|Location:||In Ieper (Ypres) inside the western wall of the city just south of the Menen Gate, in front of the Sint-Jacobskerk.|
All year Tue-Sun 11-22.
|Address:||Brasserie Kazematten, Bollingstraat 1, 8900 Ieper, Tel: +32-5746-9462. E-mail:|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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|1685||built after plans by Vauban, the great fortress architect of Louis XIV.|
The city of Ieper (Ypres) is a fortified city for more than a millenia now. But in the 17th century new weapons, especially cannons using gunpowder made many of the old fortress designs obsolete. The fortress architect of Louis XIV, Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, was a genius and designed the ultimate fortress. His idea was soon after built all over Europe. Ypres was upgraded to Vaubans design around 1685, and as a result a series of underground rooms or casemats were created, mostly because it was easier to have rooms in the wall than to fill them completely with rocks. But the casemats ware of little use, as they were cold, damp, and dark. For centuries they served as a barracks for the garrison of the fortress, some of them were used as storage rooms for ammunition and military equipment. But during the 20th century they were used for many things. During World War I they housed the headquarters of the British Army, providing a secure place during air raids. The British called them ironically Hotel de Remparts, and used it as ‘mess’ for the officers and field hospital. And the famous British trench gazette ‘The Wipers Times’ was printed here. Again the casemats were used as Air Raid shelters for the inhabtants of Ypres during World War II. In times of piece they were used by an ice cream factory, a mushroom farm, a cheese factory,
The De Kazematten reception center consists of five large rooms which have been restored with great respect for the history of the building. One of the rooms is used by the Brasserie Kazematten, a stylish brasserie under the wing of Sint-Bernardus brewery from Watou, where you can enjoy regional beers or a savory bite. Another room is transformed into a large meeting room, suitable for meetings, information evenings, or lectures. Rooms four and five contain the interpretation center Ten centuries of Ypres fortresses, a museum of he history of the Ypres fortress and of the beautiful nature that could develop there. The center is also the start of a trail named the fortress route which leads you through an impressive part of the fortifications.