Top Historic Sights in Ostend, Belgium

Explore the historic highlights of Ostend

Saint Peter and Paul Church

Sint-Petrus-en-Pauluskerk (Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul) is built on the ashes of a previous church that occupied the site. King Leopold II enthusiastically supported a plan to build a new and more magnificent church. Construction started in 1899 and was completed and consecrated by Bishop Waffelaert on August 31, 1908. Its stained glass windows were destroyed during the two World Wars and were replaced by windows ...
Founded: 1899-1908 | Location: Ostend, Belgium

Fort Napoleon

Fort Napoleon in Ostend is a polygonal fort built in the Napoleonic era. It has recently been restored and is open to the public. France had occupied the Austrian Netherlands (a territory roughly corresponding to the borders of modern Belgium) during 1792 and 1793 in the Flanders Campaign of the French Revolutionary Wars. During the War of the Fifth Coalition, Napoleon Bonaparte expected a British assault from the sea on ...
Founded: 1811 | Location: Ostend, Belgium

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Varberg Fortress

Varberg Fortress was built in 1287-1300 by count Jacob Nielsen as protection against his Danish king, who had declared him an outlaw after the murder of King Eric V of Denmark. Jacob had close connections with king Eric II of Norway and as a result got substantial Norwegian assistance with the construction. The fortress, as well as half the county, became Norwegian in 1305.

King Eric's grand daughter, Ingeborg Håkansdotter, inherited the area from her father, King Haakon V of Norway. She and her husband, Eric, Duke of Södermanland, established a semi-independent state out of their Norwegian, Swedish and Danish counties until the death of Erik. They spent considerable time at the fortress. Their son, King Magnus IV of Sweden (Magnus VII of Norway), spent much time at the fortress as well.

The fortress was augmented during the late 16th and early 17th century on order by King Christian IV of Denmark. However, after the Treaty of Brömsebro in 1645 the fortress became Swedish. It was used as a military installation until 1830 and as a prison from the end of the 17th Century until 1931.

It is currently used as a museum and bed and breakfast as well as private accommodation. The moat of the fortress is said to be inhabited by a small lake monster. In August 2006, a couple of witnesses claimed to have seen the monster emerge from the dark water and devour a duck. The creature is described as brown, hairless and with a 40 cm long tail.