Ostend in West Flanders

Thursday, 18 May 2023 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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© panoramio.com - bogdan1971/cc-by-sa-3.0

© panoramio.com – bogdan1971/cc-by-sa-3.0

Ostend (Dutch: Oostende, French: Ostende, German: Ostende, West Flemish: Ostende) is a coastal city and municipality, located in the province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium. It comprises the boroughs of Mariakerke, Raversijde, Stene and Zandvoorde, and the city of Ostend proper – the largest on the Belgian coast.

In the Early Middle Ages, Ostend was a small village built on the east-end (oost-einde) of an island (originally called Testerep) between the North Sea and a beach lake. Although small, the village rose to the status of “town” around 1265, when the inhabitants were allowed to hold a market and to build a market hall. The major source of income for the inhabitants was fishing. The North Sea coastline has always been rather unstable due to the power of the water. In 1395 the inhabitants decided to build a new Ostend behind large dikes and further away from the always-threatening sea.

Museum-ship barquentine Mercator © Gary Houston © panoramio.com - bogdan1971/cc-by-sa-3.0 Oostende railway station © LimoWreck/cc-by-sa-3.0 Albert I Promenade © Gary Houston © panoramio.com - Ralf Houven/cc-by-3.0 Casino Kursaal © Wasily
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Oostende railway station © LimoWreck/cc-by-sa-3.0
Ostend’s Winter in the Park festival draws more than 600,000 people to the seaside city. During December, Ostend’s Christmas market, one of the largest in Europe, features vendors and food sellers along with ice skating, music and other events. A light-show tunnel on one of the major shopping streets attracts and amuses visitors from all over Belgium, Europe and beyond.

Ostend is known for its sea-side esplanade, including the Royal Galleries of Ostend, pier, and fine-sand beaches. Ostend is visited by many day-trippers heading to the beaches, especially during July and August. Tourists from inland Belgium and from abroad mostly arrive by train (day trips) and head for the closest beach area, the Klein Strand, located next to the pier. The locals and other residents in Belgium usually occupy the larger beach (het Groot Strand). Near the beach is a well-preserved section of the fortified Atlantic Wall, open to the public as the Atlantic Wall Open Air Museum located in Raversijde. One can walk through the streets around Het Vissersplein. At certain times, there are markets in the neighbourhood streets and in the summer the Vissersplein has music festivals. The Vissersplein (Bonenstraat/Kadzandstraat) is a car free zone with many brasseries where patrons can sit outside and have a drink. Towards the port side there are many little fish outlets, and beyond that the ferries can be observed docking.

The James Ensor museum can be visited in the house where the artist lived from 1917 until 1949. The Mu.Zee (merged from the Provinciaal Museum voor de Moderne Kunst and the Museum voor Schone Kunsten) is the museum of modern art (from the 1830s to the present) and displays works of noted local painters such as James Ensor, Leon Spilliaert, Constant Permeke and the revolutionary post-war Belgian COBRA movement amongst others.

Read more on VisitOostende.be, BelgianCoast.co.uk – Oostende, Wikivoyage Ostend and Wikipedia Ostend (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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