Ostend

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Ostend
Oostende
Municipality of Belgium
Promenade at Ostend seaside.
Promenade at Ostend seaside.
Flag of Ostend
Flag
Coat of arms of Ostend
Coat of arms
Ostend is located in Belgium
Ostend
Ostend
Location in Belgium
Coordinates: 51°14′N 02°55′E / 51.233°N 2.917°E / 51.233; 2.917Coordinates: 51°14′N 02°55′E / 51.233°N 2.917°E / 51.233; 2.917
CountryBelgium
CommunityFlemish Community
RegionFlemish Region
ProvinceWest Flanders
ArrondissementOstend
Government
 • MayorJean Vandecasteele (SP.A)
 • Governing party/iesSP.A, CD&V, VLD
Area
 • Total37.72 km2 (14.56 sq mi)
Population (1 January 2012)[1]
 • Total70,284
 • Density1,900/km2 (4,800/sq mi)
Postal codes8400
Area codes059
Websitewww.oostende.be
 
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Ostend (disambiguation).
Ostend
Oostende
Municipality of Belgium
Promenade at Ostend seaside.
Promenade at Ostend seaside.
Flag of Ostend
Flag
Coat of arms of Ostend
Coat of arms
Ostend is located in Belgium
Ostend
Ostend
Location in Belgium
Coordinates: 51°14′N 02°55′E / 51.233°N 2.917°E / 51.233; 2.917Coordinates: 51°14′N 02°55′E / 51.233°N 2.917°E / 51.233; 2.917
CountryBelgium
CommunityFlemish Community
RegionFlemish Region
ProvinceWest Flanders
ArrondissementOstend
Government
 • MayorJean Vandecasteele (SP.A)
 • Governing party/iesSP.A, CD&V, VLD
Area
 • Total37.72 km2 (14.56 sq mi)
Population (1 January 2012)[1]
 • Total70,284
 • Density1,900/km2 (4,800/sq mi)
Postal codes8400
Area codes059
Websitewww.oostende.be

Ostend (Dutch: Oostende, Dutch pronunciation: [ˌoːs̪t̪ˈɛn̪d̪ə]; French: Ostende; German: Ostende, German pronunciation: [ˈɔstɛndə]) is a Belgian city and municipality located in the Flemish province of West Flanders. It comprises the boroughs of Mariakerke, Stene and Zandvoorde, and the city of Ostend proper – the largest on the Belgian coast.

History[edit]

Origin to Middle Ages[edit]

In earlier times, Ostend was nothing more than a small village built on the east-end (Dutch: 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 and in 1395 the inhabitants decided to build a new Ostend behind large dikes and further away from the always-threatening sea.

Fifteenth to eighteenth century[edit]

Ostend on the Ferraris map (around 1775)
St Petrus and St Paulus Church
Beach, seafront and Europacenter building

The strategic position on the North Sea coast had major advantages for Ostend as a harbour but also proved to be a source of trouble. The town was frequently taken, ravaged, ransacked and destroyed by conquering armies. The Dutch rebels, the Geuzen, took control of the town. The Siege of Ostend, 1601 to 1604, of which it was said that "the Spanish assailed the unassailable and the Dutch defended the indefensible", cost a combined total of more than 80,000 dead or wounded, making it the single bloodiest battle of the Eighty Years' War. This shocking event set in motion negotiations that led to a truce several years later. When the truce broke down, it became a Dunkirker base.

After this era, Ostend was turned into a harbour of some importance. In 1722, the Dutch again closed off the entrance to the harbour of Antwerp, the Westerschelde. Therefore, Ostend rose in importance because the town provided an alternative exit to the sea. The Southern Netherlands (largely the territory of present Belgium) had become part of the Austrian Empire. The Austrian Emperor Charles VI granted the town the trade monopoly with Africa and the Far-East. The Oostendse Compagnie (the "Ostend trade company") was allowed to found colonies overseas. However, in 1727 the Oostendse Compagnie was forced to stop its activities because of Dutch and British pressure. The Netherlands and Britain would not allow competitors on the international trade level. Both nations regarded international trade as their privilege.

