10 Maritime assets at the Belgian Coast
The Belgian Coast is home to a unique maritime world. The region is steeped in it and everywhere you’ll find relics of maritime life, past and present. From authentic fishermen’s cottages to museums, each coastal town has its own sights and attractions and each tell their own maritime story. Discover the various places to visit and immerse yourself in life on and in the North Sea.
Pier Kloeffe in De Panne
From the dunes in De Panne the statue of Pier Kloeffe surveys the beach. Born to a family of nobles, Pier and his family fled war in France and settled in De Panne where they took up fishing.
Navigo, National Fisheries Museum in Koksijde - Oostduinkerke
Navigo takes you through the history of the Flemish fishing families, the sturdy Icelandic trawlers and the shrimp fishermen on horseback. Downstairs, you get to make your acquaintances with the residents of the North Sea.
Fish Auction Hall in Nieuwpoort
At the Nieuwpoort fish auction hall, fishing boats and shrimp fishermen drop off their catch on an almost daily basis. Once they’ve unloaded their fresh haul, they take it to the auction hall. An impressive spectacle!
The Navigator in Middelkerke - Westende
The maritime world has long been a source of inspiration for artists, and The Navigator proves just that. This ginormous helm on the beach of Westende is one of the permanent exhibits of Beaufort, the art triennial by the sea.
De Vistrap (Fish Market) in Oostende
At the open-air market you can buy the freshest North Sea fish and Ostend brown shrimp straight from the fishermen’s wives as their husbands land their catch. For the atmosphere alone, De Vistrap is worth a detour.
Fishermen's Chapel Our Lady of the Dunes
This fishermen’s chapel is a popular pilgrimage site for fishing families. Here, they come to pray for their men’s safe return. Do take a look inside because the walls of the chapel are adorned with thanksgiving prayers to saints.
Spioenkop in Wenduine
On the second highest dune of the Belgian Coast, a small, white, red-roofed pavilion beckons. In days gone by it was used to spy on the boats out at sea. Nowadays it is a wonderful vantage point.
Majutte's Cottage in Blankenberge
This authentic fisherman’s cottage takes you back in time to the end of the 18th century. The preserved interior shows you how fisherman Pé Majutte lived here with his family of 14.
Seafront in Zeebrugge
In this maritime theme park you’ll learn everything there is to know about the sea, the shipping industry, fish and the fishing industry. Take a walk through the halls of the former fish auction hall and visit the temporary exhibition Operation North Sea 1944-’45!
Sincfala, Museum of the Zwin Region in Knokke-Heist
In this museum you’ll learn all about the harsh life the Heist fishermen led. In the visitor centre you get to travel through the history of the Zwin Region, as far back as 2,000 years ago.
Also discover: A Sea of Flavours
The life of fishermen out at sea contributes greatly to the epicurean experience on the Belgian Coast. A Sea of Flavours thanks to the fresh North Sea products the chefs at the seaside prepare with passion.
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