The lost Zwin ports

Immersive exhibition and cycle tour of the lost ports of the Zwin 
3 July to 7 November 2021

The Zwin Nature Park offers a splendid view of the Zwin area as we know it today. Back in the middle ages, you would have been standing in the middle of the Zwin tidal channel, which connected Bruges to the sea and made Flanders experience its heydays. The Zwin channel silted up and disappeared over time, but this year it has been brought back to life, including the international ports that were built on its banks. The exhibition area and the viewing centre will take you back in time to the middle ages. This is made possible through innovative technology. Based on research done by the University of Ghent, we have created a meticulous virtual 3-D world where, through image and sound, you can experience the evolution of the Zwin channel and its international ports. You can watch the evolution of the Zwin area in the exhibition room, enjoy a virtual boat trip along the medieval Zwin channel and experience the hustle and bustle of international trade. In the viewing centre there is the possibility to watch the evolution of the landscape through the ages, from the sky in a bird's eye view! After all, you are in the Zwin Nature Park

Your entrance ticket to the Zwin Nature Park includes access to the exhibition. Advance booking for a time slot is advised
Cycle tour - the lost ports of the Zwin
3 July 2021 to October 2023

The Lost Ports of the Zwin Cycle Tour lets you discover the historic Zwin landscape between Knokke Heist, Sluis, Damme and Bruges (60 km, or opt for a loop of 44 km or 31 km ). During the Middle Ages the wide Zwin tidal channel connected Bruges and Flanders directly to the sea, resulting in the region's heydays. Some of the most prominent ports in Europe emerged along it, but over time the channel silted up and the ports disappeared. 

Virtual reality viewers
Along the cycle route you will find four outdoor virtual reality viewers. When looking through a viewer, you will, from the current landscape, virtually enter the vibrant medieval port towns. The 360° view will make you feel like you are part of that world. We also have installed a virtual reality viewer in the Zwin Nature Park. Be sure to scan the QR-code on the cycle map to receive alerts and information on your smartphone when you pass places of archaeological interest. Everything you will see is historically accurate and based on the research conducted by the University of Ghent. 

For more information about the exhibition, the bicycle tour and bicycle rentals, please visit our website on