Around Ypres you cycle through the Heuvelland, which stretches along the French border. You cannot ignore the First World War in this region. Ypres was besieged on three sides during that terrible time, a front that became infamous as the'Ypres Salient\\\', the Ypres Salient. Domain De Palingbeek and its surroundings turned into a large battlefield, where thousands of soldiers lost their lives. The landscape still preserves the deep scars in the form of bunkers and cemeteries. Everywhere you come across graveyards of the Allies, the rows of white tombstones still make a crushing impression. Further along the route, in Zonnebeke, the dark history of WWI resurfaces in the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917.'Passchendaele\\\' is not only an episode in the history of the First World War, it has also become a household name , an international symbol of war violence in its most horrific form. In 1917, more than 400,000 soldiers were put out of action here in a hundred days for a territorial gain of only a few kilometers. Ninety years after the start of the Great War, the municipality of Zonnebeke opened a brand new museum in the castle grounds on Anzac Day 2004. In the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, the successor of the Streekmuseum Zonnebeke, you walk through the five battles of Ypres on the basis of impressive photo material, a carefully selected collection of historical objects and various lifelike dioramas. Walking in a German trench or descending into a unique 6 m deep British dugout with communication and dressing station, headquarters and sleeping places, it is only possible in the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917. A must if you are in the area. When you return to Ypres, visit the In Flanders Fields Museum, a modern and interactive war museum. Do you need a counterpoint to all the horrific memories of WW I? Then take a look at the Belle Almshouse museum, with the most beautiful pieces from the rich collection of the Ypres OCMW. Don't miss the painting depicting the Blessed Virgin. She is surrounded by donors Yolente Belle, Joos Bryde and their children. It was painted in 1420, making it one of the oldest paintings in Belgium. In addition to other paintings by old masters, the museum houses some remarkable furniture such as a unique linen press from the 17th century and the only'tapestry\\\' in Ypres public property: an altar veil from the 17th century.