Kortrijk Things to Do

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    by wandeljp
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    by MATIM
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    by MATIM

Most Recent Things to Do in Kortrijk

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    Walk and dicover.

    by wandeljp Updated Nov 26, 2015

    Walk and dicover.

    A good way to discover the city's points of interest (architecture) is the tour developed by the city.

    A map (sold € 2 and available in several languages) is sold to the tourist office / museum 1302.

    Long = 4,300 km (can be lengthened 0.9 km) guides you to the main "spot" of the city.

    At the back of the card containing interesting details of what you will see.

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    Un bon moyen de découvrir les points d'intérêt de la ville (architecture) est le tour mis au point par Westoer chargé de la promotion du Tourisme .

    Une carte (vendue 2€ et disponible en plusieurs langues) est vendue à l'office du tourisme = musée 1302.

    Longue de 4.300 km (pouvant être ralongée de 0.9 km ) vous guide vers les principaux "spot" de la ville. Au dos de la carte figurent les détails de ce que vous vérrez .

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    Theater

    by wandeljp Updated Nov 25, 2015

    Theater

    Built in neo-renaissance style between 1912 and 1920 under the direction of architect Robert Jan Vanhoenacker the center of the "Theatre Square". The complete building the homogeneity of space surrounded by houses of the same style. In 1999-2000 a deep restoration has returned the building to its original state.

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    Construit en style néo-renaissance entre 1912 et 1920 sous la direction de l'architecte Jan Robert Vanhoenacker au centre de la "Place du Théatre". Le bâtiment complète l'homogenéité de l'espace entouré de maisons du même style . En 1999-2000 une restauration profonde a remis le bâtiment dans son état d'origine.

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    Schouwburgplein Inside
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    The Caribou monument

    by wandeljp Updated Nov 24, 2015

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    The Caribou monument

    The history of Belgium was strongly marked by the First World War (1914-1918). His territory was the scene of bloody battles involving many countries. Soldiers from all the cardinal points of the planet came to fight (and many lose their lives) for our freedoms.

    During the last days of the conflict (November 1918) the battle rages: the English sides pledged the remaining troops of Newfoundland (then a dominion) for the crossing of the Lys river. The losses are many. On November 11, 1918 marks the end of the conflict: peace is signed. It is a place loaded symbol.

    In memory of the sacrifice of the Newfoundlander (Newfoundlanders) 6 Monuments on different battlefields were erected. Here in mid 1920 according to a study of Basil Gotto one of these 6 Caribou bronze mounted on rocks watching the surrounding countryside.

    Caribou remained the emblem of Newfoudland.

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    L'histoire de la Belgique a été fortement marquée par la première guerre mondiale (1914 - 1918). Son territoire a été le théatre de combats sanglants impliquant de nombreux pays. Des soldats de tous les points cardinaux de la planète vinrent se battre (et pour beaucoup perdre la vie) pour nos libertés.

    Durant les derniers jours du conflits (Novembre 1918) la bataille fait rage: aux côtés des anglais sont engagés ce qui reste des troupes du Newfoundland (à l'époque un dominion) pour la traversée de la rivière Lys . Les pertes sont nombreuses. Le 11 Novembre 1918 marque la fin du conflit: la paix est signée. C'est donc un endroit chargé de symbole.

    En mémoire du sacrifice des Terre-Neuvien (Newfoundlanders) 6 monuments sur différents champs de bataille furent érigés. Ici au milieu des années 1920 d'après une étude de Basil Gotto un de ces 6 Cariboux de bronze monté sur les rochers regarde la campagne alentour.

    Le caribou est resté l'emblème du Newfoudland .

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    "De Leeuw van Vlaanderen" by H. Conscience.

    by breughel Updated Jul 3, 2013

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    Kortrijk 1302 museum would probably not exist if Hendrik Conscience had not written in 1838 the historic novel "De Leeuw van Vlaanderen" ("The Lion of Flanders") exalting the national feeling and pride of Flemish people under the tyranny (the flemish word "dwingeland" is often used in the book) of king of France Philippe IV le Bel (1268-1314).
    The "Leeuw van Vlaanderen - Lion of Flanders" is Robrecht III of Bethune, count of Nevers and Flanders. Here Conscience made a serious historical error because Robert of Bethune was not present at the battle of the Golden Spurs!

    This historic novel is one of the first books for adults I read.
    It is a book of about 350 pages, small print, with a complex and elaborated Flemish vocabulary. I read it at the age of ten (*) but didn't like the first part with the love story between Machteld, the daughter of count Robrecht, and the knight Adolf van Nieuwlandt. My favoured chapters were the battles of the "Brugse Metten" and the final battle of Groeninge "Guldensporenslag".

