Blankenberge

Blankenberge ([ˈblɑŋkə(m)bɛrɣə]; West Flemish: Blanknberge) is a town and a municipality in the Belgian province of West Flanders. The municipality comprises the town of Blankenberge proper and the settlement of Uitkerke.

This article relates to the Belgian coastal town of Blankenberge. For German towns with the near-homophonous names, see Blankenberg or Blankenburg
Blankenberge
Blankenberge beach on a hot summer day

Flag

Coat of arms
Blankenberge
Location in Belgium
Location of Blankenberge in West Flanders
Coordinates: 51°18′N 03°07′E
CountryBelgium
CommunityFlemish Community
RegionFlemish Region
ProvinceWest Flanders
ArrondissementBruges
Government
  MayorIvan De Clerck (Open VLD)
  Governing party/iesOpen VLD, sp.a, N-VA
Area
  Total17.41 km2 (6.72 sq mi)
Population
 (2018-01-01)[1]
  Total20,349
  Density1,200/km2 (3,000/sq mi)
Postal codes
8370
Area codes050
Websitewww.blankenberge.be

On 1 December 2014, Blankenberge had a total population of 19,897. The total area of the municipality is 17.41 km², giving a population density of 1,142 inhabitants per km².

Like most other Flemish coastal towns, a main characteristic of this one is that it is a national and to a certain extent international seaside resort, as even Germans have found their way to the place.

Apart from the sandy beach, there's a structure unique along the Belgian coast: a 350-m long art-deco pier, the Belgium Pier, constructed in 1933. 31

Famous events

  • Carnival Parade
  • Two Day Marching event, every first weekend of May[2]
  • Klankenberge
  • Flower Parade (Bloemencorso), every last Sunday of August
  • Bel’Lumière

Famous inhabitants

Schools

Blankenberge has schools from both school networks in Belgium. The two secondary schools are:

  • Sint-Jozef – Sint-Pieter Blankenberge (formerly known as Sint-Pieterscollege – Sint-Jozefshandelsschool, subsidized free school)
  • Maerlant-Middenschool • Maerlant Atheneum (GO! Onderwijs van de Vlaamse gemeenschap)

Both schools have numeral different elementary schools organized by the same instances.

Railways

Blankenberge railway station was opened in 1863. Trains operated by NMBS run towards Brussels, and the Kusttram run by De Lijn runs along the Belgian coast of the North Sea.

History

Before the First World War, Blankenberge was an exclusive holiday resort frequently attended by Royalty. Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg as well as his sister Archduchess Elisabeth Amalie of Austria and her husband Prince Aloys of Liechtenstein and his niece Archduchess Marie Valerie of Austria were regular holiday makers in Blankenberge. The Archduke enjoyed his walks to Wenduine and attended service daily at the St Rochus church. The Archduke and his wife were planning to travel again to Blankenberge after their last official engagement before the summer holiday at Sarajevo in 1914 where they were killed. After the First World War the Blankenberge police station was bombed by an unknown perpetrator. The blast killed 2 officers and wounded 2 others. After the Second World War it became a popular holiday destination.

Blankenberg (so spelt) also figures in Phineas Finn by Anthony Trollope as the scene of a duel between Finn and another character, Lord Chiltern.

The tenor Enrico Caruso attended Blankenberge for a performance in 1910.

After World War II it was a regular holiday destination. Notable musical institutions were the "Eden" were popular Flemish artists performed on the board walk. The city hosted "Spécial les vacancies" in 1979 under the mayorship of Willem Content. International artist such as Joe Dassin, Boney M, Plastic Bertrand and Dalida attended this event. Later the Flemisch Private TV broadcaster VTM organised "Tien Om the Zien" with musical performances of Flemish artists. Today the Flemish public radio organises yearly the "Radio 2 Zomerhit".

Twin towns

Blankenberge is twinned with:[6]

Since 1994, in August a couple of students from Minamiboso visit Blankenberge and live with families over here. Afterworth students from Blankenberge go and visit Minamiboso for eight days.[7] This is organised by vzw 'Tweedaagse Voettocht van Blankenberge'.

References

  1. "Wettelijke Bevolking per gemeente op 1 januari 2018". Statbel. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  2. "Two-Day Walk". International Two Day Walk.
  3. Youngs, Kelvin. "Aircrew Remembered Aviation Personal Histories and Databases".
  4. Manchester, Reading Room. "Casualty Details".
  5. "rudipillen.be". rudipillen.be. Archived from the original on 13 March 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
  6. "Embassy of Japan in Belgium - Japan-Belgium Relations". Be.emb-japan.go.jp. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  7. fonzarelli (14 August 2010). "Blankenberge-Online-Persberichten". Blankenberge-online.be. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
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