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West Flanders : Courtray
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[[Image:800px-Broeltorens.jpg|thumb|240px|right|Broel Towers along the river Lys]]
 
[[Image:800px-Broeltorens.jpg|thumb|240px|right|Broel Towers along the river Lys]]
'''Kortrijk''' (or '''Courtray''' in French) is a city in [[Flanders]], the northern part of [[Belgium]]. It is the capital and biggest city of the arrondissement of Kortrijk, which comprises some 278,160 inhabitants (1 January 2007). The wider municipality comprises the city of Kortrijk proper and the towns of Aalbeke, Bellegem, Bissegem, Heule, Kooigem, Marke, and Rollegem.  
+
'''Courtray''' (Dutch: ''Kortrijk'', French: ''Courtrai'') is a city in [[Flanders]], the northern part of [[Belgium]]. It is the capital and biggest city of the arrondissement of Courtray, which comprises some 278,160 inhabitants (1 January 2007). The wider municipality comprises the city of Courtray proper and the towns of Aalbeke, Bellegem, Bissegem, Heule, Kooigem, Marke, and Rollegem.  
  
The city is situated on the Leie River, 42 km (26 miles) southwest of Ghent and 25 km (15 miles) northeast of Lille in France. Both Kortrijk and Lille are part of the same transnational Eurodistrict urban area with around 1,900,000 inhabitants.  
+
The city is situated on the Leie River, 42 km (26 miles) southwest of Ghent and 25 km (15 miles) northeast of Lille in France. Both Courtray and Lille are part of the same transnational Eurodistrict urban area with around 1,900,000 inhabitants.  
  
As the biggest city of southern [[West Flanders]], Kortrijk has many schools, a university, hospitals and shopping streets.
+
As the biggest city of southern [[West Flanders]], Courtray has many schools, a university, hospitals and shopping streets.
  
 
==Understand==
 
==Understand==
 
[[Image:Grote markt Kortrijk.JPG|thumb|200px|left|HCentral Market Square]]
 
[[Image:Grote markt Kortrijk.JPG|thumb|200px|left|HCentral Market Square]]
  
Kortrijk is a medium city, it has a good balance of tradition and innovation/modernism. It was seen as the Texas of Flanders, one of the richest and most economic developped areas in Flanders.
+
Courtray is a medium city, it has a good balance of tradition and innovation/modernism. It was seen as the Texas of Flanders, one of the richest and most economic developped areas in Flanders.
  
Kortrijkhas always been famous for shopping, and in 2010 a big shopping centre was opened in the heart of the city. There are numerous traffic-free shopping zones, and lots historical sites in the city centre. Outside the centre there are some less developped hoods, but never really bad neighbourhoods.
+
Courtray has always been famous for shopping, and in 2010 a big shopping centre was opened in the heart of the city. There are numerous traffic-free shopping zones, and lots historical sites in the city centre. Outside the centre there are some less developped hoods, but never really bad neighbourhoods.
  
Kortrijk is not far from France, but it's a rather safe city. Suburbs/satellite cities like Menen have to endure mainly burglary criminality from French youth and gangsters, but Kortrijk is rather safe.
+
Courtray is a rather safe city. Suburbs/satellite cities like Menen have to endure mainly burglary criminality from youth and gangsters, but Courtray is rather safe.
  
 
The city is known as the '''Guldensporenstad''' (City of the Golden Spurs), afther the battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302. It used to be the centre of the linen industry and is still known as an important textile industry region.
 
The city is known as the '''Guldensporenstad''' (City of the Golden Spurs), afther the battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302. It used to be the centre of the linen industry and is still known as an important textile industry region.
  
 
==Get in==
 
==Get in==
Kortrijk can be easily accessed by various types of transport:
+
Courtray can be easily accessed by various types of transport:
  
 
===By train===
 
===By train===
Kortrijk's main railway station is an intercity train station. Situated in the heart of Kortrijk, you have easy connections to Ghent, Antwerp, Mechelen, Brussels, Bruges, Ostend, Ypres and Lille.  
+
Courtray's main railway station is an intercity train station. Situated in the heart of Courtray, you have easy connections to Ghent, Antwerp, Mechelen, Brussels, Bruges, Ostend, Ypres and Lille.  
  
 
===By bus===
 
===By bus===
 
Next to the train station there is a large bus station, giving access to regional bus lines and a well constructed city bus network. Eurolines buses stop at the train station or at the Kinepolis cinema, outside the city. The Kinepolis site has good connections to the train station.
 
