Aalst in Flanders

Thursday, 25 February 2021 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Aalst City Hall © EmDee/cc-by-sa-4.0

Aalst City Hall © EmDee/cc-by-sa-4.0

Aalst is a city and municipality on the Dender River, 31 kilometres (19 mi) northwest from Brussels in the Flemish province of East Flanders. The municipality comprises the city of Aalst itself and the villages of Baardegem, Erembodegem, Gijzegem, Herdersem, Hofstade, Meldert, Moorsel and Nieuwerkerken. Aalst is crossed by the Molenbeek-Ter Erpenbeek in Aalst and Hofstade. The town has a long-standing (folkloric) feud with Dendermonde (north along the river), which dates from the Middle Ages.

The textile industry is still vibrant in Aalst, in part because of the French occupation. Aalst produces not only the textiles themselves, clothing and footwear, but manufactures many of the needed machines. The more rural regions are noted for their production of hops, which are sold to the old breweries there. They also have a large active cut flower business in the region.

Terlinden Castle © Benoit Brummer/cc-by-sa-4.0 Aalst belfry © Willemdd/cc-by-sa-3.0 Aalst City Hall © EmDee/cc-by-sa-4.0 Carnaval of Aalst 2010 © Wikisid/cc-by-3.0 © Herman.vandenbroeck/cc-by-sa-4.0 Grote Markt (Large Market Square) © Qwertzu111111/cc-by-sa-4.0 Sint Martinus Church © IDD5000/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Grote Markt (Large Market Square) © Qwertzu111111/cc-by-sa-4.0
Among the sites of interest are:

Aalst is known for its carnival festivities, celebrated every year before Lent. During this celebration, the former town hall belfry is the site of the traditional “throwing of the onions”. A Prince Carnival is elected, who is allowed to “rule” the city for three days. A big parade crosses the city on Sunday, with about 70 groups of costumed volunteers and parade cars. Carnival Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday (by tradition, the day before Ash Wednesday), is known as the day of the ‘Voil Jeannetten’ (literally: “the Dirty Jennies”), i.e., men dressed as women. The festivities traditionally end with the “Burning of the Doll”, happening on Tuesday evening. After controversies about the handling of islamophobic and antisemitic depictions on carnival floats, the city has requested that the carnival entry be deleted from the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, which happened in December 2019.

Read more on Aalst, Aalst Carneval, Belfries of Belgium and France, Wikivoyage Aalst and Wikipedia Aalst (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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