However, it was King Leopold II who transformed Ostend, his favourite place of residence, into the ‘The Queen of the Belgian seaside resorts’. The city was modernised and new buildings, such as the Casino Kursaal Ostend, the Hippodrome Wellington, the city theatre, the Sint-Petrus-en-Pauluskerk (Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul) and the Royal Galleries, started to rise from the ground. Everything was ready in 1905, a year that later on – justifiably – became known as a golden year. In this period Ostend’s name as international seaside resort was permanently made and the city also became famous as centre for the arts. At the Kursaal many top artists performed for the European aristocracy.