It is situated on the canal from Bruges to Sluys (Ecluse), but in the middle ages a navigable channel or river called the Zwyn gave ships access to it from the North Sea.
destroyed the French fleet and secured the command of the channel, was fought in the year 1340 at the mouth of the Zwyn.
It was not, however, till after the closing of the Zwyn and the decay of Bruges that Antwerp became of importance.
After 1180 the premier position was assumed by Ghent, but until access by sea was stopped by the silting up of the Zwyn, which was complete by the year 1490, Bruges was the equal in wealth and power of its neighbour.
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