Menin Gate Memorial (Ypres Memorial)
Many thousands of troops passed through the Menin Gate en route to the Western Frontduring major conflicts in World War I. Today, the historic city gate has been repurposed as a powerful memorial to those who lost their lives in the war. Designed by British architect Sir Reginald Blomfield in 1927 and built from Portland limestone, the triumphal arch and memorial is frequented by history buffs and those with personal ties to the conflict. Local buglers from the Last Post Association honor the fallen soldiers during a nightly ceremony.
The Menin Gate Memorial features on numerous World War I–themed guided tours of the Flanders battlefields.
Things to Know Before You Go
The number of unburied soldiers is so large that not all names could fit on the Menin Gate; nearly 35,000 others are inscribed on the walls of the nearby Tyne Cot Cemetery.
Ypres itself was virtually razed during World War I fighting, so its Cloth Hall, cathedral, and medieval buildings were all reconstructed.
If you attend the nightly Last Post ceremony, refrain from applauding. Instead, visitors are encouraged to join the refrain “We Will Remember” after the bugles have played.
How to Get There
The Menin Gate Memorial is located in central Ypres, overlooking the Kasteelgracht canal. From Ypres’ central station, it is just a 10-minute taxi trip or 15-minute stroll to the landmark. The area, including the nearby Grote Markt central square, is also served by numerous local bus lines.
When to Get There
The memorial is always accessible to visitors; however, the nightly Last Post ceremony at 8pm is by far the busiest time to visit. Be sure to arrive early to stake out a spot if you want to attend. The memorial also hosts annual Armistice Day events on November 11.
Belgium’s World War I Landmarks
Ypres and the surrounding region played a major role in numerous World War I conflicts. The In Flanders Fields Museum details the city’s wartime history, while St. George’s Memorial Church was built to honor more than 500,000 troops who perished in local battles. The Ypres War Victims Monument, Memorial for Indian Forces, and other wartime landmarks are all nearby.