OUDENAARDE, VEURNE and VILVOORDE: things to see

Oudenaarde : city hall, St Walburga church
Veurne : Grand Place, another St Walburga church
Vilvoorde : Our Lady of Hope, Our Lady of Consolation

Oudenaarde

Oudenaarde is located on the banks of the Scheldt, and during the 16th century the city was famous for its tapestries throughout Europe. But in 1555, Charles V was succeeded by his son Philip II, and under his reign of terror against Protestantism, the industry of Oudenaarde virtually came to a halt. With the arrival of the duke of Alva, many citizens emigrated to the northern Netherlands.

The City Hall and adjacent Cloth Hall were built around 1530, and they are fine examples of late Brabant Gothic architecture. The Gothic St Walburga church was destroyed by fire in 1126, and rebuilt around the year 1150. Around 1620, a Baroque roof structure was added to the gothic spire.

Oudenaarde : City Hall Oudenaarde : St Walburga church

Veurne

As early as in the 9th century Veurne was a fortified city, and it was walled in the 14th century. The Grand Place of Veurne is one of the most striking in Belgium, and it is partly surrounded by Gothic buildings from the 13th century, when the cloth trade brought wealth, and partly by Renaissance buildings from the 17th century, dating from the Spanish period.

The city also contains a St Walburga church, that originated as a 9th-century chapel. Its choir is early-Gothic and dates from the 14th century, and the rest is neo-Gothic, dating from the early 20th century. It is a perfect example of the grand concept of a Gothic church, that was however left unfinished !

Veurne : Grand Place Veurne : St Walburga church

Vilvoorde

The church of Our Lady of Good Hope, in short called Church of Our Lady, is the main church of Vilvoorde. This Gothic church dates from the 14th and 15th century, but it does contain a sacristy that goes back to the 13th century !

The Basilica of Our Lady of Consolation is the church of the monastery of the Carmelites. It was built around 1664, in a late Gothic-Baroque style. The choir contains the statue of Our Lady of Consolation, dating from the 13th century.

Vilvoorde : Church of Our Lady Vilvoorde : Our Lady of Consolation
** Continue reading with a look at Wallonia Part 1 **
Arlon, Ardennes, Binche, Charleroi, Dinant
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