Bachten de Kupe is a region in West-Flanders in the North West corner of Belgium. Its borders are more or less the North Sea, the Yser river and the French border.
The following cities are situated in this region: Furnes, De Panne, Koksijde, Nieuwpoort, Diksmuide, Poperinge and Ypres.
We don't know if the good people of Westvleteren with its famous Saint Sixtus Abbey and eponymous Brewery consider themselves in Bachten de Kupe even though they're just south of the Yser.
The source of the Yser is in the town of Buysscheure (Buisscheure) in the north of France. From there the river flows through Broxeele, Bollezeele, Esquelbecq (Ekelsbeke), Bambecque (Bambeke) and so on, for about 30 kilometres in France and then another 48 km in Belgium through Diskmuide and into the North Sea at Nieuwpoort.
(By the way, Broxeele has the same ethymology as Brussels and is well known to the members of the Order of the Friends of Manneken Pis who offered the town a copy of the statue of their world famous hero.)
When we think of this region of Belgium we inevitably think of World War I and its horrors, the numerous war monuments and war cemeteries. When they work in their fields the farmers of this flat and fertile polder land still find unexploded ordnance from this terrible conflict.
Bachten de Kupe is an agricultural region but it is also very much appreciated for its wide open space and tranquillity by the tourists and this not only along the North Sea beaches. It is part of what we call the Westhoek (hoek = corner.) The people speak their own very beautiful dialects.
Those who still think of the region as a backward backwater have it all wrong. We have a really funny paradox here because it's these people who are behind the times. They probably also think it's dirty wherever you go in France. And Dutch farmers still wear clogs. We suggest they take the trouble to check things out for themselves instead of relying on negative cliches of bygone days used by prejudiced and egocentric people who probably think less of everything if it's not theirs.
For the backward past they might start with the Bachten de Kupe Open Air Museum in Izenberge bij Alveringem. This open air museum is an attempt to show what a 17th Century farmers' town might have been like. Where else do you still find that ? In other museums perhaps ?
Sure, Bachten de Kupe is an agricultural region. But let's not forget this: where would we be if everyone had to work work work merely to produce just enough food for them to stay alive ? Modern agriculture liberates a lot of hands and brains for all the wonderful things modern civilisation provides.
Bachten de Kupe is admirably suited for modern agriculture and rich delicious food... and drink. Go see and taste for yourself !
And so we talked as if hundreds of Westhoek firms that have nothing to do with agriculture didn't exist and as if there were no tourist attractions. We think of Picanol, Westlandia, Interwest, Ingrid Lesage Creations, Melexis and Plopsaland. And... Ghelamco is one of the 700 construction companies.
Most recent update: 21 April 2021