Next to the train station there is a large bus station, giving access to regional bus lines and a well constructed city bus network. Eurolines buses stop at the train station or at the Kinepolis cinema, outside the city. The Kinepolis site has good connections to the train station.
  
Thalys/Eurostar/TGV lines do not stop at Kortrijk. There is a direct connection to the Lille Flandres and Lille Europe train station (30 minutes by train) however. Accessing Kortrijk from England/Paris through stopping in Lille is easier to do than going to Brussels and taking the regional train in Brussels.
+
Thalys/Eurostar/TGV lines do not stop at Courtray. There is a direct connection to the Lille Flandres and Lille Europe train station (30 minutes by train) however. Accessing Courtray from England/Paris through stopping in Lille is easier to do than going to Brussels and taking the regional train in Brussels.
  
 
===By car===
 
===By car===
Kortrijk has an inner circle, the R8. This highway is connected to the A19 (Ypres/Ieper), E403 (Bruges/Brugge, Ostend/Oostende, Tournai/Doornik) and the E17 (Lille/Rijsel, Ghent/Gent, Antwerp/Antwerpen, Brussels/Brussel).  
+
Courtray has an inner circle, the R8. This highway is connected to the A19 (Ypres/Ieper), E403 (Bruges/Brugge, Ostend/Oostende, Tournai/Doornik) and the E17 (Lille/Rijsel, Ghent/Gent, Antwerp/Antwerpen, Brussels/Brussel).  
  
 
===By plane===
 
===By plane===
* '''Kortrijk Airport'''. Mainly business travel. No daily passenger services.
+
* '''Courtray Airport'''. Mainly business travel. No daily passenger services.
 
* Daily connections by train to Brussels Airport. Lille Airport can also be an option.
 
* Daily connections by train to Brussels Airport. Lille Airport can also be an option.
  
 
==Get around==
 
==Get around==
Kortrijk has a well-formed bus system, offering easy transport to main spots like Kortrijk Xpo and most surrounding cities.
+
Courtray has a well-formed bus system, offering easy transport to main spots like Kortrijk Xpo and most surrounding cities.
  
 
==Talk==
 
==Talk==
Located in West Flanders, the main language in Kortrijk is Dutch using the West Flemish dialect, though most people also speak standard Dutch. Many also speak English, French and possibly German.
+
As Courtray is a part of Flanders, the main language is Dutch. Many of the inhabitants will be happy to answer you in English or in French, although starting a discussion in French could offend some of the locals. German is also quite prevalent.
  
 
==See==
 
==See==
Line 49: Line 49:
 
* '''Museum of Fine Arts''' situated in an old 18th-century mansion. Mostly contains regional artists (f.i. Roelant Savery) and an unique collection of ceramic.
 
* '''Museum of Fine Arts''' situated in an old 18th-century mansion. Mostly contains regional artists (f.i. Roelant Savery) and an unique collection of ceramic.
  
* '''National line museum'''. Shows a historical image of the line industry in Kortrijk and the surroundings.
+
* '''National line museum'''. Shows a historical image of the line industry in Courtray and the surroundings.
  
* Groeninge-abbey and the '''Groeningemuseum'''. This museum tells the story of Kortrijk from the Roman empire through the first world war.
+
* Groeninge-abbey and the '''Groeningemuseum'''. This museum tells the story of Courtray from the Roman empire through the first world war.
 
      
 
      
 
* '''Bakery and mill museum''' in Marke
 
* '''Bakery and mill museum''' in Marke
Line 66: Line 66:
 
:The Béguinage was founded in 1238 by Johanna Van Constantinopel. It was destroyed 3 times and rebuilt for the last time in the 17th century.  
 
:The Béguinage was founded in 1238 by Johanna Van Constantinopel. It was destroyed 3 times and rebuilt for the last time in the 17th century.  
 
* 2 almost identical '''Broeltowers''' are remainings of the medieval city wall.
 
* 2 almost identical '''Broeltowers''' are remainings of the medieval city wall.
:They are the typical image of Kortrijk. Build in the 13th and 15 century, they are located at both sides of the Leie river.
+
:They are the typical image of Courtray. Build in the 13th and 15 century, they are located at both sides of the Leie river.
 
* '''Onze-Lieve-Vrouwehospitaal'''.  
 
* '''Onze-Lieve-Vrouwehospitaal'''.  
 
:Hospital, founded between 1200 and 1204.  
 
