West Flanders (Dutch: West-Vlaanderen [ˌʋɛst ˈflaːndərə(n)] ( listen); West Flemish: West Vloandern; French: (Province de) Flandre-Occidentale; German: Westflandern) is the westernmost province of the Flemish Region, in Belgium. It is the only coastal Belgian province, facing the North Sea to the north. It has land borders with the Netherlands to the northeast, the Flemish province of East Flanders to the east, the Walloon province of Hainaut in the southeast and France to the west. Its capital is Bruges (Brugge). Other important cities are Kortrijk in the south and Ostend on the coast, Roeselare and Ypres (Ieper). The province has an area of 3,125 km² which is divided into eight administrative districts (arrondissementen) containing 64 municipalities.
|Province of Belgium|
|• Governor||Carl Decaluwé|
|• Total||3,125 km2 (1,207 sq mi)|
|Population (1 January 2017)|
|• Density||380/km2 (980/sq mi)|
The North Sea coast of Belgium, an important tourism destination, lies in West Flanders. A tram line runs the length of the coast, from De Panne on the French border to Knokke-Heist on the Dutch border.
West Flanders consists of the North Sea coast, followed by a very flat polder landscape. Only in the south are some small hills, with the Kemmelberg (159 m) being the highest point in the province. The Leie and IJzer are the main rivers. West Flanders is both the only Belgian province that borders both France and The Netherlands, and the only non-landlocked province.
In the north of the province, most industry is concentrated in and around the cities of Bruges and Oostende. Both cities also have important seaports: the port of Bruges-Zeebrugge and the port of Ostend.
Tourism is also an important industry in West Flanders. Major touristic attractions include the Belgian coast, the historic center of Bruges, the Yser Tower in Diksmuide and Flanders Fields, the World War I battlefields around Ypres.
The city of Bruges has one club playing at the highest level of football in Belgium (Belgian First Division A), namely Club Brugge. With Cercle Brugge it also has one club playing in the Belgian First Division B, which is the second level.
BC Oostende is a basketball team which plays in the major basketball league of Belgium.
List of GovernorsEdit
- 1830–1831 : Felix de Muelenaere (Catholic Party)
- 1832–1834 : Felix de Muelenaere (Catholic Party)
- 1836–1849 : Felix de Muelenaere (Catholic Party)
- 1849–1857 : Adolphe de Vrière (Liberal)
- 1857–1877 : Benoît Vrambout (Liberal)
- 1877–1878 : Léon Ruzette (Catholic Party)
- 1878–1883 : Theodore Heyvaert (Liberal)
- 1883–1884 : Guillaume De Brouwer (Liberal)
- 1884–1901 : Léon Ruzette (Catholic Party)
- 1901 : Jean-Baptiste de Bethune (Catholic Party)
- 1901–1903 : Charles d'Ursel (Catholic Party)
- 1903–1907 : Jean-Baptiste de Bethune (Catholic Party)
- 1907–1912 : Albéric Ruzette (Catholic Party)
- 1912–1933 : Léon Janssens de Bisthoven
- 1933–1940 : Henri Baels (Catholic Party)
- 1940–1944 : Michel Bulckaert
- 1944–1979 : Pierre van Outryve d'Ydewalle (CVP)
- 1979 : Leo Vanackere (CVP)
- 1979–1997 : Olivier Vanneste (CVP)
- 1997–2012 : Paul Breyne (CVP/CD&V)
- February 2012– : Carl Decaluwé (CD&V)
Municipalities that have city status have a (city) behind their name.
6. Blankenberge (city)
8. Bruges (city)
9. Damme (city)
10. De Haan
11. De Panne
14. Diksmuide (city)
15. Gistel (city)
16. Harelbeke (city)
21. Ypres (Ieper) (city)
23. Izegem (city)
29. Kortrijk (city)
35. Lo-Reninge (city)
36. Menen (city)
37. Mesen (city)
41. Nieuwpoort (city)
42. Ostend (city)
45. Oudenburg (city)
47. Poperinge (city)
48. Roeselare (city)
52. Tielt (city)
53. Torhout (city)
54. Veurne (city)
56. Waregem (city)
57. Wervik (city)