Belgium's bi-maritime identity in everyday life

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The article explains how the Southern Netherlands, later Belgium, evolved from a country with one coast to a country with two coasts or a bi-maritime state. Bi-maritime states always have to make a choice on which coast investments are going to be made, so did the Belgian state: on the North Sea coast in the province of West-Flanders or along the river Scheldt in Antwerp. It opted to invest in Antwerp and to desinvest in Ostend and Bruges. The North Sea coast thus became a place of tourism and nostalgia, the so-called 'Romantic coast' versus the 'Economic coast' near Antwerp. These characteristics have been displayed over and over on monuments, in parades, Railway stations, books, children's games, road signs, etc. This article gives an overview how Belgium became a bi-maritime state, how it coped with it and how the people view this bi-maritimity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Pages (from-to)87-118
Number of pages32
JournalMededelingen van de Koninklijke Belgische Marine Academie
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Bi-maritimity
  • Belgium
  • National identity
  • History
  • harbour
  • Antwerp
  • Ostend
  • Bruges
  • seaside tourism

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Belgium's bi-maritime identity in everyday life'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this