Page images

(killed 1882 at the battle of Rosebecq, between the to hard labour. The remainder is divided into revolted citizens and the army of Louis II.), should two portions; half is given to the prisoners weekly be seen.

for pocket money, and the other given to them at Palace of Justice. This striking building by the expiration of the term of their imprisonment, Rolands, is situated in the Rue du Théâtre. The to assist in their re-establishment in the world. ground floor is used as the Exchange, and the Religious service and instruction are provided and upper chamber as Courts of Justice.

attended to in an admirable manner; and if prisoners Palais de l'Université.-Founded by William are found ignorant of the first elements of knowI., King of Holland, in 1826. It is a beautiful ledge, as reading, writing, and arithmetic, they and modern edifice, having a splendid Corinthian receive instruction in the various branches. Inportico, modelled from the Pantheon, at Rome, subordination or refractory conduct is punished by and is built on the site of the Jesuits' College. solitary confinement. The shop for refreshments The library consists of 100,000 vols. and 7,000 sold to the prisoners is kept under strict regulations MSS.; amongst these are a Mayence Bible, 1472, by the officers of the establishment, and the profits and a folio Latin Bible, 1466, and a number of are employed as rewards for the most industrious other ancient volumes.

and well-behaved prisoners. The new part of the The Museum of Natural History is not less re- building, which has been recently completed, has markable for its extent than for the richness of cost upwards of £40,000, and the whole edifice is its collection. The University contains a library, calculated to receive two thousand six hundred open to the public each day from nine to twelve prisoners. and from two to five o'clock, except on Sundays Le Kauter, or Place d'Armes, is a large square and feast-days. This library contains 60,000 planted with trees. It is a beautiful promenade, volumes, and very many precious manuscripts. and has a military band usually playing there on The Jardin Botanique, instituted in 1797, belongs summer evenings. to the University, and is one of the finest in

The Marché au Vendredi (Friday's Market), a vast Belgium. It contains a collection of 8,000 plants,

square, so called from the day on which the fair of 1,000 different species.

is held. It is remarkable as having been the spot Maison des Bateliers, on the Quai aux Herbes, where the trades' unions of the middle ages planted is an old and picturesque edifice, built in 1513. their standards and rallied to arms. On it the

The Halle aux Draps will also repay notice. ceremonial of inaugurating the Counts of Flanders

