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Discovery trail around the town of Cassel

Hikes & walks in Cassel

Discovery trail around the town of Cassel - Hikes & walks in Cassel

Description sheet

Departure municipalityCassel
Outing typeVillage visit
Recommended periodfrom january to december
Kilometres1.9 mi


Make your way to Cassel Tourist Office opposite the municipal fountain.


On the way out of the Tourist Office, turn right towards Hôtel de la Noble Cour, a listed building, now the Departmental Museum of Flanders. Note the 16th century facade and its "grotesques", contorted faces and yawning monkeys...

Opposite the museum stands the Louis XV-style monumental fountain, in dressed stone, which used to supply ferruginous water from the cross-shaped well.

Retrace your footsteps to the Tourist Office at No. 20, the former townhouse of the provost-marshal of Saint-Pierre collegiate, facade, balconies and balustrades dating from 1735, then, slightly further on, at No. 16, the former townhouse of the provost-marshal Mac Mahon (facade from 1631). Rue d'Aire alongside this house, is an old Roman way and, at the bottom of the street, you will find Porte d'Aire gate, one of the town's seven gates. Cross the main square using the pedestrian crossing to Place de Queue de St Hilaire (between the PMU and the Crédit Mutuel), and turn left on to Rue du château, where you will find an old bookshop.

Pass beneath the castle gate, the remains of the fortifications of the castle terrace, rebuilt in the 19th century, the stone indicating 1621 is an original one. Then, turn right into this square bulb garden and look at the pyramid, the so-called "three battles" monument, recalling the main events in the history of Cassel. Opposite, the viewpoint and the orientation table, and, at the bottom of the garden, the tablet indicates the entrance to the crypt of Saint-Pierre collegiate.

Now make your way towards the windmill. This listed building dates from the 18th century and symbolises the 22 mills which used to be found in Cassel at the start of the 20th century. Oil and flour used to be made there. Turn right at the mill and follow the signposting (studs in the ground) and take the path down to the remains of the Roman wall (on the right, only a small section is visible and the rest disappears underground), then climb up to the equestrian monument of Marshall Foch, who had his headquarters in Cassel from October 1914 to June 1915, during the Battle of the Yser.

Walk past the public garden (also a listed site) to the stone path on your left (signposted) and make your way to Place Vandamme (General from Cassel, 1770-1830), turn right, walk past the community hall (former tram depot which used to link Cassel and the SNCF train station in Bavinchove), and turn right on to Rue de Bergues. At No.35, note the old Auberge Saint Sébastien, the seat of the Ghilde des Archers founded in 1445, and the old traditional houses.

At the octagonal chapel, called Horne Chapel, turn left on to the long street, then, at the bottom of the street, turn right on to Rue de Dunkerque. Pass the old horse trough on your right and, on your left, enjoy a beautiful view over the Mont des Récollets. Pass beneath Porte de Dunkerque gate and, before making your way to the church on the left, take time to admire the beautiful neo-Flemish facades on the other side of the square (Sauvage, Taverne flamande) and the Louis XVI facade of Hôtel d'Halluin at No.32.

Notre-Dame collegiate dates from the 11th century, and, originally, was built entirely in ferruginous sandstone but was burnt down and rebuilt many times before being turned into a "Hallekerque" at the end of the 16th century. The church is a listed monument for its age, with its towers on each side of the porch and at the rear, the chevet presenting ancient blocked windows and a large herringbone stone and brick moulding (opus piscatum).

Behind Notre-Dame collegiate stands the old Jesuits' church, with a listed facade dating from 1687. With your back to the chapel, turn right on to Chemin du chapître with the ferruginous sandstone steps. At the bottom of the street, either turn left to the cemetery, or right on to Rue du Maréchal Foch. Be careful when crossing over the pedestrian crossing and, on your left, pass beneath Porte d'Ypres gate, and continue right along Chemin des remparts. This path follows the wall which used to encircle the town. At the furthest end, it becomes a 70 cm wide path which leads to Rue Bollaert le Gavrianort. Continue to follow the signposting and turn right and immediately left on to Place Vandamme. Then turn right again along Rue St Nicolas. Turn right behind the Kasteelhof, the castle passageway, in order to return to the main square..

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