After our ride on the Wandelbus, we make our way on foot to the Prinsenhof.
The Prinzenhof was built in the 14th century as a home for an Italian financier and politician. Later it was transformed into the residence of the Counts of Flanders. At that time, the core of the complex was called Hof ten Walle.
Maximilian the Habsburg celebrated his wedding here with Mary of Burgundy in 1477. But already in 1482, Maria died in a hunting accident. Maximilian was bound in many wars and could not enforce his guardianship for his son Philipp against the Dutch estates and France. It was not until 1493 that he succeeded. De facto Philipp and his sister Margarete were held hostage in Ghent. On February 24, 1500, the son of Philip, the grandson of Emperor Maximilian I, the future Emperor Charles V, was born here.
The relationship between the Habsburgs and the inhabitants of Flanders has always been ambivalent. Maximilian I was arrested during a visit to Bruges in 1488 and was only released after months when his father marched up with troops. In a countermove, one executed several ringleaders in Bruges.
Later, the city of Gent refused to support Charles V in the war against France, although Bruges built a sophisticated fireplace in honor of Charles V in 1530 to liberate it from French rule.
Charles V returned the favor with the execution of 18 ringleaders. Seventeen were executed by beheading in 1540, and one burned in 1545. This incident became commonly known because Ghent lost many of its most important rights. Many citizens had to kneel with a rope around their neck in front of the emperor.
A stroll to the Prinsenhof
First, we follow the route of the Wandelbuses in reverse direction and reach the Vrijdagmarkt, the Friday market. The traders are already busy dismantling their stands. Although it is called Friday Market, we made the video on a Saturday!
In the middle of the square is the statue of Jacob van Artevelde, built-in 1832. He was the leader of a Ghent uprising against Count Ludwig I of Flanders to undo the boycott of English wool imports. During the riots of 1345, one murdered him.
At the southeast corner of the square stands Het Toreken, the oldest house on the square. It was the guild house of dermatologists until 1549 when Emperor Charles ended the power of the guilds.
Today it serves as a library. Numerous executions were also carried out at the Vrijdagmarkt.
A few steps further, we come to the biggest cast-iron cannon of that time, the 12.5 t heavy so-called Dull Griet, which means evil woman. The cannon was built in the first half of the 15th century and used at the siege of Oudenaarde.
After crossing the Leie, we see two buildings with magnificent baroque facades, Het huis Zeven werken van barmhartigheid (House Seven Works of Mercy) and Het huis De fluitspeler (House of Flute Players).
We stroll through some streets with medieval walls. Suddenly we are facing beautiful street art. The rabbits are made by the famous artist Roa, whose street art “the jumping wolf” we saw already in Rome.
Not far away we find another piece of street art, created by the famous artist Cee Pil. It shows an oversize bear.
Afterward, we reach Hof ten Walle. Only a statue commemorates the birthplace of Charles V, the most powerful emperor in Europe.
The statue was a donation by the city of Toledo in Spain. Charles V probably spent his happiest time in Spain. After his wedding with Isabella of Portugal in Seville, they spent half a year in the Alhambra in Granada.
Furthermore, we only see residential buildings and Donkere Poort.
The area of the Prinsenhof extends from Rabot, a lock with two flanking towers of the old city wall, along the Lieve Canal, to Grafenstein Castle.
The “Bridge of Imperial Pleasures” with its imposing figures leads to the Prinsenhof community center, Buurthuis Prinsenhof. On the opposite side of the canal is the St-Vincent Culture Chapel, which one can also rent for events.
In front of the Augustijnenklooster, we turn into Lievekaai and come again to Gravensteen Castle. From here, we have the most magnificent view of this mighty castle.
The restaurant De Gekroonde Hoofden is located in the Burgstraat corner of Gewad. Already the facade of 1560 is worth seeing. It shows the busts of the Flemish counts between the 12th and 16th centuries.
The most famous face is one of Emperor Charles V. You see it above the entrance portal.
The specialty of the house is Spare-ribs à Volonte, meaning that you can eat as many spare ribs as you like at a flat rate. You can choose between different marinades. The spare-ribs are served together with salad, bread, and potatoes.
As soon as you have eaten the first ones, the waitress comes with supplies. So you can try different variations. They taste excellent.
However, you should make a reservation at least one day in advance.
Please read on > Walking from the Train Station to the Center
Soundtrack in video:
Where you are now by Hans Atom (c) copyright 2013
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/hansatom/42021 Ft: Wolf
Text, photos and video: Copyright © myVideoMedia
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