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Steven Vandenbussche, Curator, MMP1917 Museum

Steven Vandenbussche, Curator of the Memorial Museum Passchendaele, describes his favourite locations in Belgium

A new series of posts starts today, in which I invite various people to describe their favourite locations in Belgium. First up is Steven Vandenbussche, Curator of the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, Zonnebeke

Favourite city in Belgium: Bruges

“Although it may be the classic answer, I always feel a connection to our past when I walk in Bruges. Bruges is a charming, antique sort of town that has preserved its medieval charm of centuries past”

Favourite restaurant: Boury Restaurant, Roeselare

“Great restaurant with a young cook and team. They have achieved a great balance between classic and innovative cuisine. I like the way they use pure ingredients from the region.”

Favourite bar: The Glengarry, Gent

“Hidden from the outside, once you enter the medieval cellar you are welcomed by the warm and friendly whisky connoisseur Bob Minnekeer, and the lovely smell of smoked whiskies. Bob has over 1300 types of whisky, including a large selection of single-malts. It’s not only a place for whisky-lovers, but the setting on its own is well worth a visit.”

Favourite museums: Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, Zonnebeke and the Gallo-Romeins Museum, Tongeren

“The reason for choosing MMP17 is of course very clear to me, but I do hope Discovering Belgium readers will take time to visit it, and share my opinion as favourite museum!”
“My other favourite museum is definitely the Gallo-Romeins Museum in Tongeren. It’s a great museum with a modern touch. Entertaining, illustrative and easy to follow in history. Interesting to see how different cultures were influential in European history.”

Favourite green area: Chateau Grounds Zonnebeke

“The historic chateau grounds of Zonnebeke accommodate the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 and the Zonnebeke Tourist Office. This is the ideal departure point for an exploratory route through the battlefields of 1917. You can completely relax in the chateau grounds, read a book on a bench in the park, stroll hand-in-hand by the lake or take a moment to stop and think about the history of WWI in the ‘Poppy gardens’; themed gardens dedicated to the various nations that fought in the Battle of Passchendaele.”

Favourite area for walking: Voerstreek

“The Voer region has a beautiful landscape which is in harmony with nature, picturesque villages, beautiful views and colourful forests. I love to walk around this region and enjoy the silence and tranquility.”

Favourite cycle route: The Legacy

“This 37 km cycle route enables you to encounter the monumental heritage of the Battle of Passchendaele. The route starts at the Zonnebeke Tourist Office from where you cross the rolling landscape and pass by various WWI sites: Tyne Cot Cemetery, Polygon Wood, Crest Farm Canadian Memorial, and even the Witches’ Village of Beselare!”

Favourite family activity: Parc Chlorophylle, Manhay

“The Park gives the visitor a unique and original opportunity to discover the world of the forest. One of the most important attractions is the walking bridge which allows you to walk into the treetops. Children enjoy the thematic playgrounds spread over the park, which are adapted to the forest. The different animations are made out of wood and are all linked to nature and the environment.”

Favourite tourist attraction: Pairi Daiza, Brugelette

Paira Daiza
“Pairi Daiza is a zoo, but due to the most beautiful setting, it doesn’t look like a zoo at any time. Once you have entered the Park, you feel as you are travelling around the world in one day.”

Favourite shopping centre: Hasselt

“Not only is Hasselt the Capital of Fashion, it is equally well-known as the Capital of Taste. This combination is just perfect to go shopping in Hasselt. While my wife enjoys walking around from one shop to the other, I am happy to stop from time to time in a restaurant or bar.”

Favourite sports team: Club Brugge

“Belgian Football Champions of 2016. Need I say anymore?”

4 thoughts on “Steven Vandenbussche, Curator, MMP1917 Museum”

  1. Like Judy, we had a marvellous week in Bruges. We stayed in the centre of the old part of town in a gorgeous airbnb home. Everyone we met was so welcoming and we enjoyed learning the history of this fascinating place.

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