Discover the hiking and cycling routes of the Remembrance Trails

These regions are home to the many sites that bear the scars of two world wars. The sites commemorate the selfless sacrifice of those who took part and now, thanks to the regional Remembrance Trails, you can discover them at your leisure along local cycling and hiking routes. Each route develops a specific theme and is accompanied by an illustrated guide. Consult the guide on your mobile (or download it) to discover the human side of these conflicts and learn about the region and its history in an original and compelling way.
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Duration: 1h approx. - Distance: 3 km

Practical info

Contact : Coeur de Flandre Tourist Office - Tourist Information Office of Bailleul
Call : +33 (0)3 28 43 81 00
E-mail : tourisme(at)montsdeflandre(dot)fr
Starting Point : Grand'Place (Town Square) - 59 270 BAILLEUL

Download the route guideWe greet you

Bailleul, a model of Flemish reconstruction

In  the  early  twentieth  century  Bailleul  was renowned for its textile mills and  factories, handmade lacework and the fruit and flowers produced  in  its  greenhouses.  At  the  outbreak of the First World War the Allied forces fighting in the sector of Ypres established a rear base in the town. In April 1918, during the Battle of the Lys, German troops succeeded in capturing Bailleul however their  prize  was, within a few days, reduced to rubble under the heavy shelling of both sides.

After the war, and on the advice of regionalist architect Louis-Marie Cordonnier, Mayor Natalis Dumez and his council decided to rebuild the town as faithfully as possible  to  its  pre-war  layout  and history. Drawing inspiration from numerous buildings in Bruges (Belgium), the  team  of  architects  responsible for the reconstruction decided to adhere closely to traditional Flemish rchitecture. For example, most of the public and private buildings were rebuilt in brick, with the occasional stone embellishment, and arranged so that a gable, featuring   high arched windows, served as the façade. The infrastructure of the town was adapted to the needs of post-war life and, as a result, the main streets were broadened, new town squares were created, and a public baths was built.

Although financial constraints occasionally led the  architects  to  revise  their  initial  intentions, Bailleul  remains  nevertheless an exemplary reconstruction of a Flemish town and one that is both idealized and modern.

Route details