History

_A MEDIEVAL VILLAGE REVIVES AFTER 500 YEARS…

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The lost fishing village of Walraversijde is one of the most important archaeological sites in Flanders and one of the best-studied medieval fishing communities in Europe. This medieval settlement has been examined systematically since April 1992 in cooperation with the Flanders Heritage Agency. The site was opened to the public in an appropriate instructional and archaeological manner in 2000, thanks to considerable financial support from Toerisme Vlaanderen and the European Union.

Walraversijde was named after Walraf. Originally the village was situated north west of the present domain of Raversijde, where the beach is now to be found. In January 1394, when part of Ostend was inundated as a result of heavy storms, Walraversijde also suffered severe damage. Hectares of land disappeared under a thick layer of sand which had been blown inland from the dunes. This forced people to move, and the village was rebuilt further inland, behind the newly located dunes. The dunes were fortified in 1399 with a new dike.