Maison de Detention, a house of correction, situated was celebrated with a gorgeous and luxurious on the north side of the city, on the Coupure grandeur, unequalled at the present day. This canal, which is bordered by a double row of large spot is also identified with one of the most painful trees. It was constructed in 1773, in the reign of and tragic reminiscences connected with the history Maria Theresa, and forms a perfect octagon, in the of Ghent. centre of which is a spacious court, communicating It is celebrated as being the scene of an with the different quadrangles of the establish- internecine conflict, in which fifteen hundred citiment. Each quadrangle or ward has a yard, and zens were slain by fellow-citizens. The weavers in the centre of that belonging to the female ward and fullers constituted the two factions, and the is a large basin of water, in which the female former were led on and headed by Jacques Van prisoners wash the linen of the whole establish- Artavelde, called the Brewer of Ghent, in the corment. Each prisoner sleeps alone in a small but poration of which body he enrolled himself, though well-aired room, and is employed during the day descended from one of the first families in Flanders. in working at whatever trade or business he or The day, to mark the sanguinary and disgraceful she is most competent to do. Of the produce of work, was called Evil Monday, in the annals of this labour, five-tenths are retained by government the town. On that spot, and on that day forty when the prisoners are merely detained correc- years after, Philip, the son of that Jacques, was tjonally; six-tenths when they have been sentenced saluted Protector of Ghent, and received the oath of fidelity from his townsmen on the occasion of Portes de la Ville, or City Gates. There are seven his being called upon to lead them against Louis principal Gates, the most remarkable of which are de Mâle. In the Marché au Vendredi also were those of Brussels, St. Lievin, St. Peter, and Bruges, lighted the fires of the Inquisition, under the all of which present curious relics of the ancient Duke of Alva. The great cannon, situated in a gates erected in the 14th century. The greater street called the "Mannekens Aert," close to the number of these gates have been re-constructed. Marché, is called Die dulle Griete, alias Mad Mar- Casino.--Situated near the canal (cut in 1750, to gery, and is one of the most enormous ever made, unite the Lys and Bruges canal together), and nieasuring 10 feet in length and 10 feet in circumfer- built for the Botanical Society and the Musical ence. It is made of hammered iron, and was used in Society of St. Cécily. 1382 at the siege of Oudenarde, by the citizens of Citadel.-Was erected by Charles V., and was Ghent. An interesting monument of antiquity the first thing of the kind raised in Belgium. It stands in the Place St. Pharailde, near the Marché was called “Château des Espagnols," and is aux Poissons. It consists of an old turreted gate- | situated on the east side of the town, not far from way, called the Oudeburg, or the count's fort or the Porte d'Anvers. In it were imprisoned the castle, built in 868, by Baldwin Bras de Fer. It is Counts Egmont and Hoorn; and it was besieged in incorporated with a cotton factory now, and de- 1570 by the townspeople, under the Prince of serves a visit, as one of the oldest buildings in Orange, when they rose to throw off the Spanish Belgium. In the year 1338, Edward III. and his yoke. The Spaniards vigorously defended it, but family resided here. During his residence his 3,000 Gantoises, wearing white shirts to distinguish queen gave birth to her son, John of Gaunt (Ghent). them, assaulted it, and were repulsed, in conseAn intimate and friendly alliance existed for years quence of the ladders being too short. The Spaniards between the English and people of Ghent.

capitulated next morning, after the attack, and, It may not be uninteresting to mention the fate of terms being granted, the Senora Mondragon, who Jacques Van Artevelde, the brewer, whom Edward had bravely defended the fortress during her husIII. of England used to style "his dear gossip."

band's absence, with about 150 men, some women, He was a faithful friend and ally to this king, and and a few children, the sole remnant of the garrilost his life, it may be said, in his service.


son, marched out, to the surprise of the victors. invited Edward III. over to Sluis, in 1344, with a Hospitals.-Ghent possesses 21 hospitals, civil view of taking council for the promotion of the and military. The principal of these is the Byloque, promise made to the king by Jacques, to the effect founded in 1225, and capable of containing 600 that he would make him “Lord and heritor of sick. In the church attached to it, Jacques Van Flanders," a thing altogether opposed to the wishes Artavelde was buried. The Military hospital is of the Gantoises. Public indignation was excited situated near the church of St. Martin. against him, and was further increased by a rumour Theatre.-A magnificent theatre has been lately to the effect that he had, during his administration erected at the corner of the Place d'Armes. The of the government of Flanders, stealthily sent large salon, concert hall, and ball-rooms are beautiful in sums of money out of the exchequer to England,

their construction and decoration. It was erected which so exasperated the people as to cause them

at a cost of £100,000. to enter into a revolt against him, assault his Louis XVIII. waited here by the Duke of Wel. house, which was attacked by a mob of 400 per- lington's advice before Waterloo, “that he might be sons, and broken into, when a citizen, named ready to go to England or Paris;" and here RothThomas 0. Dennys, slew him without mercy. schild, by watching at theking's door, got news ofthe Thus perished the man by the hands of those citi- victory, posted to London, and made a great sum. zens whom he once influenced, led, and governed.

