The Belfry

The belfry (Belfort) stands in the centre of the Grote Markt and was part of the former cloth hall. The earliest mention of the cloth hall dates back to 1248. The belfry is an imposing square tower, slightly sunk into the market square. This is due to the market being raised throughout the centuries. The view from the tower was mainly determined in 1520 with the reconstruction of the upper section of the tower and in 1899 with the demolition of the surrounding buildings. The spire features a gilded statue of Mercury (the god of trade) from 1712, and Manten and Kalle, the two figures that strike the hour, adorn the front. On the southeastern side you will find the war memorial to commemorate the First World War, unveiled on 15 July 1923. The tower was declared a listed monument in 1937.


Location: Grote Markt

Open: the belfry can only be visited with a guide.

Did you know that:
In 1382, the original bell striking automaton (Manten) was taken as war booty by Philip the Bold and donated to the city of Dijon? The bell striker is located on the tower of the Church of Our Lady. A whole assortment of figures were added over the years, known locally as "les Jacquemarts de Courtrai".