:Hospital, founded between 1200 and 1204.  
Line 90: Line 90:
 
* Sinksen Festival
 
* Sinksen Festival
  
Kortrijk is situated on the "Vlaanderen Fietsroute", a cycling network through Flanders, a network of 800 kilometers guiding you through Flanders nicest spots by bike.
+
Courtray is situated on the "Vlaanderen Fietsroute", a cycling network through Flanders, a network of 800 kilometers guiding you through Flanders nicest spots by bike.
  
 
==In the neighbourhood==
 
==In the neighbourhood==
Line 96: Line 96:
 
* Antwerpen: a large and active harbor city
 
* Antwerpen: a large and active harbor city
 
* Gent: A medieval town.
 
* Gent: A medieval town.
* Brugge: The entire city centre is Unesco Heritage. Often called: "Venice of the north", due to the many canals and scenic centre.
+
* Brugge: The entire city centre is Unesco Heritage. Often called: "Venice of the North", due to the many canals and scenic centre.
  
 
==Buy==
 
==Buy==
Kortrijk offers one of the biggest car free areas in Belgium where one can shop or have drink on a nice terrace. One of these streets, the Korte Steenstraat, was the very first pedestrian street in Belgium.  In the heart of this pedestrian area, a large covered shopping centre, named '''K in Kortrijk''', opened during spring 2010. This shopping mall makes the pedestrian link between the Lange Steenstraat and the Veemarkt-square and offers some 90 large stores.
+
Courtray offers one of the biggest car free areas in Belgium where one can shop or have drink on a nice terrace. One of these streets, the Korte Steenstraat, was the very first pedestrian street in Belgium.  In the heart of this pedestrian area, a large covered shopping centre, named '''K in Kortrijk''', opened during spring 2010. This shopping mall makes the pedestrian link between the Lange Steenstraat and the Veemarkt-square and offers some 90 large stores.
  
 
==Eat==
 
==Eat==
Line 113: Line 113:
  
 
==Get out==
 
==Get out==
 +
* [[Brussels]]: Belgian and European capital. 
 +
* [[Antwerp]]: a large and active harbor city, famous for it's fashion and diamonds. 
 +
* [[Ghent]]: An important and vibrant university city with beautiful architecture, often overlooked by tourists who visit Brugge or Brussels.   
 +
* [[Bruges]]: The famous capital of West-Flanders. The entire city centre is Unesco Heritage. Often called: "Venice of the north", due to the many canals and scenic centre. 
 +
* [[Ypres]]: Pretty town famous for World War I battles. 
 +
* [[Lille]]: French big city with Flemish roots, forms a metropolitan area with Kortrijk.
  
  

Revision as of 21:23, 28 July 2012

Broel Towers along the river Lys

Courtray (Dutch: Kortrijk, French: Courtrai) is a city in Flanders, the northern part of Belgium. It is the capital and biggest city of the arrondissement of Courtray, which comprises some 278,160 inhabitants (1 January 2007). The wider municipality comprises the city of Courtray proper and the towns of Aalbeke, Bellegem, Bissegem, Heule, Kooigem, Marke, and Rollegem.

The city is situated on the Leie River, 42 km (26 miles) southwest of Ghent and 25 km (15 miles) northeast of Lille in France. Both Courtray and Lille are part of the same transnational Eurodistrict urban area with around 1,900,000 inhabitants.

As the biggest city of southern West Flanders, Courtray has many schools, a university, hospitals and shopping streets.

Contents

Understand

HCentral Market Square

Courtray is a medium city, it has a good balance of tradition and innovation/modernism. It was seen as the Texas of Flanders, one of the richest and most economic developped areas in Flanders.

Courtray has always been famous for shopping, and in 2010 a big shopping centre was opened in the heart of the city. There are numerous traffic-free shopping zones, and lots historical sites in the city centre. Outside the centre there are some less developped hoods, but never really bad neighbourhoods.

Courtray is a rather safe city. Suburbs/satellite cities like Menen have to endure mainly burglary criminality from youth and gangsters, but Courtray is rather safe.

The city is known as the Guldensporenstad (City of the Golden Spurs), afther the battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302. It used to be the centre of the linen industry and is still known as an important textile industry region.

Get in

Courtray can be easily accessed by various types of transport:

By train

Courtray's main railway station is an intercity train station. Situated in the heart of Courtray, you have easy connections to Ghent, Antwerp, Mechelen, Brussels, Bruges, Ostend, Ypres and Lille.

By bus

Next to the train station there is a large bus station, giving access to regional bus lines and a well constructed city bus network. Eurolines buses stop at the train station or at the Kinepolis cinema, outside the city. The Kinepolis site has good connections to the train station.

