In 1490 a treaty was signed at Damme between the people of Bruges and the archduke Maximilian, and very soon after this event the channel became completely closed up, and the foreign merchant gilds or "nations" left the place for Antwerp. This signified the death of the port and was indirectly fatal to Bruges as well.
The marriage of Charles the Bold and Margaret of York, sister of Edward IV., was celebrated at Damme on the 2nd of July 1468.
It will give some idea of the importance of the town to mention that it had its own maritime law, known as Droit maritime de Damme.
The new ship canal from Zeebrugge will not revive the ancient port, as it follows a different route, leaving Damme and Ecluse quite untouched.