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The Zwin
Zwin
is a nature reserve at the North Sea
North Sea
coast, on the Belgian-Dutch border. It consists of the entrance area of a former tidal inlet which during the Middle Ages connected the North Sea
North Sea
with the ports of Sluis
Sluis
and Bruges
Bruges
inland. The Zwin
Zwin
inlet was formed originally by a storm that broke through the Flemish coast in 1134,[1] creating a tidal channel that reached some 15 km inland and was also connected, through another channel, to the mouth of the Scheldt
Scheldt
further north-east. The new waterway offered access to the sea to the inland city of Bruges, which consequently rose to become one of the foremost medieval port cities of Europe. The towns of Damme, Sluis
Sluis
and Sint Anna ter Muiden
Sint Anna ter Muiden
were also located on the Zwin. However, from the late 13th century onwards, the channel was affected by progressive silting, which ultimately caused the waterway to become unusable and cut off the harbour of Bruges
Bruges
from the sea. The present-day nature reserve was founded in 1952. It has an area of 1.25 square kilometres in Knokke-Heist, Belgium
Belgium
and 0.33 square kilometres in Sluis, Netherlands. It is famous for its large variety in salt-resistant flora, such as sea lavender. It is also popular with bird watchers. There is a small zoo with some major domestic birds and it is one of the few places in Belgium
Belgium
with a population of white storks.[1] In March 1986 it was declared a Wetland of International Importance.[2] Sea battles[edit] The Battle of Damme
Damme
was fought on 30 May and 31 May 1213. The success of the English raids ended a threat of French invasion of England. The Battle of Sluys
Battle of Sluys
was a sea battle fought on 24 June 1340 as one of the opening conflicts of the Hundred Years' War
Hundred Years' War
between England and France. During the Eighty Years' War
Eighty Years' War
between the Dutch Republic
Dutch Republic
and Spain, the Battle of Sluys
Battle of Sluys
on 26 May 1603 was a naval battle in which a Spanish squadron tried to break through a blockade of the Zwin
Zwin
by Dutch ships. References[edit]

^ a b Charlier, Roger H. (2011). "The Zwin: From Golden Inlet to Nature Reserve". Journal of Coastal Research. 27: 746–756. doi:10.2112/10a-00003.1.  ^ "The List of Wetlands of International Importance" (PDF). Ramsar Convention. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 

External links[edit]

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