First stop: Kortrijk, Belgium

First all the best for 2011. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. This time of year is very busy for us at Karwansaray Publishers, so I have been unable to write a blog until now. Since Medieval Warfare magazine will launch later this year, I thought I’d start the year with a short summary of an important preperation for the new magazine. Like Ancient Warfare, Medieval Warfare will contain beautiful photos of armour, weapons, castles and manuscripts, to name a few. Since we want to bring you both new and interesting material, I went out personally on a hunt for images, one of (hopefully) many, to ensure Medieval Warfare turns into a fresh and exciting new magazine.

During this most recent trip, I visited a number of castles and cities in Belgium, France, Luxemburg and Germany in order to take some photos for the magazine. This proved to be quite succesful, despite the fact that we ran into a lot of snow halfway through the trip. Here follows a short account of the first part of our trip.

After leaving The Hague, Holland, I headed for Kortrijk/Courtrai in Southern Belgium. As some of you will know, this city became famous due to the Battle of the Golden Spurs which took place there on July 11th, 1302. In this battle, the knights of the French King Philip the Fair were beaten by a Flemish army, mostly consisting of commoners and farmers. Because of this outcome, the Flemish communities briefly gained a period of independence from France until 1328, when Philip IV defeated another Flemish revolt at the Battle of Cassel. The Battle of the Golden Spurs was one of a few succesful undertakings in a string of uprisings in Europe during the 13th and 14th centuries. It proved that amoured knights, who had dominated the European battlefields for many years, could be defeated by infantry. The name of the battle derives from the golden and gold-coloured spurs that were collected from the French knights defeated or killed during the fight. The date is still celebrated as an official holiday in many parts of Flanders.

During our stay, we visited the Kortrijk 1302 Museum, which contains a number of artifacts related to the battle, including weapons, armour and important manuscripts. Besides the museum, we also went to the Church of Our Lady, where the spurs were hung in 1302 to commemorate the victory. The real spurs were taken back by the French some eighty years later, but the location where they once hung is still marked by a number of replicas.

Our first day provided many good pictures for a future issue on (Flemish) uprisings. However, the primary goal of our trip was still to take pictures related to the War Of Bouvines, the theme of our first issue. Therefore, I moved on to France, where I visited some locations and museums that are important for this theme. In my next blog, I will continue the story of my travels with a look at my stay in Northern France, including some photos.

Until then!

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