Lange Max, Koekelare, Belgium


Pièce du Leugenboom à Moere
Chariot pour transport de munitions de l’abri à la pièce
(Cart for transporting ammunition from storage to the gun.)
On back:
Service des Sites de la Guerre 1914-18
Vendu au profit des Œuvres des Invalides et Orphelins de la Guerre
c.1920
Publisher: Nels (Ernest Thill)

Google Street View.

Lange Max Museum
Memories of the Great War: Leugenboom’s Lange Max (in French)

Batterie Pommern, also known as Lange Max, was the world’s biggest gun in 1917, during World War I. The German gun was of type 38 cm SK L/45 “Max” and had a modified design by Krupp compared to earlier German 38 cm gun types. The modification allowed the gun to shoot from Koekelare to Dunkirk, which is about 50 km away.

Batterie Pommern is located in Koekelare in the neighborhood called Leugenboom. It is part of Site Lange Max, next to the Lange Max Museum. Today, the immense artillery platform can still be visited.

The 15inch (38 cm) long range gun, protected by armour, was mounted on a steel bridge having a pivot in front. The rear part of the gun travelled along a circular rail-track in a concrete pit of about 70 feet in diameter. The gun was manoeuvred by means of electric motors. On either side were large shelters in reinforced concrete. In front of and below the platform there was an electric generator group. A large shelter of reinforced concrete on the right was probably the Post of Commandment. There was a dummy gun emplacement further on.
Wikipedia.

Bruges, Belgium


On back:
Bruges: Panorama pris d’une fenêtre de la Tour du Beffroi
(Panorama taken from a window of the Belfry)
c.1920
Publisher: Nels (Ernest Thill)

Google Street View (approximately)

The 83-metre high Belfort (belfry) from the 13th century is one of the three iconic towers of Bruges, together with the towers of Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk (Church of Our Lady), and Sint-Salvatorskathedraal (St Saviour’s Cathedral). Those who climb the 366 stairs are rewarded with an impressive view of Bruges and surrounds.
Musea Brugge

Belfry
The Belfry of Bruges is a medieval bell tower in the centre of Bruges, Belgium. One of the city’s most prominent symbols, the belfry formerly housed a treasury and the municipal archives, and served as an observation post for spotting fires and other danger. A narrow, steep staircase of 366 steps, accessible by the public for an entry fee, leads to the top of the 83 m (272 feet) high building, which leans 87 centimeters to the east. . . . The belfry was added to the market square around 1240, when Bruges was an important centre of the Flemish cloth industry. After a devastating fire in 1280, the tower was largely rebuilt.
Wikipedia.

St Saviour’s Cathedral
The Saint-Salvator Cathedral, the main church of the city, is one of the few buildings in Bruges that have survived the onslaught of the ages without damage. Nevertheless, it has undergone some changes and renovations. This church was not originally built to be a cathedral; it was granted the status in the 19th century. . . . The roof of the cathedral collapsed in a fire in 1839. Robert Chantrell, an English architect, famous for his neo-Gothic restorations of English churches, was asked to restore to Sint-Salvator its former glory. At the same time he was authorized to make a project for a higher tower, in order to make it taller than that of the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk [Church of Our Lady]. The oldest surviving part, dated from the 12th century, formed the base of the mighty tower. Instead of adding a neo-Gothic part to the tower, Chantrell chose a very personal Romanesque design. After completion there was a lot of criticism and the royal commission for monuments (Koninklijke Commissie voor Monumenten), without authorization by Chantrell, had placed a small peak on top of the tower, because the original design was deemed too flat. The Neo-Romanesque west tower is fortress-like 99 meters high.
Wikipedia.

Ball game, Place Verte, Charleroi, Belgium


Charleroi. Place du Sud. Le Jeu de Balle.
Publisher: Nels (Ernest Thill)

Street View (approximately)

History & Heritage of Charleroi: Place Verte (in French, translated)
Wikipedia: Balle pelote (in French, translated)

The Balle pelote is a team sport between two teams of five players on a called ground ballodrome. It is a game of gain-ground which takes place in the part West of Belgium, in the provinces of the Walloon Brabant, the Hainaut, Namur and in the western part of Flanders, but also in France, in valley of Sambre and the Inhabitant of Valenciennes.
Wikiversity

Ypres, World War I

Before

During
Boutique au coin des Halles avant et pendant la guerre.
Shop at the corner of the Halles, before and during the war.

These two pictures were on the same postcards. There are many single image cards and other photos showing war damage. There are some on the Great War in a Different Light site: a Personal Narrative of a Visit to the Ruined City and Ypres: the Unique City.