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Diksmuide - Polders - IJzer.jpg
The Yser and West Flemish polders near Diksmuide
IJzer (map).jpg
Native name French: l'Yser (m), Dutch: IJzer
Main source Nord
Source elevation 30 m (98 ft)
River mouth North Sea
51°9′10″N 2°43′23″E / 51.15278°N 2.72306°E / 51.15278; 2.72306 (North Sea-Yser)Coordinates: 51°9′10″N 2°43′23″E / 51.15278°N 2.72306°E / 51.15278; 2.72306 (North Sea-Yser)
Size 1,101 km2 (425 sq mi)
Country Belgium, France
Length 78 km (48 mi)
  • Average rate:

The Yser (French: l'Yser, Dutch: IJzer) is a river that rises in French Flanders (the north of France), enters the Belgian province of West Flanders and flows into the North Sea at the town of Nieuwpoort.

The source of the Yser is in Buysscheure (Buisscheure), in the Nord département of northern France. It flows though Bollezeele (Bollezele), Esquelbecq (Ekelsbeke), Bambecque (Bambeke) and approximately 30 kilometres (19 mi) of its 78-kilometre (48 mi) run through France before it enters Belgium. It then flows through Diksmuide and out into the North Sea at Nieuwpoort.

During the Battle of the Yser in the First World War, opening the sluices, part of the polder west of the Yser was flooded with seawater between Nieuwpoort and Diksmuide to provide an obstacle to the advancing German Army and keep westernmost Belgium safe from German occupation. The Yser river itself never overflowed its banks.[1]


  • Peene Becque (Penebeek)
  • Sale Becque (Vuilebeek)
  • Ey Becque (Heidebeek)
  • Zwyne Becque (Zwijnebeek)


  1. ^ Leper, J., Kunstmatige inundaties in Maritiem Vlaanderen 1316-1945, Michiels, Tongeren, 1957 (327 p.), p.205

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