West Flanders

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West Flanders
(Dutch: West-Vlaanderen)
Province of Belgium
Flag of West Flanders
Flag
Coat of arms of West Flanders
Coat of arms
Location of West Flanders
Country  Belgium
Region  Flemish Region
Capital Bruges
Government
 • Governor Carl Decaluwé
Area
 • Total 3,125 km2 (1,207 sq mi)
Population (1 January 2013)[1]
 • Total 1,169,990
 • Density 370/km2 (970/sq mi)
Website Official site

West Flanders (Dutch: West-Vlaanderen [ˌβ̞ɛst.ˈflaːn.də.rə(n)] ( ); West Flemish: West Vloandern; French: (Province de) Flandre-Occidentale; German: Westflandern) is the most western province of the Flemish Region, also named Flanders, in Belgium. It borders (clockwise from the North) on the Netherlands, the Flemish province of East Flanders (Oost-Vlaanderen) and the Walloon province of Hainaut (Henegouwen) in Belgium, on France, and the North Sea. Its capital is Bruges (Brugge). Other important cities are Kortrijk in the south and Ostend along the coastline, Roeselare and Ypres. The province has an area of 3,125 km² which is divided into eight administrative districts (arrondissementen) containing 64 municipalities.

The whole Belgian North Sea coast, an important tourism destination, lies in West Flanders. A tram line runs the length of the coast, from De Panne on the French border to Knokke-Heist on the Dutch frontier.

Geography[edit]

West Flanders consists of the North Sea coast, followed by a very flat polder landscape. Only in the south are some small hills, with the Kemmelberg (159 m) being the highest point in the province. The Leie and IJzer are the main rivers. West Flanders is the only Belgian province that borders both France and The Netherlands.

Industry[edit]

In the north of the province, most industry is concentrated in and around the cities of Bruges and Ostend. Both cities also have important seaports: the port of Bruges-Zeebrugge and the port of Ostend.

The south is known for its textile industry, with companies such as Beaulieu and Libeco-Lagae. The region around Kortrijk is called the "Dallas of Belgium" for its entrepreneurship.

Tourism is also an important industry in West Flanders. Major touristic attractions include the Belgian coast, the historic center of Bruges, and Flanders Fields, the World War I battlefields around Ypres.

Sport[edit]

The city Bruges has two clubs playing in the highest national football league of Belgium (Belgian Pro League); Club Brugge KV and Cercle Brugge K.S.V..

Other cities, playing in the highest league, are K.V. Kortrijk, K.V. Oostende and S.V. Zulte Waregem.

The teams Knack Randstad Roeselare and Prefaxis Menen play in the highest volleyball league. Knack Randstad Roeselare also plays in the CEV Champions League, the European Championsleague.

BC Oostende is a basketball team who also plays in the highest basketball league of Belgium.

List of Governors[edit]

Arrondissements[edit]

The Province of West Flanders is divided into 8 administrative arrondissements.

Judicial arrondissements[edit]

The Province of West Flanders is divided into 4 judicial arrondissements.

Municipalities[edit]

Map of the municipalities in West Flanders

Municipalities that have city status have a (city) behind their name.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°00′N 3°00′E / 51.000°N 3.000°E / 51.000; 3.000