TEXTURE tells the story of the flax and linen industry. A story about strong roots, about craftsmanship and entrepreneurship, about daring innovations and constantly re-inventing oneself. In three rooms, in an authentic flax depot (1912) on the banks of the River Leie, you can learn about the revolutionary development created by the flax industry in this region. The past will surprise you, while the stories of the present, will amaze and inspire you. For centuries, Flanders has been famous for its textiles. Linen has figured prominently in this history. Luxury products like lace and damask were extremely popular among the nobility and bourgeoisie; ordinary people wore the basic cloth that was mass-woven here. A new industry sprung up along the banks of the Leie and went on to conquer the world: flax processing. ‘Courtrai flax’ soon became renowned as the best flax obtainable and was eagerly sought internationally.

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In Kortrijk 1302 you will be catapulted back to 11 July 1302, when the Battle of the Golden Spurs was fought out on the Groeningekouter. You obtain an insight into the causes and the consequences of the battle and the roles played by the parties involved in the conflict. You learn about the celebratory commemoration and the way in which views of the famous 'Battle of Kortrijk' were shaped over seven centuries. Lastly you discover the evolution of 11 July as a symbolic date for Flanders.

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The new St. Elisabeth Béguinage experience centre (Belevingscentrum Begijnhof) is housed in the Saint Anna room. The Saint Anna room with its octagonal stair turret, situated in the middle of the Kortrijk Béguinage, is still being restored. The 'béguinage' phenomenon has been interpreted afresh with a mixture of authentic heritage and modern media techniques. It looks beyond the traditional image of the beguines and instead depicts one of an autonomous community of strong, independent women, who balanced on the edge of the worldy and the divine. An audio guide is available for your visit to the béguinage and the experience centre.

More info:   Béguinage Kortrijk