Friday, February 02, 2007

Downtown Ieper

Ypres (now Ieper) was small Flemish market town, just over the border from France, quite similar to many towns in Belgium, that was until 1914 (the outbreak of the First World War). The town of Ypres was the scene of some of the worst fighting of the war. Ypres was described as being all the horrors of the Somme and the hell of Verdun. The consequences were drastic with 500,000 dead in an area of 25 square kilometers.

Ypres was one of the most important cloth producing and cloth trading cities of the county of Flanders in the high Middle-Ages. Bruges is known all over the world for being a beautifully preserved medieval town, but if the First World War (The great War) had not raged over Ypres, perhaps Ypres would have been as famous as Bruges. By 1918 almost nothing remained of the city, because it was in the middle of the frontline between the German and the Allied Armies. Ypres was bombed to pieces and almost wiped off the face of the earth.

more history of Iper (Ypres) and WW1

We stayed for two nights in the Flanders Lodge and really enjoyed our stay. They had an awesome breakfast buffet and we got to see the dutch + great britian cyclocross teams who were also staying there. Thanks to Karl and the rest of the friendly staff !

Best Western Flanders Lodge link

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