It’s a major port city and a famous resort. The city’s name can be translated as “Eastern Region” as originally it was located in the eastern part of Testerep Island. Later sea level lowered and the island merged with mainland, but its name kept the memory of its foundation.
During the warm season the resort attracts visitors by its spacious beaches; the swimming season is open from June until the end of September. For the rest of the year excursions to remarkable places remain main attractions for tourists. The Spanish House built in 1741 is one of the oldest buildings of Oostende. Once the house was used as a laundry; later the building was converted into a toy store. In the middle of the 20th century all old buildings were demolished, but the Spanish House miraculously survived. For many years the house was abandoned, until the building was bought by the city’s authorities. In 2001 the house was restored, and today it is considered the most beautiful historical place and the city's symbol.
St. Peter and Paul Church built in 1905 is the most important religious place of interest of Oostende. The height of the towers estimates 72 meters. On the territory of the church is buried the first queen of Belgium, Louise Marie of Orleans. Not far away from the church is located St. Peter’s Tower, the main decoration of which is the ancient clocks created by masters in the 15th century. It is also worth visiting the Church of Capuchins. This is a beautiful architectural structure of the beginning of the 17th century. The biggest open-air museum of the country is also located here. This is Raversijde Museum Complex. Here you will find a small fishing village, a complex of military fortifications and towers, as well as a beautiful manor, which once has belonged to Prince Charles. Art-lovers should visit the house-museum of artist James Ensor as this museum exhibits a large collection of his paintings.