Fort Napoleon

Ostend, Belgium

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 the port of Ostend, and the fort was constructed in the sand dunes close to the mouth of the harbour in 1811. The British attack never materialised and the fort was used as for troop accommodation and as an arsenal until the end of the French occupation in 1814 when it was abandoned.

During World War I, the fort was used as accommodation for a German headquarters, and decorated with murals by German soldier Heinrich Otto Pieper. The heavy coastal artillery battery Hindenburg was stationed nearby. It was armed with four 280 mm guns of 1886-1887 vintage in heavily armored turrets on semi-circular concrete platforms. It was captured by the Belgian army in 1918.

The fort was also used as German artillery headquarters during World War II. After the war, it served as a museum and then a children's playground before falling into decay. In 1995, the fort was restored and opened to the public in 2000.



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Spinoladijk, Ostend, Belgium
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Founded: 1811
Category: Castles and fortifications in Belgium

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3.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

robrecht anrijs (3 years ago)
Currently there is a 'Tik tak' exposure. Which is normally a television show on the Flemish television. The exposure is interactive for the little ones. Due too covid19 the interaction is limited, but the kids enjoy it! Worth to visit in this rather boring days
David Crow (4 years ago)
Easy beach access and a bit of history, but it seems more a café than museum. Fences are collapsed and people walk all over the dunes.
Alexandre Nijar (4 years ago)
At the time there was an exposition of Dutch movies on the first floor. The floor below was a small tour with some stand where history was explained
Ben Ray (4 years ago)
Good multiligual audio tour but all the exhibitions monolingual in Flemish. At 7 Euro, very overpriced for what is there.
Julia Eilers (4 years ago)
A Very nice Beach to play and swim, also with a dog. The Restaurant is pretty good. You should try the homemade Ice Tea and the belgian waffle.
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