This basilica with its peculiar tower can be seen from far away. The tower has been rebuilt several times. It was destroyed by fire in 1663, got rebuilt but was struck again by lightening in 1876 and burnt down. After that the next tower was shot by the Allies in 1944. The current tower was built in the late 1950's.
When walking around in Hulst, you will notice sculptures, names of pubs, restaurants, streets, signs ... referring to Reynaert the Fox.
Reynaert the Fox (Van de Vos Reinaerde) was a medieval animal story written at the end of the twelfth century. It is one of the main highlights of Dutch literature.
The story is about a sly fox by the name of Reynaert, who plays nasty tricks on the values and norms of those times. In the book various place names in Hulst are used and that's why Hulst feels very connected with this fox.
The town walls go around the city for some 3,5 km and are surrounded by a canal. It's nice to walk on top of the walls where you can enjoy a great view over the historic inner town and the green surroundings.
On your walk on the walls you will come across the town mill, a typical Dutch mill. On Sunday afternoon, you can have a look inside.
Hulst is one of the best kept fortified towns in the Netherlands. To enter the inner city, you have to pass one of the four gates. The one in the south, "Gentse Poort" (gate of Ghent), is the most beautiful one.
Next to the gate you will find some work of art of a story "Reynaert the Fox". More about it in another tip.
On the left side from the gate and monument you can climb some wooden stairs that will lead you to the town walls.
This is the oldest gate, built in 1704. In the nineteensixties the pedestrian gate, the left gate on the picture, was built next to it.
The gate also has a second name, Graauwsepoort, because the road leads to the nearby village of Graauw.
This is a monument of one of the most important works in Dutch and European Medieval literature, which is supposed to be written in or around Hulst.
You can see Reynard standing in front of King Noble's court wearing a Pilgrim's outfit, to find out why he's wearing it I suggest you read the book.
The book's original title is "Van den Vos Reinaerde". It's a story full of desception and lieing but very entertaining.
The St. Willibrordus Church was founded around 1200 ad, but the current structure has been built between 1460 and 1533. It's a Catholic church, but in the times of Napoleon Bonaparte's reign over Europe, the church was devided into two parts, a part for the Catholics and a part for the Protetants. This lasted until 1929, when the Catholics bought the opther half from the Protestants.
The tower has had it's share of misfortunes. It was destroyed by fire in 1663, but got rebuilt, it was struck by lightening in 1876 and burnt to the ground. It got a new tower in 1877, but this one got shot by the Allies in 1944. The current tower was built in 1957-1958.
The church became a basilica in 1935.
Have a look at the houses around the Grote Markt. They are very lovely. Many have a Flemish style, probably because Hulst is so close to the Flemish (Belgium) border.
The term double gate isn't really correct, because it used to be one gate, the right part on the picture, built in 1771. The second half was built in 1932, which made it a double gate.
The youngest of the three gates, built in 1780.
But it's also the most beautiful gate and it bares the emblem of the "Generaliteit", flanked by two lions.
The City Hall was built between 1528 and 1547. It was rebuilt in 1844 and restaured in 1951. Behind the old City Hall lies the new City Hall, built around 1996.