Zeebrugge (Dutch pronunciation: [zeːˈbrʏɣə], from: Brugge aan zee [ˌbrʏɣə ʔaːn ˈzeː] meaning "Bruges at Sea", French: Zeebruges) is a village on the coast of Belgium and a subdivision of Bruges, for which it is the modern port. Zeebrugge serves as both the international port of Bruges-Zeebrugge and a seafront resort with hotels, cafés, a marina and a beach.
Zeebrugge is located on the coast of the North Sea. Its central location on the Belgian coast, short distance to Great Britain and close vicinity to densely populated industrialised cities make it a crossroads for traffic from all directions. An expressway to Bruges connects Zeebrugge to the European motorway system; one can also get to and from Zeebrugge by train or tram. A 12km canal links the port to the centre of Bruges.
Aside from being a passenger terminal with ferries to the United Kingdom, the harbour serves as the central port for Europe's automotive industry, and it is important for the import, handling and storage of energy products, agriculture products and other general cargo. Zeebrugge has the largest LNG terminal complex in Europe.
The harbour was the site of the Zeebrugge Raid on 23 April 1918, when the British Royal Navy temporarily put the German inland naval base at Bruges out of action. Admiral Roger Keyes planned and led the raid that stormed the German batteries and sank three old warships at the entrance to the canal leading to the inland port. This action was a partial success as it blocked the access, but the Germans dug a new canal around the ships. The raid, although a morale-boosting victory in Britain, was also claimed as a victory in Germany.
Passenger ferry routes
- P&O Ferries to Hull, United Kingdom
- Zeebrugge - Rosyth ferry service operated by Norfolkline to Rosyth, United Kingdom (from May 2009) (This service ended on 15 December 2010) (A passenger service operated by DFDS is scheduled to start from 15 May 2018)
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- Wickman, Stephen B. (1986), Belgium, a country study, Volume 1984, Headquarters, Dept. of the Army, p. 199
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- Derdak, Thomas; Grant, Tina (2006). International Directory of Company Histories, Volume 82. St. James Press. p. 92. ISBN 1-55862-586-0.
- Warner, Philip (1978), The Zeebrugge raid, W. Kimber, ISBN 0-7183-0056-4
- Whittingham, R.B. (2008). Preventing corporate accidents: an ethical approach. Butterworth-Heinemann. p. 290. ISBN 0-7506-8062-8., Appendix 1, p 290
- BBC News, 18 December 2008: Zeebrugge ferry to restart in May
- BBC News 20 August 2010 Passenger ferry service from Rosyth to Zebrugge to end
- DFDS 22 March 2018 DFDS welcomes passengers on freight vessels between Belgium and Scotland
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