Chance to get the human angle on the WW1 experience at ‘In Flanders Field’ Museum, Ypres
With the girls still reeling from the superb introductory tour (from Salient Tours), we headed for the main Ypres museum ‘In Flanders Field’ just along from the central square (in sight of the Menin Gate).
It really is a superbly situated museum within easy reach of several cafes for lunch… and despite its almost gothic exterior… it is a remarkably modern and interactive museum.. full of hi tech displays, huge LCD screens and a brilliantly novel ‘poppy wristband’ to personalise your visit and feel even closer to the action.
The museum is currently exhibiting a further section/floor on Canada & the WW1, with a WW1 literature exhibit planned following this exhibition for Owen, Sassoon’s poetry amongst others (post July 2016).
The LCD screens are never better used than in the utterly tear jerking accounts of soldiers experiencing their first Christmas together under the soulful tunes of ‘Silent Night / Stille Nacht’… these accounts taken from soldier’s personal diaries continue throughout the museum and are gut wrenching in their honesty of the harrowing events yet also include some moments of positivity and courage.
Equally the displays are informative and clear whilst the historical artefacts (especially uniforms) gave a brilliant visual image for the girls as they pictured the events of 100 years ago!
Whilst the hi-tech content also includes a mini cinema detailing the parts played by both nurses and doctors in WW1. Aptly explaining the trauma experienced by these brave people but perhaps with an edge that is well deserved and brilliantly portrayed by the actors/actresses.
Moving upwards, the bell tower is vertigo inducing and includes a wonderful working Glockenspiel – so time your visit carefully or you may have a Quasimodo-esque experience with bells ringing in your ears for hours after! But the views are well, well worth all of this! Covering almost all of the areas shown downstairs..
Cost wise, it really provides brilliant value for money and is well worth a visit.