Damme is set on the Zwin river between Zeebrugge
. When the Zwin silted up and blocked the port of Brugge in the 16th century, Damme became important as Brugge declined; however, the Zwin continued to fill in and Damme soon declined as Brugge had before it, shrinking to the size of a small village.
Damme has several good examples of Gothic architecture from its 15th century heyday: the Town Hall, The Church of Our Lady, and a number of private residences. Legend has it that Till Eulenspiegel hailed from Damme, and there is a museum dedicated to him.
Hoeke, Lapscheure, Moerkerke, Oostkerke, and Sijsele (Syssele) are boroughs within the municipal district of Damme.