Oostduinkerke

Oostduinkerke is a place in the Belgian province of West Flanders, where it is located on the southern west coast of Belgium, so that part of it is a seaside resort.

Oostduinkerke
Former townhall Oostduinkerke
Coordinates: 51°07′13″N 2°40′43″E
CountryBelgium
Province West Flanders
MunicipalityKoksijde
Population
  Total8.534
 Source: NIS
Postal code
8670

Once a municipality of its own, Oostduinkerke now is a sub-municipality in the municipality of Koksijde.

The name "Oostduinkerke" translates as 'East Dunkirk'. The town originally shared its name with the French city of Dunkirk; therefore, in the 13th century, 'Oost-' was added to its name to avoid confusion with its French counterpart.

Oostduinkerke lies amidst a dune area (approximately 2.4 km2), which is now a protected nature reserve.

To go for walks in the nature reserves (7 km2) or on the beach (8 km) or on the promenade (3.6 km) is a refreshing experience. The sandy beach stretches from 250 to 700 m at ebb-tide and extends over 30 km, via De Panne to the beach of Dunkirk (France), which explains why Oostduinkerke is popular with sand yachters and parakarters.

Shrimp fishing on horseback

Oostduinkerke is known for its shrimpers on horseback, a considerable tourist attraction. It is the only place in the world where you can see such shrimpers. Fishery folklore is still very much alive.

Sights

Oostduinkerke has several museums. The National Fishery Museum gives a historical survey of Flemish fishery and shows among other things scale models of fishing boats from 800 AD up to the present, and an original fisherman's cottage. Other museums are: 'The Key and Lock Museum' (a unique historical survey of 3,000 years of keys and locks), a regional museum 't Krekelhof (a huge collection of craft objects and curiosities from the 19th century), and Florishof (old crafts and folkloristic objects).

Oostduinkerke is also home to Koksijde Golf ter Hille, a par-72 golf course.

The British Military Cemetery (1940–1945) bears witness to British sacrifices in the Battle of Dunkirk.

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