Discount Hotel Reservation - HotelClub

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ieper .. Where I used to call home ...

Ypres (French pronunciation: [ipʁ], English: /ˈiːprə/; Dutch: Ieper, pronounced [ˈipər]) is a Belgian municipality located in the Flemish province of West Flanders. The municipality comprises the city of Ieper and the villages of Boezinge, Brielen, Dikkebus, Elverdinge, Hollebeke, Sint-Jan, Vlamertinge, Voormezele, Zillebeke, and Zuidschote. Together, they count some 34,900 inhabitants.
During World War I, Ypres was the centre of intense and sustained battles between the German and the Allied forces. During the war, Tommies nicknamed the city "Wipers."

Today, Ieper is a small city in the very western part of Belgium, the so-called Westhoek. Ieper these days has the title of "city of peace" and maintains a close friendship with another town on which war had a profound impact: Hiroshima. Both towns witnessed warfare at its worst: Ieper was one of the first places where chemical warfare was employed, while Hiroshima suffered the debut of nuclear warfare. The city governments of Ieper and Hiroshima advocate for cities never to be targets again and campaign for the abolition of nuclear weapons. The City of Ieper hosts the international campaign secretariat of Mayors for Peace, an international Mayoral organization mobilizing cities and citizens worldwide to abolish and eliminate nuclear weapons by the year 2020. Mayors for Peace 2020 Vision Campaign.

Ieper Flag
The imposing Cloth Hall was built in the 13th century and was one of the largest commercial buildings of the Middle Ages. The structure which stands today is the exact copy of the original medieval building, rebuilt after the war. The belfry that surmounts the hall houses a 49-bell carillon. The whole complex was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999.

Gosh, I used to roam these streets myself while every Saturday. Now, I roam the streets again with Kaklong, Khairi and Faizell.

Cyper ... derived from Cafe Ieper. Ieper has a history with cats and that's why all around Ieper, lots of thing will be associated with cats.

Thee met melk

And not to forget, my favourite chocolatier "Van Groot". I think, and still do, that they make the best chocolate in town. All chocolates produced here are hand made and a fraction of the price from the ones in Brussel.

Chocolate warfare. Very Ieper.

Chocolate Cats ... I rest my case :)

The Menin Gate Memorial in Ieper commemorates those soldiers of the British Commonwealth - with the exception of Newfoundland - who fell in the Ypres Salient during the First World War before 16 August 1917, who have no known grave. Those who died from that date - and all from New Zealand and Newfoundland - are commemorated elsewhere. The memorial's location is especially poignant as it lies on the eastward route from the town which allied soldiers would have taken towards the fighting - many never to return.

Every evening since 1928, at precisely eight o'clock, traffic around the imposing arches of the Menin Gate Memorial has been stopped while the Last Post is sounded beneath the Gate by the local fire brigade. This tribute is given in honour of the memory of British Empire soldiers who fought and died there. The Menin Gate in Ypres only records the soldiers for whom there is no known grave, As graves are discovered, the names are removed from the Menin Gate.

If you do get to visit Belgium, don't forget to visit Ieper and Brugge. There lots more to see there than there is in Brussels and personally, I think the Flemish people in Ieper are the nicest in the country. Thank you Ieper for making our short trip here one most memorable and thank you for all those wonderful memories while I was living in this wonderful city. 

For those interested in Ieper, log on to