Importance: You should see this when you are in the region
Number of texts: 3
Places of Interest nearby
Jacob Van Artevelde is pointing towards England. His opportunistic support of the English king meant that in the 14th century Ghent, and by extension the whole of Flanders, was able to remain largely neutral and continue to thrive during the Hundred Years War. Thanks to the Wise Man of Ghent, the cloth industry flourished as never before. 660 years after he was murdered by rivals, Ghent is still called the city of Artevelde.
After the murder in 1345, Jacob of Artevelde disappeared for a small 500 year from our collective memory.
In 1863, he got a statue on the friday market. It is the oldest statue of the whole city. It was designed by the Ghent artist Petrus the Vigne-Quoy. It is 11 meter high.
King Leopold One of Belgium inaugurated the statue, together with his son.
On the 4 corners of the statue, you can see 4 virgins, representing Flanders, Ghent, Bruges and Ypres.
Artevelde negotiated with the English king Edward III a neutral position for Ghent in the French-English war. Due to this agreement, the Ghents wool-import was insured, and as such also the core of the linnen-activity in Ghent.
From pure gratitude, the people from Ghent crowned the English king on the Friday market as king of France.
Edward the 3rd treated Artevelde as a prince of Flanders’, which didn’t please everybody. Behind the back of the rulers of Ghent, Artevelde promissed the English king financial support to fund his war against France. This killed his position and in 1343 Artevelde had to flee to England. His return in 1345 provoked a revolt of the weavers and Artevelde ot killed near his house on the Kalandeberg.