About Bastogne War Museum
The Bastogne War Museum examines the history of World War Two with particular emphasis on the campaign known as the ‘Battle of the Bulge’ which took place in the area. Completely rebuilt and opened in 2014, the museum offers an interactive insight into the wider conflict and the battle itself.
As well as digital exhibits and short films the museum also includes a reconstruction of the forest battlefield designed to immerse visitors in to the realities of the conflict.The Bastogne War Museum is located near the famous Mardasson Memorial which honours the American soldiers who were wounded or killed during the battle.
Bastogne War Museum history
In December 1944, the Germans launched a major offensive on the western front through the densely forested Ardennes region in Belgium and Luxembourg. Intended to stop the Allies from using the Antwerp port, the Germans wanted to split, encircle and destroy the Allied forces.
On the morning of December 14 1944, the Germans achieved a total surprise attack because of Allied overconfidence and poor weather preventing reconnaissance. The Americans suffered the worst casualties of any operation in the war. However, the Germans also took a large depletion in their forces and were resisted around Bastogne. As the weather improved and Allied troops were reinforced, the German offence was broken and eventually retreated to the Siegfried Line.
After 4 years of work, in March 2014 the Bastogne War Museum was opened on the former site of the Bastogne Historical Centre. The museum was built to a unique 5-pointed American star design – seen best from above, highlighted in yellow – much like the Mardasson Memorial located on the same grounds.
Bastogne War Museum today
Today, the museum is part of the Liberation Route Europe and using scenography and witness testimonial brings a human element to telling the story of the Battle of the Bulge. The exhibition route is punctuated with informative and interactive displays – great for visitors of all ages.
In addition to the permanent exhibition, Bastogne War Museum also holds temporary exhibitions called ‘Story Bubbles’. Full price is 16€ and the museum is open from 9.30am to 6pm every day.
Getting to Bastogne War Museum
If driving from Antwerp, from the E9 take the E411 towards Chaussée des Ardennes, exiting at 18-Marche and following the N4 to the museum. The closest train station is Libramont. The bus route 6 also passes by the museum.