Zeebrugge (Dutch pronunciation: [zeːˈbrʏɣə], from: Brugge aan zee meaning "Bruges on 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.
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 Zeebrugge 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.
It is Belgium's most important fishing port and the wholesale fish market located there is one of the largest in Europe.
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 blocked access to the port and prevented U-boats and other shipping from using it. The raid, although a morale boosting victory in Britain, was only a partial military success.