De Panne

  Picture: the coastal promenade in De Panne     

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Spending the night

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De Nachtegaal
De Westhoek

Monument Leopold I
Military cemetary
Traces of the Great War
Garden quarter

Tram museum
Nostalgic Media Museum

De Panne

General.  De Panne is Belgium's most south-western seaside resort, bordering France.  The sights in De Panne are not limited to the beach alone.  De Panne has a large sandy beach and a wide promenade alongside it where a lot of activities for young and old are organized during weekends and holidays (such as a large outdoor playground, beachvolleyball, trips in the sea with an amphibious vehicle,..).  Because there are no breakwaters in this part of the Belgian coast, it is also well known for beachsailing.  Something you will notice immediately is how green and clean this place is.  This has everything to do with how De Panne grew historically and even though the seaside promenade has largely been taken in by apartment blocks, behind it there are the garden quarters with villas whereby you don't get the feeling that you are in a popular seaside resort.  Moreover, De Panne is surrounded by nature reserves, that give you more alternatives for a nice excursion if you want something else than the beach for a change.   

History in shortThe name is derived from "duinpanne", which is the name for a lower area in the dunes.  Until the 19th century, when a small fisherman's community arose here, there was hardly no habitation in this region.  This changed when coastal tourism started to develop in Belgium.  A part of the dunes was then parcelled out according to the principles of a "garden city" with the intention to limit the impact of human presence on nature to a minimum.  It was not until the end of the 19th century when the first villas were constructed, making De Panne a relatively your settlement.  Nowadays there are still quite a lot of buildings in De Panne that are in cottage style, art deco, art nouveau or modernistic style giving the community a unique aspect.

During the First World War, De Panne was located behind the frontlines in the only part of Belgium that was not occupied territory.  A hospital was built here for the wounded and the king of Belgium lived here for the duration of the war.  It is actually not the only connection De Panne has with the royal family because it was also here in 1831 that Leopold I, the first king of Belgium first set foot on land in his new country. 

De Panne originally was part of the community of Adinkerke, which is located more inland but De Panne grew so fast that it soon became bigger and became the principal community. 


Picture 1: tour in the sea with an amphibious vehicle
Picture 2: Nature reserve the "Oosthoekduinen"


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