The Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso clings to a rock face along Lago Maggiore, Italy, with the Swiss Alps in the background.
Located on Zwarteleenstraat in Zillebeke, south-east of Ypres, the cratered landscaping of Hill 60 bears the scars of a silent witness to an underground war of mines and counter-mines.
Marked on the map as 60 metres above sea level, the hill was made of the soil from the Ypres to Comines railway cutting.
The Germans captured Hill 60 during the First Battle of Ypres.
The first British ‘deep’ mine exploded on 17th February 1915 but they would have to wait until April 17th before another explosion allowed them to briefly take over the hill.
On the Western Front, during World War One, much of the war was spent in trenches; long, narrow ditches dug into the earth where soldiers lived together day and night.
Held by infantry, the trenches defined the front lines and death was never far away.
This reconstructed section of original German trench system, including four bunkers and two mine shafts, is located about 2km north of Wijtschate.
Access to the Bayernwald German Trenches is by prior booking from the Heuvelland Tourist Office in Kemmel.
The Battle of Verdun was the longest single battle of World War One.
Fort de Douaumont was the largest and highest fort on the ring of 19 large defensive forts protecting the city of Verdun but still couldn’t be adequately defended against the German guns.
The Germans captured Fort Douaumont on 25th February, 1916 without a contest.
The Colonial Infantry Troops of Morocco eventually recaptured the fort on 24th October, 1916.
There are some pleasant walks around the old concrete bunkers and tourists can visit inside the fort.