Peace Village, set among the beautiful hills of the Westhoek, has a rich history dating back to the establishment of the Irish Peace Park in Messines.
This memorial was officially inaugurated on Nov. 11, 1998, by none other than Queen Elizabeth II, President McAleese and King Albert II.
The “International School for Peace Studies,” founded in 2001, was another important factor contributing to the creation of Peace Village. This Northern Ireland organization aims to bring young people from across the island of Ireland together in Messines, the place where their ancestors fought side by side in World War I. The foundation stone of Peace Village was laid on June 7, 2005, by Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, in the presence of Minister Geert Bourgeois and Mayor of Messines, Sandy Evrard. Exactly one year later, Peace Village officially opened.
A few years later, the management of Peace Village was taken over by the non-profit organization Volkstoerisme. The original goals were abandoned, the board was professionalized and the mission was rewritten. Peace Village would open to anyone who wants to stay in the Westhoek, with a special focus on World War I commemoration and Peace Education. As of 2014, Peace Village received nearly 20,000 overnight stays annually. In fact, 2018, one hundred years after the end of the Great War, was an absolute peak year with about 26,000 overnight stays!
Peace Village’s infrastructure was constantly being expanded with additional sports and game facilities and better service for our customers. The rooms were refreshed and the heating was renewed. Peace Village also built its own educational arm and partnered in numerous memorial projects and events. Peace Village is more than a place to stay.
It is a place where history comes alive, peace is celebrated and visitors are invited to participate in the ongoing dialogue about peace and reconciliation. Welcome!
Our dedicated team is always ready to welcome and support you during your stay!