- Reconstruction of Flanders Fields
Reconstruction of Flanders Fields
The Feniks project
In 2020, the Feniks project will recount the story of the reconstruction of the Westhoek. To do so, Provincial Tourism Board Westtoer is once again joining forces with all its regional partners: thematic exhibitions at the In Flanders Fields Museum, the Huib Hoste Church in Zonnebeke, the town hall of Diksmuide, the Heuvelland visitor centre... not to mention large-scale public events in Nieuwpoort, Diksmuide and Ypres that will bring this remarkable story back to life again. Feniks will run from the beginning of March until the end of November 2020.
The Legacy of the Great War
Other than a mud-covered, cratered landscape strewn with ammunition, there was preciously little left of the idyllic bocage terrain once “the steel storm of the industrial war” had passed. The fields had been destroyed by the many grenade pits, mine craters, the war scrap, the piles of unexploded ammunition, trenches, bunkers and the narrow-gauge railways. “What’s so weird here is that, as far as the eye can see, there isn’t a single tree to be seen. Other than the odd dead trunk here and there, there is nothing left”, a visitor wrote in 1919.
After World War One, the Westhoek was completely rebuilt. It is this post-war reconstruction drive that continues to define the image of the Westhoek to this very day. The importance of the reconstruction architecture is not only reflected in a number of architectural gems, but also in the striking homogeneity which, in the main, is still preserved today. Also society itself had to be rebuilt from scratch. But the Westhoek rose again, like a Phoenix from the ashes.