About the Passchendaele Museum

The Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, or Passchendaele Museum for short, tells the story of World War I with a specific focus on the Battle of Passchendaele. This Battle in 1917 is known as one of the most gruesome battles of World War I with nearly 600,000 casualties for a terrain shift of only 8 kilometres.

The museum focuses on visitor experience with an interactive display. By means of authentic letters, uniforms, video fragments, … young and old get a view of life around and on the battlefields. In the reconstructed dugout, visitors experience how the British went underground in 1917. True-to-life reconstructed British and German trenches with shelters connect the underground parts of the museum. The more than 600-metre-long museum trail not only displays the extensive military-historical collection but also immerses visitors in the 1917 story. The museum’s baseline “Experience.Reflect.Remember” forms the common thread of the museum experience.

The museum is also strongly committed to family-friendliness with the child-friendly trail ‘On the Road with Lisa, Louis and Maurice’ where the youngest visitors discover the museum with a folding map, listening game and all kinds of hands-on activities. In addition, education is an important pillar in the public activities. The museum currently offers five educational packages.

The museum is located in the chateau grounds of Zonnebeke, which lies in the middle of the former battlefield. The museum therefore aims to be an open museum, sending visitors into the landscape. Several walking and cycling routes connect the museum with a network of WWI sites in Zonnebeke, such as the Polygon Forest, the many bunkers, Tyne Cot Cemetery with free visitor centre and the Memorial Gardens.

The museum has its origins in the regional museum that came into being in 1989. In 2004, the Passchendaele Museum emerges as a revamped, fully-fledged museum on WWI. In 2008, it was recognised regionally. In 2014, it opens its own research centre, which is the hub to quickly and adequately answer the many questions of domestic and foreign visitors. The knowledge centre is responsible for the ‘Passchendaele Archives’ project, which gives a face to the many victims of 1917.




The Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, or Passchendaele Museum for short, tells the story of the 1917 Battle of Passchendaele through experience, reflection and remembrance. The museum assumes the role as a gateway to the surrounding landscape and focuses on the impact of an all-out war.



The Passchendaele Museum presents the facts and impact of the Battle of Passchendaele, as a symbol of total war. Through the story of Passchendaele, the museum interprets the madness of World War I and war in general. As a military history museum, the museum continues to expand its unique collection of objects and stories and links them to places of remembrance in the landscape (lieux de mémoire). The museum secures the personal stories of soldiers and their families as important intangible testimonies for future generations. By collecting and sharing small stories, the museum makes the Great War manageable.

The Passchendaele Museum presents itself as an open museum based on three pillars:

  • Multi-voiced commemoration and remembrance is central to its operation. The museum strives for participation and involvement of the heritage community and interprets complex military-historical facts in an accessible, approachable and experiential way. The Passchendaele Museum respectfully approaches the emotionally charged theme of the Battle of Passchendaele.
  • Its unique location amid the historic battlefield makes the museum the gateway to the surrounding landscape. The museum visit does not stop at the museum door. The Passchendaele Museum actively encourages visitors to discover the relics and silent witnesses in the landscape.
  • The museum seeks partnerships and knowledge sharing at local, supra-local and international levels. Wherever possible, the Passchendaele Museum wants to offer the accumulated expertise, data and knowledge and make them widely accessible.