The Ypres Salient from remembrance to vision

The region of Ypres, better known as the Ypres-Salient, remains forever linked to the First World War.
It was the battlefield where Allied and German troops fought for several years. The trenches and shelters divided sometimes no more than some tens of meters one from another. Hundreds of thousands soldiers of different nationalities, but also lots of Flemish citizens, lost their lives over there.
Although the ‘War-landscape’ has mostly disappeared, (trenches and bomb- craters were filled) there are still lots of war- traces perceptible in the landscape. Indelible memories of the war are the numerous military graveyards, the Menin- memorial gate, museums such as the ‘Memorial Museum Passendaele’ and the ‘In Flanders Fields’- museum at Ypres. At ‘Hill 60’ (Zillebeke) remains one of the last relicts of the battlefield of WW I. The region of ‘Hill 60’ was subject of lots of research.
An important landscape element from the landscape architectural point of view, are the many castles and parks situated in the Ypres- Salient. Depending on their location some of the castles were damaged, some were totally destructed.
The environment of the Ypres- Salient and its war past, will receive lots of attention in a recent future, because of following:

1. The jubilee- year 2014: hundred years of war tragedy with the obligation to remember the war forever.
2. The ambition of Flanders to become the top- location of peace- tourism in the period 2014- 2018
3. The war- tourism that, besides its humanitarian and general politic value, is very important for the local economy
4. The possibility to recognise the battlefield of WW I as a cultural landscape of UNESCO world-heritage.

A detailed landscape research of the parks and gardens of the environment of the Ypres- Salient could mean a surplus value as a part of an integral multidisciplinary approach of the war territory with for example attention for visual reconstruction of the original state of the castle parks, for the interpretation of the importance of these properties and castles during the war.

  • Title Original : De Ieperboog van herinnering naar visie
  • Website :
  • Project start : 0000
  • Project end : 2012
  • Contact Person : Harlind Libbrecht
  • Funding Agency : University college Ghent
  • Image Title : Ypres salient research project structure