Belgium / Museum
The Bastogne War Museum covers the history of the Second World War, with a special focus on the Battle of the Bulge. It offers a fresh perception in a modern and interactive framework of the causes, events and consequences of the war, and the specific history of the Ardennes and Bastogne.
Key events of the war and the combatants' ordeal are reproduced in the exhibition with the aim of highlighting and explaining the broad sweep of its history.
The museum provides a special focus on how the civilians lived during the occupation, during the battle itself and afterwards. Opened on 22 March 2014, this memorial centre is located on the former Bastogne Historical Centre site, nearby the Mardasson Memorial.
Visitors follow the stories of four fictional characters during their visit: a 13-year old boy, a school teacher, a Corporal of the 101st US Airborne Division and Hans Wegmüller, a German Lieutenant of the 26th Volksgrenadier division. Their stories are based on real events and characters.
Three ‘scenovisions’, real multisensory 3D scenes, give the visitors the opportunity to relive the past. First they will find themselves in the Allied General Headquarters in southern England in June 1944. The second flashback places the visitors on the edge of the Ardennes forest. Shortly afterwards they can experience critical moments inside a local café surrounded by local people, while outside the shells continue to explode: a total immersion in the very heart of the conflict.
In 2022, the museum’s experience was enriched with an extension focusing on the aftermath of the war, and the long-term consequences for the region and the entire continent.