DISCOVER

Kortrijk

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Creative city on the Leie

Kortrijk is a village that looks like a big town, an unexpected place which is never dull. From the pious peace coming from the famous beguinage to the  city life and several events, there is only one step! In Kortrijk, the historical heritage stands alongside modern architecture, best restaurants, trendy street food places, world cuisine, cocktail bars, folkloric coffee shops…

Become captain during a boat tour on the Lys River, discover the linen unique story at the Texture Museum or enjoy the beautiful terraces that offers the Lys’ River banks. Courtrai has everything to seduce you!

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The essentials

1

The Broel towers and the Lys river’s Banks

The artillery tower and the medieval Broel towers are the last remains of the old town’s fortifications. The south tower called «Speytorre» was built in 1385 to control the circulation going through the Lys. The north tower called « Inghelburghtore» built in 1415 was used as an arms depot. The towers are an integral part of Kortrijk’s physiognomy. Comfortably seated in one of the beautiful terraces along the banks, you will be able to enjoy the freshness of the water.

2

Grand Place along with the Belfry and City Hall

Everyone will find something interesting at Kortrijk’s Grand Place. In the middle of the main square is the Belfry (UNESCO world heritage), a vestige of the medieval cloth hall. On top of it are the famous jaquemarts «Manten and Kalle» overlooked by the carillon and its 48 bells.

On Grand Place, you will also discover the City Hall, a late Gothic Renaissance style building. Standing on its frontage, you will be able to observe Flanders counts’ statues. Inside the building, you can find the magnificent councillor’s room decorated with carved chimneys.

3

Beguinage and interactive tour

St Elizabeth’s beguinage, created in 1238, is a city in the city, a peaceful and quiet place, part of the UNESCO world heritage. You would be able to walk along the little houses, discover St. Matthew Gothic Chapel, where is found the oldest organ from the Netherlands, and the house of the Mother Superior. Thanks to a new concept located at the St Ann hall, you can start an interactive and dynamic tour where you will be going through several historical centuries. The beguinage sheltered strong and independent women, not chaste ones, but feminists from the past. Three women with a strong personalities, all grandmothers, will drag you with them and show you the other side of it. You will discover how was their daily life, the beguinage’s treasures and the development of it. An audio guide is available to lead you through the visit.

4

The church of Notre Dame and the Count’s chapel

The 14th century’s artillery tower is considered as a rare remains of the medieval fortress and was originally used as a drinking water tower. The church of Notre Dame has been build at the 13th century and was constructed step by step over the years. In 1370, the count Louis Van Male has built the Count’s chapel as a mausoleum. You can discover there all the chapel’s history but also wonderful mural paintings from the counts of Flanders and the saint Catherine’s statue. (recognised masterwork). In the church, you will also be able to admire the Antoon Van Dijck’s Way of the cross.

5

TEXTURE / Musée de la Lys et du lin (Lys River and Flax/Linen Museum)

TEXTURE tells the story of the flax fibre industry. A very strong and deep past which reflects of professionalism and corporate spirit, innovation’s audacity and agility but also the need of perpetual renewals. In three rooms, furnished as genuine flax treatment house (1912) you will discover the flax fibre revolutionary development from this region. The past of this process will surprise you… the story of today and tomorrow will amaze and inspire you. Throughout the centuries, Flanders has been renowned for its textile industry and linen has a leading role. Along the Lys river’s banks, an industry started and conquered the world: Flax processing. Kortrijk’s linen will always be a high-quality product, worldwide known and famous.

Three rooms, three stories

Flax is used every days, sometimes without noticing and in unexpected places. The creators, the scientists and the entrepreneurs won’t let any part of it unused. Discover, taste, feel and try their products in the Wonderkamer. The Linen Room will tell you the story of the flax fibre industry. The story of trials and errors, made by resilient people who always find a way to handle the project without external help. A fascinating story involving thinkers, audacious and actions’ men as leaders. The treasure is located under the Golden Crown, where you will be appreciating the beauty of magnificent damasks, laces, handcrafts objets and fine fabrics.

6

K in Kortrijk and shopping streets

K in Kortrijk is a prestigious shopping centre with 34 000m2 and known as a convivial commercial town. K in Kortrijk is close by the main shopping places of the town. You will find there all kind of shops, large chain stores or unique boutiques. There is something for everyone in the shopping streets of Kortrijk.

7

Buda’s Island, l’Ile de Buda

Between the branches of the Lys River, you will find the Buda’s Island, which is usually appreciated by visitors with an artistic temperament. Broelkaai 6 is the creative entrance door of the island. Slightly further, you will see the Budatoren, the platform where all kind of artists are expressing themselves. Then, the Budascoop where you will be able to appreciate a selection of the best outstanding films.

Buda Beach is perfectly adapted for the whole family, as you will be able to relax along the wonderful Lys River. During summer, the park become a beach. The Buda Factory is an impressive place when designers, entrepreneurs, artists, students and active citizens are all working together. The old building has been taking over by the Flemish architects’ office Peter Swinnen. A pentagonal volume has been added along the street to bring a more expressive facade to the building. The 3000m2’s factory provides a spacious area for exhibitions, studios and workshops. This workplace has a prototype laboratory with 3D printers unit, laser rays and more other devices for creators.

