' Church are also within 2 mi (3 km).
Located in the heart of Ostend, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Casino Kursaal, Grote Post Culture Center, and Leopold Park. Mu.ZEE and Wapenplein Square are also within 10 minutes.
Situated in Belgian Westhoek, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of St. George's Memorial Church and St Martin's Cathedral. Ypres Town Hall and Cloth Hall are also within 10 minutes.
Located in the heart of Belgian Westhoek, this hotel is steps from Ypres Market Square, In Flanders Fields Museum, and Cloth Hall. Belle Almshouse Museum and St Martin's Cathedral are also within 5 minutes.
Situated in the business district, this eco-friendly hotel is 0.9 mi (1.4 km) from Saint Peter Church and 2.8 mi (4.4 km) from Loppem Castle. Minnewater and Church of Our Lady are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Located in the heart of Ieper, this hotel is steps from Saint James' Church, Ypres Market Square, and Menin Gate Memorial. Hotel-Museum Arthur Merghelynck and In Flanders Fields Museum are also within 5 minutes.
Located in the heart of De Panne, this hotel is 0.6 mi (1 km) from Flemish Visitors' and Nature Education Centre and 1.3 mi (2.1 km) from Plopsaland De Panne. De Panne Beach and Paul Delvaux Museum are also within 2 mi (3 km).
This beachfront hotel is located in Ostend (Mariakerke), close to Wellington Racetrack, Atlantic Wall Open Air Museum, and Leopold II Statue. Local attractions also include Mu.ZEE and Casino Kursaal.