Sint-Niklaas

A medium sized town (Belgian standards) of around 70.000 people, Sint-Niklaas is located between the larger cities of Ghent and Antwerp in East Flanders. It is the capital of the Waas region (in Dutch: Waasland). This region, which does not have any administrative functions, is surrounded by the river Schelde on three sides.

From Sint-Niklaas it is possible to visit several historic towns and villages on the banks of river Schelde (Doel, Hulst, the villages on the Schelde between St. Amands and Rupelmonde), and it offers a good starting point for cycling trips along the beautiful tidal landscapes on the river shores.

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As a historic resting spot for traders between Antwerp and Ghent, Sint-Niklaas boasts the biggest market space of Europe (originally the lawn where traders halted). It was given its title of city by Napoleon and had a second big spurt of growth during the Industrial Revolution, when it was an important industrial town for textile and bricks. In the late 19th century this has resulted, in the northern part of the city centre, in a geometric street pattern where you can still see many examples of the historic Art Nouveau and Art Deco houses built for the new bourgeoisie.

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