An Afternoon in Aalst

By Ruben

BELGIUM – A town of about 85,000 inhabitants most know for its carnival, Aalst is not quite one of the major towns in Belgium. Situated roughly half way between Brussels and Ghent, it is also not a place many people (inside or outside Belgium) consider visiting, drawn as they are to those bigger and much more impressive cities. But being the belgophiles that we are, my dad and I thought that we’d give it a try, and it turned out to be nice enough.

I will start with some pictures of the station, even though we arrived by car, picking someone up on the way who told us that not much ever happened in Aalst.

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5. The church of Saint Josef, which was completed in 1908, seem from the station

Aalst is a town with a long history, as you can see on the town’s main square, Grote Markt. Though parts of it are older, the current sandstone town hall dates back to the 15th century. Its belfort (tower) is listed as UNESCO world heritage together with another 56 of its kind throughout Belgium and northern France.

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8. A strange old house near the main square

9. Another of Aalst’s many churches (this one currently houses the town museum)

The center of Aalst is not very big, and we walked several circles through it, the weather

10. The Dender river near the station

11. Looking the other way, the sky’s already starting to clear

12. A relatively new building on the street from the station to the main square

13. Another new building, this one housing the town’s administrative offices

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The Church of Saint Martin, which was built between 1480 and 1660:

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The church housing the town museum again:

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22. A street behind the museum

23. Back by the Dender near the station

24. A renovated industrial building

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26. A last view of the church of Saint Josef

My favourite things in Aalst is its station, which was completed in 1856. So I will leave you with two pictures I took of it with the best light of that particular day:

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This entry was posted in Aalst, Belgium, East Flanders

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