Passendale

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For the cheese, see Passendale cheese. For other uses, see Passchendaele (disambiguation).
Passendale
Deelgemeente
Passchendaele (Dutch)
Passendale - Sint-Audomaruskerk 1.jpg
Coordinates: 50°54′3″N 3°1′21″E / 50.90083°N 3.02250°E / 50.90083; 3.02250
Country Belgium
Province  West Flanders
Municipality Zonnebeke
Area
 • Total 22.22 km2 (8.58 sq mi)
Population (1999)
 • Total 2,928
 • Density 131.77/km2 (341.3/sq mi)
  Source: NIS
Postal code 8980

Passendale (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈpɑsəndaˑlə]) or Passchendaele (obsolete spelling, retained in English) is a rural Belgian village in the Zonnebeke municipality of West Flanders province. It is close to the town of Ypres, and is commonly known as a battlefield and the name of a campaign during World War I, the Battle of Passchendaele.

History[edit]

Early history[edit]

In the pre-Roman and Roman times the area of the town was located along the border between the Menapii and Morini Belgic tribes of northern Gaul and later the border between the bishoprics of Tournai and Thérouanne. The town is first recorded in 844 as Pascandale, and may be named after an individual by the name of Paulus, Pascan or Pasko. In the Middle Ages, most of the region was ruled by the Augustine abbey of Zonnebeke and the Benedictine convent of Nonnebossen. Both the abbey and the convent were destroyed during an iconoclasm (Beeldenstorm) of 1580.

First World War[edit]

Passchendale Ridge (60 m (200 ft)) gives its name in common parlance to a major battle of the First World War, officially the Third Battle of Ypres. A British offensive battle against the Germans, lasting from 31 July to 30 November 1917. After 16 weeks of bitter fighting in appalling conditions of rain, mud, and slime, about one-sixth of the initial objective had been gained at a cost of nearly 400,000 British Empire casualties, including 17,000 officers, levelling the entire town. On the other side, nearly 400,000 German soldiers gave their lives defending it.

Sights[edit]

Different nations' war cemeteries are found in Passendale: Tyne Cot Cemetery (the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world), the New British Cemetery, the Canadian Memorial, and the New Zealand Forces Memorial. The town also hosts a war museum as well as numerous memorials dedicated to the different nationalities that participated in the epic battle.

Every year, Passendale hosts a number of commemorative events and exhibitions. Those of 2008 were the 90th memorial commemorations of the end of the First World War.

Local produce[edit]

Passendale is also known for Passendale cheese, and hosts an annual cheese festival every August. A blonde beer named Passchendaele is brewed by the Van Honsebrouck brewery in Ingelmunster.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°54′1″N 3°1′17″E / 50.90028°N 3.02139°E / 50.90028; 3.02139