Ypres - Encyclopedia

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YPRES (Flemish Yperen), a town of Belgium, in the province of West Flanders, of which it was formerly considered the capital. Pop. (1904) 17,073. It is situated 35 m. S. of Ostend and 12 m. W. of Courtrai, on the Yperlee, a small river flowing into the Yser, both of which have been canalized. In the 14th century it ranked with Bruges and Ghent, and its population in its prime reached 200,000. It is remarkable chiefly for its fine Halles or cloth market, with a façade of over 150 yds. in length. The main building was begun in 1201 and completed in 1304. The cathedral of St Martin dates from the 13th century, with a tower of the 15th century. Jansen, bishop of Ypres and the founder of the Jansenist school, is buried in the cathedral. The Butchers' Hall is also of interest and dates from the 15th century. Although Ypres is unlikely to regain the importance it possessed when its "red-coated" contingent turned the day in the great battle of Courtrai (1302), it has an important linen and lace trade and a great butter market. The Belgian cavalry training-school is established at Ypres.

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