Modern era[edit]

In later times, the harbour of Ostend continued to expand because the harbour dock, as well as the traffic connections with the hinterland, were improved. In 1838, a railway connection with Brussels was constructed. Ostend became a transit harbour to England in 1846 when the first ferry sailed to Dover. Very important for the image of the town was the attention it started to receive from the Belgian kings Leopold I and Leopold II. Both liked to spend their holidays in Ostend. Important monuments and villas were built to please the Royal Family, including the Hippodrome Wellington horse racing track and the Royal Galleries. The rest of aristocratic Belgium followed and soon Ostend became known as "The Queen of the Belgian sea-side resorts".

In 1866 Ostend was the venue for a crucial meeting of exile Spanish Liberals and Republicans which laid the framework for a major uprising in their country, culminating in Spain's Glorious Revolution two years later.

The town hosted all but one of the sailing events for the 1920 Summer Olympics in neighbouring Antwerp.[2] They also hosted the polo events.[3]

In the twentieth century wars brought significant destruction to Ostend. Many opulent buildings not destroyed in wars were also later razed and replaced with the structures in the modernist architecture style.

Sights[edit]

Ostend beach and the promenade pier – panoramic view.

Climate[edit]

Ostend has a maritime temperate climate, influenced by winds from the North Sea, making summers cooler than inland Europe. 24-hour average temperatures below the freezing point is a rare occurrence. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Ostend has a marine west coast climate, abbreviated "Cfb" on climate maps.[7]

Climate data for Ostend
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Average high °C (°F)6.1
(43)
6.5
(43.7)
9.2
(48.6)
11.4
(52.5)
15.3
(59.5)
17.7
(63.9)
20.3
(68.5)
20.9
(69.6)
18.3
(64.9)
14.5
(58.1)
9.7
(49.5)
7.1
(44.8)
13.08
(55.55)
Average low °C (°F)1.1
(34)
0.5
(32.9)
2.3
(36.1)
4.1
(39.4)
7.9
(46.2)
10.7
(51.3)
12.8
(55)
12.5
(54.5)
10.2
(50.4)
7.1
(44.8)
4.0
(39.2)
2.3
(36.1)
6.29
(43.33)
Precipitation mm (inches)62.6
(2.465)
44.5
(1.752)
55.0
(2.165)
45.5
(1.791)
56.2
(2.213)
66.7
(2.626)
59.2
(2.331)
57.3
(2.256)
79.9
(3.146)
78.1
(3.075)
83.9
(3.303)
73.2
(2.882)
762.1
(30.005)
Avg. precipitation days139111010108811111313127
Source: World Meteorological Organisation (UN)[8]

Economy[edit]

Jetairfly has its headquarters in Ostend.[9] TAAG Angola Airlines's Ostend offices are on the grounds of Ostend Airport in Ostend.[10]

Gallery[edit]

Notable residents[edit]

References to these notable citizens of Ostend can be found on the oostende.be website.[11]

Sport clubs[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Population per municipality on 1 January 2012 (XLS; 214 KB)
  2. ^ "1920 Summer Olympics sailing". Sports-reference.com. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  3. ^ "1920 Summer Olympics polo". Sports-reference.com. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  4. ^ Daughters of Darkness at the Internet Movie Database
  5. ^ "''Armaguedon'' at IMDB". French.imdb.com. 1 May 2009. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  6. ^ Le Bal du rat mort
  7. ^ "Climate Summary for Ostend, Belgium". Weatherbase.com. Retrieved 2014-02-13. 
  8. ^ "World Weather Information Service – Ostend". United Nations. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  9. ^ "TUIfly Academy Brussels." Jetairfly. Retrieved 23 October 2009.
  10. ^ "TAAG Offices." TAAG Angola Airlines. Retrieved 23 January 2010.
  11. ^ "Oostendse biografieën". Archief.oostende.be. Retrieved 2014-02-13. 
  12. ^ Kranenborg, J.B. "Ancestors of Cornelis Leendert de Groot". Ninth Generation. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 

External links[edit]