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Irish Peace Park

Irish Peace Park

Peace park near the battlefield of Messines

The Irish Peace Park in Belgium is next to the Battle of Messines, which started on June 7, 1917.

The Allies attacked a German defense line that followed the ridge from Wijtschate via Messines to Ploegsteert. Early in the morning, underground mines were detonated, on which the Allied soldiers went to war.  

Catholic and Protestant divisions

The Allied army included Australians and New Zealanders. Catholic and Protestant divisions of the Irish army fought side by side. After a week, the battle was over. The Allies had captured seven kilometers of ground from the enemy, but the death toll was high. The Battle of Messines killed 25,000 German and 17,000 British soldiers.

The 34-metre-high tower in the Peace Park is a tribute to the Irish soldiers who died and were wounded or missing during World War I. The traditional Irish round tower was made a Unesco World Heritage site in 2023.

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