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Belgium's only pleasure pier to undergo full renovation

09:19 29/03/2021

The pleasure pier at Blankenberge, also known as Belgium Pier, is being completely renovated to its original Art Deco appearance. Built in 1933, it replaced the original cast iron pier of 1894 that was destroyed during the first world war.

The original pier was the first built along the continental coasts of the Atlantic and the North Sea. A pier of this size (350m long) and purpose is reminiscent of the British pleasure piers such as the one in Brighton. The only other pier of this scale and purpose on the continent is the pier in Scheveningen in the Netherlands.

The renovation of the pier will cost €10 million, of which the Flemish government will pay €6 million.

“The work could no longer be delayed,” said pier manager Sebastiaan Defoort. “The structure suffers from concrete rot and is no longer safe.

“The entire structure is landmarked, so that means that it will be rebuilt authentically as it was in the interwar period. So it should look just the same as it did in 1933.”

“You see a pier of this size more often in England, but it is much rarer here. You have the unique view, but it is also important that you will not find a single pier on this scale in France or elsewhere in Belgium.”

The end building was renovated between 1999 and 2003 so it is not part of the current renovation project and the restaurants and amusements it contains will remain accessible to the public. Temporary access roads will be built on both sides of the existing footpath.

Written by Richard Harris