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Reiseziele Belgien
Reiseziele Belgien
Reiseziele Belgien
Reiseziele Belgien
Reiseziele Belgien
Reiseziele Belgien

Kortrijk - a charming city with a lot to offer

Kortrijk, also known as Courtrai, is a charming town in the Flemish province of West Flanders in Belgium. With a population of approximately 79,000 in 2023, Kortrijk is the capital and largest city of the judicial and administrative district of Kortrijk. The city is located on the Leie River, 42 km southwest of Ghent and 25 km northeast of Lille. Kortrijk is also part of the Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai cross-border metropolitan region.

The history of Kortrijk dates back to the Gallo-Roman period, when the town was known as Cortoriacum and was located at a crossroads near the River Leie and two Roman roads. In the Middle Ages, thanks to the flax and wool industries, Kortrijk grew into one of the largest and richest cities in Flanders with France and England. The city is often referred to as the City of Groeninge or the City of the Golden Spurs, which dates back to the Battle of Kortrijk or the Battle of the Golden Spurs, which took place on July 11, 1302 on the fields of Groeninge in Kortrijk. In 1820, the Treaty of Kortrijk was signed, which established the borders between France and Belgium that are still valid today.

Kortrijk is known for its medieval architecture, including the UNESCO World Heritage Belfry of Kortrijk. The main attractions also include Theater Square (Schouwburgplein) during the summer carnival, the Beguinage and Saint Martin's Church, the Broel Towers and Kortrijk Town Hall, which can be seen from the Grote Markt.

The city has several museums, including the Kortrijk 1302, which tells the story of the famous battle, and the Texture Museum, which focuses on the region's rich textile history. Kortrijk is also known for its vibrant cultural scene, with festivals and events taking place throughout the year.

Kortrijk's economy is diverse, with the textile industry still playing an important role. The city is also a center for education and European cooperation, with several colleges and universities as well as active participation in European cooperation projects.

Kortrijk also offers a variety of leisure options, including shopping in trendy shops, culinary experiences and a lively summer atmosphere along the Leie River. For sports enthusiasts, there are numerous cycling and pedestrian zones as well as sporting events.

Overall, Kortrijk is a city that has retained its historical roots while developing into a modern and dynamic place that has a lot to offer both locals and visitors. From its rich history and culture to its thriving economy and education, Kortrijk is a jewel in the Flemish region of Belgium.


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Sights in Kortrijk

Historical sights:

Beguinage: The Kortrijk Beguinage is a well-preserved example of a medieval beguinage settlement. The Beguines were a group of women who lived religiously but were not nuns. The beguinage was built in the 13th century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Belfry: The Belfry of Kortrijk is a 14th-century bell tower that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tower offers breathtaking views of the city. Broeltorens: The Broeltorens are two medieval towers that were part of the former city fortifications. The towers now house a museum about the history of Kortrijk. Groeningemuseum: The Groeningemuseum houses a collection of Flemish art from the 14th to the 18th century. The best-known works in the collection include “The Adoration of the Magi” by Jan van Eyck and “The Last Judgment” by Hieronymus Bosch. St. Martin's Church: St. Martin's Church is a Gothic church from the 13th century. The church houses a number of works of art, including a painting by Peter Paul Rubens.

Other sights:

Kortrijk 1302: Kortrijk 1302 is an interactive museum that tells the story of the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302. In the battle, the Flemish farmers defeated the French army. K in Kortrijk: K in Kortrijk is an art center that hosts exhibitions, concerts and theater performances. Rabotpark: Rabotpark is a large park in the center of Kortrijk. The park is an ideal place for walking, jogging or cycling. Leie: The Leie is a river that flows through Kortrijk. You can take a boat trip on the Lys or take a walk along its banks.

Activities in Kortrijk:

Hiking and cycling: There are numerous hiking and cycling trails in the Kortrijk area. The paths lead through forests, fields and along the Leie River. Boating: You can take a boat trip on the Lys or rent a canoe or pedal boat. Shopping: Kortrijk has a number of shops, boutiques and shopping centers. You can find everything here, from clothing and souvenirs to food and electronics. Food and drink: Kortrijk has a wide range of restaurants and cafés. You can taste traditional Flemish cuisine as well as international dishes here. Nightlife: There are a number of bars and clubs in Kortrijk. You can dance and party the night away here.


Plan your trip in advance: Kortrijk is a popular destination, so it is recommended to book your accommodation and activities in advance, especially in high season. Wear comfortable shoes: You will be walking a lot, so you should wear comfortable shoes. Learn a smattering of Dutch: Most people in Kortrijk speak Dutch. Basic knowledge of the language will help you communicate with the locals.

Conclusion: Kortrijk

Kortrijk impressed me with its mix of history, culture and modernity. The city offers:

Unique atmosphere: The old town with its medieval streets, historic buildings and cozy cafés invites you to linger. Diverse attractions: From museums and churches to the Beguinage and Belfry to the Groeningemuseum with its collection of Flemish art, Kortrijk offers something for every taste. Varied activities: Whether hiking and cycling in the area, boating on the Leie or shopping in the boutiques in the city center - there is never a dull moment in Kortrijk. Culinary highlights: Flemish cuisine with its hearty dishes and delicious beers is a delight for every palate. Friendly people: The residents of Kortrijk are friendly and helpful, adding to the pleasant atmosphere of the city.

Kortrijk is:

A perfect destination for anyone looking for a city trip with culture, history and good food. An attractive city for last-minute travelers as it is easily accessible by train or car. A place to relax, unwind and collect new impressions.

Here are some final thoughts:

Prices in Kortrijk are moderate compared to other Western European cities. The best time to travel to Kortrijk is from May to October.

I hope my conclusion has given you an insight into the beautiful city of Kortrijk and its diverse offerings.

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