Kortryk / Kortrik (West Flemish)
|• Mayor||Vincent Van Quickenborne (Open VLD)|
|• Governing party/ies||Open VLD, N-VA, sp.a|
|• Total||80.02 km2 (30.90 sq mi)|
|• Density||950/km2 (2,500/sq mi)|
85xx (8500, 8501, 8510, 8511)
Kortrijk ( // KORT-ryke, Dutch: [ˈkɔrtrɛik] (
It is the capital and largest city of the judicial and administrative arrondissement of Kortrijk. The wider municipality comprises the city of Kortrijk proper and the villages of Aalbeke, Bellegem, Bissegem, Heule, Kooigem, Marke, and Rollegem. Kortrijk is also part of the cross-border Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai metropolitan area.
The city is on the river Leie, 42 km (26 mi) southwest of Ghent and 25 km (16 mi) northeast of Lille. Mouscron in Wallonia is just south of Kortrijk.
Kortrijk originated from a Gallo-Roman town, Cortoriacum,at a crossroads near the Leie river and two Roman roads. In the Middle Ages, Kortrijk grew significantly thanks to the flax and wool industry with France and England and became one of the biggest and richest cities in Flanders. The city is often referred to as City of Groeninge or City of the Golden Spurs, referring to the Battle of Courtrai or the Battle of the Golden Spurs which took place on 11 July 1302 on the Fields of Groeninge in Kortrijk. In 1820 the Treaty of Kortrijk was signed, laying out the still-current borders between France and Belgium. Throughout the 19th and 20th century, the flax industry flourished and remains important within the Belgian textile industry today.
Kortrijk is the largest city in southern West Flanders, with several hospitals, colleges and a university. Kortrijk was the first city in Belgium with a pedestrian shopping street, the Korte Steenstraat.
The Roman name Cortoriacum [ citation needed ] There is also mention of 'Cortoracum' in some literature. Its name later evolved to 'Cortrycke', 'Cortryck' and 'Kortrijk' (19th Century). The French call it Courtrai.meant in Latin, the settlement near the curb in the river.
Findings from an archeological dig in 1950 in which remains of three Roman funeral pyres were foundsuggest that the vicus was used as an encampment by the Romans during their invasion of Britain in 43 CE.
Cortoriacum was a larger Gallo-Roman vicus of civitas Menapiorum at an important crossroads near the Lys river of the Roman roads linking Tongeren and Cassel and Tournai and Oudenburg. It was first mentioned in a document from the 4th or 5th century called Notitia Dignitatum where the Cortoriacenses (Cavalry)Troops were mentioned. In the 9th century, Baldwin II, Count of Flanders established fortifications against the Vikings. The town gained its city charter in 1190 from Philip, Count of Flanders. The population growth required new defensive walls, part of which can still be seen today (the Broeltorens, Armory, Kortrijk). Several local places still refer to physical parts of the defensive structures around Kortrijk (Walle, Waterpoort, Menenpoort, Gentsepoort, Brugsepoort, Kasteelkaai); Most of the physical parts have been overbuilt or destroyed.
In the 13th century, the battles between Fernando of Portugal, Count of Flanders and his first cousin, King Louis VIII of France, led to the destruction of the city. The Counts of Flanders had it rebuilt soon after. To promote industry and weaving in the town, Joan, Countess of Flanders exempted settlers in Kortrijk from property tax.From that time, Kortrijk gained great importance as a center of linen production.
In 1302, the population of Bruges started a successful uprising against the French, who had annexed Flanders a couple of years earlier. On 18 May the French population in that city was massacred, an event that could not go unpunished. The famous ensuing Battle of Courtrai in 1302, also known as the Battle of the Golden Spurs (Dutch: Guldensporenslag), between the Flemish people, mostly commoners and farmers, and Philip the Fair’s knights took place near Kortrijk on 11 July, resulting in a victory for Flanders;the date is now commemorated as a national holiday by the whole Flemish community.
Following a new uprising by the Flemish in 1323, this time against their own Count Louis I, the French invaded again. These Flemish acquisitions were consolidated by the French at the Battle of Cassel (1328).
Louis I’s son Louis II lost the city to a Flemish uprising led by Philip van Artevelde in 1381, but the Flemish were later decisively defeated at the 1382 Battle of Roosebeke by Louis II with French support, resulting in a new wave of plundering and destruction.
Most of the 15th century was prosperous under the Dukes of Burgundy, until the death of the Burgundian heiress, Mary of Burgundy, in 1482, which ushered in renewed fighting with France.
The 16th century was marked by the confrontations engendered by the Reformation and the uprising of the Netherlands against Spain.
Louis XIV’s reign saw Kortrijk occupied by the French five times in sixty years and its former fortifications razed. The Treaty of Utrecht finally assigned the whole area to Austria.
