The period of the Belle Époque saw a massive explosion in tourism for Blankenberge. Rich tourists wanted their own residence at the seaside. Owning a villa
named Sans Souci , Claribella or Les Goëlands at the sea front was quite the ‘in’ thing to do;moreover, it gave you the opportunity to enjoy the healthy sea air.
Until 1900 it was customary to build in neo styles, and it was trendy to adorn your façade with a mixture of style elements. The seaside villas with their typical covered terraces on the bel etage stretched along the Zeedijk, the streets around the church of Saint Roch and the Avenue Rogier.
References to residences in Art Nouveau style first appear in the archives from
1901 onwards. Tourists and well-to-do citizens soon came to like the elegance and colour of the Art
Nouveau and the architects rushed to comply.
Very typical of the Art Nouveau heritage in Blankenberge is the use of glazed
ceramic material for wall coverings: easy to maintain, hygienic and
weather-proof (our maritime climate can be very fickle).
From 1908 onwards a strictly geometrical Art Nouveau style of Viennese origin
makes its appearance in the streets of Blankenberge next to the more
traditional curved ‘whiplash’ lines.
As you can see: there’s something for everyone!