About Knokke - Heist
Knokke-Heist is located along the North Sea in a polder area on the Belgian border with the Netherlands. It is Belgium’s best-known and most affluent seaside resort. Originally, the marshy Zwin area was mostly settled by shepherds and fishermen. With the encouragement of the Counts of Flanders, several dikes were built between the 11th and the 13th century and the land successfully dewatered, giving rise to agriculture and further sheep breeding. New parishes were founded and the early settlement of Sint-Anna-ter-Muiden, later made part of Westkapelle, obtained city rights in 1242. The construction of the Leopold Canal in 1857 made the closing of the Zwin and its transformation in a natural reservation possible. The development of Knokke and Heist as tourist destinations followed soon after.