Route 3 - Discover an artistic Nieuwpoort by bike (24.5 km)
A bike ride that helps you see Nieuwpoort in a new way. Via surprising artworks and spots that must be discovered. From artistic delights made with the wind to patron saints and nostalgia for the region’s fishing history.
- Start: at intersection 96
- Intersections: 96-24-82-67-7-8-70-10-46-1-11-2-12-61-73-64-96
Not to be missed!
Beaufort 2018 Artworks
- Right on the breakwater, at the Lefebvrestraat between intersections 96 and 64 stands the Beaufort work by the Danish artist Nina Beier. Storm-proof, for sure!
- A Beaufort work from our own country, by Edith Dekyndt, awaits you at the Westfront (Coastal route 2, intersection 8)
Still more to discover!
Simli district (intersections 96 and 24)
In 1955, the Simli company provided laid out the necessary fencing and plants, from which they later moved on to parcelling out the land and laying roads so that interested potential buyers would make their way to 'Nieuport-Dunes'. Part of the district was home to residential villas. Today it is still a lovely neighbourhood full of artistic villas ideal for cycling.
A Beaufort souvenir! Le Vent souffle où il veut (between intersections 82 and 67)
This flagpole forest by Daniel Buren, titled ‘the wind blows where it wills’, truly resembles a forest and is a fine souvenir of an earlier edition of Beaufort. However, the forest is made up not trees but of 100 flagpoles with windsocks in various colours. Feel free to get lost in your thoughts.
De Poolreiziger (between intersections 82 and 67)
Dixie Dansercoer, the polar explorer from Nieuwpoort, served as the inspiration for this work. It symbolizes solitude, being alone and the vast expanse of the universe.
At and in the Vismijn fish market and quay (between intersections 67 and 8)
On this site, you can discover numerous artworks. For example, there is the Fishers’ Monument, a characterful work and moment of silence in memory of all Belgian fishers who lost their lives at sea. Another remarkable work is the Wonderbare Visvangt (‘miraculous draught of fishes’) located on the side façade of the clock tower of the fish market. A bas-relief that tells the story of the miraculous catch of herring in 1943.
Westfront and the King Albert I monument (at intersection 8, at a bit of a distance from the walk)
This visitors’ centre tells you the fascinating story of the deliberate flooding of the area as a defensive measure during the First World War. The digital representation of the Panorama of the battle of the IJzer will be sure to give you goosebumps. In addition to the permanent exhibition, temporary exhibits are held regularly and the view of the surroundings is phenomenal!
Bommenvrij (between intersections 8 and 7)
The Bommenvrij served between 1812 and 1822 as a gunpowder store and was part of an extensive military infrastructure. The protected monument hosts all sorts of armaments, large and small. The Bommenvrij is also one of the few buildings in Nieuwpoort that survived both world wars. In 1994, it became a listed heritage building and was recently purchased by the municipal government.
Duvetorre (between intersections 8 and 7)
This ruin is a remnant of the former St Laurentius church. The church has been razed to the ground and rebuilt several times over the course of history. In 1917, during World War I, the tower was bombarded and only one-third of the original height survived. The tower is known locally as the Duvetorre. It’s got nothing to do with the doves that make their nests inside, but everything to do with the devil. Here, in the shadow of the tower, Jeanne Panne would hold her witches’ Sabbaths and meetings with the devil.
Continue to Rattevalle (intersection 11)
This hamlet may well have a formidable name, but you need not worry about rats or rat traps. In the 17th century, where the present-day Rattevallebrug stands there was a sluice gate driven by horsepower. It is possible that the hamlet was named for the horses that operated the sluice gate.
Roger Raveel ferry boat (intersection 64)
Saint Bernard dog on the Hendrikaplein (intersection 64)
This bronze statue alludes to the patron saint of Nieuwpoort-Bad, Saint Bernard, and is the creation of Monique Mol. Every year, the patronal feast - the Saint Bernard festival - is celebrated in August, attended by every resident.
Windscreens - poetry on the Leopoldplein (between intersections 64 and 96)
Nothing can be as delightful as enjoying the sun sheltered from the wind. And all the more if you can read poetry on the glass windscreens. Pure poetry about the North Sea, the beach or Nieuwpoort. All while enjoying a view of the sea!
About glass walls and the Wind Goddess (intersection 64)
On the Loodswezenplein, you can discover a series of glass walls, equipped with photos of the beach resort in times long past. A series of photos that presents the heritage of Nieuwpoort in an entirely original manner. You will also see the Wind Goddess, a work by Antoon Luyckx. It depicts a woman turning toward the sea, waiting, hoping, thinking on a more distant destination ….
Ode Maritima (between intersections 64 and 96)
On the sea front at Leopoldplein, you can walk on slate stones bearing the text of the poem ‘Ode Maritima’ by Fernando Pessoa. Daydreaming while you walk ….
The White Residence and the Barkentijn (between intersections 64 and 96)
Two show stoppers on the sea front! The White Residence is the former Le Grand Hôtel, a monumental building. The Barkentijn is another lovely example of the Normandy style on our Coast. Today it serves as a holiday centre.
A Beaufort souvenir! Searching for Utopia (intersection 64)
This renowned artwork by Jan Fabre, an enormous sea turtle with the artist as its rider, represents humanity’s lifelong quest for utopia. A world-famous work that is definitely not to be missed. And, good news, starting this summer the turtle will be adorning the Jan Fabreplein, right near the Ysara cultural centre.
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