Thalys/Eurostar/TGV lines do not stop at Courtray. There is a direct connection to the Lille Flandres and Lille Europe train station (30 minutes by train) however. Accessing Courtray from England/Paris through stopping in Lille is easier to do than going to Brussels and taking the regional train in Brussels.

By car

Courtray has an inner circle, the R8. This highway is connected to the A19 (Ypres/Ieper), E403 (Bruges/Brugge, Ostend/Oostende, Tournai/Doornik) and the E17 (Lille/Rijsel, Ghent/Gent, Antwerp/Antwerpen, Brussels/Brussel).

By plane

  • Courtray Airport. Mainly business travel. No daily passenger services.
  • Daily connections by train to Brussels Airport. Lille Airport can also be an option.

Get around

Courtray has a well-formed bus system, offering easy transport to main spots like Kortrijk Xpo and most surrounding cities.

Talk

As Courtray is a part of Flanders, the main language is Dutch. Many of the inhabitants will be happy to answer you in English or in French, although starting a discussion in French could offend some of the locals. German is also quite prevalent.

See

Museums

  • Kortrijk 1302: An interactive museum showing you the Battle of the Golden Spurs (11th of july 1302). This battle is historical because it was one of the first battles where a peasant-based army defeated a knights army. After the battle, the spurs of the fallen horses were kept as a victory sign. The battle gave Flanders its regional holiday.
  • Museum of Fine Arts situated in an old 18th-century mansion. Mostly contains regional artists (f.i. Roelant Savery) and an unique collection of ceramic.
  • National line museum. Shows a historical image of the line industry in Courtray and the surroundings.
  • Groeninge-abbey and the Groeningemuseum. This museum tells the story of Courtray from the Roman empire through the first world war.
  • Bakery and mill museum in Marke
  • Agricultural museum in Bissegem


Historical Buildings

The scenic Begijnhof, a Beguinage
  • City Hall
  • het Belfry at the Grand Place (UNESCO-heritage)
  • The scenic Begijnhof (UNESCO-heritage)
The Béguinage was founded in 1238 by Johanna Van Constantinopel. It was destroyed 3 times and rebuilt for the last time in the 17th century.
  • 2 almost identical Broeltowers are remainings of the medieval city wall.
They are the typical image of Courtray. Build in the 13th and 15 century, they are located at both sides of the Leie river.
  • Onze-Lieve-Vrouwehospitaal.
Hospital, founded between 1200 and 1204.
  • The Baggaertshof.
a medical garden and 13 old houses.
  • Sint-Maartenskerk.
A gotic church, built and rebuild after a fire in the 14th century.
The Béguinage, surrounding park and the Sint-Maartenstower
  • Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk
  • Sint-Michielskerk.
  • Sint-Elooiskerk
  • Sint-Janskerk.
  • Groeningekouter: supposed to be the field where the Battle of the Golden Spurs took place.
  • The fontain The Wave at the Schouwburgplein, near the theatre.
A Olivier Strebelle-fountain

Do

Courtray is situated on the "Vlaanderen Fietsroute", a cycling network through Flanders, a network of 800 kilometers guiding you through Flanders nicest spots by bike.

In the neighbourhood

  • Brussel: Belgian capital.
  • Antwerpen: a large and active harbor city
  • Gent: A medieval town.
  • Brugge: The entire city centre is Unesco Heritage. Often called: "Venice of the North", due to the many canals and scenic centre.

Buy

Courtray offers one of the biggest car free areas in Belgium where one can shop or have drink on a nice terrace. One of these streets, the Korte Steenstraat, was the very first pedestrian street in Belgium. In the heart of this pedestrian area, a large covered shopping centre, named K in Kortrijk, opened during spring 2010. This shopping mall makes the pedestrian link between the Lange Steenstraat and the Veemarkt-square and offers some 90 large stores.

Eat

Drink

Sleep

  • Parkhotel next to the Station.

Contact

Stay safe

  • Generally safe, small unsafe areas near the station (at night) and the Venning, a local neighbourhood.

Get out

  • Brussels: Belgian and European capital.
  • Antwerp: a large and active harbor city, famous for it's fashion and diamonds.
  • Ghent: An important and vibrant university city with beautiful architecture, often overlooked by tourists who visit Brugge or Brussels.
  • Bruges: The famous capital of West-Flanders. The entire city centre is Unesco Heritage. Often called: "Venice of the north", due to the many canals and scenic centre.
  • Ypres: Pretty town famous for World War I battles.
  • Lille: French big city with Flemish roots, forms a metropolitan area with Kortrijk.




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