Belvedere is a beautiful domain located in the municipality of Heuvelland, Belgium, on the Kemmelberg hill. This area is steeped in history, particularly related to the two World Wars, and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
The domain of Belvedere was once a popular tourist destination in the early 1900s. It was home to a grand hotel, several restaurants, and a casino that attracted visitors from across Europe. However, the outbreak of World War I in 1914 would change everything.
During the war, the area around Belvedere was the site of fierce battles between the German and Allied forces. The Kemmelberg hill was an important strategic location, and both sides fought fiercely to gain control of it. The hill changed hands several times during the war, and the area was left devastated by the fighting.
After the war, the hotel and casino at Belvedere were never rebuilt, and the area became a memorial to the soldiers who fought and died there. The Kemmel American Monument was erected on the hill in 1937 to commemorate the American soldiers who fought in the area during the war.
During World War II, the Kemmelberg hill once again played an important role in the fighting. The Germans occupied the area and used it as a strategic location to defend against Allied forces. The hill was finally liberated by Allied troops in September 1944.
Today, the area around Belvedere is a popular destination for visitors interested in exploring its rich history. The Kemmelberg hill offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside and is home to several monuments and memorials related to the two World Wars. The area is also a popular destination for hikers and cyclists, with several trails winding through the countryside.
In summary, Belvedere is a beautiful domain with a rich history. Its location on the Kemmelberg hill made it an important strategic location during the two World Wars, and the area is now a memorial to the soldiers who fought and died there. Visitors to the area can explore the many monuments and memorials that commemorate the area’s past and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
Belvedere, Kemmelberg, Heuvelland.
We bought Belvedere in 2014 and did most of the renovations ourselves for 2 years.
This originally-wooden tower was built in 1888. It was one of the first tourist attractions within what is now the municipality of Heuvelland. The fact that a bear lived in a cage at the bottom of the tower was of course viewed at the time as an extra asset.
The scenic variety on and around the Kemmelberg is sufficiently large within a relatively short distance. The panoramas which can be witnessed along the way can best be admired whilst walking.
The First World War destroyed the first tower. As an observation point for the British, the tower was a thorn in the eye of the German attackers. In the spring of 1918, during the battle of the Kemmelberg, he received the final blow. Belvedere has been a protected monument since 2004.
From the Belvédère lookout tower at the top of the Kemmelberg one can enjoy a fantastic panorama and agree that the Kemmelberg and its surroundings are extremely suitable for hiking. Eight picturesque villages – Dranouter, Kemmel, Loker, Nieuwkerke, De Klijte, Westouter, Wijtschate, and Wulvergem – were merged in 1977 to form the municipality of Heuvelland. Even on foot they are worth a voyage of discovery.