Agenda: museums and exhibitions, food and drinks, nature and parks and sight in Ostend

The Geuzenbos – Ostend

Once upon a time in the 17th century the woodland here was a castle domain. Now, only some tree trunks indicate where the building once stood. A wood with some history then, making it perfect for a walk!

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Ensor en Spilliaert museumvleugel. Twee grootmeesters uit Oostende

Ostend and James Ensor are inextricably linked. Ensor loved Ostend: the city served as his muse and inexhaustible source of inspiration. He loved it for its crowds, the tempestuous North Sea, the carnival that painted the streets in festive colours each year. The name of the painter Léon Spillaert, twenty years his junior, is also connected with this Queen of Seaside Resorts. His nocturnal rambles through the city and long walks along the beach spurred him to create his best works, dark and...

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Koninklijke Gaanderijen

The Royal Galleries were finished in 1905. They are approximately 400 m long and served to protect the middle classes from sun and rain during their walks. They connected the Royal Pavilion with the Wellington racing track. In the beginning of the thirties, the Thermae Palace was built next to it. These days it is a four-star hotel still breathing the Belle Époque atmosphere.

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Venetian Galleries

In 1900, Belgian King Leopold II commissioned architect Henri Maquet to design the first royal gallery: an L-shaped, closed and covered walkway between the royal villa and a large octagonal salon. Nowadays it is known by the name ‘Venetian Galleries’, referring to Venice’s classicist architecture. When the Belgian royal family decided they would no longer use their coastal residence, Ostend was given the concession of the entire complex and resolved that the building be used for cultural...

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Ostend Sailing Club: Phare East

The renovated Ostend Sailing Club is on the beach at Oosteroever (to the right of the East Dike). Many beach and water sports start from here, such as sea rafting, kayaking, wave surfing, kiting, dune orientation, beach sports... via The Outsider Coast. After the activities you can enjoy wonderful refreshments and tasty food in Phare East, the new bar and bistro in the beach pavilion.

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O.-L.-Vrouw-ter-Duinenkerk

The Dune church was made a listed monument in 1946. The trapezoidal cemetery with lawns, weeping willows and shrubs followed suit in 1975. Many of the people who are buried here belonged to well-known families of Mariakerke. Leopold Passchyn was Mariakerke’s last mayor (they have even named a street after him in Mariakerke). James Ensor is also buried here, near his beloved Dune church, which he helped protect against demolition in the late 19th Century. Every year in April, they organise the...

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Herdenkingsmonument HMS Vindictive

In May 2013, the restored bow of the HMS VIndictive was given a prominent place on the east bank of the port of Ostend. ...

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The Spilliaert House

The Spilliaert House wants to introduce as many people as possible to the paintings of Léon Spilliaert. Targeting a broad audience, the centre wants to help improve access to and knowledge of the artist’s life and work. As a monographical arts centre, the Spilliaert House’s ambition is to host a new exhibition twice a year and position itself as the premier documentation centre for scientific research.

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Kursaal Oostende

The building dominates the view at the Albert I promenade. The Casino, a design by Leon Stynen (1953) stands on the spot where in 1875 the first casino already stood. The latter was destroyed during WWII. After the war it would still be eight years before the current building was erected. This strikingly large building can boast being the largest in Belgium and is a typical example of modernism. The eye-catchers are of course the murals by Paul Delvaux. On 17th December 2004, the renovated...

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