If you’re travelling to the province of Zeeland in the Netherlands, you should absolutely pay a visit to the island of Zeeuws-Vlaanderen (Zeeland-Flanders). Here you can find, among other beautiful places, the fortified city of Hulst. In this article I’ll give you a quick guide to this town with an introduction to Hulst together with the things to do and see.
An introduction to Hulst
Hulst is a fortified city with a diversity of history, shops and cozy eateries. In the past, Hulst was an important fortress and harbour town. You can still see this in the town walls and the gates which lead you to the center of Hulst.
The town of Hulst is located in the province Zeeland, on the island Zeeuws-Vlaanderen which is located most southern and near the Belgian border. The town’s location is in the eastern part of Zeeuws-Vlaanderen en you can easily reach it by (rental)car. There’s plenty of parking space in town.
Would you like to read more about Hulst? Take a look here.
What to do in Hulst
There is plenty to see, do and visit when having a day trip to Hulst. Below you can find some ideas. Next to visiting these sights, you can also have a nice time in Hulst by shopping or going to an eatery for a drink or lunch/dinner.
Walking over the city walls is probably the highlight of your visit to Hulst. These city walls were built in the Eighty Years’ War and in the meantime, they’re completely renovated. You can walk over the city walls in approximately an hour (3,5 kilometers), which is absolutely worth it. On your way, you can have some nice views over the town and you come across the gates and the town mill. You can enter the city walls for free, with start at ‘de Korte Bellingstraat’, ‘het Oranjebolwerk’ or ‘de Bagijnesteeg’.
De Nieuwe Bierkaai (‘the new beer quay’)
Especially the looks of this piece of Hulst is worth a view (see the photo above)! I love the bridges and the houses along the water. They’re still working on finishing the Nieuwe Bierkaai by creating a cinema with restaurant, but also some new houses and apartments.
The city hall of Hulst was built in the period of 1528 – 1539 and has always been a place for the municipality. On the top of the city hall, you can find a double headed eagle. This eagle is symbol of the empire Hulst belonged to, but it also refers to emperor Karel the fifth, who gave permission to build the city hall in 1528.
H. Willibrordus Basilica
The H. Willibrordus Basilica has a height of 60 meters and has a Gothic style. They started building the church in the 13th Century, but in the centuries after they realized some big extensions. Over the years, the church has been rebuilt several times due to devastating tower fires.
You can visit the H. Willibrordus Basilica for free, every day of the week. The church is open from 09:00 AM until 05:00 PM. There’s also a possibility to climb the 60-meters high tower, which gives you a really nice view over the town. You can do this in July and August: on each Sunday there’s a guide going into the tower.
City gates of Hulst
There are three gates from where you can enter (or leave) the town of Hulst. They’re called the ‘Gentse Poort’, the ‘Bagijne- or Graauwse Poort’ and the ‘Dubbele Poort’ (double gate). It’s worth it to have a look at them, as they have a rich history.
The city mill of Hulst is a very pretty mill, located on the city hills. If you would like to view the mill from the inside, you should pay a visit to Hulst on Sunday. Each Sunday afternoon you can have a look inside. Between the times of 01:00 PM and 03:00 PM you can also buy some flour products.
This gate was the western entrance to the town. During the Eighty Years’ War, the gate got buried under the earth and disappeared. After some research at a later time, the gate got found again. The excavations and restorations took place and from 1999 on, the Bollewerckpoorte has been restored in its current state.
The Pagadders in Hulst
You can find one of the Pagadders in the left photo above. These Spanish soldiers are spread in the center of Hulst and tell you all about the history of the fortified city. By means of the QR-codes near the soldiers, you can find some more information on your mobile phone. There also is a special route to walk along all the soldiers. Not only fun for adults, but also for children!
If you’re a traveler who’s interested in historical and beautiful towns, you’re at the right place in Hulst. It’s a lovely town where you can easily spend a day.