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Courtray

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[[Image:800px-Broeltorens.jpg|thumb|240px|right|Broel Towers along the river Lys]]
'''KortrijkCourtray''' (or Dutch: ''Kortrijk''Courtray, French: ''Courtrai'' in French) is a city in [[Flanders]], the northern part of [[Belgium]]. It is the capital and biggest city of the arrondissement of KortrijkCourtray, which comprises some 278,160 inhabitants (1 January 2007). The wider municipality comprises the city of Kortrijk 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 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 Courtray has many schools, a university, hospitals and shopping streets.
==Understand==
[[Image:Grote markt Kortrijk.JPG|thumb|200px|left|HCentral Market Square]]
Kortrijk 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 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 Courtray 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 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==
Kortrijk Courtray can be easily accessed by various types of transport:
===By train===
KortrijkCourtray's main railway station is an intercity train station. Situated in the heart of KortrijkCourtray, 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 KortrijkCourtray. There is a direct connection to the Lille Flandres and Lille Europe train station (30 minutes by train) however. Accessing Kortrijk 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===
Kortrijk 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===
* '''Kortrijk 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==
Kortrijk 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 but not or in French, although starting a discussion in French could offend some of the locals. German is also quite prevalent. Addressing the locals in French could seriously offend them.
==See==
* '''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 Courtray and the surroundings.
* Groeninge-abbey and the '''Groeningemuseum'''. This museum tells the story of Kortrijk Courtray from the Roman empire through the first world war.
* '''Bakery and mill museum''' in Marke
: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 KortrijkCourtray. 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.
* Sinksen Festival
Kortrijk 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==
* Antwerpen: a large and active harbor city
* Gent: A medieval town.
* Brugge: The entire city centre is Unesco Heritage. Often called: "Venice of the northNorth", due to the many canals and scenic centre.
==Buy==
Kortrijk 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==
==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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