The cloth halls of Belgium

A cloth hall (in Flanders called lakenhalle) is a building that has its origin in the Middle Ages as a trading place or warehouse for sheets of cloth. In some places there were also test places and laboratories in the building to test the quality of the sheets. The ones that made it to the tests were labeled by the a cloth plumbum or lead.

Cloth Plumbum
A cloth plumbum had a leading role as a lead seal. It was the quality guarantee for a roll of cloth, it also indicated where the roll of fabric was made and the kind of material they used to make it.

The cloth plumbum was made up of two separate parts which were pressed on each other. That seal contained the necessary information which was pressed in the lead.

Lakenhalle Ghent
Flanders had the most lakenhalle in Europe. In cities across Belgium there are about 16 cloth halls left and now they are used as a museum, city hall or an exhibition space. You can find lakenhalle in these cities; Bruges, Dendermonde, Diest, Doornik, Eeklo, Ghent, Herentals, Ypres, Leuven, Lier, Mechelen, Oudenaarde, Peer, Tielt, Zinnik and Zoutleeuw.

Lakenhalle Ypres

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