Last modified: 2005-12-03 by ivan sache
Keywords: blankenberge | mountains: 3 (white) |
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Municipal flag of Blankenberge - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 22 August 2005
The municipality and town (Stad) of Blankenberge (17,000 inhabitants) is located on the shore of the North Sea, 20 km north-east of Ostende and 10 km north of Bruges. Blankenberge absorbed the former municipality of Uitkerke in 1970.
Blankenberge is a popular sea-resort, with a 3 km long sand beach, whose width reaches 350 m at low tide. The famous pier of Blankenberge, built in 1933, has also a length of 350 m. The former fishing port was transformed into a marina were up to 750 boats can moor.
In the past, Blankenberge was indeed a small fishermen's village.
Because of its rather strategic position, the little village was often
plundered and destroyed, when it was not destroyed by sea flooding
In the XIXth century, the small town became one of the first Belgian
sea resorts visited by tourists. Around 1850 the first (but not the
last) hotels were built. The oldest civil building of the city is the
ancient city hall, built in 1680 with material from a former Spanish
fortress. Another building of historical interest is the Paravang (from
French paravent, windscreen), an elegant windscreen with benches
located alongside the Léopold park. It was built in 1908. The roof is
very attractively built in neo-gothic style with glazed tiles and
decoration in the form of shells.
Other places of interest in Blankenberge are the Dairy Museum (Zuivelmuseum, the only permanent museum of that kind in the Low Countries) and, last but not least, the Casino.
Every year on the first week-end of May, some 10,000 walkers meet in Blankenberge for the International Blankenberge Two-Days Walk of Flanders, sanctioned by the International Marching League. Marked routes of 6, 14, 24 and 42 km (marathon) are proposed to the walkers. In each little town the walkers are welcome at the cafés and taverns, and many stop to enjoy them.
Ivan Sache, 22 August 2005
The municipal flag of Blankenberge is vertically divided
black-white-black (1:2:1) with the municipal shield of arms in the
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel, the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 11 March 1987, confirmed by the Executive of Flanders on 13 October 1987 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 16 September 1988.
According to Servais, the municipal arms of Blankenberge were granted on 9 January 1841. The three mountains are canting for the name of the city (in Dutch, Blankenberge means white or clear mountains). These arms are first mentioned in 1697. They might have been derived from the arms of the Van Borssele family (Sable a fess silver), still used as its arms by the Dutch municipality of Borsele (Zeeland).
Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 22 August 2005