‘Ostend at Anchor’: 185,000 people visited maritime festival this year

‘Ostend at Anchor’: 185,000 people visited maritime festival this year
Credit: Visit Flanders

The 21st annual Ostend at Anchor event drew around 185,000 people between 19-22 May, according to the event’s organisers.

This massive maritime festival gave spectators the chance to visit 170 different docket ships and explore the life of legendary Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan, who led the Spanish expedition to the East Indies.

Post-pandemic comeback drew thousands

This was the first Ostend at Anchor for two years due to cancellations as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Returning with gusto, the four day event drew thousands to Ostend, situated on West Flanders’ northern coast.

Of the 170 ships on display, there were vessels of various ages and sizes. Most notably was the Le Français, a three-master barque which has been frequently used in television and cinema. Also on display was the Belem, one of the oldest three mast ships in Europe, as well as the Gulden Leeuw, and the Small Ships of Dunkerque.

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Within the Anglican Church of Ostend, a large exhibition to Magellan was unveiled, which featured a unique collection of maps and other naval objects collected by the explorer, loaned to the event by the Spanish Geographical Institute.

As the first explorer to circumnavigate the globe, Magellan proved that the Earth was round, ushering in modern travel as we know it today.

The exhibition will remain open, even after the closing of the Ostend event. Visitors can view the naval artefacts until 6 June at 101 Langestraat, Ostend.

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