Pallieter: A Joyous Fellow
Unspoiled by mass tourism, the small but beautiful city of Lier lies waiting to be discovered by those who love a friendly and pleasant atmosphere in a beautiful setting, rich in monuments. Lier lies inbetween the cities of Antwerp and Mechelen
and at about 45 minutes from Brussels.
Already inhabited during
the Roman period Lier had developed into a town near the river Nete, when in 1212 the Duke of Brabant granted city rights. The economic pillars where the cloth industry and the cattle market.
During the first world war the city was heavily damaged but tastefully rebuilt afterwards. One of the most impressive gothic churches in Northern Belgium is the Saint Gummarus church of Lier. The eye-catcher is the splendid late-gothic rood loft in the church, which is almost unique in Belgium. Famous is
also the Zimmer Tower with its astronomical clock from 1930.
The market place is surrounded by several beautiful old guild houses. In the center of the square stands the rococo town hall with the belfry tower from 1369. When leaving the center of the city you can visit one of the
most beautiful beguinages of Belgium. Beguinages were all-female communities where the beguines lived.
These organizations could be compared with monasteries, except that the beguines did not make vows like nuns did.
The city was first mentioned in official documents in the 12th century. In the 13th century the small city, with its fertile soil, received a city wall and a magistrate, as sign of its economic prosperity. In the course of the 14th century, the duke of Brabant granted Lier the right to organize a cattle market. By the end of the 1300’s the cloth industry made the city so prosperous that a new city wall was constructed. In 1367 the new cloth hall became the visible sign of the importance and power of the corporation of the cloth traders.
The Town Square
On the town square the visitor will spot some beautiful historic buildings. The town hall was built in Rococo- style and has a beautiful pediment which bears the coat of arms of the city. It was constructed from 1740 to 1745 by architect Van Baurscheit.
The Zimmer ClockTower
At the southern end of the Zimmerplein stands the Zimmer tower (also known as the “Cornelius tower”), which was originally part of the 14th century city wall. The tower houses since 1930 the Jubilee clock, made by the Lier clockmaker Louis Zimmer (1888-1970). The clock displays 13 faces on which can be seen : the official Greenwich Mean Time(GMT), the Lunar Cycle, the signs of the zodiac, the Solar Cycle, the 7 days of the week, the globe with the Meridians, the 12 months, de eternal dates, the Seasons, the Tidal Waves in Lier, the age and the phases of the Moon. On the right side of the tower four statues display the four Seasons as phases of human life.
For most Flemish people Lier is know as the city of “PALLIETER”. Pallieter is the name of a joyous fellow who represents the good and happy Flemish life. He was immortalized by Felix Timmermans, one of the most popular Flemish writers of the middle of the twentieth century.
Novotel Mechelen Centrum Hotel
I stayed at Novotel Hotel and I appreciate their hospitality. The Hotel is best for a businessman on tour as well as it is good for pure vacationers.
Novotel Mechelen Centrum is located in the heart of Mechelen, a 5-minute walk from the St. Rombouts Cathedral and the Market Square. The spacious AC rooms are modern in style with big LCD TV. You can taste local as well as international cuisine in the restaurant, and special freshly baked cookies. After a busy day, you can relax with a drink in the bar or visit the hotel’s Hammam and fitness centre. Your budget should be around 150-180 Euros a day including Fooding, Steam Bath, WiFi Internet, few rounds of Red Wine. What else do you want additionally? May be, a car for a drive to country side, you can have this too for 100 Euros… otherwise you always have fast-frequent Euro Rails to enjoy entire Europe, now including Switzerland.