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Municipality of Belgium
Zonnebeke town hall
Zonnebeke town hall
Flag of Zonnebeke
Coat of arms of Zonnebeke
Coat of arms
Zonnebeke is located in Belgium
Location in Belgium
Coordinates: 50°52′N 02°59′E / 50.867°N 2.983°E / 50.867; 2.983Coordinates: 50°52′N 02°59′E / 50.867°N 2.983°E / 50.867; 2.983
Country Belgium
Community Flemish Community
Region Flemish Region
Province West Flanders
Arrondissement Ypres
 • Mayor Dirk Cardoen (INSPRAAK)
 • Governing party/ies INSPRAAK, SP.A-Spirit
 • Total 67.57 km2 (26.09 sq mi)
Population (1 January 2013)[1]
 • Total 12,380
 • Density 180/km2 (470/sq mi)
Postal codes 8980
Area codes 051/057
Website www.zonnebeke.be

Zonnebeke is a municipality located in the Belgian province of West Flanders. The municipality comprises the villages of Beselare (nl), Gheluvelt (nl), Passendale, Zandvoorde and Zonnebeke proper. On January 1, 2006 Zonnebeke had a total population of 11,758. The total area is 67.57 km² which gives a population density of 174 inhabitants per km².


The villages of Zonnebeke congregated around a large Augustinian abbey and its associated Benedictine convent in Nonnebosschen. Both were destroyed during the iconoclastic outbreak in 1580. Only the abbey was rebuilt, but was looted during the French occupation the abbey was confiscated. Passendale played a role in the Battle of Westrozebeke in 1382.

Situated in the centre of the Ypres Salient, World War I destroyed the whole area. Left abandoned until the early 1920s, people slowly returned and rebuilt the villages. In 1932, the locals opened a cheese making facility, which to this day is the only source of Passendale cheese.[2]

Zonnebeke (1918), painting by William Orpen, showing devastation after World War I.

Another battle during World War II during the Allied advance across Europe, where Passendale was used in a defensive operations by the Nazis, did little damage.

Present day[edit]

Today, Zonnebeke has returned to its long-time balance between agriculture, small business and work in the neighbouring towns. Its major industry is the brickworks in the village of Zonnebeke itself, which extracts the local blue clay.


The municipality comprises the villages of Zonnebeke proper, Beselare (nl), Gheluvelt (nl), Passendale and Zandvoorde. All are "deelgemeentes", meaning they were independent municipalities before the merger in the 1970s.

# Name Area
I Zonnebeke 16,55 4.454
II Beselare (nl) 14,33 2.529
III Gheluvelt (nl) 7,79 1.501
IV Passendale 22,22 2.953
V Zandvoorde 6,68 471



Zonnebeke, towns and neighbouring town. The yellow areas are urban areas.

The municipality of Zonnebeke borders the following towns and municipalities:

See also[edit]



External links[edit]