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Ypres and the Great War
Front Line Hooghe
Just outside Ypres, along the Menin Road stands Hooghe, scene of some of the worst battles of the war. The fighting occurred within the grounds of Hooghe Chateau, a large stately home ( now a lovely hotel).
The battles around the Chateau have now been carefully researched and the grounds, still bearing many traces of the war, have now been only opened to the public for the first time. Visitors receive detailed information which explains the different features at Front Line Hooghe including where the trench lines had been, at one point only 15 metres apart. As visitors walk around the grounds once a scene of absolute devastation, they learn how thousands of men died as just a few square metres of mud changed hands time after time.
In July 1915 the Royal Engineers of the British Army tunnelled beneath the German trenches and destroyed them with nearly two tonnes of high explosive. The explosion , the largest in history to that time , created the famous high mine hole which itself became the focus of bitter fighting for the next three years and has been preserved on the site to this day.
Wartime records showed a number of trenches in the vicinity of this mine hole and in 1995 one of these trenches was located and excavated . An astounding number of wartime relics were discovered and have now been carefully displayed together with photographs showing Hooghe during the war. Also at Front Line Hooghe are some concrete bunkers, one of which is now possible to enter and explore.
Open every day 9 AM - 7 PM
Entrance fee : 1 euro donation.