"A city since 1290"
Sluis is close tho the border of Belgium and the relations with the Southern neighbours marks the history of the town.
As early as 1280 a settlement with the name Lamminsvliet was started and soon grew in importance as a port serving the Belgium city of Brugge. As the connection to the sea changed dramatically at the time, the Northern route had to be opened and fortified. Not for nothing, because in 1340 The Batlle of Sluis took place.
In 1385 the construction of a castle started. This building was heavily damaged when French troops invaded in 1794. In 1829 the building was demolished.
From 1380 till 1450 the town was really blooming, but again the sea decided different. The route to the sea became shallower over time and Sluis lost its importance.
In 1587 the town was concuered by the Spanish lead by the Duke of Parma. After a battle at Sea in 1603 the town was liberated in the next year by Prince Maurits of Orange.
The trade route came back in 1858 when the "Damse Vaart" canal was constructed, allowing ships to sail to Brugge from the sea through Sluis. Bombing the canal facilities in early WWII stopped this again.
The liberation of Sluis in 1944 included heavy bombardments that destroyed a big part of the city.
After WWII Sluis was known for its sexshops, serving Belgians.
Nowadays it's a stopover for bikers touring in the coastal area of "Zeeuws Vlaanderen" and the Belgian coast.