Welcome to Roeselare, a charming city located in the Flemish province of West Flanders in Belgium. With its rich history, beautiful architecture, and thriving local economy, Roeselare is a must-see destination for any traveler. The city is made up of the city of Roeselare proper and the towns of Beveren, Oekene and Rumbeke, offering a variety of activities and sights for visitors to enjoy.
Roeselare’s name is derived from two Germanic words meaning reed and open space, referring to a marsh in a forest glade. Traces of early dwellings have been found in the area, including prehistoric flint tools, Gallo-Roman wells, and a small 9th-century Frankish building. The city received its charter of freedoms in the mid-13th century, during which it also built its first city hall and belfry. The manufacturing of cloth was then the main driver of the local economy. The few defensive walls that the city had were no match against the forces of Maximilian of Austria, who destroyed the city at the end of the 15th century. Roeselare’s market hall and Saint Michael church were rebuilt in the year 1500.
Roeselare has many sights and attractions for visitors to explore. The rococo city hall on the central market square, along with the market hall and belfry, are classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site (part of Belfries of Belgium and France). The Renaissance-style Rumbeke Castle dates back to 1538 and is located within the Sterrebos forest. It now houses the company Busworld. The nearby Kazandmolen is the only one of the area’s thirteen windmills to have survived until today. For those interested in cycling and walking, the Canal Roeselare-Leie, completed in 1872, provides not only an economic advantage but also creates great opportunities to explore the outdoors. Roeselare also houses a unique bicycle museum that is well worth a visit.
One of Roeselare’s most famous exports is the Rodenbach brewery, founded in 1821. The tour of the facilities includes an explanation of the process used to make this one-of-a-kind beer style. If you’re a beer lover, this is a must-see attraction. Roeselare also has a whole family of giant puppets. The head of the family, Rolarius – who is also the alleged founder of the city – his wife Carlotta and son Opsinjoorke, as well as several other relatives, appear at festivities and carnivals, dancing to the beat of the giant’s song. Another point of interest is the Eaststreet (Ooststraat), an important shopping street in the city.
Roeselare is a regional center that provides commercial and media services, as well as a variety of occupations in the food industry, to the surrounding area. The city today is a bustling hub of activity, with a car-free square and a bus station at the Roeselare railway station, making it easy to explore the city and its surroundings. Visitors to Roeselare will find a welcoming community, a rich cultural heritage, and plenty of attractions to explore. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to discover all that this charming city has to offer!