In the City of Ieper (Ypres) , just west of the famous Menin Gate, stands the iconic structure called Cloth Hall. As the Great War moved into the Ypres Salient in 1914, the city and its’ beautiful architecture came under seige. The Germans began to lob shells into the city to harass the Allied troops that used it as a staging post. The video displayed below documents the physical damage that was inflicted on this magnificant structure throughout the war.
Click here. Cloth Hall, Ieper
The History of Cloth Hall
The Cloth Hall served as a covered sales and storage place for cloth on the (now vaulted) waterway called the Ieperlee. The construction of the Cloth Hall was completed in 1304.
In this building the cloth underwent its last official control, after which the cloth salesmen could stock and sell.
During world war 1 the building was completely destroyed except for a section of the tower and a couple of walls. The reconstruction occurred under the guidance of architects J. Coomans and P.A. Pauwels.
Above the central archway entrance ‘Donkerpoort’, under the coat of arms, is a statue of Our Lady of Thuyne, the patron of Ieper.
The first floor of the Cloth Hall can be visited via the In Flanders Fields Museum
The sturdy belfry (70m) projects from the middle of the long face of the Cloth Hall. The present spire with its openwork helmet and dragon (1692) was restored in its original form. Originally the bottom tower section was used as treasury. The middle section used to be an arms depot. The ‘Cat throwing’ occurred from this floor. The 49 bells of the carillon are suspended in the ‘Bellringer’s House’.