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Landscape: Panoramic View of the Top

by William Willems & Philippe Vercoutter

This 360-degree panoramic photo was taken at the top of the Kemmelberg. You are immediately taken to a location on the wooded top of the hill, so that it seems as if you are there in person.

The picture is taken next to the Kemmelberg's geodetic point, at a height of 154m. This geodetic point was established in 1951 on top of a small, artificially-raised hill.

Photo © Philippe Vercoutter.

Human presence on the Kemmelberg dates back to the late Neanderthal period. Hunter-gatherers visited the hill and later the first farmers settled there. Around 450 BC, a Celtic elite transformed the strategic hill into a hill fort.

Prior to the First World War, the top of the hill was a place-to-be for tourists, who came to enjoy the amazing panorama, with a viewpoint at the top of the small hill, a maze, and the restaurant-cabaret, 'À la Belle Vue', directly opposite. A few hundred metres east on the Kemmelberg stood the Belvédère lookout tower, which was built in 1888.

Next to the geodesic point, the 'Kinderput' is visible. The 'Kinderput' comes to mind in the legend of Maugis' small horse. Directly opposite the 'Kinderput', the Hostellerie Kemmelberg was built in 1954. Following on the left-hand side of the Hostellerie sits a former Belgian army communications tower - from the 1970s - which is still just about visible through the foliage.

During the First World War this area played a key role in defending the top of the Kemmelberg.

The small hill and its immediate surroundings, right across from the restaurant-cabaret, 'À la Belle Vue', were part of an allied resistance post which was named after the restaurant itself.

The restaurant was completely destroyed during the Battle of the Kemmelberg in April 1918. About two years after the end of the First World War, a new Belvédère lookout tower was built on the same site as the old one.

User guide

Move the panorama around: click and drag cursor
Stop turning: click once
Full screen mode: double click or tap on the photo
Zoom: press 'Shift' + turn mousewheel.



Text copyright © Archeo Kemmelberg. An original feature for the History Files: Kemmelberg.