The historic castle grounds of Zonnebeke are home to the Passchendaele Museum, the municipal library ‘De Letterschuur’, the Koklikoo and the Zonnebeke Tourist Office. This is the ideal starting point for exploring Zonnebeke. Various walking and cycling routes depart from here along car-free paths. Less than three kilometres away are the famous Polygon Wood and Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world.
Since 2014, the castle domain of Zonnebeke has expanded considerably to include the area around Villa Zonnedaele, a picturesque manor house from 1933. Both domains had been separate for years. Thanks to subsidies from Flanders and the province of West Flanders, it was purchased by the municipality and transformed into the Passchendaele Memorial Park. In this park, landscape, recreation and education go hand in hand.
Passchendaele Memorial Gardens
What immediately springs to mind are the Passchendaele Memorial Gardens. These are eight memorial gardens in the shape of a poppy, intended as memorial gardens for countries that fought in our region during the First World War. Each module was commissioned and designed by a country and addresses three themes of remembrance: poetry, plant symbolism and visual art. The gardens are freely accessible daily.
The castle grounds are also a great place to relax: read a book on a park bench, stroll hand-in-hand along the pond or take a moment to reflect on the history of WWI in the ‘Poppy gardens’, themed gardens dedicated to the several nations that fought in the Battle of Passchendaele. The Pou Maumahara, opened in 2019, commemorates the Maori effort and casualties during WWI. At the edge of the park is the Church Tower of Zonnebeke, which offers great views over the entire region. The exhibition “Getekend Landschap” tells you more about the ever-changing landscape.
The park plan with all the points of interest in the Chateau Domain and 2 suggestion walks (Park Walk and Adventure Trail).