The Essential
Located near the Belgian border, this small tourist town is pleasant and lively and was, with Damme, an outer harbour for Bruges in the 14C. Then it was at the mouth of the Zwin which is today silted up. Its old French name recalls the Franco-English naval battle (won by the English) in 1340, at the start of the 100 Years War. The grassy mounds that you see on entering the town are the remains of the old ramparts. They are now laid out for walking.