ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting the Church of St. Martin, Kortrijk, Belgium: splendid Brabantine Gothic structure, built between 1396 and 1466

Updated on March 27, 2018
Flag of Belgium
Flag of Belgium | Source
St Martin's church, Kortrijk
St Martin's church, Kortrijk | Source
he central square of Kortrijk, Belgium with St Martin's church in the background
he central square of Kortrijk, Belgium with St Martin's church in the background | Source
Map location of Kortrijk, West Flanders Belgium
Map location of Kortrijk, West Flanders Belgium | Source

With a still dominating 83-metre tower

Kortrijk (1) is in the West Flanders (Dutch: West-Vlaanderen ) province, in the Flemish region (Dutch: Vlaams gewest ) of Belgium.

Some history and features

Work on the existing Church of St. Martin (Dutch: Sint-Maartenkerk ) commenced in 1396 and was completed in 1466. A major feature of the structure is its tower, the style of which is Brabantine Gothic (Dutch: Brabantse gotiek ), of which it is a splendid example. Since late Medieval times, the tower thus continues to dominate the town's skyline.

The wooden spire, with its bulbous shapes (2) and four additional turrets, dates from 1601, which brings the tower's height to 83 metres. Destroyed by a serious fire in 1862, it was subsequently repaired to its former specifications.

The interior of the church is characterized by the presence of ancient, ornate monuments, some of them dating from the 15th and 16th centuries. The layout of the building is in the shape of a hall church, which its nave complemented by adjacent aisles; this design was particularly common in Medieval Flanders. The organ dates from 1888.

Interestingly, this Medieval church building was preceded by another church building — apparently in Romanesque style — which dated from the year 650. It is remarkable to reflect that as much time had elapsed in the history of the first edifice when the existing building came into being as has occurred subsequently. The enormous time span encapsulated by many of Flanders' church buildings is indeed a remarkable characteristic.

July 14, 2012


(1) Readers from English-speaking countries may actually be familiar with the name of this town as it occurs in French: Courtrai . The French spelling of the town's name has tended to occur in historical accounts of World War One; I have used the Dutch spelling.

(2) I am reminded of similar shaped church towers at the Collegiate church of Dinant, Belgium and of the church at Solre-le-Château, northern France.

Also worth seeing

In Kortrijk itself, visitor attractions include the Béguinage (Dutch: Begijnhof ), and the Town Hall (Dutch: Stadhuis ), with its impressive frontage.

Halluin , France (distance: 16 kilometres) has the fine, neo-Gothic St.-Hilaire church; the town has a riverfront on the Lys River (French: Lys ; Dutch: Leie ) shared with Menen , Belgium, which has an interesting town hall with an octagonal tower.


How to get there: Brussels has the nearest large international airport to Kortrijk . Brussels Airlines flies from New York to Brussels Airport (Brussel Nationaal / Bruxelles-National ), from where car rental is available. The Belgian railroad company NMBS / SNCB maintains a service between Brussels and Kortrijk . Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. You are advised to 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.

For your visit, these items may be of interest


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)