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Sint-Niklaas - Dendermonde - Fort Breendonk - Mechelen

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Sint-Niklaas - Dendermonde - Fort Breendonk - Mechelen
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Route: Ghent - Sint-Niklaas - Dendermonde - Fort Breendonk - Mechelen - Ghent
Duration: 9 h
Our first stop in the tour will be at Sint-Niklaas, where is a imposing the Main Square is Belgium's largest market square. Five  centuries every week about 150 market traders gather on the square, attracting many loyal visitors. The buildings around the Main Square narrate the city's history. The delightful bars, sunlit terraces and cozy resting places.Near the square you can discover  the neo-Gothic City Hall where In front of building you'll encounter the iconic statue of Sinterklaas  In 1217, Saint Nicholas, or Sinterklaas, became the patron of the city of Sint-Niklaas. Also  you will see the Church of Saint Nicholas which is the oldest church in the city.The church is named after Saint Nicholas of Myra, the patron of merchants. It is also the decanal church.  Walking throuth the old city center you will see the tower of which houses a carillon of 35 bells. Behind the Town Hall rises the tower of Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk, built in 1841, with a gilded dome and a six-meter-high statue of Mary. The 16th century Walburg Castle is located in a picturesque green oasis in the middle of the city. The Saint Joseph Church or church of Our Lady of Assistance of Christians Church which was built in the mid 19th century what explains the eclectic neoroman style. The graceful tower, crowned with a gilded Maria statue, gives the church the allure of a cathedral. It can be admired from a great distance. The next stop in the tour will be at he town which  has a long-standing (folkloric) feud with Aalst  and  which dates back from the Middle Ages -  The City of Dendermonde.  When  you will see the Town Hall and Belfry you will be amazed with the architectural design not only on this building but most of all the buildings.The City of Dendermonde has a lot of historical buildings to see. This is nog a big city but a great city! If you like the Bruges Begijnhof, you will like this one as well...The old center surrounded by restaurants will offer to your relax. Also you will see the Town Hall and Belfry which was originally the hall and storehouse of the weavers’ guild. In the Middle Ages they were among the richest people in the town, since cloth-making was the most important industry in Flanders at that time. In 1999 the belfry was awarded  UNESCO  world heritage site status. .The superb Town Hall dates from the fourteenth century. Originally it was the Cloth Hall; later it did duty as the Sheriff’s Court, and served other functions too.  The carillon in the belfry plays charming melodies at regular intervals.The Town Hall is a gem of medieval Flemish architecture. Also you will see Abbey of St Peter and St Paul where  ten Benedictine monks still live and work in the Abbey ,The Butchers’ Hall is one of the oldest historic buildings in the town, The present Butchers’ Hall was built between 1460 and 1462 , The Church of Our Lady is a Gothic church dating from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The church houses a number of important works of art: paintings by Antony van Dyck, Gaspard de Crayer and others, The Church of St Egidius intra muros is known locally as ‘Sint-Gillis-Binnen’. The name harks back to the Middle Ages: it meant that the church stood inside the town wall. All that remain of the medieval church are the tower and the old choir and The Zwijvekemuseum ( city museum). During the way to Mechelen we will visit to Fort Breendonk .This prison-fort was built in 1906. However, its use as a notorious Nazi internment camp in WWII is the main focus of the visit, where you will see torture rooms, cells and dark, dank corridors. The next place of our tour  will be the beautiful city Mechelen. Back in the first half of the 1500’s, Mechelen was the official capital of what was then called the ‘Low Countries’  (Netherlands, Belgium and our little cousins of Luxembourg) under the queen Margaret of Austria. It didn’t last very long as later in the 16th century, after Margaret perished, the capital was moved to Brussels and the Netherlands went its own way with Amsterdam. But still, pretty buildings galore in Mechelen, it has a capital aura to it and you can tell. The central square is lovely, with the domineering St. Rumboldt’s Cathedral towering over the beautiful facades and peaceful cafes below. Canals cut through the city – while they lack the beauty of those in Bruge, they still add charm to the place, as do the fantastic old churches which are  intermingled with slightly less flattering post-war buildings. Mechelen’s lively streets have some good shopping and dining options on offer. During the visit you will see  Grote Markt, Vismarkt, Palace of Margaret of York, Het Anker, Busleyden Museum, Golden Boy, Church of San Juan, Sinte Mette Tuin, Church of Santa Catalina and Begijnhoof.After we will return to Ghent.
Price: per person
Price: 72.00 EUR
Countries
Countries: Belgium
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