The 9th, we arrived at Ostend by a straight and artificial river. Here, with leave of the captain of the watch, I was carried to survey the river and harbor, with fortifications on one side thereof: the east and south are mud and earth walls. It is a very strong place, and lately stood a memorable siege three years, three months, three weeks, and three days1. I went to see the church of St. Peter, and the cloisters of the Franciscans.

“Ostenda Obsessa et Capta” (Ostend)- by Blaeu J (1649) Source: http://www.sanderusmaps.com & used with permission.


  1. The Siege of Ostend was a three-year siege of the city of Ostend during the Eighty Years’ War and one of the longest in history. Described as a “long carnival of death”, it is remembered as the bloodiest conflict of the war, and culminated in a Spanish victory by General Spinola. It is said “the Spanish assailed the unassailable; the Dutch defended the indefensible.” -Wikipedia. Austin Dobson remarks “From 1601 to 1604, when it finally yielded to Spinola, but only by command of the States-General, who, owing to its obstinate resistance, had gained their ends. ‘