What makes Hulst so special?
Hulst can look back on a rich past. As you walk through its present-day streets, the evidence of this is still very clear, with its 68 listed buildings, its town walls, its stately town hall and the St Willibrordus basilica. There are constant other reminders of its history throughout the town, including the tale of Reynard the Fox. Read more about what makes Hulst so special!
St Willibrordus basilica
At the very heart of the former stronghold of Hulst is the St Willibrordus basilica. Built wholly in Brabantine Gothic style, there are very few of its kind in Zeeland. In 2009, the basilica was voted the most beautiful church in the Netherlands, so it should be on anyone’s list of must-see places. If you want a wonderful view of the surroundings, climb the 60 metres to the top of the basilica’s tower in the company of a guide. This takes place every Sunday in July and August. Be sure to make a reservation beforehand via Inulst information point!
Reynard the Fox
There are constant reminders of the town’s history throughout the town, plus the tale of Reynard the Fox. One of these is the Reynard monument. This is a statue of Reynard the Fox, cast in bronze against a stone frieze. The monument was created by Antwerp-based Dutch artist Anton Damen and depicts a court scene from the animal story. Curious to know more about this story? You can find out more by visiting Hulst’s local museum!
The Gentse Poort (or ‘Ghent Gate’) is one on the old town gates of fortress Hulst and stands next to the Reynard monument. At the top, the gate is adorned with three stone embellishments. Adjacent to the Gentse Poort is the road along which heavy traffic now reaches the town centre, but this route was first constructed in the past to take the tram line. Due to the size of the arch, the tram would not have been able to get through the gate.
Hulst is surrounded by town walls. In the past, these would have served as the town’s defences, but now there is a fantastic 3.5-kilometre walk around them. When taking a stroll along the walls, you will have great views of the fort on one side and of the town moat and surrounding countryside on the other. The surroundings are green and tranquil, great for anyone seeking the peace and quiet of the countryside.
Throughout town you will be able to see miniature soldiers, known as Pagadders. They tell the story about a turbulent period in the town’s history. See if you can find them all! Did you know that there is an interactive treasure hunt themed around the history of fortress Hulst? A great activity to do with the kids.
Similar signs can be seen in Amsterdam or in cities like London, Madrid and Berlin. But now too in Hulst. The work of art is eleven metres long and ‘more than the height of a human’. You can stand on or against the letters and sit on them too. Ideal for a holiday snapshot. The letters are mobile and are frequently displayed at various spots around town.
Clingse Bossen is a forested area between Hulst and Sint Jansteen. The trees of Clingse Bossen in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen do not grow on marine clay, but on lime-deficient sand deposits. That produces a flora which is quite unique in Zeeland. There’s also a woodland play area for the kids here and you can also hire a photo hide, from where you can capture the comings and goings of bird species and the woodland wildlife through your lens.