Zeebrugge is a port in northwestern Belgium, 10 miles north of Brugge and 60 miles from Brussels. Interestingly, it is actually an ‘artificial port’, built because the existing marine channel to Brugge at the time had become clogged with silt. Because of its strategic location, Belgium has often been targeted by opposing military forces, which has contributed to Zeebrugge’s rich history. In 1918, during World War I, British naval forces sank block ships in Zeebrugge’s harbour to block the entry of German submarines. In 1944, the entire port was destroyed by the retreating Germans.
The One Thing You Don’t Want to Miss
One of the best views of the area can be found at the Markt or Market Square. Situated in the centre of the ancient walled city of Bruges, the Market is lined with 17th-century gabled houses and dominated by the 14th-century Belfort or belfry. Visitors can climb the 350 steps to the top of this 82 metre (270 foot) tower for a beautiful panoramic view of the city.
Other Fun Things to Do
Make the most of your stop and explore nearby Brugge. Walk along its quaint cobblestone streets and over its flower-lined canals. Admire the many beautiful bridges after which the city was named (‘brugge’ means bridge in Flemish). Gaze upon rows and rows of spectacular gothic buildings and attractive gabled homes.
Take a quick tour of the medieval city of Gent as well, and see some of the countless works of art in its renowned Museum of Fine Arts.
Walk through the world-famous Grand Place, one of Europe’s most beautiful squares. The extraordinary ensemble of Baroque façades was built on the very spot where Brussels’ first inhabitants held their market in the 12th century.
Get a Taste of Local Flavour
Much of Belgium’s cuisine is similar to that of its neighbours to the north and south. Moules marinières (marinated mussels), lapin a la bière (rabbit in beer) and croque-monsieur (ham and cheese toasted sandwich) are some of the local specialities. Belgian chocolates are considered some of the best in the world.