8

The Lys’s River Banks

In order to make the Lys River navigable for bigger boats, it was necessary to straighten and widen the Lys River in the city centre. After these major works, Kortrijk became a fully extended city with a wider river, new bridges, larger pathways on the riverbanks, pleasant and beautiful parks always close by the water. The banks of the Lys Rivers are definitely called «The place to be» where it is nice to go! A perfect green zone where young and older meet each other to freely enjoy the fresh air ; All of that, in the city centre! King Albert’s park is where the cyclists and the hikers meet along the Lys River. The Lys River’s monument is located in the center of the park. That is the place where they commemorate the soldiers who lost life in the 1940’s Lys River’s battle, that commemoration takes place every year. 

Considering at least 850m2, the «skatebowl» is an unique and perfect place to unwind the skaters and blades. 

A «new Lys River» also drags new bridges constructions. Six impressive bridges and very soon seven bridges redraft Kortrijk’s skyline, clearly bringing a bright aspect and strong character. Those charming and original bridges help the visitors or the resident to found their way through this styling and unique bridges’ architecture. Nothing dull or unvarying. Some of them are metropolitan and majestic, sometimes daring and zigzagging and all of them hang at seven meters over the water.

The traditional events

Passfoor

Passfoor will enjoy everyone! As in any kind of funfair party, you can find a mix of small or bigger attractions and all types of food stands. Discover the famous «casse-cous» attraction, where you will be projected at 50 meters with a speed of 100km per hour, but also family’s attractions as the ghost train, the polyp, the slide and a wild roller coaster.

Pentecost

The best city festival of Kortrijk. During three days, the city is upside down, hustle and bustle, shows, celebrations.. Make sure to visit the biggest flea market of Flanders during sunday and monday of Pentecost.

City Hall summer opening

The historical city hall is one of the main tourist attraction of Kortrijk. During summer, the place is exceptionally open to visitors and it is worth the visit! A nice interesting way to give an extra bit to your stay in Kortrijk.

Car-free Sunday

The car-free Sunday is quite popular in Kortrijk. All sorts of activities and festivities roam the streets.

Winter in Kortrijk

The end of the year in Kortrijk means conviviality. A skating rink on the main square, a Christmas market, a Christmas funfair, a Christmas race, all of that with the very special atmosphere of the bars and winter terraces. Clearly, Kortrijk is the perfect place to do your Christmas’ presents.

Urban Cross

The reference’s point of the international cyclocross CAPS Urban Cross Kortrijk’s itinerary is located at King Albert’s park. This brain new urban cross goes through the magnificent Collegebrug to finally end up at the Groeningebrug’s top. Great destination point offering an overview on the entire course. Besides riding down the bridges, the sand on Buda’s Beach will have a key role in the race.

WONDER

Definitely the creative place of the town through the Lys River. One month of exhibition, events and shows in one place. It’s worth it!

Kamping Kitsch

The craziest festival of the country takes place in Kortrijk. A boundless day taking place on a festival field in Lange Munte.

Alcatraz

The best metal music festival of the all country takes place in Kortrijk. During three full days, the festival’s field at Lange Munte is the world’s center of metal music.

Local specialities

The Kortrijk’s Leg

Compared to what we could thing, this meal doesn’t use the chicken leg but the veal’s leg. The veal is smoked and marinated in tea. Then, they serve it along with a stock base sauce, shallots, wine and pink peppercorns and most of the time served with salsifies and croquettes. 

Kalletaart

The recipe was created in 1977 by some bakers in Kortrijk. Main ingredients are butter  batter, almond paste, apricots, apples, Calvados and flaked almonds. The cake remain fresh for about four days. The Kalletaart refers to Kalle, Manten’s female counterpart and belfry’s bell-ringers of Kortrijk.

The Crispbread of Kortrijk

The recette is based on milk bread or brioche, without Corinthe’s raisins or sugar. The bread slices are spread with crushed candi sugar on both sides, then cooked in the traditional way. The original making of this recipe represent a quite significant work.

De Kortrijkse Peperbollen

During the 19th century, little gingerbread bites cut in dices were traditionally sold on Pentecost Monday. The “Peperbollenommegang”(the gingerbread’s celebration) gave rise to a city center full of cake’s stands where they were only selling “peperbollen”. This kind of gingerbread were typically cut in dices not spherical. It used to be different kind of peperbollen depending on people wealth. The fancy way was incorporating candied tangerine and the basic version composed with dry raisins.

Local experiences

Local Beers

Kortrijk is the birthplace of the Omer Beer. A lot of other less known beers are also brewed in Kortrijk. Surprise yourself in a local bar with a Martha, Goedendag or Julia beers.

Gastronomy high spot

Foodies will find their happiness in Kortrijk. You will be delighted through a whole bunch of very good restaurants addresses, creative concepts and high quality gastronomy. 

Boating

Explore the Lys River by rating an electric boat. Admiring the banks and Kortrijk from the water is such an unforgettable experience.

Shop til you drop

The pedestrian area is the shopping heart of the town.Let yourself be tempted by the tons of welcoming shops, and find the dress, the jean or the pair of shoes you always dreamed of.

Creative city tour

The tourism information office of Kortrijk and Designregio Kortrijk developed as a collaboration a walking route which will bring you to all the six different creative neighbourhoods with shops, restaurants’ facilities and unique downtown events in Kortrijk. This tour will once again show you why Kortrijk is part of the creative cities selected by the UNESCO.