Idée #585 – Visiting the historic city of Kortrijk in Belgium
Kortrijk is a city of Belgium situated in Flemish Region, administrative center of district in province of West Flanders. The city developed from the roman time, around the Ist century. In the IXth century, Baudouin II le Chauve, count of Flanders strengthened the site to protect itself from Normans. In the XIIIth century, the conflicts which set king of France to the counts of Flanders made stagnate the economy of the city. In 1302, the king made build a citadel, which is shortly after besieged by the municipal militias of Flanders. They massacred the French knights brought on the ground and return their golden spurs, which were deposited in the church Notre-Dame of Kortrijk as trophies. In 1382, king Charles VI, taking advantage of the victory of Roosebeke, decided to destroy the city of Kortrijk, become the symbol of the spirit of independence of Flanders ; the city was put in fire and the golden spurs of the french knights, massacred by the Flemish “communiers” in 1302, were picked up. In 1683, the city was besieged by Vauban. Afterward, Kortrijk was the object of several seats and fights, and was strongly damaged by the bombardments of the first and second world wars.
Among sites to be visited, think of the Grand Place; in the City hall, building in Gothic style, the facade of which is decorated with statues of the counts of Flanders, builds between 1420 and 1616; the Belfry of Kortrijk (Belfort) situated on the Grand Place, the bottom of which dates the XIVth century with five turrets of 1520, placed on the UNESCO world heritage list; the towers of Broel, vestiges of the medieval surrounding wall, demolished by Louis XIV in 1684; the tower of Artillery (Artillerietoren); the Pawnshop (Berg van Barmhartigheid); the building of the public importance (Stadswaag); the hospital Notre-Dame, most probably set up at the beginning of the XIIIth century with a triumph gate of the XVIIth century and a beautiful convent ; Baggaertshof, “the second Beguine convent of Kortrijk”, created in 1638 by Joossine Baggaert who made it build 13 houses intended for the destitute women; In the Beguine convent Saint-Elisabeth (Begijnhof Sint-Elisabeth), founded in 1238 by the countess of Flanders, Jeanne of Constantinople, made of 41 current huts, quite whitewashed of the XVIIth century, and which is also a part of the UNESCO world heritage ; in the chapel of the Counts, built after the example of Saint Chapelle of Paris as personal mausoleum for Louis II de Flandre.
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