Ypres is best known for being the centre of intense fighting between the Germans and the Allied forces in World War I, and the city has a number of monuments that record the tragic events of the Great War, including the Menin Gate and the poignant 'In Flanders Fields' Museum.
Although Ypres feels like an ancient city, its buildings are not original. Everything you can see in the city has been lovingly and painstakingly restored after the complete destruction caused by four years of warfare. During the First Battle of Ypres (October-November 1914), the Kaiser ordered his troops that they 'Take Ypres or die', and die they did. All but for a short period in October 1914, Ypres remained in allied hands, although at a cost. The civilians did not leave Ypres until the intense bombardments during the Second Battle of Ypres (April-May 1915).
Sanctuary Wood Museum, located two miles outside Ypres, houses a unique collection of World War I artefacts and a preserved section of the British trenches from almost a century ago.