Hasselt in the pouring rain
Hasselt Travel Blog› entry 229 of 354 › view all entries
Today I wanted to visit Hasselt the capital of the Flemish province of Limburg. Hasselt is located in between the Campine and Hesbaye regions in the middle of the Euregion Meuse-Rhine and is situated at the Demer River and is also connected to the Albert Canal.
Hasselt was founded in the 7th century on the Helbeek, a tributary of the Demer river. The name Hasselt came from Hasaluth, which means hazel wood. It was one of the bigger cities of the county of Loon, whose borders were approximately the same as the current province of Limburg. Hasselt was first given a name in 1165 and shortly thereafter received the much sought after city charter. In 1232 this status was officially confirmed by count Arnold IV.
Hasselt has a very contemporary demeanor, it is an administrative center as well as a commercial one. The central "Grote Markt" may not be that big, but the friendly atmosphere around the cosy terraces and the numerous sidewalk cafés on the square certainly make up for the lack of "grandeur" that typifies the Belgian Market Square in cities such as Brussels and Antwerp.
This Sunday when the rain was pouring down all day, the city was empty and boring. There were some action in the cafés and some of the restaurant at the Grote Markt but otherwise it was dead.