THE PROMENADE :
In Ostende, the promenade, named after King Albert I, is the sunniest part. It would be a sin to leave Ostende without taking a walk on the traffic-free promenade. Our late King Leopold II and his family gave us the example to follow. Next to the many tearooms with terraces there is also a sandy beach. During the Summer there’s a marked out area to sunbathe in, where children can play and where various sports are organized. This is known as the “ Lido”.
At the Kemmelbergstraat there is a little tower , with a clock on top. Many people make an appointment at this place, because you do not need a watch and it is a well known landmark. A little bit further along you pass by the “Drie Gapers” (the three yawners), an arcade with three arches . Further on you can take a walk in the “Oostendse Gaanderijen” and pass by the Royal Villa, built by our late King Leopold I.
Fondest memory: visit also: www.oostende.net
At the extreme Western side of the Sea Promenade King Leopold II had a 390m long gallery constructed in 1906. This beautiful promenade with its white columns in Belle-Epoque style goes from the Royal Villa to the Wellington horse-racing tracks. The elegant gallery with its Toscan columns was built by the French architect Charles Girault. At the end of the gallery is a small but beautiful pavilion. It is known as the 'Venetian Gallery'.
The former royal villa, built by Leopold II but renovated after W.W.II by the architect Dugardijn, now harbors a luxurious hotel. Not far from here is the equestrian statue of Leopold II.