The commerce and manufactures of Ghent are His Statue was set up in the Square, 1863, on the very extensive and various; the most important site of one of Charles V., which stood here till 1796. of the latter consist of cotton weaving, bleaching, A statue of Van Eyck (1878) stands in the Kauter and printing, cotton spinning, lace making, Square, where he lived and died.

cloth working, gin distilling, sugar refining, swap

[ocr errors]

making, brewing, goldsmiths' work, paper waking, the Escaut, on whose surface can be seen the and numerous other branches of industry, par- boats as they sail up and down the river. ticularly the making of masks, of which large Wetteren (Station). A charming village, or quantities are exported all over the world. There rather town, the capital of a canton, situated to is also a superb iron foundry and engine manu- the right of the railway, on the right bank of the factory, called the Phønix, founded 1821 by M. Escaut. It contains a population of about 9,000 Huytens Kerremans, in Ghent. Every day, in the souls. At this point the direct line to Brussels morning, at noon, and in the evening, a bell rings, diverges to the right, forming a communication with to announce to the workmen, who amount in Alost (Station)-Hotels: De Flandre, opposite number to 1,500 and upwards, the hour of going to Station; des Trois Rois. On the river Dendre, the work. While this bell is ringing, none of the chief town of the district of East Flanders, said to bridges are allowed to be turned, lest they should owe its origin to a fortress built by the Goths in 411. intercept the passage of the industrious artizans. It was formerly the capital of what was call

The environs of Ghent are pleasant and fertile, Imperial Flanders, and was reduced to ashes by abounding particularly in corni, flax, madder, and conflagration in 1360; in 1667 the celebrated Martobacco. Outside the Porte de Courtrai are numer- shal Turenne took and dismantled it. The old ous country houses, and the road is bordered with

Town Hall, a fine Gothic editice, built in 1210, was pleasure gardens. Near the Porte d'Anvers are unfortunately burnt in 1879. The collegiate Church still to be traced the ruins of the citadel constructed of St. Martin was built by the same architect as the by Charles V., as above mentioned, on the site of cathedral of Amiens, and contains a fine picture the abbey of St. Bavon; and in the neighbourhood by Rubens, representing the “Plague of Alost.” of the gate of St. Lievin is found a transparent The population is about 21,630, chiefly engaged in stone, resembling the flint of Fleuris.

linen, soap, and thread-lace manufactures. From The fairs held at Ghent commence on the 16th here a branch goes off to Antwerp, viá Opwyck March, and continue for eighteen days; 10th July, (Station), on the Assche and Termonde line; seventeen days; 9th August, one day; and 3rd Londerzeel (Station), on the line from Ghent October, two days.

to Malines; Boom (Station), page 31; and A communication between the sea and Ghent Hoboken (Station). exists by means of a canal, which enters the Leaving Wetteren, the road crosses a viaduct, Schelde at Terneuse. This ensures all the ad- and passing along, has to the left the little villages vantages of a seaport to the city. Vessels drawing of Cherscamp and Schelle-Belle, and arrives at eighteen feet of water can enter the basin. About Wichelen, after passing the Molenbeek, a stream fourteen miles north, at Sas van Ghent, are sluices, flowing into the Escaut. by means of which the entire country can be laid Wichelen (Station). A small commune to the under water.

right of the railway, with a population of 4,000 GHENT TO ANTWERP, see Route 10. Six other inhabitants. This station is the point-d'arrét for lines run to Selzaete, Hecloo, Bruges, and Ostend; each train. On quitting this place, the railway Thourout, Oudenarde, Malines, &c.

proceeds through a rather uninteresting piece of Ghent to Mechlin and Brussels. country, and arrives at Leaving Ghent, the railway after crossing the Termonde (Station), or Dendermonde. Scheldt is carried along the south side of it. The Inns: Aigle; dela Demi-Lune. Population, 8,640. scenery is interesting, and such as usually char- An ancient town, said to be earlier than the acterises the environs of a great and populous time of Charlemagne. It is situated at the mouth city, until we arrive at

