"Diksmuide, built from rubble" Diksmuide by tompt

Diksmuide Travel Guide: 31 reviews and 133 photos

During the first world war the river IJzer was a frontline for 4 years. (1914-1918) The city of Diksmuide, along the banks of the river IJzer, was reduced to rubble. In the years after the war they rebuilt the city brick by brick. And today Diksmuide looks like the old city it once was.

The marketsquare is a good example of the new 'old' Diksmuide. Prominent building on the marketsquare is the cityhall. Altough a simulair building stood here since 1428, this one is built in 1923 by J.Viérin.
The marketsquare was built in the 13th century when the fishmarket from the 11th century became to small. This market is the buttermarket, since the 13th century butter and cheese were the main products sold here. The books tell us that in 1582 as much as 8936 large barrels of butter were sold here. In 1928 the Butterhalls were rebuilt, but today there is only the yearly butter and cheeseday at whitmonday.
At the marketsquare you will also find a statue of the man in the moon. This is a symbol of the flemmish humor. Each year a booklet with westflemish annecdotes is published by the man in the moon society.

The Beguinage dates back to the 13th century. It is said to have a famous history. According to legend it might have been the hiding place of Thomas Becket, the archbishop of Canterbury. The archbishop was on the run from King Henri II.
The beguines lived a life of praying and making linen, cloth and lace, caring for animals and even brewing beer to earn money. The last beguines left in 1914 when the war began. The beguinage was destroyed and although it was rebuilt after the war ended in 1918 the beguines never returned.
The beguinages still remains its social role first as a resthome and today it houses mentally handicapped.

More info:
- http://www.diksmuide.be/, the website of the city, in dutch only.
- http://www.greatwar.be, about the first World War.

  • Last visit to Diksmuide: Aug 2006
  • Intro Updated Aug 10, 2006
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