Zeebrugge (Zeebruges in French) is located on the North Sea coast of the Region of Flanders in the Kingdom of Belgium. It is a seafront resort village that boasts the widest beach on the Belgian coast and offers a small, attractive pleasure port for 100 vessels, and is known for its peace, quiet and sand dunes. Zeebrugge is also home to the most important fishing port in Belgium and located in the inner port there is a modern wholesale fish market, which is one of the largest in Europe.
Situated on the busiest sea in the world and at the centre of the North Sea ports of France, the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom, Zeebrugge is better known for its international port that juts far out into the sea and is the major seaport of the nation. This port handles containers, bulk cargo, new vehicles and passenger ferries. Home to some of the largest cargo handling cranes in the world, Zeebrugge handles over 40 million tonnes of cargo annually, including 2 million cars making it the world’s leader in this field!!
Zeebrugge has had a long history due to its position on the coast as a maritime axis point, beginning in the Middle Ages when the first navigable channel was made giving access to the sea from Bruges!! The village of Zeebrugge was little more than beach and a row of sand dunes just 100 years ago and with the advent of the port development has grown, since the 1970’s, into Europe’s major centre of distribution. Today Zeebrugge is connected to Bruges by the12 kilometres long Baldwin Canal.
Zeebrugge still offers the last authentic piece of the Belgian coast at the ‘old fish market’ which is located along the old quays and supports fish restaurants, shops and public houses. For visitors there is also the ‘Maritime Seapark’ which surrounds the ‘old fish market’ and includes a real Russian Submarine, exhibitions of pictures, video clips, dioramas and scale models of boats and ships!!