Sister Cities

Relationship with Marrickville

A total of 117 residents of the original Marrickville, Newtown, Petersham and St Peters municipalities and the suburb of Camperdown were killed in the Battle of Passchendaele in World War I, between 17 July and 15 November 1917. For this reason, Marrickville decided to mark the relationship with Zonnebeke with a Recognition of Historical Bond agreement in 2007.

Geography and Climate

The Municipality of Zonnebeke is located in the province of West Flanders, Belgium.

Zonnebeke consists of five villages: Beselare, Geluveld, Passchendaele, Zandvoorde and Zonnebeke.

Belgium has warm weather in summer and cold weather in winter, with snow in the cooler regions.

Local Life and Traditions

  • The Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 was opened in Zonnebeke Chateau on 25th April (Anzac Day) 2004. It contains the biggest public collection of World War I memorabilia in West Flanders.
  • Tyne Cot Military Cemetery in Zonnebeke is the largest British and Commonwealth Cemetery in Europe.
  • 13 monuments in the area commemorate the lives lost in the battles of World War I. For example, there is a monument to the 5th Australian Division in Zonnebeke.
  • There were many dugouts made in the local area during World War I. Eighty years on, although some are flooded, they are still in good condition and are now the most authentic relics of the war in Flanders.


The community of Beselare is widely known as a witches' village, and holds a biannual witches' parade. The parade is held every two years on the last Sunday of July to commemorate the death the town's most notorious witch, Sefa Bubbels, on that date in 1750.

Food and Wine

Passchendaele is renowned for its cheese, which has been produced at its Old Cheesemakery since 1932.

Click here to show a recipe for chocolate mousse

A desert popular all around the world.


  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 150g fresh cream
  • 2 eggs

1. Bring the cream to the boil.
2. Add the chocolate, in small pieces, and whisk for around three minutes.
3. Add the egg yolks to the mixture.
4. Whip the egg whites until firm and add them to the mixture.
5. Chill and serve.

Fun Fact

For hundreds of years, Zonnebeke was dominated by the Augustinian abbey in the centre and the Benedictine convent in the Nonnebosschen. Both the abbey and the convent were destroyed during the iconoclastic outbreak in 1580. Only the Augustinian abbey was rebuilt, but was later confiscated during the French occupation.


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