In De Panne the Great War is never far away. The town played an important part in this conflict, not least as the site of the 'L'Océan' hospital and the residence of the Belgian royal family for most of the war years.
On 20 December 1914, the 'Grand Hotel de l'Océan' on the Zeedijk (promenade) was taken into use as the largest hospital behind the Belgian front. The innovation and organization of Dr. Antoine Depage, working in unison with the Red Cross, became legendary. By the time of the final offensive of the war in September 1918, the hospital had a maximum capacity of 1,800 beds. Soldiers who died here of their wounds were buried in De Panne Belgian Military Cemetery. Queen Elisabeth, who with her family spent many months in De Panne during the war, was jointly responsible for the foundation of the hospital.
To mark the 100th anniversary of the Great War, the most important sites, relics and monuments relating to the wartime history of De Panne and Adinkerke have been bundled together in a handy and free walking and cycling map.
Of course, De Panne has much more to offer than remembrance of the First World War. This coastal resort is the perfect place for a relaxing beach holiday, an active day of wind surfing or an invigorating walk in one of the town's several nature reserves.
Watch the promo film of De Panne Tourism.
September to All Saints (autumn holiday):
Monday to Friday: 08.00-12.00 and 13.00-17.00.
Saturday: 09.00-12.00 and 14.00-17.00. Sunday and public holidays: 10.00-12.00.
All Saints to the Easter Holidays:
Monday to Friday: 13.00-17.00.
Saturday: 09.00-12.00 and 14.00-17.00. Sunday and public holidays; only during holiday periods: 10.00-12.00.
Easter holidays to the end of June:
Monday to Friday: 08.00- 12.00 and 13.00-17.00.
Saturday: 09.00-12.00 and 13.00-17.00.
Sunday and public holidays: 10.00-12.00 and 14.00-17.00.
July and August:
Monday to Friday: 08.00-18.00.
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: 09.00-18.00.