The town of Sint-Niklaas is located in the East Flanders area of Belgium

  • Historic
  • Museums & arts
  • Walkability
  • The great Outdoors


The town of Sint-Niklaas is located in the East Flanders area of Belgium, between the larger cities of Ghent and Antwerp. It is this location which has helped Sint-Niklaas to achieve the prominence it has, and is also responsible for one of the most striking visitor attractions in the town. Due to the numbers of merchants travelling to and from the two larger neighbours, the town of Sint-Niklaas became a popular stopping off and resting point, and, as a result, it developed the largest market square in the whole of Belgium. Bearing in mind the fact that virtually every town or city in Belgium has a market square at its very heart, this is a deeply impressive boast to be able to make.


The history of Sint-Niklaas can be traced back to the year 1217, when the Bishop of Tournai established a church on the site in the name of Saint Nicholas. The fact that the city, unlike many Medieval Belgian towns and cities, didn’t have a wall built around it meant that it was vulnerable to attacks and invasion over the centuries, and was burned more or less to the ground as early as 1381. The aforementioned strategic location of Sint-Niklaas saw it rise from the ashes of this experience to become increasingly prosperous, however, and by the 18th century the textile industry was well established. Although this industry has declined noticeably in the years and decades since, the centre of the town is still rich in history and well worth taking the time to explore.


Main features

Sint-Niklaas City Hall

The City Hall of Sint-Niklaas is an imposing edifice which stretches across one end of the vast market square. It was re-built in the 19th century and its extravagant baroque style architecture and dramatic turrets, belfry tower and carillon, are emblematic of the prosperity and success the town was keen to broadcast at the time the City Hall was built. The equally impressive interior of the hall is open to the public and is well worth taking the time to explore, with the sweeping space of the wedding hall offering spectacular views out over the market place.
As with so many Belgium towns, the old centre of Sint-Niklaas is best explored on foot, and this is never more the case than when you take a stroll along the Art Deco walk, deliberately set out to lead visitors past the most impressive Art Deco buildings in Sint-Niklaas. The original Saint Nicholas Church is still standing, just around the corner from the market place and, although it has been standing since the 13th century the interior of the church was rebuilt in the 16th century and is a prime example of the Baroque school of design.

Shared Image: