Oostende


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Oostende

(ōstĕn`də), Fr. Ostende, city (1991 pop. 68,500), West Flanders prov., W Belgium, on the North Sea. It is a major commercial and fishing port, connected by canals with BrugesBruges
or Brugge
, city (1991 pop. 117,063), capital of West Flanders prov., NW Belgium, connected by canal with Zeebrugge (on the North Sea), its outer port. It is a rail junction as well as a commercial, industrial, and tourist center.
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 and GhentGhent
, Du. Gent, Fr. Gand, city (1991 pop. 230,246), capital of East Flanders prov., W Belgium, at the confluence of the Scheldt and Leie rivers. Connected with the North Sea by the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal and by a network of other canals, Ghent is a major port and
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. Oostende is also an industrial and rail center, as well as a seaside resort. It has a ferry terminal that connects the city with England. Manufactures include processed food, ships, soap, tobacco, and chemicals. A port by the time of the First Crusade (11th cent.), Oostende was fortified (1583) by William the Silent and played a leading role in the Dutch struggle for independence. The city was taken (1604) by the Spaniards under Ambrogio SpinolaSpinola, Ambrogio
, 1569–1630, Spanish general, b. Italy, of a noble Genoese family. In 1602, Spinola entered Spanish service in the Netherlands. He took (1604) Ostend from Maurice of Nassau after a long siege and then carried the war into the northern provinces.
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 after a three-year siege in which it was almost totally destroyed, was sacked again in 1745 by the French, and suffered heavy Allied bombardment in World War II. From the mid-19th cent. to World War I it was one of Europe's most fashionable social centers. The city is also known as Ostend.

Oostende

 

also Ostend), a port city in Belgium situated on the North Sea in the province of West Flanders. Population, 56,200 (1971). A transportation center connected by canal with the city of Bruges, Oostende is the principal Belgian fishing port. Its industries include oyster culture, shipbuilding, metalworking, and the chemical and food industries.

Oostende is a health resort with a maritime climate. Summers are moderately warm (average July temperature, 16.5°C), and winters are very mild (average January temperature, 3.5°C). Annual rainfall is approximately 780 mm. Treatments available for persons suffering from such ailments as functional nervous disorders, nontubercular respiratory diseases, and anemia are sea bathing (from July to mid-September), heated sea baths, and sand baths. The city has a hydropathic establishment, a wide sandy beach 15 km long, and a number of parks.

Oostende is first mentioned in the 11th century as a fishing settlement. It was fortified in 1583; the fortifications were torn down in the second half of the 19th century. During the Dutch bourgeois revolution of the 16th century, Oostende was known for its heroic resistance against the Spanish troops, which took the city only after a three-year siege lasting from July 1601 to September 1604.

Modern buildings predominate in Oostende, since the city suffered extensive damage during World War I and World War II. The seaside promenade, which is especially impressive, is the site of a number of fashionable hotels built on the dike, the Casino (rebuilt in 1950–53, architect L. Stynen), and the town hall (1954–58, architect V. Bourgeois). The Ensor museum is located in Oostende.

REFERENCE

Loontiens, C. Guide du touriste: Les monuments et les édifices remarquables d’Ostende. Oostende [no date].
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