of the river Dendre, at its confluence with the Melle (Station), on the Escaut. Containing Scheldt. The inhabitants have a taste for the fine a population of 1,900. The routes from Brussels to arts, and the traveller may readily obtain access Ghent, and from Ghent to Mons by Grammont to several private collections, among which we here join. From this station to Wetteren the line may name those of M. Schellekin and Madame describes an immense curve, following the bend of Terlinden. David Teniers married in this town, and resided for several years. The population are produced at once, instead of being worked is chiefly engaged in the hemp and fax trade. gradually by the hand; and hence it is stronger It is 16 miles by railway west of Malines and 19 than the Brussels lace, though inferior to it in from Ghent. The church of Notre Dame will delieacy of workmanship. repay a visit. It is a low, old building, sur- The principal building of Mechlin is the Cathemounted by an octagon tower, and contains a dral, which is the metropolitan church of Belgium. Crucifixion and Adoration of the Shepherds, by It is dedicated to St. Rumbold, who was assassinVan Dyck, and a Virgin and Saints, by Crayer. ated by the Pagans, in 755, in the chapel of St. A rail from Lokeren comes in here.

Stephen, which stood near the site of the present From Termonde, a line of 91 miles goes off, via

edifice. The cathedral was commenced in the Grembergen and Hamme, to St. Nicholas latter part of the twelfth century, but was not (page 58). From Baesrode (Station) near this, finished until the year 1513. The choir is of 1366; a branch rail goes to St. Amand (Station), 54 the great nave of 1487. The tower was begun miles, and Puers (Station), 94 miles, down the 1452; and the round Tower which surmounts the Schelde.

building, is almost entirely composed of buttresses, Malderen (Station). A commune containing which give it, when seen from a distance, the 1,700 inhabitants, situated at the extremity of the appearance of a fragment of a colossal fluted column. province of Brabant.

It was built with the funds supplied by the Capelle-au-Bois (station). A little village of offerings of the pilgrims, who came in crowds to no importance. Leaving at short distance from Mechlin, to share the advantages of the jubilee here the province of Brabant, we enter at Hombeck and general indulgence proclaimed by Pope Nicthe province of Antwerp. Passing the ruins of the holas V., on the occasion of the war in the East, famous valley of Seliendael, we arrive at

which however terminated the very next year in MECHLIN (Station)-French, Malines; Ger- the annihilation of the Eastern Empire, and the man, Mecheln; Flemish, Mechelen.

occupation of Constantinople by the Turks, under The Malines station is about five minutes' walk Mahomed. It was from this jubilee that the town from the town, which is one of the most pictur- acquired the name of “Malines l'heureuse," as it esque Flemish cities. An obelisk is here erected has since, from its great cleanliness, been named to mark the point where the various Belgic lines “Malines la propre," but it is now often called of railway diverge to Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp,

"la tranquille," as the grass grows in its streets. Liége. A line to Terneusen (p. 25) was opened 1871.

This tower, 350 feet high, has a clock face 144 Population (1882), 43,355.

feet in circumference. The view from the summit Hotel: Hotel de la Grue; de la Grande Cigogne;

over the surrounding country is extensive, comBuffet.

prising the towns of Antwerp, Brussels, and Mechlin is a large town in the province of

Louvain. It was originally intended to surAntwerp, divided by the Dyle into two parts. It mount the tower by a vane of copper gilt, which is equidistant from Brussels, Antwerp, and Louvain. would have increased the height nearly one-third

The streets are broad, and bordered in many but the project has never been put into execution, places by good buildings.

and the tower remains unfinished. The alarm The river Dyle passes through the town, and occasioned by the reflection of the moon on this has an ebb and flow of tide for more than a league tower, which gives it the appearance of being on fire, beyond Mechlin, in the direction of Louvain. was the origin of the proverb of the wise men of

This town dates its origin as far back as the fifth Mechlin, who try to extinguish the moon; the century, and was long a subject of contention bare mention of which, to an inhabitant of the between the lords of Brabant and Flanders.

