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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Town in ashes

Exactly one hundred years ago, our town (Dendermonde) was occupied by the German army and consequently burned to the ground.

All the historical buildings, like the Lakenhalle (used to be the meeting grounds for the guild of weavers and wool traders), the Court of Law, the houses in the town center,... were reduced to ashes and lots of casulties were counted.

These tragic events were remembered yesterday and today, by an evocation under the guidance of Stijn Kolacny (who is also the conductor of the well-known choir Scala). Lots of volunteers, actors, dancers and the Scala choir rendered this evocation of one of the worst times in the our town's history.

Dendermonde is a 'Martyr Town', along with other towns in Belgium. A town where playing children were surprised by the German army and a little girl was hit by a stray bullet.  A place where many were made homeless.

Today the town looks like it did during ages past, in it's full glory. The Town Hall and all the other buildings were restored to their once appearance and when you see them now you won't know they are not the real stuff. (Well, a bit like Prague.)

It is a town worth visiting, if you have the chance to come to Belgium in the future. If you contact the visitor information of the town, you'll certainly see why.

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