Picture: the canal in Hoeke.  

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From town to village

Rural Hoeke is the smallest community in Damme.  It lays peacefully next to the canal ("Damse Vaart").  But do not be mistaken: this little village once used to be a town!  The windmill and the church are defenitely worth a visit.  The mill, situated next to the highway Knokke- Antwerp (N49/E34), invites you to leave the busy traffic behind you and to enjoy the calmness, so proper to the area, from a terrace next to the canal.  The Krinkeldijk is one of the finest countryside roads in Flanders, swirling through the polders between Hoeke and Oostkerke.  Just outside the village, lays the old brick factory (for the amateurs of birds and waterfowl), the remains of the fortress Saint-Donaas, and Kobus' Ferry (self-service!). 

Fixed events
Village fair in September.

Although Hoeke doesn't have many inhabitants nowadays, it used to be a genuine town with town privileges, a town hall and a port.  This little town on the Zwin estuary was founded in the 13th century by traders from Hamburg, Lübeck and Bremen.  The church was built in in the 13th century and until that time, Hoeke depended on the church of Oostkerke (as were several other settlements in the region).  This place had the importance of a small harbour and was very prosperous in the 14th and 15th century and had a market for cereals and salted fish.  When the period of prosperity came to its end, the small town of Hoeke merged with Monnikenrede and Damme in 1594.

Already in 1255, Hoeke had his own magistrates, in 1274 the hamlet became a town.  In the 14th century it received from countess Margaretha from Male the rights on the trade of dry fish, tar, masts and other rigging for ships.

Although the vicinity of Bruges, Damme and Sluis ensured prosperity, the economic and military importance of these towns sometimes proved to be very negative for the small, practically undefended Hoeke.  Three times it fell prey to plundering English soldiers.  This, floods and the fires of 1450 and 1528 brought the small town to her knees.

Hoeke is now, fortunately, a much safer place and a obliged stop for everyone exploring the polders.

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» Den Hoorn
» Hoeke
» Lapscheure
» Moerkerke
» Oostkerke
» Sijsele
» Vivenkapelle





© Hendrik De Leyn - www.damme-online.com