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Oostende

Culture of Oostende. Places to visit - old town, temples, theaters, museums and palaces

Koning Leopold II standbeeld Oostende Oostende is a town on the sea of an ultimate beauty. It has gained the recognition and passionate love of tourists for plenty of interesting landmarks and sights as well as for a vast choice of entertaining destinations. Among the most significant spots of tourist interest in the city the Saint Petrus and Saint Paulus church (Sint-Petrus-en-Pauluskerk) is worth tourist attention. The church was built at the edge of the 19th – 20th centuries and is a genuine sample of Neo-Gothic style. The height of the church towers is about 72m. The premises of the church keep the table tomb of the first queen of Belgium – Marie Louise of Orleans.
The Sint-Pieters-Leeuw Tower (Sint-Pieterstoren) is a landmark of the earlier period. The construction is mostly known under nickname of “caster”. The tower is the only element of the church built in the 15th century which has survived till nowadays. The most remarkable fact about the church is that in the course of five hundred years of history the tower has not changed and still appears in its initial look. In the course of its long history the tower has not been restored or reconstructed in any scale way.
Considering religious landmarks and sights of the city of Oostende, the Capuchin Monastery Church (Kapucijnenkerk) is a must visit place. The church was established in the beginning of the 17th century. The building of the landmark features unique architectural style. The exploration of the architectural sights of the city of Oostende can be added with a tour to the Spanish House (Spaans huisje). The house was built in 1741 and is now the oldest building on the territory of the city. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
Those for whom shopping is more than entertainment will be happy to visit Ostend in October. In mid-autumn, the biggest street sales and colorful fairs are held in the city. Local farmers … Open
The building of majestic beauty long stood in utter desertion. Early in the 20th century the building hosted a laundry and later on the house located a toy store. Till the middle of the 20th century the city featured plenty of buildings of the kind, however all of them were totally destroyed. In 1981 the city authorities redeemed the building and the Spanish House was granted with a status of a significant historical landmark.
St. Annakerk, Stene, Oostende, Belgium Among cultural establishments of the city the most interesting place to visit is the Raversijde museum complex named the Atlantic Wall Open Air Museum. The open air complex takes a vast territory featuring plenty of original buildings and constructions, monuments and natural sights. The mansion house of the Prince Charles of Belgium is located on the premises of the museum complex, the area still keeps preserved several constructions of the period of the World War II as well as a part of an old fishermen village. The Oostende Museum of History offers a unique collection of showpieces. Pictorial art fans will love to visit the James Ensor Museum which collection is devoted to the life and creative work of the world renowned expressionist artist.
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 … Open
One of Ostend's most iconic attractions is the Zeilschip Mercator ship moored off the North Sea coast. The barquentine was designed and built by GL Watson & Co as a training ship for the Belgian merchant fleet. The ship was first launched in 1932 for the Belgian-French expedition, the final destination of which was Tahiti. During the Second World War, the ship was used for observations. After the tragic events, the Mercator needed restoration works, which were carried out in 1951. Its current status - the floating open-air museum - the barquentine received in 1961.
Sint-Petrus-en-Pauluskerk Another floating museum is IJslandvaarder Amandine, which was built for fishing purposes in 1960. Onboard the ship, you will find out a lot of interesting information on sailing and fishing. It sailed around the area of southern Iceland in summer and off the North Sea shores in winter. After the Icelandic Cod Wars, there were only two options: to leave the ship in domestic waters or around Iceland. The ship owners preferred the second one. In 1982, a sad incident that happened to the ship took the lives of two fishermen and two rescuers. In 1995, it was discovered in the depths of the sea, and five years later it was lifted out.
If you like to visit quiet, uncrowded cities with children, you will like Ostend for sure. One of the most popular family leisure centers is Wellington Racetrack - a first-class horse riding … Open
For those who like exploring defensive structures, it is worth mentioning such a landmark as Fort Napoleon. As the name implies, it was built in the Napoleonic era, in 1811, specifically for the War of the Fifth Coalition - it was expected that the British would attack here. But this was not destined to come true, and the fortress was used as a barracks and arsenal until 1814. That same year, when the French occupation ended, the building was abandoned. During the First World War, the Germans used the fort as residential buildings. The headquarters of German artillery was based here during the Second World War. Later it was decided to convert the fortification into a museum.
