The Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 presents the historical story of World War I in a moving and vivid way, with a special focus on the Battle of Passchendaele. This 1917 battle is known as one of the most gruesome battles of World War I, with nearly 600,000 casualties for a terrain shift of only eight kilometres. ‘Passchendaele’ not only became a household word in World War I history, it also became a symbol of the great futility of war in all its horror.
The interactive elements throughout the museum set-up ensure that children too are captivated by this piece of history.
The visitor circuit then continues through the unique Dugout Experience. Here, visitors discover how the British went underground in 1917. A haunting experience that paints a disconcerting picture of the miserable and claustrophobic living conditions back then.
The Passchendaele Museum is located in the castle grounds of Zonnebeke, which are in the middle of the former battlefield. Several walking loops and cycling routes connect a network of WWI sites in Greater Zonnebeke. Important links are the Polygon Wood, the many bunkers and the free visitor centre of CWGC Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world. A 3 km walking loop with thematic info panels takes you from the Passchendaele Museum to this cemetery with nearly 12,000 graves and 35,000 names on the missing persons memorial.
Right next to the museum are the eight Memorial Gardens ‘Remembrance Gardens’ in Passchendaele Memorial Park. From the gardens, you have a nice view of the ‘pou maumahara‘. This 8-metre-high Maori wood sculpture commemorates the New Zealand Māori and other World War I soldiers. In the church tower of Zonnebeke, you can visit the free exhibition ‘Getekend landschap‘. The top floor offers a wide panorama of the surrounding landscape. The church tower is within walking distance of the museum.
Dugout & Trench
The Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 combines the interactive display of a contemporary museum, with the exceptional experiential aspect of the Dugout & Trenches.
The museum section presents an overview of the five battles of Ypres, including the Battle of Passchendaele. Through historical artefacts, authentic letters, posters and other
documents, uniforms of the different armies, video fragments, etc., young and old can get an idea of what life must have been like on and around the battlefields.
The visit concludes with a faithful reconstruction of German and British trenches along which original shelters were built. Taste the frightening feeling that overcame the soldiers when they were ‘trapped’ here. A moving visit that will only enrich your exploration of war sites in the area.
Out and about with Lisa, Louis and Maurice
Those looking for a fun and educational family outing have come to the right place at MMP 1917!
The children can explore with Lisa, Louis and museum rat Maurice. With an audio game, folding map and fun assignments, they will learn more about the Great War in a playful way. Meanwhile, adults follow their own trail at the same pace with an audio guide. Discover together what it was like to live underground, watch the many video clips and film in our cinema room and discover the bunkers in our reconstructed German and British trenches!
Experience. Reflect. Remember.
- House rules Passchendaele Museum
- Open Monday to Sunday from 10am to 5.30pm each time. Last entry at 16h30
- Museum visit takes about an hour and a half
- Closed annually from 05 December to 31 January
- Audio guide included
- Free parking
- Can be guided: maximum of 25 people per guide