Port of Ostend

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Coordinates: 51°13′28″N 2°54′35″E / 51.22444°N 2.90972°E / 51.22444; 2.90972 The port of Ostend (Dutch: Oostende) is situated in Ostend, West Flanders (Belgium). The port is mainly known as a ferry port. Freight, and recently also passenger transport between Ostend and Ramsgate is provided by Transeuropa Ferries. The port also services freight transport between Ostend and both Ipswich and Killingholme.


As part of the ancient city of Ostend the port was founded in 1584 when the sand dunes were pushed back to create the beginnings of the modern basin.[1]

Twenty years later Ostend had been transformed from a sleepy fishing village into a fortified, moated and important Dutch port.

After the Siege of Ostend (1601-1604) the port was not rebuilt.

It became a haven for privateers until the eighteenth century. Charles VI briefly granted it a license to trade with the far east as the Oostendsche Companie. This enriched the port and set it up again. During the American Revolution Ostend became a free port. The docks were redeveloped under Dutch rule (1815 - 1830). Ferry services to Dover began in 1846, with Ostend being the hub for the Regie voor Maritiem Transport until 1997.

Again at the end of the 19th century the port was redeveloped to cope with the larger ships of the period. The City Council, unable to raise sufficient funds for the redevelopment handed control and responsibility for the port over to the Belgian government.

The port was damaged in both World Wars (see First and Second Ostend Raid) but soon recovered.


  1. ^ "History 1400- 1600". Archived from the original on 2007-10-19. Retrieved 2007-12-10. 

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