The Menin Gate Memorial
Historically, the Menin Gate of Ypres was simply a crossing point over the moat and through the ramparts of the old town fortifications, on the road to the nearby town of Menin. It had a special significance for the troops though: it was from this spot that thousands of soldiers set off for the part of the Front called the Ypres Salient – many destined never to return.
This became the chosen site for one of the grandest and most haunting memorials of the Great War. The new Menin Gate was built in the form of a Roman triumphal arch, designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield. During the inauguration ceremony, in July 1927, the Last Post was played for the first time by buglers from the Somerset Light Infantry. Since 1928, buglers from the Last Post Association have been playing the Last Post in this very spot every night at 8 p.m., regardless of the number of attendants or weather conditions.
The vast, white, Portland-stone walls of the Menin Gate are engraved with the names of nearly 55,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers lost on the field of battle but with no known graves; a son, a father, a brother. In fact the walls of the Menin Gate were not big enough: a further 34,957 names of the last and untraced are inscribed on the walls of Tyne Cot Cemetery to the east of Ypres.
The Menin Gate is only partially wheelchair accessible and the panels on which you can read the names are only accessible by stairs. The path that leads to the alternative route with a ramp to the panels at the top of the Menin Gate is not wheelchair accessible. However, the main hall, where you can attend the Last Post every day, is wheelchair accessible.
At the top of the Menin Gate, blind and visually impaired people can touch the model, which is an exact replica of the monument.
Below you will find an interactive map.Text version