Grote Markt, Sint-Truiden
In the center of the town lies the Grote Markt, after Sint-Niklaas, the largest in Belgium.
Grote Markt Map
In the middle of the Grote Markt stands the Classical 18th C. Stadhuis (town hall). It was built on to the belfry (lower part 12th C.) which had been erected in 1606 which rises above a side gable. The tower, in front of which is a platform dating from 1596, houses a fine carillon of 41 bells.The tower is a UNESCO site.
Near the Town Hall can be found the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwkerk, the choir of which dates from the 14th C. The nave of the church was completed in the 15th C. but the tower was only erected in 1847. The most valuable treasures are a "Last Judgment" by van den Eenheu and the reliquary shrine of St Trudo.
North of the Grote Markt are the buildings of the abbey founded in the seventh C. by St Trudo. It was one of the largest monastic complexes in the Netherlands - the church alone was over 100m/328ft long and 24m/79ft wide - but during the French occupation almost everything was destroyed. The building to be seen today dates mainly from the 18th C.; notable are the archway and the Keizersaal on the left side of the courtyard which has fresco decoration.
One part of the Sint-Truiden Abbey serves as the Hoevemuseum where rural implements and machines can be seen.
North of the abbey is the Begijnhof (béguinage), founded in 1258, the cottages of which are grouped around a rectangular open space.
The Festraetsstudio opposite the begijnhof should be visited. It contains an astronomical clock assembled by Kamiel Festraets (1904-1974) from over 20,000 individual parts. It is 6m/20ft high and the largest of its kind in the world. Also to be seen are other exceptionally fine examples of mechanical apparatus.
Not far west of the market place stands Sint-Maartenkerk, the tower (1550) of which is one of the jewels of early Renaissance architecture. The nave was constructed in the 19th C. in neo-Romanesque style.
Opposite the Ursulinenklooster is the Minderbroederkerk built in 1731, the interior of which is impressive because of its size (100m/328ft long, 16m/52.5ft wide and 26m/85ft high).
Sint Pieterskerk (12th C.) in the south of the old town is notable for its Romanesque architecture without any ribs.
The Brustempoort at the end of Luikerstraat is a subterranean fortification dating from the 15th C. which was slighted under Louis XIV.
Map of Sint-Truiden Attractions