|OUDENAARDE : The Market Square|
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The Town Hall
The Market Square
Church of Pamele
The portrait of Margaret of
The market square of Oudenaarde has some
beautiful historic houses to offer. Next to the nice Baroque fountain, some
beautiful Rennaissance and Empire-style houses can be found around the
square as well as in the adjacent streets..
In the corner of the square is a rather remarkable and historically important house to be seen, the house of Margaret of Parma (1522 - 1586), a natural but illegitimate daughter of Emperor Charles V. Her mother, Margaret van Ghent, lived in Oudenaarde. She was brought up by her aunts Margaret of Austria and Maria of Hungary, who were successively regents of the Netherlands from 1507 to 1530 and from 1530 to 1555
Margaret of Parma was appointed regent of the Netherlands, married (1536) to Alessandro deí Medici (d. 1537) and (1538) to Ottavio Farnese, duke of Parma. Appointed Spanish governor of the Netherlands (1559), she was restricted in her authority by a council of state headed by Cardinal Granvelle. Charged with the difficult task of carrying out the religious policy of her half brother Philip II of Spain, she urged and finally secured the recall of the unpopular prelate.
She subsequently showed favor to the national
party, but after the outbreak of violence she turned against the popular
leaders ( the Counts of Egmont and Hoorn, and William the Silent). In 1567
the duke of Alba arrived at Brussels to suppress the opposition by force.
Margaret warned King Philip II against harsh measures and resigned as
regent, being unable to agree with Alba. In 1567 Margaret resigned her post
into the hands of the duke of Alva and retired to Italy. She had the
satisfaction of seeing her son Alexander Farnese appointed to the office she
had laid down, and to watch his successful career as governor-general of the
Netherlands. She died at Ortona in 1586.