After the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era, the textile industry, based on flax, and the general economy of the city could finally prosper again.
Kortrijk was heavily bombed in the summer of 1917, but was liberated by the British Army the following year. During World War II the city was an important railway hub for the German army, and for this reason was the target of several allied air-strikes. On 21 July 1944 (the Belgian National Day) around 300 Avro Lancasters dropped over 5,000 bombs on the city center.Many historical buildings on the central square, as well as the old railway station, were destroyed.
Battles fought there in 1302, 1580, 1793, 1794, 1814, 1815, and 1918 have each been called Battle of Courtrai
After the 1977 fusion the city is made up of:
The metropolitan area, including the outer commuter zone, also consists of Kuurne, Wevelgem, Zwevegem and Harelbeke. Although these municipalities have strong morphologic ties with Kortrijk, they aren't officially part of the city.
Kortrijk has an oceanic climate (Köppen Cfb).
|Climate data for Kortrijk (1981–2010 normals, sunshine 1984–2013)|
|Average high °C (°F)||6.0|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||3.5|
|Average low °C (°F)||0.8|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||70.2|
|Average precipitation days||12.7||10.6||12.3||9.9||11.1||10.1||10.1||9.5||10.7||11.9||13.3||13.0||135.3|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||59||79||122||177||205||200||214||202||149||119||65||49||1,639|
|Source: Royal Meteorological Institute|
Much of the city's medieval architecture remains intact and is remarkably well preserved and restored. The city centre is one of the largest car-free areas in Belgium. The béguinage, as well as the belfry, were recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites in 1998 and 1999. Interesting highlights are:
Museums in Kortrijk include:
Kortrijk lies at the intersection of three highways:
Kortrijk has an extensive web of public transport lines, operated by De Lijn , providing access to the city centre and the suburbs (city lines, Dutch : stadslijnen) and to many towns and villages in the region around the city (regional lines, Dutch : streeklijnen).
The river Lys (Leie) is an important way of transporting goods through inland navigation. The Bossuit-Kortrijk Canal enables in the city centre a direct connection with the river Scheldt.
Within the City, the river briefly splits in two, to re-join about a mile further.
From the 1970s on, the planning and later the execution of the so-called Leiewerken (Leieworks) started. These construction works comprised the deepening and widening of the river. This would enable ships with 4400 tons to navigate from France to the Scheldt. At the same time, this project included a thorough urban renewal of the riversides in the city. Seven new bridges were to give a new architectural impulse to the river quarters as well as the construction of several new parks along the river.
The following bridges were built during the period of 1997 and 2012:
More recently (2018), the banks in front of the Broel Towers were lowered to allow the public to enjoy the historic river banks along both sides of the River Lys (Leie). This area is now known as the Leieboorden (or Banks of the River Lys), a place for pedestrians with bars and restaurants.
Several small streams or Beken in and around Courtrai were of significant topological, historical and Geological value.
Cars are required to yield to pedestrians and cyclists. In general, cars are led to large underground car parks in the historic centre of Kortrijk or Park&Ride parking outside the town centre. Large parts of the historic centre are car free.
The city is historically connected with the flax and the textile industry, and still today the textile industry remains important in the region. Major companies which have headquarters in Kortrijk include Cisco, Barco and Bekaert.
Kortrijk serves as an educational centre in south West Flanders, attracting students from the entire region.
There are 55 schools in Kortrijk, on 72 different locations throughout the city, with an estimated 21,000 students.
The city also provides higher education. The KULAK, a campus of the Catholic University of Leuven, is located in on the south edge of the city, in the Hoog Kortrijk quarter. Other institutes of higher education include the Katholieke Hogeschool Zuid-West-Vlaanderen (KATHO) and Hogeschool West-Vlaanderen (HOWEST) university colleges. There is also a campus of Ghent University.
Even though Kortrijk is a Dutch-speaking town, it borders Wallonia, and is only 9 km (5.6 mi) away from the border with France. This has created an urban area that extends across linguistic and national borders. The mayors of Lille, Kortrijk and Tournai met in Kortrijk on 28 January 2008 to sign a document creating the first European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation within the EU. The purpose of this organisation is to facilitate the movement of people within this area of nearly 2 million people.
The city is host to some sizable cultural events such as:
Also, trade shows and events such as the international Design Fair Interieur, Busworld and the Eurodogshow take place in the Kortrijk Xpo event center. These fairs attract numerous visitors to the city.
In July and August there are various boat tours on the river Leie.
Local specialities include Kalletaart (apple cake with Calvados), Peperbollen, biscuits, and chocolate little beguines. The town of Heule is the home of the Picobrouwerij Alvinne brewery, while Bellegem is the home of the Bockor brewery.
Kortrijk has three official football clubs.
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Kortrijk participates in town twinning to encourage good international relations.
