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Hill 60

Hill 60

Ieper, Belgium

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057208860

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Description Hill 60 is a World War I battlefield memorial site and park in the Zwarteleen area of Zillebeke south of Ypres, Belgium. It is located about 4.6km from the centre of Ypres and directly on the railway line to Comines. Before World War I the hill was known locally as Côte des Amants (French for Lover's Knoll). The site comprises two areas of raised land separated by the railway line; the northern area was known by soldiers as Hill 60 while the southern part was known as The Caterpillar.BackgroundOriginThe high ground of Hill 60, south of Zillebeke, was created in the 1850s by spoil dumped from the cutting for the railway line between Ypres and Comines. The line opened in March 1854 and formed part of the La Madeleine–Comines railway from the French Nord-Pas-de-Calais region into Belgian Flanders.The earth excavated during the building of the railway was dumped on either side of the embankment and formed hillocks. On the west side, a long irregular mound atop the ridge was called The Caterpillar and a smaller mound 300yd down the slope towards Zillebeke, was known as The Dump. On the east side of the cutting, at the highest point of the ridge, was a third mound known as Hill 60, about 60ft above sea level, from which First World War artillery observers had an excellent view of the ground around Zillebeke and Ypres. Artillery-fire and mine explosions during the war changed the shape of the hill and flattened it considerably. Today the peak of Hill 60 is only about 4m higher than the vicinity.