Nieuwpoort is a beach resort and medieval port on the Belgian sea coast in West Flanders. Nieuwpoort consists out of two centres: the old medieval centre, with small houses and cobblestone streets (also called Nieuwpoort-Stad), and the coastal centre, comparable to the neighbouring coastal cities: a sandy beach and lots of apartments (also called Nieuwpoort-Bad). The belfry of Nieuwpoort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
As a medieval town and important harbour, Nieuwpoort has been involved in many wars, has been raided by Vikings, and has been known as a pirate-nest in the past. In World War I, the key to stopping the German troops was found in Nieuwpoort, by opening the lock gates to the Yser river and letting the sea water flow inwards. This caused the flooding of the lower lying land, thus halting the German troops.
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