Oudenaarde is a Belgian municipality in the Flemish province ofEast Flanders.

The Flamboyant Gothic-style Town Hall and its Belfry were designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1999. The city hall houses a unique collection of Oudenaarde tapestries.
The Town Hall of Oudenaarde, Belgium was built by architect Hendrik van Pede in 1526-1537 to replace the medieval Schepenhuis (Aldermen's House) that occupied the same site. Another older structure, the 14th-century Cloth Hall, was retained and now forms a sort of extension at the back of the Town Hall proper.

The Oudenaarde Town Hall was a late flowering of secular Brabantine Gothic architecture, carrying on the stylistic tradition of the town halls at Leuven, Brussels, and Middelburg. Above the ground-story arcade with vaultedceiling, the building displays typical features of its regional forerunners: a richly decorated facade with pointed-arch windows separated by canopied niches, and a steep, dormered roof surrounded by an openwork parapet. The niches, although designed to contain statues, stand empty.Atop the central belfry tower of six stories with three terraces, a stone crown supports a gilded brass figure ofHanske de Krijger (Hans the Warrior), mythical guardian of the city. The crown on the tower and the double-headed eagles over the attic windows pay homage to a famous visitor to Oudenaarde, Emperor Charles V, who fatheredMargaret of Parma here a few years before construction of the Town Hall began.
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Categories & Keywords
Category:Travel and Places
Subcategory:Europe
Subcategory Detail:Belgium
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