Many times you find yourself with some spare time or in need of a day trip, with nothing planned and no idea what to do. That’s why we created our series “Detour”. Sights that deserve mentioning, but not enough for a journey of their own. Kortrijk District Detour offers you a few more sights to explore. Did we miss something? Let us know.
Kortrijk District, Worth a Detour
- Belgium-West Flanders-Kortrijk Area-Kuurne-Ambroos the Donkey
I love a good story, especially when it entices me to go check it out. Inhabitants from Kuurne are nicknamed ‘donkeys’. It’s meant as a term of derision, given to them by the people of nearby Kortrijk. Because traders from Kuurne would head to the Kortrijk market at an early hour, their ass-drawn carts laden with vegetables would awaken the townspeople. Upon hearing the rattle of the cart wheels and the braying of the asses, the people of Kortrijk exclaimed: “It’s those asses from Kuurne again!”
An alternative, more legendary explanation originates from the tale of a priest who had to hold a funeral on Ash Wednesday. He asked the sacrister to take over his regular service, but unfortunately the latter couldn’t remember the Latin words “Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris” (Remember, man, that dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return), which are to be proclaimed while applying a cross of ash to the foreheads of the churchgoers. Later the priest spoke to him in exasperation, saying: “You were born an ass, and you will die an ass!” “Aha,” said the sacrister, “I’ll remember that!” and so saying, he continued giving the people of Kuurne their crosses of ash.
The best-known donkey in Kuurne is ‘Ambroos’ (Ambrose), a larger-than-life statue in front of the town hall. The winner of the annual pro cycling race Kuurne–Brussels–Kuurne receives a soft toy version of ‘Ambroos’ to wave from the stage and a big bouquet. This race completes the opening weekend of the Belgian cycling season. (Wikepedia)
Another way to pass the time while in the area is to take in a horse race.
We noticed this while driving on the highway. It’s rumored that when the former president of the US, Barack Obama visited Belgium, they put pants on him.
*German Military Cemetery
- Belgium-West Flanders-Kortrijk Area-Menen-German War Graves
This cemetery is one of the largest German military cemeteries of the First World War in Belgium. Officially, 48,049 German soldiers rest here in peace (and not 47,864 as indicated at the entrance). In comparison with other similar cemeteries there are almost no unknown soldiers buried here. More info on the site here.