The Damse Vaart is a unique landscape. Famous for its stately rows of poplars that lean over here and there.
More than 200 years ago Napoleon gave the initial impetus to thoroughly change the canal landscape of those days into what we know today as the Damse Vaart.
From Napoleon and William
The story of the Damse Vaart starts at the beginning of the 19th century, during the reigns of Napoleon and Willem I.
Under the French reign, the route was mapped out. But the route changes. Initially it was the connection between Bruges and Sluis, but later the canal was extended to the estuary of the river Scheldt.
No matter how grand the plans were, the realisation itself was difficult. In 1814, only half of the section between Bruges and Sluis was mined.
King William I replaces Emperor Napoleon and also takes over his plans for the Damse Vaart. The section to Sluis is almost completed - right through Monnikerede, right through the centre of Damme - but that is where the plans end. There will be no connection to Breskens.