The city’s story

 

In the MOU you will experience at first hand how Oudenaarde is fused with the Scheldt, the artery to which the city owes its origin and growth. As the Scheldt once squirmed through Oudenaarde, you follow a meandering route through the museum.

 

Gradually you will see the city change. From a small trading post in a curve of the Scheldt to a rich tapestry center of world renown. From a fortified city that attracts the attention of European rulers to a ghost town at the end of WW I. From an emerging industrial city in the late 19th century to a modern city, in which the arms of the Scheldt are filled in and highways take over the role of the rivers.

 

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John II of Pamele, Lord of Oudenaarde
(1352-1378)

 

John II of Pamele through the lens of photographer Vanfleteren

 

 

John’s life is particularly well documented by accounts of his personal expenses, kept in Ghent’s Archives. Study of these accounts give us a very good insight into various aspects of this noble figure’s lifestyle and standard of living in the 14th century. We may conclude that John led a luxurious life and lived in grand style.

 

He obtained revenues from excise duties, rents and mills, but 60% of his revenues came from the tolls on the sluice ‘Spei’. Furthermore, the mill in Pamele and fines and innings when selling land led to high revenues.

 

Accounts show that John of Pamele spent a lot of money on his knighthood. Occasionally he took part in knight tournaments. Purchasing horses was also something on his wish list.

The aristocracy favored hunting. John had several falconers employed. The accounts show many personal expenses during his travels. Apparently gambling and betting were also his favorite pastime. Finally, the vain knight gave huge sums to clothing. We should add that alms-giving was not an important part of his social life.

 

As he spent a lot of money on his castle, the castle of Pamele, we know that there were major renovation works. However, he could not enjoy the renovated castle very long, as he died shortly after the completion of the works in 1378.

 

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