Bastgone War Museum: The Final Big Battle of WWII

Right in the heart of the Ardennes forest is the Bastogne War Museum. It was created as a reminder of the final big battle in World War II. It was the turning point for the end of the war and understanding the battlex§, the town, and the people is a worthwhile experience.

The museum is quite a modern creation and will immerse you in the stories of people who experienced the war and help you to understand what took place here.

The Battle of the Bulge: A Brief Overview

The Battle of the Bulge, also known as the Battle of Bastogne, occurred between December 16, 1944, and January 25, 1945. It was Hitler’s and Germany’s last-ditch effort to halt the advancing Allied forces and turn the tide of the war. Although the Allies were doing well at the time, they were caught off-guard by the scale and intensity of the German attack. Luckily, the Allies eventually regrouped and held their ground. Victory took some time but was secured early in 1945 marking the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany.

The Bastogne War Museum

The Bastogne War Museum, opened its doors in 2014 as quite a is a state-of-the-art facility. The idea was to showcase the Battle of the Bulge in great detail to help bring home the reality of war. The museum’s modern setup has innovative exhibits that are a great way to immerse yourself in the experience and truly understand what happened way back in the 1940s.

Here are the most important details about the museum:

AddressColline Du Mardasson 5, 6600 Bastogne, Belgium (Google Maps)
Opening TimesJuly & August: Every day from 9.30 am to 7 pm (Last entry at 5 pm) 
Rest of the year: Monday – Sunday, 9:30 am – 6 pm (Last entry at 4 pm) 
Ticket PricesAdults: €22
Seniors: €19
Students/Disable: €14
Children (6 – 18): €14
Family (2 Adults & 2 Children): €58 (extra child €8)
** Book tickets here
ParkingFree on-site parking
Bastogne War Museum: General information

Exploring The Museum

As you explore the museum, you’ll encounter lifelike scenes, detailed dioramas, and interactive displays that effectively illustrate the personal stories and harrowing experiences of the soldiers and civilians who lived through this dark chapter in history.

There are actually four specific personas that have been developed for you to follow with your audio guide as you tour the museum. They are:

  • Robert Keane: A 30-year-old American officer from the 101st Airborne Division sharing his experience as a paratrooper during the battle.
  • Hans Wegmüller: A 19-year-old German soldier from the 26th Volksgrenadier Division who is questioning the war.
  • Mathilde Devillers: A 42-year-old Belgian teacher and mother from Bastognewho shows what civilians went through during the battle.
  • Emile Deschamps: A 15-year-old Belgian boy who becomes involved with the Resistance during the German occupation.

Exhibits In The Museum

Bastogne Museum exhibits (image via Wikimedia)

Of course, the exhibits are what make up the bulk of what is on display at the Bastogne Museum. Here are some of the excellent offerings that you can find inside:

  • The Road to War: From the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party to the Invasion of Poland in 1939. Understanding what lead to the war.
  • The Ardennes Forest and the Battle of the Bulge: Taking you to the heart of the Ardennes Forest, where the fighting took place during the Battle of the Bulge.
  • The Airborne Experience: This interactive exhibit provides insight into what paratroopers experience. This includes a realistic glider simulating a parachute jump.
  • Siege of Bastogne: The Siege of Bastogne was at the heart of the Battle of the Bulge. The town was a strategic point in the German advance and this exhibit displays various aspects of what happened.
  • The Role of Women and Civilians: Unfortunately they are often overlooked in war. This exhibit highlights the significant roles played by women and civilians during World War II.
  • The Path to Liberation: This part shows the final months of WWII and how Europe was ultimately liberated from Nazi Germany.
  • Personal Stories: Scattered throughout the museum are a series of personal stories from those that lived through the Battle of the Bulge. This is a great way to get some true insight into how it was to experience the battle and WWII in general.

The Mardasson Memorial

The Mardasson Memorial
The Mardasson Memorial (image via Wikimedia)

Just a distance from the museum is the Mardasson Memorial. It is a huge star-shaped memorial dedicated to the American soldiers that fought during the Battle of the Bulge. You might actually expect there to be the names of the 77,000 soldiers who fell during this battle, but unfortunately, that is not the case with this memorial. On the upper part of the monument, there are the names of all 50 of the American states. And in the center there is a Latin inscription that translates to: The Belgian people remember their American liberators. While the outside has many of the actions taken by the Americans during this battle.

Top of the Mardasson Memorial (image via Wikimedia)

There is actually quite a lot to explore inside the Mardasson Memorial, which as mentioned, is designed by Belgian architect Georges Dedoyard like a star as this is the insignia of the US Army. Aside from reading what is on the monument, you can climb to the top for amazing views of the surrounding landscape. This gives you a sense of the area the battle took place in.

Underneath the monument, there is a crypt containing three altars, each made of stone from the United States, Belgium, and Luxembourg. These altars are from three different religions (Jewish, Catholic, Protestant) and are dedicated to the memory of the fallen soldiers. They offer a quiet and solemn space for reflection and remembrance.


The Bastogne War Museum also offers some fun tours if you wish to explore the area in more detail during your visit. There are two main options:

  • Walking & Cycling tours: A package with the museum, cafe goodies, and 4 outside sites that you can visit on your own
  • Jeep Tour: Ride an authentic military jeep with up to 8 people. This 1.5 hour tour takes you all to the most important sites of the battle.

Getting There

There are a variety of ways to get to the Bastogne Museum, with the simplest and fastest being by car:

By Car

It is approximately 180km from Brussels center to the Bastogne Museum. It will take you around 1hr45 to 2 hours to drive there depending on traffic. Of course, Belgium is notorious for traffic, especially around Brussels, so don’t plan on driving during rush hour.

From Luxembourg, it is a lot closer, around 45km, and it should only take you approximately an hour to drive there.

It is also only around an hour’s drive from Liege.

Parking: There is a large parking lot that is free of charge with areas dedicated to campers and buses.

By Public Transport

It is quite time-consuming to go by public transport from Brussels, but it is possible. It takes over 3 hours and you have to change at Libramont to a bus which takes you very close to the museum.

It is equally time-consuming from Luxembourg, despite being far closer. So consider renting a car if you are there.

From Liege, it is only 2 hours with a bus to Bastogne where you change to another bus to take you close to the museum.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top