Our Barge, Odysseus

Sunday, August 10, 2008

City on the Move July 26

One of our guidebooks describes Kortijk as "the Texas of Belgium." We all don't know wot t' hail they're a talkin' about but we found the city very interesting. We came in on the Leie River which splits through the city. The main yacht tie up is on one arm while the commercial traffic makes a straight line through the city. They are in the process of rebuilding the intersections on both ends of Buda Island, the piece of land that results from the split, with green spaces and pedestrian bridges in a very modern style. This is the north end of the split of the Leie which includes the junction with the Bossuit-Kortrijk Canal, which we'll be taking out of town.

There's alot of new development going on in town and the city appears to be very conscious of the design decisions being made on this new building.
This is the newer section of the large local hospital taken from across the river. If you look carefully in the middle of the lowest row of windows you may find some people you recognize.

Of course the town features a magnificent bell tower on the main town square.

One of the town's claims to fame is The Battle of the Golden Spur. On July 11, 1302, a group of irregulars, mostly weavers and members of the cloth guilds, defeated an army of French knights that were (again) trying to enforce the kings rule on those uppity merchants. It's was the first victory by commoners over an army of knights and is now celebrated as Flanders Independence Day. This giant monument in one of the city squares celebrates the battle.

Our son Cory arrived by train Monday afternoon. He'd spent the previous week in the Amsterdam area and would be spending the next 10 days with us. Tuesday morning we set off south with the ultimate destination of Namur on the River Meuse but first we had to negotiate the boat lift at Striepy-Thieu.

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