If you stand in the centre of the town, it is difficult to believe that Diksmuide lay completely in ruins at the end of the First World War. None of its present-day buildings are more than 100 years old. This now charming municipality suffered the same fate as its larger neighbour, Ieper. Diksmuide was in the front line for four long years. The River Ijzer flowed past the edge of the old town, often serving as a dividing line between the Belgian trenches on the far side of the river and the German trenches on the town side.
The main attraction in Diksmuide is the 84-metre high IJzer Tower, which is first and foremost a memorial to the Flemish soldiers who died at the front. The tower has 24 different levels, and is topped by a breathtaking viewing hall. The windy roof terrace also offers spectacular panoramas over Diksmuide and the Westhoek. The tower houses the recently renovated Museum on the IJzer. This museum focuses on the Belgian-German conflict during the First World War and on the struggle for Flemish emancipation. The exhibits also express a clear and unequivocal message of peace: 'No More War!'
It is a good idea to start your visit to Diksmuide by popping in to the brand-new visitors centre on the Grote Markt (Market Square). Here you can find all the information you need about cultural and historical heritage sites; nature, landscape and recreation; 'local colour', including gastronomy and events; and, of course, war and peace 14-18.