The Zwalmstrek in the Flemish Ardennes is an attractive stretch of land to the east of Oudenaarde characterized by the valley of the little river Zwalm, a tributary of the Scheldt. There are excellent opportunities for walking in the area, a number of water-mills and neat little villages such as Brakel, Horebeke and Kortsele, the so-called "Geuzenecke".
On the extreme eastern edge of the Zwalmstrek lies Zottegem where Lamoraal, Count of Egmont is buried in the former estate of his family. His tomb and that of his wife Sabina of Beierens can be seen in the crypt of the church. Egmont's castle lies in a park with fine trees; in its present form it dates predominantly from the 19th C. The local museum has mementos of the duke.
Parade of Giants
This annual parade includes giants from Belgium as well as the rest of the world. Bands and dance troupes accompany the stilted giants through the streets of the town.
There is a château in the suburb of Grotenberge in which a folk art and folklore museum is housed.
Leeuwergem, 3km/2miles to the north of Zottegem, also has a castle. It was built in place of a moated castle of 1724 and is surrounded by a park laid out by Le Nôtre.A landscaped park with an obelisk and island tomb is found on the estate. It is the green theater that the garden is most known for though.
The Romans settled near Velzeke, 4km/2.5miles north of Zottegem. The Archaeological Museum has numerous finds of this and other epochs.