Nieuwpoort is the coast’s top sailing centre, home to one of northern Europe's largest marinas. It's also a historic place, remembered for playing a key role in WWI; local partisans thwarted the German advance by flooding surrounding low-lying land. Bombardments during the war devastated Nieuwpoort's historical townscape, but in the 1920s the medieval main square was rebuilt, including the former 1280 town hall, belfry and a sizeable church. Today, flanked by step-gabled houses, the scene looks lovely at dusk thanks to tasteful floodlighting. By day, however, the overly neat brickwork lacks the apparent authenticity of similar reconstructions in Ypres or Diksmuide.