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  KORTRIJK (Courtrai)
 
GENERAL
Kortrijk (Home)
History
Battle of the golden spurs
Info on Belgium

SIGHTSEEING
The Town Hall
The Beguinage
Our Lady's Church
Other Monuments

Museums

EXTERNAL LINKS
Hotels Kortrijk
Trains
Kortrijk XPO

Univ. KULAK



 

The Broeltowers alongside the Leie river.Kortrijk lies in the Belgian Province of  West Flanders, on the river Leie. Kortrijk dates from Roman times, when it was called Cortoriacum. Destroyed by the Normans, it was rebuilt in the 10th century by Baldwin III, count of Flanders. The town became an important center of trade and at its height had a population of about 200,000

The river Leie comes from France and enters Kortrijk on the site of the "Broeltorens", two medieval  towers that are the only remaining witnesses of the former city fortifications, destroyed in 1684 by the troops of Louis XIV of France. Both towers date from the 12th and 13th century. The region alongside the river Leie, between Kortrijk and the city of Deinze, is known for the flax production. The water of the river has the perfect degree of acidity to water-ret the flax. Kortrijk has devoted a entire museum to this industry, the Museum of Flax and Linnen.

Nowadays, Kortrijk is a very dynamic city of about 80.000 inhabitants with a solid entrepreneurial image and flair. The KULAK university is a local branch of the K.U.L university of Leuven.

The Maiden of Flanders, monument for the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302.The town is encircled by remnants of ancient walls. Located in Kortrijk are a castle, a belfry tower, a 16th-century town hall, the Gothic Church of Our Lady, completed in 1211, which contains a famous  Anton Van Dyck painting, "The Erection of the Cross". Also, the typical beguinage is one of the most beautiful in Flanders.

One of the most noteworthy monuments in Kortrijk is the "Maiden of Flanders", the monument erected in commemoration of the Battle of the Golden Spurs, that took place in Kortrijk on 11th July 1302. Flemish noblemen and Flemish corporations from Bruges and other Flemish cities succeeded in obtaining a (rather bloody) victory over the knights of the French King Philip the Beautiful.

The golden spurs of the defeated knights where hung in the Church of Our Lady of Kortrijk as a sign of triumph by the Flemisch. Fact is, that this victory over the French ensured the everlasting independance of Flanders towards France.


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