Hidden Belgium: Oudenaarde’s tapestry museum

Hidden Belgium: Oudenaarde’s tapestry museum

The Oudenaarde tapestry museum (MOU) is located inside the beautiful town hall on the main square. The Gothic interiors have been lovingly restored to create an exceptional city museum.

The highlight is a unique collection of Oudenaarde tapestries dramatically displayed in the vast mediaeval cloth hall next to the town hall. Many of the examples are ‘verdure’ tapestries decorated with detailed forest scenes. Woven in wool, the works have faded over the years, but it is still possible to admire scenes representing the Trojan Wars, hunting parties and rural weddings.

The skilled weavers of Oudenaarde incorporated strange and sometimes amusing details into the tapestries. You might spot a mythical beast, or a mermaid or even a secret erotic message. The weavers often signed their final work with their personal symbol and then added Oudenaarde’s ancient logo (a pair of spectacles) in the margin.

Derek Blyth’s hidden secret of the day: Derek Blyth is the author of the bestselling “The 500 Hidden Secrets of Belgium”. He picks out one of his favourite hidden secrets for The Brussels Times every day.

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