• Menin Gate
  • Ramparts
  • In Flanders Fields Museum
  • Cloth Hall -  Poppy Appeal

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The Centenary of Passchendale - The Third of Ypres



A number of exceptional commemorative events are being held in Ypres city centre on 30 July, on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele - the Third Battle of Ypres. The series starts with a preview on Saturday the 29th of July, a special Last Post followed by an exceptional multimedia evocation on the market square (Grote Markt) on 30 July and the official memorial ceremony on 31 July broadcast live from Tyne Cot Cemetery in Passchendaele to a giant screen on the market square. Everyone is invited to participate in these unique commemorative events. The city centre traffic and parking policy will be adapted during this period.

Every year during the 2014-2018 commemorative period, the British Government's DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sports) is required to organise a national commemorative event in a different country. After Mons in 2014, the choice in 2017 has fallen for a second time on Belgium. A special Last Post is scheduled to be played on 30 July at the Menin Gate, followed by a spectacular multimedia commemorative event on the market square. The time-honoured ceremony will then take place at Tyne Cot Cemetery in Passchendaele on 31 July. In addition to the event on 30/07, an avant premier is planned for 29/07 on the market square which is accessible to everyone.

29/07 preview of 30/07 - Market square
9.40 - 11 pm commemorative event of four years' warfare along the Ypres Salient with a spectacularprojection on the Cloth Hall and live performances
30/07 Battle of Passchendaele /Third Battle of Ypres - Market square
8 pm special Last Post ceremony projected on a screen
9.40 - 11 pm commemorative event of four years' warfare along the Ypres Salient with a spectacular projection on the Cloth Hall and live performances
31/07 Battle of Passchendaele /Third Battle of Ypres - Market square
1 pm watch the official memorial ceremony at Tyne Cot Cemetery in Passchendaele on a big screen

Menin Gate: special Last Post
On the eve of the 100-year commemoration of the Third Battle (30/07) the Last Post will be sounded in the presence of descendants of some of the fallen soldiers, whose names are engraved in the Menin Gate, and specially invited guests.
The Menin Gate itself will not be accessible to the public but the ceremony will be broadcast live on a big screen in the market square. (only on 30/07)

Market square: commemorative event

The evening sun will set an hour or so after the ceremony at the Menin Gate. At 9.40 pm a multimedia commemorative event produced by the BBC will start in the market square. This unique event will tell the story of the First World War in the Ypres Salient, with a special reference to the Third Battle of Ypres, the Battle of Passchendaele. The historical Cloth Hall will be used as the central screen.
The sound and light show uses not only original archive materials, such as photographs, works of art, film and audio materials, but also specialty animation. One example is the recorded interviews with veterans, soldiers who actually fought in Passchendaele. The event also includes live performances by British military bands, choirs, solo musicians and actors. The highlight is the projection on the Cloth Hall to create the Cloth Hall in its destroyed condition 100 years ago.
The preview for this exceptional event will be held on Saturday 29/07 and the event itself will be held on Sunday 30/07. Both are accessible free of charge.

Tyne Cot Cemetery ceremony
On Monday, 31 July, the historical date of the start of the Battle of Passchendaele, the Third Battle of Ypres, the official ceremony will be held at 1 pm at the largest Commonwealth Cemetery, Tyne Cot Cemetery in Passchendaele. The ceremony is reserved for people in possession of a ticket issued in advance by the DCMS. Tickets for this ceremony are no longer available.
However, the ceremony can be followed live on the big screen installed in Ypres market square.

The market square will be fenced off during the time of the events on 29 and 30 July, while the general public will be allowed to enter free of charge via three entrances. Tickets are not required. Public entrances: Sint Jacobsstraat, D'Hondstraat and Diksmuidestraat.


Practical information - 29/07:

 Normal access to Menin Gate untill 8.20 pm at the latest.
 Market Square: central part of the square will open at 7 pm. Other parts stay accessible during the day.
 Parking prohibition put in place from noon onwards in various phases in the security perimeter.
 Traffic in the perimeter is prohibited after 6 pm
 No special parkingfacilities: parking of football stadion and Rijselpoort can be used.


Practical information - 30/07:

 Normal access to Menin Gate untill noon.

 Market Square: entirely vacated between 3 and 5 pm. The three entrances will be opened at 5 pm so visitors may enter the event area through these three checkpoints.

 Parking prohibition in the entire security perimeter at noon.
 All traffic in the perimeter will be turned away after 2 pm.
 Parking: three parking facilities will be available to the public after 1 pm: KVK (Royal Football Club) parking facility, Picanol parking facility (Steverlyncklaan), Rijselpoort parking facility. These parking areas stay open until 1.30 am.


Prohibited items:

People entering the market square through the three public entrances will be checked to ensure that they are not carrying any items featured on the list of prohibited items.
The following items are prohibited: large backpacks, professional cameras or video devices fitted with 10 cm or larger lens (except for accredited members of the press), camera stands , selfie sticks, non-collapsible umbrellas, spray cans, firearms or replicas, other objects that can fire projectiles, devices with which a projectile may be fired or giving the impression of being able to be used for this purpose, stunning devices or devices specifically designed to immobilise, objects with a sharp point or a sharp edge, blunt instruments that can be used for beating people.
Also banners and flags are not allowed on the event area.

Animals are also prohibited, except for guide dogs for the blind.

Tourist Office and In Flanders Fields Museum
The In Flanders Fields Museum and the Tourist Office will continue to be accessible during the entire build-up and breakdown period.
Tourist Office: weekdays open from 9 am till 6 pm, weekends from 10 am till 6 pm (except Sunday 30/07)*
In Flanders Fields Museum: open from 10 am till 6 pm, (except Sunday 30/07)*. Last tickets at 5 pm.

On Sunday, 30/07 the Tourist Office and the In Flanders Fields Museum will stay open until 4.30 pm. Last entry for the museum at 3 pm.