    * Note: when I was a child there was no TV so that reading books was not homework but an appreciated form of leisure.

    Historic novel
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    Flemish Beguinages.

    by breughel Updated Jul 3, 2013

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    The Begijnhof - Béguinage of Kortrijk is one of the 26 Flemish Béguinages on the UNESCO List of World Heritage. Most Flemish towns have one, sometimes two, Begijnhoven-Béguinages.
    They are architectural ensembles in specific Flemish style composed of houses, churches, ancillary buildings and green spaces in which lived Begijnen-Béguines.
    They were women who dedicated their lives to God without retiring from the world. They were founded in the 13th century in the present Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Northern France. Except two in Holland, the preserved beguinages are all located in the Flemish part of Belgium.

    There are no beguines anymore(*) and the beguinages have been transformed in museums, cultural centres, artist ateliers, residences for old people or flats for students like in Leuven. The one of Brugge is now a convent.
    With 42 houses the Begijnhof of Kortrijk is a medium sized one. The large ones have about 100 houses. The largest in Lier has 162 houses in 11 streets!

    (*) Actually there is one beguine, born in 1920, from Kortrijk, still alive but she lives no more in the Begijnhof but in a hospital in Kortrijk.

    Begijnhof-Beguinage Kortrijk.
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    Golden spurs are replicas.

    by breughel Updated Jul 3, 2013

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    Several hundreds of golden spurs belonging to French knights who lost life at the battle of the Groeningekouter in 1302 were hung at the vault of the Onze-Lieve-Vrouw church.

    Not for long, in 1382 French mercenaries who had defeated the militias of Gent at the battle of Westrozebeke plundered the church and stole the golden spurs. Those we see now are replicas.
    Westrozebeke was another feudal battle as there were so many in Flanders; this time Filip van Artevelde at the head of the revolted people from Gent (who lost the battle) fought the French army commanded by Philippe le Hardi - Philip the Bold duke of Burgundy and son in law of the count of Flanders Lodewijk II van Male.

    The misfortunes of the church continued with plundering and destruction in 1578 by the Dutch Geuzen (Beggars). In 1797 French troops invaded Kortrijk and plundered again the church. This was not the end: in 1944 the Germans did steel the 6 ton clock and a few months later the church and the town were bombed.

    I presume that the golden spurs we see now were hung on the vaults after WW II.

    Golden spurs hanging from the vault. Our Lady church.
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    Kortrijk - The City hall

    by wandeljp Updated Mar 4, 2013

    Kortrijk - The City hall

    It's a mixt of styles: We find here some éléments of late Gothic ad with renaissances touches. In fact it's transition style.
    As the outside have a nice look, the inside, thinking myselves, have much to offer to the tourist or visitor.

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    C'est un mélange de styles: on retrouve des éléments du Gothique tardif agrémentés de touches Renaissance. En fait une transition d'une époque à l'autre.
    Si l'exterieur a une certaine allure, l'intérieur a à mon avis plus de points d'intérêts pour le visiteur de passage.

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    Stadhuis = City hall
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    Street scenes

    by Martin_S. Updated Nov 7, 2010

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    In the first pic you find the BELFRY, the only remaining part of the Cloth-Hall. The statue on top is Mercurius the god of trade, placed there in the 18th century.
    There is also a war memorial attached.
    The second picture shows a fountain, no special reason, just liked the flowing curves.
    The last picture show a plaque we found on a wall, have no idea what is written there, could not decipher the script and I tried several different spellings on the internet with no success.

    November 2010, UPDATE: just got a letter from our friend Patrick and he has translated the inscription for us
    "ANTTIQUISSIMA OPPIDI-CORTRACENI SUPERSTETI "
    "As the oldest of the city of Kortrijk am I maintained"

    Thanks Patrick

    Bell Tower, Kortrijk, Belgium Art and water, Kortrijk, Belgium Wall plaque and clock, Kortrijk, Belgium
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    Have a look on the towers

    by wandeljp Updated Aug 11, 2010

    The Broel towers

    These medieval towers are the only remains of ancient fortifications of the city. The south tower, the "Speyetoren (± 1385), was among the fortified walls of the castle of the Counts of Flanders. The north tower, the "Ingelborchtoren (± 1413), was built to provide a defense artillery rudimentary.

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    Ces tours médiévales sont les seuls vestiges des anciennes fortifications de la ville. La tour sud, la « Speyetoren » (± 1385), faisait partie des remparts fortifiés du château des Comtes de Flandre. La tour nord, la « Ingelborchtoren » (± 1413), fut érigée pour assurer une défense d'artillerie rudimentaire.

