In a chapel of the left transept hangs the "The Raising of the Cross" by Antoon van Dyck. The painting ordered by canon Braye arrived in Kortrijk in 1631 coming from Antwerp where Van Dyck was active. The painter received 600 Florins for this large painting in the style of Rubens.
The French revolutionaries took the painting in 1794 and it was only in 1817 that this work was recuperated.
I agree with other VT members visiting the church that there are more popular paintings by Van Dyck than this one.
I liked the baroque high altar but found no information about it.
The "Gravenkapel" Count’s chapel built in 1370-1374 on behalf of Count Lodewijk van Male is quite remarkable for its elegance.
The chapel is best known for the portraits of all Counts of Flanders painted on the walls. Lodewijk van Male and his 31 predecessors were painted by Jan van Hasselt in 1378. His successors till Emperor Charles Quint - Keizer Karel (Carlos I in Spain) were added later by various artists. There have been many restaurations of the paintings who had been overcoated with chalk around 1800!
What I most liked in the chapel is the albaster statue (1382) of Holy Catherine to whom the chapel is dedicated. The sculptor was André Beauneveu. He made here an admirable statue with a slightly déhanché port and a kind but impersonal smile. Holy Catherine keeps in her left hand the breaking wheel on wich she was tormented and in the right hand the sword of her beheading.
Quite remarkable statue protected behind glass. In 1556 the statue had to be burried to protect her from the iconoclasts.
there is an exhibition of statues now by Laurent Geers (www.geerssculptures.be)
medical herbgarden with 13 houses for the poor women in the past and a chapel
open 14.00 to 18.00
autumn and winter 14.00 to 17.00
closed on monday, friday and public holidays
Construction of this church started in 13th century.
the interior is baroque style from the 17th century
open on weekdays 8.00 to 18.00
saturday 9.00 to 18.00
sunday 11.00 to 18.00
closed during services
very small museum with tourist office in same building.
seven centuries in one day
It is about the battle of the golden spurs.
You can try 2 of the helmets on see my travelogue mystery guests
adults 6 euro
groups >15, seniors and students 4 euro
childern 13 free
guide 55 euro
museum open 1/10 - 31/3
weekdays 10 am to 6pm to 5pm
weekdays 9 am to 6pm to 5 pm
weekend 10 am to 5pm to 4 pm
As a kid I had read the book "De Leeuw van Vlaanderen" from Hendrik Conscience. A famous historic novel (at least in Flanders) about the battle between Flanders and the King of France Philippe le Bel in 1302.
Standing here in front of that monument (1902) on the very place of the battle I felt quite disappointed.
This garden surrounded by cosy villas does not corresponded at all with my imagination of that ferocious deadly fight between the French chivalry and the Flemish militia.
Furthermore the style of the monument by Godfried Devreese, a gilded bronze statue representing the triumphant Virgin of Flanders holding a lion under control, did not arouse a great enthusiasm with me.
It was a bad idea to come here; a destruction of my childhood's imagination as inspired by the novel!
The Museum about the battle of the "Golden Spurs" is essentially an audio guide museum.
A lot of explanations are given by the audio guide ( several languages) included in the entry price but little historic material is shown about that battle of Groeninge. The reason is that not much exists anymore.
The comments are interesting because they highlight the political, economical, fiscal, social, military aspects of that conflict between, actually a part of Flanders and the French King Philippe IV le Bel, suzerain of the County of Flanders. It was interesting to show the premises and the historic complexity of the conflict.
Also interesting but better known are the tactical aspects of this battle where infantry destroyed heavy cavalry.
The film projection following the visit shows the evolution of this feudal conflict to a Flemish nationalist political movement leading to the transformation of Belgium in a federal (co federal?) state.
Open: each day.
1/04 - 30/09 from 10 to 18 h
1/10 - 31/03 from 10 to 17 h.
Price: 6 €, reduced 4€ or 1 €.
The custom of the Beguinage here in Belgium is fascinating and shows a much more advanced attitute toward women than was evident elsewhere in medieval Europe.
In the picture you can see the enclosing wall that protected and shelterd the Beguinage. In the second picture you have an example of the wonderful architecture found inside.
If you want to read a little of the history, try this website.
In many of the Belgian towns you can see extensive remains of city walls, tower and defensive arrangements, but here in Kortrijk all that remains are these two towers, built in the 12th and 13th century.
Also included in this pic are Lea and Patrick, our Belgian friends and guides, and Zohara.
The Grand Place (De Markt) is a good place to start your city visit and/or to relax on one of the sidewalk cafes.
There are several pubs where you can taste some delicious Belgium beer.
From here most mayor sightseeing points can be reached on foot.
You can see this Cowboy Henk statue along the Spoorweglaan in Kortrijk.
I had seen this statue in a program on a local TV-channel. So went to Kortrijk to see it, but I did not find it, at first I thought it was located at the Hoge. But later on with some help from the Touristy department of Kortrijk, I did find him.
Cowboy Henk has a leading role in his own comic strip.
Cowboy Henk is drawn by Herr Seele and the scenarios are made by Kamagurka.
You also can follow the stories of Cowboy Henk in the weekly periodical Humo.
This picture is made beginning of January, that is why Cowboy Henk is wearing a red Santa Claus hat.
Visit the 'Our Lady Church' with the famous 'Chappel of the Counts of Flanders'.
This church was originally built inside the walls of the first medieval castle of Courtrai, and at the outside, you can still see the remains of the castles walls. It's really a beautiful church and one of the oldest buildings in Courtrai.
In the 'Counts-chappel', you can see paintings of all the counts that have ruled Flanders.
The TOWN HALL was built in a late gothic-renaissance style. The Aldermen's Chamber, on the ground floor, was used as a court. Upstairs, the Council Hall was the place where laws were made in the old days. Both rooms have a mantelpiece dating back to the 16th century. The sculptors are still unknown. Please take notice of the stained window glasses and the mural paintings. Two topographic maps are to be seen on the walls of the Council Chamber: the left one is a map of the "Kasselrij", the one on the right-hand side represents the city of Kortrijk and its surrounding area (1641).After leaving the Town Hall, we take a look at the facade of the building, decorated with the statues of the Counts of Flanders.
There are also lots of modern buildings in Courtrai, like e.g. the new 'Palace of Justice' (on the picture), the new buildings of the university of Courtrai, the new wing of the Hospital next to the borders of the River Leie etc.
a second picture that gives a good impression of the peaceful Beguinage, which was once (in the Middle Ages) the home of about 200 Beguines (not married-woman). Now it's like a small medieval town inside the city.