In Flanders Fields Museum
In Flanders Fields Museum
|Location||Lakenhallen, Grote Markt 34, B 8900 Ieper, West Flanders, Belgium|
|Type||World War I Military Museum named for the famous poem by Canadian John McCrae.|
|Nearest car park||On site|
The In Flanders' Fields Museum is devoted to the study of World War I and occupies the second floor of the Ypres Cloth Hall (Lakenhalle) on the market square in the centre of Ieper (Ypres), Belgium. The building was virtually destroyed by artillery during the First World War and has been reconstructed. In 1998 the original Ypres Salient Memorial Museum was refurbished and renamed In Flanders Fields Museum. Following a closure for refurbishments, the museum reopened on 11 June 2012. The curator, Piet Chielens, is a World War I historian. The museum is named for the famous poem by Canadian John McCrae.
Visitors to the museum will find no glorification of war; rather the museum suggests the futility of war, especially as seen in the West Flanders front region in World War I.
A range of activities are available including walking itineraries and workshops. The In Flanders Fields Museum is accessible to visitors with reduced-mobility, hearing or visual impairment. On entry to the museum each visitor receives a “Poppy Bracelet” which contains a microchip which activates the chosen language for the visitor. It also activates the personal story of four individuals as the visitor makes his or her way around the exhibitions. The exhibit tells the story of the invasion of Belgium, the first months of the mobilisation, the four years trench war in the Westhoek - from the beach of Nieuwpoort to the Leie in Armentières -, the end of the war and the permanent remembrance ever since. The renovation of 2012 goes well beyond a new layout and embellishments, and is aimed at providing visitors with a more intense perception and richer experience. The Bell Tower (Belfry) at the Cloth Hall, offers a view over the city, Saint George's Memorial Church, Ypres, St Martin's Cathedral, Ypres, Ypres' market place, the surrounding battlefields, and the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial. The museum presents a general introduction to World War I in Flanders with reference to other Allied museums and sites, such as Sanctuary Wood Museum Hill 62, Museum Godshuis Belle and Canadian Hill 62 Memorial, whereas the Lange Max Museum focuses on the occupied German side. The museum is intended to encourage the visitor to view the actual sites for themselves.
The personal stories of how the First World War affected the lives of individuals of many nationalities are told through many and varied objects on display, interactive installations and lifelike characters within the larger picture of the Great War. The collection on display in the In Flanders Fields Museum includes medical equipment, mule and munitions wagon display, and a display with gas mask. The themes of The consequences of war and a mirror are used to inspire visitors to examine how we look into our past; how and why we remember.
The museum shop sells First World War related books and guides, maps, postcards, CDs and gift items. The museum café offers a range of cooked and cold food.
The museum includes a new World War I research centre. The Names List Project is a project to compile a list of all those who died in the Westhoek region as a result of the First World War.
- Tobias Arand: Zwischen Emotion und Distanz – Zwei museale Wege der Annäherung an den Ersten Welt-krieg. Das 'In Flanders Fields-Museum' Ypern/Belgien und das 'Historial de la Grande Guerre' Péronne/Frankreich. In: Geschichte, Politik und ihre Didaktik Heft 31, 2003, Heft 1/2, S. 74- 83.
- Holt, Major & Mrs; Holt's Battlefield Guide to Ypres Salient (England: Pen & Sword Books 1997) ISBN 978-0-85052-551-9
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