Idée #584 – Navigating in the biggest port of Europe in Zeebrugge
The port of Bruges-Zeebruges (in Dutch, haven van Brugge-Zeebrugge), situated on the coast of the North Sea in Belgium, is one of the most important ports in Europe. The port was born in the XIXth century, to allow in Bruges to have an outlet on the sea after the definitive blocking with sand of Zwin. Connected with the city of Bruges by the channel Baudouin, built between 1896 and 1907, Zeebruges becames the main fishing port of the Belgian coast. For lack of natural port in this region, the Belgian engineers had to build a long pier in the shape of bow to protect the port of storms and swell. At that time, this mole is the longest to the world. The German army invested the port from 1914, and transformed it into base of submarines. The port was protected in particular by several hundred heavy artillery sites, distributed along the coast of Zeebruges in Ostend. The mole was transformed into fortress, protected by thousand soldiers. The port was finally taken by the British on April 23rd, 1918 after a blitz operation, wearing the code name “Operation Zo”.
After war, this port knew a fast development, taking advantage of the attractiveness of the zone Hamburg – Le Havre. Itdeveloped a modern infrastructure, developed to face ships carters (Ro-Ro) and in ships container ship. Zeebruges also became one of the most important European terminals of import of liquefied natural gas, and first port to the world for the transport of the new cars. It has 23 platforms for the mooring of the ships of rolling, the total capacity of load and unloading is 3 500 trucks every 24 hours, is more than a million a year. The main destinations are the United Kingdom, Scandinavia and countries of Mediterranean Europe among which Spain, Portugal or Turkey. The port of Zeebruges also shelters the most important naval base of the Belgian navy.
Where is it ?
Zeebrugge Port, Belgium