Knokke (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈknɔkə]) is one of a group of communities that are all grouped in the administrative community Knokke-Heist, in the province of West Flanders in Flanders, Belgium. Knokke-Heist has 33,818 inhabitants (2009).Knokke itself has 15,653 inhabitants (2003).
Knokke is famous for its beaches and for the dike system to which it owes its origins. Knokke came into existence because of the construction of dikes to protect the area around the 'Zwin' sea-arm. Originally a vacation haven for the city folk of Brussels in the early 19th century, artists such as James Ensor, Alfred Verwee (nl) and others, started to frequent the small hamlet to paint its beautiful vistas. The artists rented a small miller's cottage and founded the Cercle des Artistes in 1880. It gradually became a resort town with upscale clientele, restaurants and shops. St. George's Anglican Church serves the English speaking community.
The largest and most elegant of Belgium's ten casinos, Knokke Casino, is located on a sea-side promenade and is open 20 hours a day.
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