Visiting Sint-Truiden, Belgium: the town with memorable twin towers

Flag of Belgium
Flag of Belgium | Source
Sint Truiden belfry, Limburg province, Belgium
Sint Truiden belfry, Limburg province, Belgium | Source
Map location of Sint Truiden, Flanders, Belgium
Map location of Sint Truiden, Flanders, Belgium | Source

Architectural verticality

The twin towers of Sint-Truiden, Belgium, are on separate buildings: the belfry of the Town Hall (Dutch: Stadhuis) and the tower of the church known as the Lievenvrouwenkerk . Given their proximity and their striking height, they together form an inescapable memory of the Downtown area's skyline.

Indeed, belfries have long been regarded as symbols of Flanders, which, already in the Middle Ages, was a prosperous part of Europe — to which its many, well preserved, ancient civic buildings testify.

The upper part of the 35 metre belfry of the Town Hall (Dutch: Stadhuis ) dates from the 17th century; the lower part from the 13th century, from when also the building originates. The Town Hall structure includes gables from the 17th and 18th centuries.

The Town Hall's belfy has a carillon which consists of 41 bells.

The Lievenvrouwenkerk dates from the 15th century (its Neo-Gothic tower was built in the 19th century) and at a distance, from some angles, at least, the church and Town Hall complex almost look as if they are joined.

These two towers featured in 1975 on a Belgian postage stamp which depicted the Grote Markt (Market Square) at Sint-Truiden.

The town of Sint-Truiden was fortified in the Middle Ages, but its town walls were demolished in the 17th century.

A note on the name of the town: Readers familiar with older maps maybe have been accustomed to seeing Sint-Truiden called by another name: Saint-Trond. This latter spelling is the French name of the town. However, because Belgium has been divided up officially into its linguistic areas and Sint-Truiden is in Dutch-speaking Limburg province (1), the form Saint-Trond is usually found only in French-language or bilingual publications.

Sint-Truiden is located in the south of the Limburg province of Belgium's Flemish regions (Dutch: Vlaams gewest).

October 30, 2012

Note

(1) Interestingly, The Netherlands also has a province called Limburg, adjacent to the Belgian province of the same name.

Also worth seeing

In Sint-Truiden itself, other visitor attractions include further ancient churches and the begijnhof (béguinage), some of which dates from the 13th century.

Tongeren (distance: 22 kilometres); the oldest city in Belgium, its Basilica church has a conspicuous Medieval tower; some of the city walls remain.

...

How to get there: Brussels Airlines flies from New York (JFK) to Brussels Airport, where car hire is available (distance from Brussels Airport to Sint Truiden : 60 kilometres). The Belgian railroad company NMBS/SNCB maintains a service from Brussels to Sint Truiden . Some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. You are advised refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

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