Hotel Den Wolsack
Wollemarkt 16, Mechelen, Antwerpen, B-2800, Belgium
More about Mechelen
The square on which the restaurant is located
Tourist Information in Mechelen
Station in Mechelen
Travel Tips for Mechelen
The legend has it that in 1687, when the Romboutstower was covered in fog, a dronken man left the pub to go home. He saw the tower was on fire and sounded the alarm. People who were awakened by the noise opened their windows and saw the same. The entire city was in panic and everybody went to the tower to help extinguish the fire. Buckets of water were handed on from one man to the other to reach the fire on top. But before the first bucket was there the moon came through the mist and the people of Mechelen realised the had mistaken the orange shine of the moon for fire. Untill today people from Mechelen are called: Moon Extinguishers.
City in womens hands
In the history of Mechelen there are some important women. Around 1500 the mightiest persons in Mechelen happened to be women. The two most important were Margaretha of York and Margaretha of Austria.
Magaretha of York was the widow of Charles the Bold came to live here in 1477. Her presence in Mechelen stimulated the luxury trade like goldleather, tapestry and lace.
She brought up Margaretha of Austria and her brother Filip the Fair, her stepgrandchildren.
Margaretha of Austria was appointed regent of the Low Countries and built her palace in Mechelen, were she lived as a child. After the death of her brother she raised Charles the 5th, the future emperor here.
She was known for her diplomacy and her palace was open for artists and writers.
In 2005 there are several special events around these two ladies.
The central square of Mechelen is Grote Markt. There is wonderful architectural ensemble around the square with medieval spirit as well as wonderful view to the cathedral and St Rumbold Tower. As you see on the pic the square was full of bikes in the day I was in the city.
The former palace of Margaret of Austria
It was in this palace that Margaret of Austria lived during her regency of the Netherlands (which is now Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and the north eastern part of France).
It was here that the later Emperor Charles V spent his youth at the court of his aunt Margaret.
Since 1796, this palace is the Court of Law.
A local brew
My motto (or one of them) is: “When in Belgium --- drink beer”, so I was pleased when ordering one on my first evening here to be recommended this local beer, Margriet. I was told by the friendly lady serving me that it is brewed in the town by women and is named in honour of Margaret, Queen of Austria, who was Regent here in the early years of the 16th century – you can read about her palace in my Things to Do tips.
The beer was certainly a good recommendation, with a good hoppy flavour and very lively head. It’s a pale ale and 6.5% proof, which is quite low for a Belgian beer, so of course I had a second ;)
I’m no expert, but on doing my research back at home I found some fascinating tasting notes on this website from people who clearly are: Beeradvocate. I also discovered that it was first brewed just two years ago, created to mark a cultural celebration in the city called “City in Female Hands”, a reference to the two historical Margarets of history who lived here and are closely associated with the town, Margaret of York and Margaret of Austria.
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