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    The Broel twins On the river Leie The Broelkaai
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    The Broelmuseum

    by wandeljp Updated Aug 10, 2010

    The Broelmuseum

    On the platform of the Lys (Leie: River that runs through the city, from France and it flows into the Scheldt at Ghent) this patrician house looks great. Built in the mid 18th century it is an ideal setting to showcase the collections (I shall return later)

    You will see (among others) works picturalles and sculptures by artists born or having lived and worked in Kortrijk. It offers a range historic city of the 16th century until today.

    The extensive collection of paintings Rolland Savary and a unique set of ancient tiles are the main assets.

    Noted that a cafeteria located in the orangery of the 19th lets you quench your thirst.

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    Sur les quai de la Lys (Leie: Rivière qui traverse la ville, venant de France et ce jettant dans l'Escaut à Gent) cette demeure patricienne a fière allure. Construite au milieu du 18ème siècle elle est un cadre idéal pour mettre en valeur les collections (j'y reviendrai plus tard)

    Vous y verrez (entre autres) des oeuvres picturalles et scultures d'artistes nés ou ayant vécus et travaillés à Kortrijk. Cela offre un éventail historique de la ville du 16 ème siècle jusqu'à nos jours.

    L'importante collection de peintures Rolland Savary ainsi qu'un ensemble unique de faiences anciennes sont les principaux atouts.

    A noté qu'une cafétaria installée dans l'orangerie du 19 ème vous permets de vous désaltérer.

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    The Broel museum
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    Kortrijk 1302 Museum & Visitor Centre

    by ELear Updated May 27, 2010

    The museum - as opposed to the visitor centre in the entrance hall - is primarily aimed at school children, I think. The most interesting bit for me was the corridor at the start with explanations how the battle developed. Otherwise, upstairs there are a few archaeological finds (cannonballs, a few metal objects, etc), a group of models of key players in the story, then an auditorium with brightly coloured seats where I suppose a film is shown.

    I had the impression that the museum - which is quite new - hasn't quite got itself sorted out yet, and that it'll be better in a few years. As it is, there isn't enough material for the space, it could do with more variety, and they should signpost it better, so that you don't start your visit in a temper because you've been walking round and round for half an hour unable to find the place.

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  • Beguinage

    by theH Updated Feb 24, 2010

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    this beautiful medieval part of the city is like a small, quite village inside the busy centre. The whole Beguinage is part of the UNESCO world heritage, so I guess, when you visit Courtrai, you just can't miss this!

    begijnhof
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    Baggaertshof

    by margaretvn Updated May 31, 2009

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    The Baggaertshof dates from the first half of the 17th century, and was built by Josijne Baggaert for needy women and it has little houses a chapel and a lovely medicinal herb garden. The Baggaertshof was originally called the 't Olmeke or the Sint Jozefhuisjes. The 13 houses were lived in until 1970. In the chapel is a Maria that comes from the chapel in Ten Olme.

    at the Baggaertshof Baggaertshof in the Baggaertshof in the Baggaertshof in the Baggaertshof

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    The Beguinage

    by MATIM Written May 17, 2009

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    Béguinage comprises a courtyard surrounded by small dwellings. It is often encircled by a wall and secluded from the town proper by one or two gates. Poor and elderly beguines were housed here by benefactors.

    Béguinages are to be found in an area roughly corresponding with present-day Northern and North-Eastern France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Western and North-Western Germany.

    The beguines were a religious movement of women. Their success, according to the Belgian historian Henri Pirenne, was due to a surplus of women occasioned by violence, war, military and semi-military operations, which took the lives of many men. Great numbers of women had no option but to unite and collectively secure the aid of rich benefactors.

    Similarly, nuns' convents in the twelfth century enjoyed substantial initial success. Stricter rules within Cistercian and other abbeys, however, caused many women to seek less strict surroundings. Moreover, these abbeys' initial success necessitated the refusal of a great many applications for admission. As an additional obstacle, in several cases a certain degree of prosperity was required as a condition for admission to a regular nunnery.

    Town orders, such as the Dominicans, which did not make this requirement, were more successful for that very reason.

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    The Groeningegate

    by MATIM Written May 17, 2009

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    The Groeningegate is a remember monument build for the 600 birthday of the Guldensproenslag (battle).
    It's the enterance to the Groeninepark.

    De Groeningepoort is een herdenkingsmonument in de Belgische stad Kortrijk. De triomfboog werd gebouwd naar aanleiding van de 600ste verjaardag van de Guldensporenslag en geeft toegang tot het Groeningepark waar tijdens de middeleeuwen het Groeningeveld lag. In dit Groeningepark bevindt zich tevens het vergulde Groeningemonument. De Groeningepoort werd in 1908 in Ardense steen opgetrokken en draagt als opschrift 1302 – Groeningheveld.

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