Once the general summer tourist season finishes, a different and more sombre sort of tourism begins in Belgium. Autumn is a time of remembrance and there is no more poignant place to remember the Great War than the Flemish city of Ypres.
Ypres (or Ieper, in Dutch) is home to the Menin Gate. The enormous marble walls of this monument contain the names of 54,896 Commonwealth soldiers who have no known grave. Every evening at 8pm, buglers close the road leading to the gate and perform the Last Post. Each year, on Remembrance Day (November 11), thousands of poppy petals are dropped through the ceiling of the Menin Gate and flutter to the ground below.
Also well worth visiting is the In Flanders Fields Museum, which tells the story of the soldiers and local residents who lived during the war, through interactive displays. Mixed in with the photographs, the history, the artefacts, and displays, there are quotes from soldiers, wives and parents, politicians, and writers. Several short films also illustrate the impact of the war on the area, the people, and the soldiers.
Ypres is an easy day-trip from Brussels, by car or train, and is an un-missable destination, particularly during the autumn, Remembrance Day season.
For More Information: http://cheeseweb.eu/2011/06/ypres-world-war-museums/