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I blogged about the outside of Groningen Museum here. On this May’s visit we actually took a look inside.
The first thing that strikes anybody on entering is this elaborate mosaic-tiled staircase:-
Similar tiling adorned another staircase:-
I was taken with this model of Groningen city centre made from fabric. It was under glass so it’s a little distorted:-
Thee was some not very aesthetically appealing German modern art as the main exhibit when we were there. I’m not averse to modern art but I must confess I preferred these traditional Dutch landscapes:-
In a history of Groningen section was this textile of a sailor and flags of different nations which was of Great War vintage though of course the Dutch were not involved in that conflict:-
German Great War memorabilia in Hooge Crater Museum. In my own Great War collection I have a mug similar to one shown here:-
Trench Art including inkwells in the shape of Renault tanks:-
British Great War memorabilia (above) and German (below.) Again I have some of the featured British items in my own collection:-
More trench art, Renault tank inkwells with poilus’ helmets:-
Trench art cabinet:-
More trench art:-
Mock-up of British dugout:-
If you are ever in Ypres/Ieper I would recommend a visit to Hooge Crater Museum as well as to In Flanders Fields Museum.
A canvas carrying pannier:-
Mannequin of soldier with full canvas carrying pannier. How could he have even moved with all that weighing him down?:-
Artillery shells of various calibres:-
Mannequin of a soldier in the uniform of the Liverpool Scottish:-
Artillery shell fuses and grenades:-
Machine guns, trench mortars, projectiles, barbed wire roll:-
Hooge Crater Museum is on the Menin Road just at Bellewaarde, less than a stone’s throw from our hotel. The museum was described in a pamphlet we picked up in In Flanders Fields Museum as the best privately owned museum in Flanders. It’s housed in a former chapel and is utterly jam-packed with exhibits relating to the Great War.
In front of the former doors to the chapel lies this German grave marker:-
From the Menin Road the path to the museum entrance is lined by stone, shaped as sandbags as if it were a trench:-
Entrance and door. Again made to simulate a trench:-
Almost the first thing you encounter in the museum proper is this Fokker DR 1. A Fokker triplane in the scarlet colours as flown by Baron Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron:-
Typical exhibits. (Tank track on left):-
British Officer mannequin with part of a tank behind:-
I couldn’t help noticing this very deco looking (or possibly Frank Lloyd Wright influenced or maybe it’s just Belgian) building when we passed through Zonnebeeke in Flanders. The tower behind belongs to the Church of our Lady:-
Imagine my surprise when I got round to the front and discovered it houses the Passchendaele Research Centre which seems to be part of the Passchendaele Memorial Museum. Note the “rule of three” in the windows – and even in what looks like a cold frame below them:-
Unfortunately I couldn’t get an uninterrupted view of the frontage due to the parked van:-
I didn’t photograph the British headstone as I have posted many of those before.
German Grave Marker + French Cross:-
German Headstone. Unusual. The German grave markers are usually laid flat. French Cross behind:-
Unattributed Headstone plus various commemorative statuary:-
Exhibits in In Flanders Fields Museum, Ypres (Ieper) Belgium.
Photograph of survivors of a Canadian battle of the Great War:-
Flame Thrower (Flammenwerfer):-
(The next one was too far behind its glass for the camera to focus properly.) Fritz Haber was responsible for developing Chlorine gas as a weapon. Also without his Haber Process to make ammonia from nitrogen and hydrogen (necessary for producing artificial fertiliser) the Germans would have been unable to make nitrate explosives and so would have been forced to an armistice much earlier. The main exhibit was of an actor speaking Haber’s words:-
Tableau of Horse Ambulance:-
The Wipers Times was a satirical magazine produced by soldiers during the Great War:-
With the possible exception of Saint Martin’s Cathedral, the Cloth Hall (Lakenhalle) is the most imposing building in the city of Ypres (Ieper) in Flanders, Belgium. (The cathedral’s spire can be seen to the rear.)
The mediæval Cloth Hall was all but totally destroyed by shelling during the Great War but lovingly restored in the years after.
There is now a lovely fountain in the paving at the front of the Hall.
Flanking one of the doors to the Cloth Hall are two memorials. This one is to the French soldiers who died in defence of Ypres during the Great War:-
And this commemorates the liberation of Ypres by Polish troops in 1944:-
The Cloth Hall now houses In Flanders Fields Museum, formerly the Ypres Salient Memorial Museum:-