Monday, July 8, 2013

Greetings from Oostende, Belgium (Ostende) - three postcards from three different years

Oostende, Belgium
Groetin uit, Bonjour de, GruBe aus, Greetings From...

postmarked in 2011 with a Belgium Christmas stamp 
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Greetings from Oostende (shaped postcard)
postmarked in 2013
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Lighthouse in Oostende (Ostend), Belgium

postmarked in 2010 with a Belgium stamp of Belgian King Albert II
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Ostend (Dutch: Oostende) is a Belgian city and municipality located in the Flemish province of West Flanders.

In earlier times, Ostend was nothing more than a small village built on the east-end of an island between the North Sea and a beach lake. Although small, the village rose to the status of "town" around 1265 when the inhabitants were allowed to hold a market and to build a market hall.

The major source of income for the inhabitants was fishing. The North Sea coastline has always been rather unstable and in 1395 the inhabitants decided to build a new Ostend behind large dikes and further away from the always-threatening sea.

Very important for the image of the town was the attention it started to receive from the Belgian kings Leopold I and Leopold II. Both liked to spend their holidays in Ostend. Important monuments and villas were built to please the Royal Family. The rest of aristocratic Belgium followed and soon Ostend became known as "The Queen of the Belgian sea-side resorts".

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