town, would even now excite an irritation not The Lace produced at Mechlin is considered easily to be appeased. The interior of the cathesecond only to that of Brussels, from which it dral presents nothing worthy of notice except the differs principally in being made in a single piece, altar-piece, which is by Van Dyck; its subject is by means of bobbins, by which the entire patterns the Crucifixion. It has also paintings of Crayer, Janssens, and others. The exterior grand-front is The church of St. Catharine is chiefly remarkornamented with several statues, amongst them able on account of its paintings, some of which are Faith, Hope, Charity, and the Apostles. Its are good, including an Adoration, by Morille, held carillons or Bells, which are noted, were constructed in high estimation by Rubens. by Van der Gheyn, an artist of the eighteenth The streets of Mechlin are wide and handsome, century, author of "Morceaux Fugués."

particularly that called Den Bruhl, in which is In the church of Notre Dame, behind the grand

the splendid Hotel belonging to the Commander altar, is the Miraculous Draught of Fishes, painted

of Pitzembourg, of the Teutonic order. It was by Rubens, expressly for the Guild of Fishmongers,

inhabited both by Louis XIV. and Louis XV.. and considered one of his finest productions. In

The magnificent garden is now open to the public. the same church are also a few fine pictures by

Near the Antwerp Gate is a small convent of Van Dyck. The traveller must take care not to Béguines, which deserves attention. In the chapel confound this church with that called Notre Dame are some pictures worthy of notice. d'Hanswyck, which is remarkable for its beautiful Near the Town Hall (of the fifteenth century) is cupola, and also for its carved pulpit, representing the statue of the Regent Margaret of Austria. the temptation and fall of Adam and Eve. This Mechlin also possesses a college, a public semichurch owes its origin to a miraculous image of nary, the catholic University, as well as some the Virgin, which floated in a boat against the societies for the cultivation of literature and the stream, until it arrived at the spot where the fine arts. The principal articles manufactured church now stands, when it approached the bank here, in addition to the lace which has been before and remained firm; on which a sacred edifice to mentioned, are leather, jewellery, all kinds of enshrine the image was immediately built; and, woollen and cotton stuffs, hats, combs, pins, oil of according to the story, the image repaid the devo- colza, and flax. There are also tan yards, dyeingtion of the inhabitants by performing numerous houses, salt refineries, and factories for all kinds and stupendous miracles, which soon attracted pil- of work in copper and tin. John Bol, one of the grims and offerings, sufficient to repay the expense earliest miniature painters, and Michael Coxcie, to which they had put themselves. This purpose an historical painter and pupil of Raphael, and being answered, the image does not appear to have Frans Hals, were natives of this town. The continued to exert its miraculous powers, for tradi- boulevards replacing the ancient ramparts are tion relates that it was destroyed by sacrilegious the general rendezvous of the townspeople. There hands, when the town was pillaged, as above are two Fairs of fifteen days each, commencing the mentioned. The church formerly belonging to the first Sunday after the 1st day of July, and the Jesuits, and still bearing their name, deserves second on the 1st of October, for all kinds of merattention for its handsome Gothic front, and also chandise; and on the Saint Saturday in October for a series of paintings, forming a history of St. is a well-frequented horse and cattle fair. Francis Xavier, the Indian Missionary. In the

On leaving this station for Brussels the rail church of St. John are four fine paintings, by

crosses the Louvain Canal. On the east of the Rubens, representing the Adoration of the Magi,

road between Malines and Vilvorde is seen the the Birth of Christ, the Descent from the Cross,

chateau of Rubens, at Stein, of which he was proand the Resurrection. In the vestry is shown

prietor. Rubens' receipt for 1,800 florins, paid him for the

Vilvorde (Station). A small, healthy town, of work. This church has also some fine wood

5,200 inhabitants, situated between Malines and sculpture, by Verhaegen, and a good pulpit, with

Brussels. It is one of the most ancient in Belgium, a remarkable group by the sculptor, Duquesnoy.

and is much visited by philanthropists desirous of The church of the Beguinage has some good inspecting the great prison or Penitentiary, built paintings by Von Loon, Crayer, Quellyn, Soyer- in the suburbs of the town. The Church of Vilmans, &c., and a splendid ivory crucifix said to be vorde contains some exquisite carvings in wood. the work of Duquesnoy.

In this town, Tindal, the first English translator

« PreviousContinue »