Skip to main content

The Cloth Hall Of Ypres

In the 13th century as an example of its power and wealth, the city of Ypres built its first public buildings in stone. The Ypres cloth hall and the belfry were some of the most impressive civil buildings in Europe at that time. The construction work started around 1200. At first, the belfry was built and finished in 1230. Then followed the halls that served as a covered market. The buildings were completed in 1304. The cloth hall complex is 132 meters long south side, with a built area of ​​approximately 2,500 square meters, and includes 48 doors.


The Cloth Hall served as a covered sales and storage place for sheets of cloth that later were transported by the small river next to it. The Ieperlee river is now covered and vaulted under the city. During the First World War, the building was completely destroyed by bombings of the German army, only a piece of the tower and a few walls survived. After the war, the hall and the Belfry were rebuilt exactly as they were before, using almost all the same materials.


The belfry which stands out above the Cloth Hall has a carillon consisting of 49 bells. In 1999 the whole complex was recognized as UNESCO World Heritage. Nowadays a part of the Cloth Hall of Ypres is used as the "In Flanders Fields Museum" a museum dedicated to the cruelty of the First World War.


More about the Belgian Clothes halls or the In Flanders Fields Museum. You can find the Ypres Clothes hall and the museum at this address: Grote Markt 34, Ieper.

Popular posts from this blog

Belgian kids got to drink beer during their school lunch

There are almost 800 different kinds of beer in Belgium. One kind was very popular till the70's, it was even given to kids at school during their lunch break. Beer to kids? You must be kidding! Well, let's go a bit further into this. The beers we are talking about were so-called table beers, a kind of beer that was specially made for people who can't drink alcohol. So it's was a kind of alcohol-free beer, a kind, because there was some alcohol in it. between 1 and 4 percent alcohol. The most popular table beer was Piedboeuf, it had 1.1 percent alcohol in it and there was a lot of sugar added to make it as sweet as Coca-Cola. A good marketing strategy made that it was well distributed in almost all schools in Belgium. The reason was that it would be very healthy for them, because of the natural ingredients and of course the sugar. It would make them grow fast and strong. It would even be good for pregnant women and for women that were breastfeeding their baby'

How the Belgians founded New York

In order to avoid any confusion in this story, it is important to know that in the sixteenth century, the Netherlands covered a part of northern France and Lorraine, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the present Netherlands. Its inhabitants were called the Belgians, and the maps represented the country in the shape of a lion: the "Leo Belgicus". Besides, numerous maps from the sixteenth century showed this territory under the name of Belgium. The latter failed into disuse for the benefit of the Netherlands and only reappeared in 1789 on the occasion of the first Belgian revolution. In 1831 Belgium became an independent country. Today Belgium is a lot smaller and is divided into two big regions mostly based on the language they speak in that particular region. In the north, there is Flanders where they speak Flemish (Dutch) and in the south, there is the Walloon part where they speak French. Almost in the center and between the two parts is the region of the capital Brussels.

A secret medieval street in Antwerp

The Vlaeykensgang is a unique small street in the center of Antwerp. Hidden between two busy Antwerp streets and close to the Cathedral. This medieval times street can easily be walked past unnoticed. Behind its meter-wide entrance, there is an oasis. A step into the passage with its quiet courtyards transports visitors back in time, back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Picture by Harry Fabel Previously, the street was the domain of shoemakers, who had to sound the alarm bell of the Cathedral, also some of the poorest people of the city lived in that very small street. Now you will find antique shops, art galleries, and an exclusive restaurant, Sir Anthony Van Dyck. There is a subdued atmosphere and the street is a popular place to listen to the cathedral's summer carillon concerts. At its heart, you find the Axel Vervoordt Gallery. Picture by Harry Fabel The "Vlaeykensgang" exists as a key piece of Antwerp’s architectural and sociological history, offering a