Oudenaarde (Audenarde in French; pop. 28,000) lies on the Scheldt River, about equidistant from Ghent and Tournai.
This small Flemish town has made its name in history by becoming one of the world's most famous tapestry makers between the mid-16th and late 18th century.
Oudenaarde is said to have been founded as a Roman outpost, which later developed as a Visigoth fortification. The first mention of a castle was in the 10th century, and the first city walls were raised in the next century, before evolving into a prosperous commercial city at the heart of Flanders.
The only noteworthy tourist attraction is the gorgeous late-Gothic Stadhuis (town hall), design by architect Van Pé and constructed between 1526 and 1537. The Town hall's belfry is adorned with a statue of "Hanske de krijger" (Hans the warrior), the legendary defender of the city.
How to get there
Oudenaarde best reached by train from Brussels (45 to 50min), Ghent (30min) or Kortrijk (20min).
By car, take the N60 from Ghent, or the N48 from Tournai and change to the N60 at Ronse.
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