Leopold II Many tourists arriving in the city by train immediately pay attention to the magnificent railway station building - Station Oostende. The first station appeared in Ostend in 1838, and the current building is the second one (opened in 1913). It is striking with its splendid classical architecture. Architects who worked on its project were inspired by Francois Mansart's works created during the reign of Louis XVI. Another fine architectural monument is the Palace of Justice Vredegerecht. It is attractive not only for its exterior but also for its stunning statue of Lady Justice standing on the roof.
Oostende will meet its guests with a wide choice of places to eat among which one will find not only excellent restaurants of Belgian cuisine but various exotic eating houses. One of the … Open
Among other monuments of sacred architecture, there are several more to be highlighted - luckily, the city has plenty of them. A Neo-Gothic masterpiece - the Sint Jozefskerk - was built in the second half of the 19th century and it is unique for being visible from virtually any angle in the city center. An interesting shrine to visit is Neo-Gothic Dominicanenkerk dating back to 1883. During its construction, architects were inspired by the church of the same name in Ghent. The temple also features wonderful stained glass windows depicting the scenes from the life of the holy members of the Dominican Order. One should never pass by other beautiful churches - Parochie Sint-Jan Baptist and Heilig-Hartkerk. Also, besides numerous Christian shrines, the city has its synagogue - Synagoge Oostende.
Ostend Museums in Ostend are worthy of a visit too. For example, this is the Stadsmuseum Oostende where you can get acquainted with everything related to the city - history, the lifestyle of the citizens' ancestors, their traditional folk craft. Right on the North Sea shore, you can find a beautiful sculptural composition called "Rock Strangers" by Belgian artist Arne Quinze. He presented his work in 2011 at the Global Green Box, which took place at the Statue of Liberty in New York. The sculpture became another great local landmark, having taken root, as if it had always been in the city, from the very moment of Ostend's foundation.
The picturesque seaside town serves as a permanent venue for many interesting festivals dedicated to various areas of local culture and contemporary art. One of the locals' favorite annual … Open
City parks are ideal for walks, and one of the best places is the picturesque Jardin Japonais where you will forget that problems do exist in this world. This is a very quiet and peaceful park, as befits all Japanese-style gardens. Leopoldpark is famous for its magnificent “Flower Clock” composition that welcomes tourists right at the entrance to the park, which is also perfect for walking. The date on the composition changes every day, and there is a small picturesque pond just behind it. Be sure to take a stroll along the Westerstaketsel Harbor to watch the ships sailing in and out. As for the cultural events, it should be mentioned that excellent performances are held at the Cultuurcentrum De Grote Post.
In the section below, you can get one of our excursion, activities or city discovery tours over Oostende and surroundings. Our website offers 10-30% lower ticket prices, when compared to the offline purchase on the spot.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Oostende and surroundings

Oostende - guide chapters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Reference information
Map of all churches
Cathedrals and basilicas near Oostende
♥   Heilig-Bloedbasiliek, Brugge, 21.6 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Basiliek Onze-Lieve-Vrouw van Dadizele, Dadizele, 42.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Basilique-Cathédrale Notre-Dame de la Treille, Lille, 64.9 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Basilique Notre-Dame des Miracles, Saint-Omer, 69.9 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Tournai, Tournai / Doornik, 75.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Car rental on OrangeSmile.com Rentals in Oostende

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Photogallery of cultural heritage of Oostende

Landmarks of culture on Oostende map: art-galleries, monuments, palaces, etc

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Excursions over cultural sights of neighbours of Oostende

Culture guide to Oostende. Which fascinating sights to visit once you are in Oostende: temples, churches, museums, theaters and castles. Recommendations (with addresses, phone numbers and links) on the places 'must visit' in Oostende. Plan your own city excursion by using this page info!
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