Ghent is a city and a municipality in the Flemish Region of Belgium. It is the capital and largest city of the East Flanders province, and the third largest in the country, exceeded in size by Brussels and Antwerp.
The Scheldt is a 350-kilometre-long (220 mi) river that flows through in northern France, western Belgium, and the southwestern part of the Netherlands, with its mouth at the North Sea. Its name is derived from an adjective corresponding to Old English sceald ("shallow"), Modern English shoal, Low German schol, West Frisian skol, and Swedish (obsolete) skäll ("thin").
Tournai, known in Dutch as Doornik and historically as Dornick in English, is a Walloon municipality of Belgium, 85 kilometres southwest of Brussels on the river Scheldt. In the province of Hainaut, Tournai is part of Eurometropolis Lille–Kortrijk–Tournai, which had 2,155,161 residents in 2008.
Joan, often called Joan of Constantinople, ruled as Countess of Flanders and Hainaut from 1205 until her death. She was the elder daughter of Baldwin IX, Count of Flanders and Hainaut, and Marie of Champagne.
The Battle of the Golden Spurs was a military confrontation between the royal army of France and rebellious forces of the County of Flanders on 11 July 1302 during the Franco-Flemish War (1297–1305). It took place near the town of Kortrijk (Courtrai) in modern-day Belgium and resulted in an unexpected victory for the Flemish. It is sometimes referred to as the Battle of Courtrai.
The Lys or Leie is a river in France and Belgium, and a left-bank tributary of the Scheldt. Its source is in Pas-de-Calais, France, and it flows into the river Scheldt in Ghent, Belgium. Its total length is 202 kilometres (126 mi).
Guy of Dampierre was the Count of Flanders (1251–1305) and Marquis of Namur (1268–1297). He was a prisoner of the French when his Flemings defeated the latter at the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302.
The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle or Aachen ended the War of Devolution between France and Spain. It was signed on 2 May 1668 in Aachen. Spain acceded on 7 May 1669.
Emile Claus was a Belgian painter.
The Battle of Roosebeke took place on 27 November 1382 on the Goudberg between a Flemish army under Philip van Artevelde and a French army under Louis II of Flanders who had called upon the help of the French king Charles VI after he had suffered a defeat during the Battle of Beverhoutsveld. The Flemish army was defeated, Philip van Artevelde was slain and his corpse was put on display.
The Day of the Flemish Community of Belgium is an annual commemoration in the Flemish Community in Belgium on 11 July which marks the anniversary of the Battle of the Golden Spurs (Guldensporenslag) in 1302.
Kortrijk railway station is the main railway station in the Belgian city of Kortrijk and one of the busiest railway stations in Belgium. Its NMBS/SNCB internal code is LK. The station was first inaugurated on 22 September 1839.
AZ Groeninge is a large teaching hospital, affiliated with the Flemish KU Leuven Hospital network, in the Belgian city Kortrijk. The hospital is the result of a merger of four hospitals in Kortrijk and is in number of beds -in its current form- the fifth largest hospital system in Belgium. The -in 2017 opened- new 1000+ hospital bed facility at the Kennedylaan is one of the largest hospital sites in Belgium.
Heule is a submunicipality of the city of Kortrijk in the Belgian province of West Flanders. The first notion of this settlement date of the year 1111. Heule has a surface of 1169h and has a population of 10,503 (2009). Surrounding villages of Heule are Bissegem, Gullegem, Lendelede and Kuurne. Between Kuurne, Lendelede and Heule there's also the settlement Sente (Saint-Katherine).
The Chest of Courtrai is a medieval oak chest that bears a carving depicting scenes from the Franco-Flemish War, including the 1302 Battle of the Golden Spurs at Kortrijk, Flanders, between Flemish citizen foot-soldiers and French Knights. The chest is among the few surviving contemporaneous depictions of those historically significant events.
On 23 August 1328, the Battle of Cassel took place near the city of Cassel, 30 km south of Dunkirk in present-day France. Philip VI, fought Nicolaas Zannekin, a wealthy farmer from Lampernisse. Zannekin was the leader of a band of Flemish independence rebels. The fighting erupted over taxation and punitive edicts of the French over the Flemish. The battle was won decisively by the French. Zannekin and about 3,200 Flemish rebels were killed in the battle.
The Franco-Flemish War was a conflict between the Kingdom of France and the County of Flanders between 1297 and 1305.
The County of Flanders was a historic territory in the Low Countries.
Willem van Saeftinghe was a lay brother in the Cistercian abbey of Ter Doest in Lissewege, West Flanders, Belgium. He fought at the Battle of the Golden Spurs, and became a Flemish folk hero.
The Siege of Tournai was an event of the Franco-Flemish War in 1303.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Kortrijk .|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kortrijk .|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Courtrai .|