Nice holiday with these 5 facts about the Royal Galleries of Ostend

Royal Galleries in Ostend, Belgium. The Galleries were completed in 1906 on the orders of King Leopold II of Belgium.

Those who stay in Ostend in a rental apartment on the Zeedijk are guaranteed to walk through the Royal Galleries. This gem of the controversial King Leopold II is unfortunately in a dilapidated state. But who knows, the real renovation is finally in sight. What do you remember about this unique boulevard?

© Hans Hermans, Anke Dewilde

Enjoy your company and yourself with these 5 facts about the Royal Galleries of Ostend.

#1. King Leopold II did not want to walk in the rain

Once the galleries were not accessible to the common people. When the Belgian king Leopold II de Royal Galleries In Ostend, building between 1902 and 1906, he mainly had himself and his high guests in mind. He wanted a passage that protected them from rain and wind when they walked to the racecourse a little further to the sea.

The colonnades with Doric columns of about 380 m long end on both sides with a closed pavilion with salon.

#2. Renovation costs up to 80 million

The Venetian Galleries on the seawall in Ostend are unfortunately in decline, just like the Thermae Palace Hotel that was built in 1932 and 1933 by the Ostend architect André-Louis Daniëls. A renovation would cost the city of Ostend and the Flemish Region as much as 70 up to 80 million.

But there is hope for improvement. The current owners, the Vanmoerkerke family, are in pole position to buy the hotel. The Ostend entrepreneur family wants to renovate it into a luxury hotel with 100 hotel rooms, two indoor swimming pools, an outdoor pool and spa and wellness facilities.

#3. Always a free exhibition

One of the two galleries is a permanent and public gallery for artists. As a walker you are regularly surprised by large photos and artwork. Just think about it. Discover the deeper layer or simply enjoy the beauty.

A remarkable series of photographs was made by the Swiss artist couple Lea Lund and Erik K. As a stylish gentleman and equilibrium artist, Erik K poses in costume at famous places in Ostend.

"Ostend has a very specific soul", say Lea Lund and Erik K in this interview at VisitOostende. "The spirit of Ensor and Spilliaert is still tangible. You do not just visit Ostend. It is a city with a strange charm that immediately enchants and that you fall in love with. Hence the title of our exhibition: Ostende, mon amour. In this expo you can only see photos taken in Ostend. "

Kamagurka held his first major exhibition in Ostend: Beware Work.

#4. Movie stars and companies are sunbathing there

For the galleries you always spot BV's. Veerle Baetens, Matthias Schoenaerts, Koen De Bouw, Kevin Janssens, Wim Opbrouck, Chris Lomme and Jo De Meyere, the Dardenne brothers, and so on. They all got a star in the Walk of Fame during the Ostend Film Festival.

International movie stars also lie in the sun day in, day out… or rain: Pierce Brosnan, Willeke Van Ammelrooy, Jane Birkin, Sofie Gråbøl,…

How many stars do you know? Which films of them have you seen?

#5. Koningspark brings tranquility to the sea

Behind the Venetian Galleries, the Royal Park is hidden. For those who like to leave the sea to the left, you will find a wonderful oasis of greenery and tranquility. The public park is located between the Koninginnelaan, the Koningin Astridlaan, the Venetian Galleries and the grounds of the former Royal Villa. look at it Koningspark here already on Google.maps.

The former private garden of the Royal Chalets of Leopold II and later the Royal Villa has been redesigned as a Japanese garden, equipped with a tennis and petanque court.

It is a walking garden in which you discover different landscapes. The beautiful pond in the shape of a turtle is the heart of the garden.

The effort to discover, ideal to unwind. Visit the site of Visit Oostende for the opening hours.

© This article was written for Apartment with sea view SeaMore by Freelance journalist Hans Hermans

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