Renowned for its carnival, Bergen op Zoom was known in the Middle Ages for its two large annual fairs. It was the capital of an independent seigneury from 1287 and became a marquisate in the 16C. Famous for its invincibility, especially at the time of Spanish attacks (16C-17C), its fortifications were reinforced around 1700 by M. van Coehoorn. Its boulevards trace the contours of these ramparts, which were demolished in 1868. Its port, which was formerly linked to the eastern Scheldt, has been partially filled in.