Nestling quietly at the foot of the Flemish Ardennes and some 10 kilometres from the nearest motorway is the home to the headquarters of the Alvey Group, the peaceful historic town of Oudenaarde. Rich in its splendid history the town displays an industrial heritage through its architecture and indeed offers some very special treats to the visitor who has ventured to enjoy this pleasant idyll. With Gent only 25 kilometres away and Bruges an accessible 65 km, this market town offers a delightful stop over to take in the sights of an off-the-beaten-track authentic market town on the edge of Flanders.
While the river Schelde divides the two halves of the town, the crowning glory of Oudenaarde has to be the magnificent late-Gothic Town Hall, dominating the main square with its perfectly symmetrical facade. The town hall, which currently houses a collection of famous “Oudenaarde tapestries” replaced the Roman aldermen’s house after its destruction and was built between 1525 and 1536 by the Brussels architect Hendrik Van Pede. During the 19th and 20th centuries to bring it back to its former glory the building was fully restored, gaining UNESCO patrimony. At the rear of the hall you will find the MOU (Museum of Oudenaarde and the Flemish Ardennes) where you can enjoy much of the regions history.
The square offers many boutiques and cafes, with Thursday hosting the busy weekly market. For those interested in cycling, the Tour Of Flanders museum on the edge of the square gives a multimedia guide to the event which culminates in Oudenaarde annually to the great delight of crowds of enthusiasts and spectators. And with a unique selection of speciality brown and fruity beers, what better way to wind down than and enjoy a refreshing Belgian tipple with your dinner.
For Oudenaarde restaurant and hotel De Rantere a good hotel for a reasonable price and probably the best food in the region if you forget for a moment nearby Hof Van Cleve which is better but where you will pay 5 times more.