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The devil that lives in Blankenberge

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Blankenberge, a popular tourist destination in Belgium because it is situated next to the coast and you can also come by train to visit the city. But this city is not only interesting to visit because it has sand and seawater. There are a few other reasons that might be interesting to plan a trip to Blankenberge. And apparently a devil going by the name "Roesschaert" used to torment the fishermen that lived here long ago.

Sea Life

The very first thing that pops into my head when I hear Blankenberge is Sea Life. If you have children then this is probably a very nice place to go to. I remember going there as a kid and having a lot of fun. There are large aquariums in which you can see all the fishes, but there are also a few in which there are fishes that you can touch if you want to. It might also be interesting to look up (or ask someone from the Coastal Tram) how much a combined ticket of the coastal tram and sealife costs. (The prices change every year) Not many people seem to know about these tickets, but these can be cheaper for you instead of buying transport tickets and entrance tickets separately.

Serpentarium

I really enjoyed visiting this place as a kid since I was interested in snakes (as long as they were behind glass). You can see all kinds of reptiles, spiders and so on behind glass and learn about them at the same time. As I mentioned above about Sea Life, it might be interesting to see if there is a discount by combining your coastal tram and entrance fee.

Pier

As many cities next to the coast, Blankenberge has a Pier. What differentiates Blankenberge from the other cities though is how amazing their Pier looks. The Pier was built in the year 1933 by the design of Jules Soete. 40 years earlier in 1894, there was another Pier built on the same spot, but due to the destruction of the first world war it was burned down in the year 1914. Later on in the year 2003 it was reconstructed and the next year in 2004, it became a protected monument. There are sometimes events in the building on it and just walking on it above the water is already very nice.

The house of Majutte and the devil Roesschaert

Many generations of fishermen have lived in Blankeberge and this house was the one of the family Debruyne, also knows as the Majuttes. The reason for the nickname was to protect them from the devil Roesschaert. Legend goes that there used to live an old lady on the Coastline (where you can find the Pier now) that was a witch. People were very afraid of her and did not dare to pass by her house at night. When they did during the day they made the sign of the cross in front of the house. One day after a heavy storm, the house was destroyed and relieved that they were freed from the witch the people went to clean up the remains of the house. While trying to do this a small dog appeared that barked "Roes" every time they tried to touch the house. People went away, but from then on the fishermen were tormented by this devil called "Roesschaert", that grew bigger every day. One day a stranger came to Blankenberge who stated that he could let the torment end by rebaptizing the people and giving them a nickname. Even after people stopped believing in this devil, the habit of giving nicknames to the fishermen remained.

This house gives you the opportunity to see how a small fisherhouse used to look like back then. The house was also a place of inspiration for the Belgian writer "Pieter Aspe". He write a book called "Unmasked" in which two people died from hunger in this house. If you ask the owners of the house, you might see the place from the book with one (fake) skeleton inside.

SEA LIFE Blankenberge
SEA LIFE Blankenberge
Koning Albert I Laan 116, 8370 Blankenberge
The house of Majutte
The house of Majutte
Breydelstraat 10, 8370 Blankenberge, Belgium
Serpentarium Blankenberge
Serpentarium Blankenberge
Zeedijk 146, 8370 Blankenberge, Belgium
Pier Blankenberge
Pier Blankenberge

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The author

Eline Melis

Eline Melis

I am Eline, from Belgium, and doing my internship at itinari. I have always been curious about other cultures and, for other curious ones, I want to show the places I know best!

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