About Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917
The Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, also known as the Passchendaele Memorial Museum, is a Belgian museum dedicated to the Battle of Passchendaele. The museum is housed in the historic château grounds of Zonnebeke and focuses on the material aspects of World War I.
History of Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917
The Battle of Passchendaele was one of numerous battles which made up the Battle of Ypres in World War I and has become an iconic symbol of the futility of war. In the Battle of Passchendaele, over half a million troops died in around 100 days for the sake of five miles of territory gained by the Allies from the Germans.
The museum’s history began in in 1987, when, for the first time in history, there was an exhibition about the Third Battle in Ypres (1917), which consisted of never before seen visual materials from the Imperial War Museum. It was a huge success, garnering 900 visitors, and as a result it was decided to put the château at the museum’s disposal, with attention fixed on the war years but also the Zonnebeke Augustinian Abbey and local history. The museum opened in 1989.
Between 2002 and 2013, the museum grew in size, becoming a classic historical museum with a full reconstructed dug-out.
Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 Today
The Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 explores the events which led up to this battle, the experiences of the soldiers who fought in it and its consequences. Using a combination of multimedia presentations, reconstructions, photographs and original objects, the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 provides a comprehensive account of this aspect of the First World War.
The Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 also has a wealth of information about other sites in the area and is therefore a great place to start a tour of the Passchendaele battlefields and sites of the Battle of Ypres.
Getting to Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917
Being located less than 3km from Polygon Wood and Tyne Cot Cemetery, the biggest cemetery of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the museum is an ideal starting point for a thorough historical visit.
From the centre of Ypres, the museum is a 12 minute drive via the N37 road. It’s also a half an hour bus – get off at Zonnebeke Klooster and walk 3 minutes to reach the site. It’s also a scenic two hour walk.