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Bayernwald trenches

StraatVoormezelestraat 2
Postcode8950
DorpWijtschate
Tel.057 450 455
E-mailtoerisme@heuvelland.be

loopgraven_4-auteur onbekend-2004
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WIJTSCHATE SALIENT
Possession of the high ground helped to determine the course of the First World War in Flanders. The hilly landscape of the Heuvelland region was therefore of great strategic importance. The frontline between Ypres and Messines was shaped like an inverted 'S' with Ypres and Messines in the middle of the two protruding 'bulges'. The Germans referred to this stretch of front as the 'Ypernboge' and the 'Wijtschateboge'. The British talked about the Ypres Salient and Messines Ridge. Bayernwald trenches and bunkers site is situated in the lower and southern most bend in this section of the front, standing on a ridge that forms the last natural obstacle on the road to the coast. It was there, in 1914, that the British and the French were able to stop the Germand advance.

Bayernwald is situated 40 metres above sea level and was therefore of strategic and military importance during the war. Hills and high ground allowed better observation of your opponent's positions. This made it possible to direct the fire of your artillery more accurately. it was also easier to defend your own trenches, since your enemy always had to attack uphill. This explains why French and Bavarian troops fought so hard in November 1914 to capture this site. The Germans were victorious, and renamed the locality Bayernwald. Between November 1914 and the summer of 1917, they converted the site into a near-impregnable fortress. What is left today is about 10% of the 1917 defences.

The site can be visited since 2004 (see further on this page for the entrance tickets):

  • 300 metres of restorated trenches
  • 4 German WWI bunkers
  • 2 listening shafts

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

TICKETS:

Tickets to purchase before going to the Bayernwald site:
(the entrance at Bayernwald is by scanning a barcode ticket)
Tourist Office Heuvelland
Polenlaan 1
8950 HEUVELLAND - Kemmel
T: +32(0)57 450 455
E: toerisme@heuvelland.be

Where and wenn?

  • address Bayernwald: Voormezelestraat 2, 8950 Heuvelland - Wijtschate
  • Open every day from 9:00 till 18:00
  • Attention: the opening hours of the Tourist Office are different than the opening hours of Bayernwald

Extra information:

  • Guide only on demand
  • Leaflet with extra information available for free at the Tourist Office
  • De site is toegankelijk voor rolstoelgebruikers. Niet de loopgraven zelf.
  • Dogs not allowed
  • Reservation for groups is recommended

Closed on:

Each year, there are some closing days for safety reasons because of the hunting season in the wood nearby Bayernwald.
This is the list of the official hunting=closing days this year:

  • Saturday 15 August 2015
    Friday 21 August 2015
    Friday 28 August 2015
    Friday 11 September 2015
    Saturday 19 September 2015
    Saturday 26 September 2015
    Saturday 7 November 2015
    Saturday 14 November 2015
    Saturday 5 December 2015
    Saturday 27 December 2015
    Saturday 9 January 2016

  • Also closed on the 1st and 2nd of January and on 25th and 26th of December.

Free entrance Bayernwald: Sunday 13th of September 2015
On this day Bayernwald trenches can be free visited from 10:00 untill 18:00. There is also a guide available who can give you more information.

Groepen:

  • Reservation recommended
  • Guide visit (=2 hours maximum): €60

Reservation address:

Tourist Office Heuvelland
Polenlaan 1
8950 HEUVELLAND - Kemmel
T: +32(0)57 450 455
E: toerisme@heuvelland.be

Prices:

  • adults: €4 pp
  • groups from 20 persons and more: €2,50 pp
  • <26 years: €1 pp
  • child younger then 8 year: free
  • teachers: for free (on prove being a teacher or when you are with a group of students)