Route 8 - Belle Époque treasures entice you in Blankenberge (26 km)
Anyone who goes cycling in Blankenberge would do well not to blink too often. For before you know it, you will have missed one of the fine Belle Epoque façades, loggias or ceramic tile friezes. In other words, remember to look out from under your cap!
- Start: at intersection 76
- Intersections: 76-80-89-2-15-86-81-29-84-26-30-33-76
Not to be missed!
Turn off the bike path briefly toward the centre of Blankenberge and take in these classics:
- Belle Epoque Centre
In this elegant Belle Epoque Centre, you can relive the glory years of the Belle Epoque via three restored villas from 1894. A must for both young and old. In 2018, the centre is celebrating its tenth anniversary, and all its masterpieces are given extra attention.
- The Belgium Pier
This 350m-long foot bridge stretches out over the sea until the monumental round building. The latter houses a cosy tavern and an exhibition space.
- Houses with painted ceramic tiles
Sauntering through the streets of the city centre, you are reminded everywhere of Blankenberge’s glorious Belle Epoque history. Stroll along the lovely Art Nouveau façades with open loggias and lovely decorative tiles, and be sure to look up regularly so that you don’t miss the colourful ceramic tile friezes with herons, flowers and peacocks, and illustrations of the sea and fish.
Still more to discover!
Hendrik Conscience (between intersections 80 and 16)
This work was made in 1912 in memory of the writer Hendrik Conscience, who died in 1812. The model was designed by the painter Edward van Ryswyck, while the gilded medallion and reading fisherman is the work of Gustaaf Pickery.
Paravang (between intersections 80 and 16)
The ‘paravang’, or windscreen, at the harbour is reminiscent of Blankenberge’s rich past. Walking and relaxing in the open air were the favourite pastimes of beach holidaymakers the 19th century. The paravang may date back to 1908, but it remains the meeting place for both Blankenberge residents and tourists to this day.
Wrakhoutbrug (just past intersection 16, a bit farther along towards Blankenberge)
The bridge across the Koninklijke Baan (‘royal road’) in the Harendijke neighbourhood is quite remarkable. It I s made of 100 cubic metres of tropical hardwood and comprises some 30 tonnes of profile steel. A giant artwork that guarantees pedestrians and cyclists safe passage to and from the beach.
Prélude (between intersections 33 and 76)
With Prélude, Guy Timmerman has represented a human shape, full of rhythm and movement. Or a work of art that will make you doubt what you are seeing: did it move or didn’t it?
Open Citadel (between intersections 80 and 16)
Open Citadel is a work by the Belgian sculptor Serge Gangolf, fan of open and closed forms, who worked with tough corten steel for this project.
Moeder en Kind (between intersections 80 and 16)
This monumental work by Jacky De Maeyer made of corten steel is titled Moeder en Kind (‘Mother and Child’). The reason why is obvious at a glance. Purified beings with their own visual language.
Eeuwige Verbondenheid (between intersections 80 and 16)
Along the Harbour walk, you can marvel at the Eeuwige Verbondheid (Eternal Bond), a work by Lieve Goeminne. Made of the nearly indestructible corten steel and yet it still appears fragile. The work thus symbolizes the vulnerability of relationships between two people.
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