Blankenberge II

For once, for this suite dedicated to Blankenberge, I will make an incursion as far as Wenduine and Zeebrugge, two seaside resorts near my favorite coastal town.
Being in the middle of February, I found myself mostly isolated during my visit. Visiting a tourist site out of season isn't usual, you say.
And as being a subscriber to bad weather, there too, I didn't have to complain...

This series constitutes in a way the continuation of my visit made on November 11, 2007.
If during this first escapade, I came across a street band coming out of nowhere, this time it was the carnival : the place was full of fairground attractions and I decided to go away just before the start of the procession.
The crowd baths are definitely not for me.

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The residence of Count Jean, just in front of the Pier. Built in the 30's, it was at the time the reference in terms of luxury and comfort.

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The first skyscraper built on the dike. If the first copies still had a concern for aesthetics, bunkers built from the 60’s will no longer bother such considerations.

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The remains of the Belle Epoque. Patience, they will soon disappear...

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The beginning of the Zeedijk, Zeebrugge side.

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The loneliness of the beach in winter.

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The damage caused to the Pier by the storm of 2007, still not repaired almost two years later.

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The dike. In the center, the ghosts of the former hotels Continental and Excelsior-Belle-Vue.

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The Casino, and on its left, the former Hotel des Bains.

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The former Bristol (in red), the Petit Rouge (in yellow ...) and Pauwels-D'hondt (in white).

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The least attractive part of the dike, towards Wenduine.

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At the other end of the Zeedijk, the pier of the port of Blankenberge.

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In the distance, the pier and the buildings of Wenduine.

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The Petit Rouge and on his right, Pauwels-D'hondt. If one has been saved (even if mutilated), the other may soon disappear...

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From the Pier, view of the natural dike, surrounded by concrete.

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The 350 meters of the Pier's footbridge, the only element that has not been rebuilt at the beginning of the 21st century.

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Summit of the belfry of the casino. Remains of the mosaics are still detectable in the turquoise painted part.

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The Petit Rouge. Its renovation has at least had the merit of having saved this beautiful old-timer facade.

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Pauwels-D'hondt in close up. It was formerly crowned with two elaborate pediments at each end. It is now home to one of the largest lunapark on the coast.

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Another one who lives his last days, in one of the access ramps to the dyke.

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Monument to the glory of fishermen, at the foot of the lighthouse.

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The sea, well furious...

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The jetties have always been a popular meeting place for fishermen.

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The 3 kilometers of the Blankenberge dike. On the right, the lighthouse that once dominated this dike.

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Blankenberge park gallery.

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Built in the early twentieth century, at the bottom of the marina.

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A restaurant where French-speakings are not welcome.

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From Smet de Naeyerlaan. The carnival will begin, I leave.

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The landscape of Wenduine is definitely comparable to that of Blankenberge. The villas Malvina and Wadi, currently being protected but not yet saved.

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The dike of Wenduine, and at the bottom, the large esplanade.

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The monument erected in honor of Paul de Smet de Naeyer. Originally from Ghent, he was Prime Minister between 1898 and 1907. He favored the economic growth of Belgium at the beginning of the 20th century.

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The long beach between Wenduine and Le Coq. Place still somewhat saved from the real estate pressure.

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At the top of the Spioenkop. The view stretches for miles... except today because of the sky far too low.

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Wenduine, and in the back, the Flemish polders.

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The coast to the west. At the bottom, one can barely distinguish the Europacentrum in Ostend.

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Wenduine Town Hall, and seeming to be one with this one, the church.

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In the distance and in the mist, the towers of Bruges.

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The Royal Road, between Wenduine and Blankenberge.

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Leopold II-Laan, following the dike.

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The Wenduine Town Hall, built straddling the street in the early 20th century.

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The Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Kerk van de Heilige Kruisverheffing).

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If the parish was founded in 1180, the current building remained unfinished for a long time. Only the choir and the tower will be built in Maritime Gothic style.

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The naves and the transept will be built only in 1907, following the rise of population that knew Wenduine at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Here the naves, separated from the rest of the building by a glass wall.

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The choir, with a flat apse. A suspended boat reminds that the church was once dedicated to fishermen.

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The traditional memorial, in front of the church.

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The end of the day approaches, direction Zeebrugge.

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The Straus Bridge and the lock overlooking the Bruges canal.

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The memorial commemorating the liberation of the port by the English during the 14-18 war.

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Residence Palace, on the Zeebrugge dike. Classified monument.

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The small dike of Zeebrugge.

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Last sight on the beach. Following the next number.

22

February 2009

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