Behind cityhall is the gothic Sint-Niklaas church. In the picture with cityhall tip the left tower is of the church the right one is the belltower of the cityhall.
After the war the church was rebuilt like the first 14th century version, except for the tower which was a 18th century version before the war and was rebuilt like that. In 1940 a bombardment destroyed the church again and it was restored in the 1950's. Because of all these devastations the inside of the church is plain with little works of art.
Some artworks like the baptismal font are exact replicas of the old ones.
The beguinage in Diksmuide dates back to the 13rd century. Untill 1914 when the Great War started and devastated Diksmuide the last beguine left to never return. The Beguinage is rebuilt in old style, as is most of the historical centre of Diksmuide after the war ended in 1918.
Today it maintains its social role and houses mentally handicapped adults.
The website is in dutch and about the project of housing the mentally handicapped.
The peace monument in this town was built in the 1920's. It served as the central point in the area for memories of the great war.
It seems that the site got used for nazi rallies and the like during the second world war. This monument was blown up shortly after the end of that war - many say by anti-flemish terrorist groups.
The replacement monument is this 84m high edifice. It has thus become not only war war memorial but a focus for Flemish nationalism as well. Hence the large letters on the structure :
AVV-VVK: Alles Voor Vlaanderen-Vlaanderen voor Kristus (All for Flanders-Flanders for Christ).
With the surrounding contryside being so flat, the view from the top is impressive. It's also open (if they havn't changed it in the last 20 years) so you chuck a paper plane off if you want to - i did !
The "Yser Tower" in Diksmuide is a symbol of freedom and peace. It's a place to remind us all never ever to allow war again. The Flemish soldiers at the front were led by French speaking Officers and could not understand them. The Flemish were doomed and disadvantaged by the French Officers. The inscription on the Yser Tower, AVV-VVK means "Alles Voor Vlaanderen - Vlaanderen Voor Kristus" (Everything for Flanders - Flanders for Christ). From this historical background you can understand the current frictions in the cities around Brussels (Flanders) with language facilities for the French speaking.
The Yser Tower is 84m high, has 22 floors and is a museum in the memory of World War I. In 1914, the area of Diskmuide was put under water so that the allied troops could stop the German invaders. They held back the Germans for 4 years until the end of the war. During World War I, 10 million people died of which 1 million in this area. People didn't only die because of gun fire but also because of diseases in the trenches. The English soldiers were specialised in building underground Dugouts with sleeping corners, communication facilities and hospitals. A replica of such a Dugout can be visited in the Yser Tower.
The trench of death is one of the last remaining trenches in the "westhoek" Flanders from World War I. In 1914, Belgium was almost completely taken by the German army until King Albert I gave the order to maintain the line of defence in Diksmuide. Soldiers continued fighting from the trenches over a period of 4 years. Only on this location 60.000 soldiers lost their lives (1km). During daytime the soldiers stayed in the trenches and at night they extended them closer towards the enemy. The German army was applying the same strategy from the other side. You can still visit 400m of the trenches.
Heli Promotions is a helicopter company specialized in sightseeing tours, touristic flights, flight trainings and aerial photography. The heliport is situated in Diksmuide and is a perfect operating place to explore the Flanders Fields and the Belgian Coast.
A Battlefield tour by helicopter offers a unique way to discover the Flanders Battlefields from another perspective. During the flight you will get a unique aerial view on the Ysertower, the Menin Gate, Tyne Cot Cemetery and many more. This is for sure a memorable experience!
If you visit the Ijzertoren its close to a bridge where you can book a boat trip, so you can actually do 2 things in one day, or if you are in a group and have already visited the Ijzer before then you can do the boat trip
lots of small things to buy that you can take home as a momento for your holiday, mondays is market day at the market square. At the market you can buy clothes, table cloths, foods, delicios cheese and processed meats. gifts
This 85 meter high "Ijzer" Tower was built from 1951 to 1965. The slogan "no more war" was added in four languages.
They open at 9 and at 10 on Sundays and public holidays.Closed on festive days in December
In 1915 Belgians started digging a trench along the west bank of the river.
The Trench of Death near Diksmuide remained the heart of the Belgian resistance until the successful Anglo-Belgian offensive called the Battle of Flanders began on 28 September 1918
Visiting the Trench of Death is free
The Trench of Death is open from 9 am-12:30 pm and 1-5 pm from April 1 to September 30. Outside of these dates it is only open on weekends.
A sobering visit and in contrast to the nearby Ijzer Tower of Peace.
Trenches on the side of the canal where Belgian troops ran the gauntlet of snipers and German attacks throughout WW1 after the Belgian Army flooded the polders to stop the German Army's rush to the coast.
See website for full details and directions.
Along the IJzer river, just outside Diksmuide you will find the IJzertoren, a huge tower in the form of a cross. In 1952 architect Robert Van Averbeke started to built this monument for peace. It took 13 years to complete the 84 meters high tower.
In the IJzertoren there is a 22 story high museum of War and Peace.
Every floor has its own theme. The meaning of this museum is to create the atmosphere of the past, not to exactly descripe the history. There are scenes of the Great War and World War II.
After all this culture it is time for a drink......
In the village of Esen, now part of Diksmuide, you can find a local brewery: De Dolle Brouwers.
Next to visiting the brewery you can also taste and but the beer here. They make:
Oerbier - 7.5 %vol. alcohol
Arabier - 7 %vol. alcohol
Boskeun - special easter beer - 8,9% alcohol
Stille Nacht - special christmas beer 12% alcohol
Saturday: from 09u00 till 19u00
Sunday: from 14h00 till 19u00
At the Markt you find a statue of general Baron Jacques de Dixmude, leader of the 12th Linieregiment (1914-1918).
Generaal Baron Jacques de Dixmude worked for King Leopold II. And went to Congo for him to built a Belgian empire. A controversial period in the history of Belgium.
Just to give an impression, this is how the church (and the rest of Diksmuide) looked like after four years of heavy fighting in the Great War. (1914-1918)
From this rubble they built the city to a jewel in west flanders.