WELCOME IN MECHELEN
This weekend, our hometown Mechelen is welcoming the best cyclists in the world. It's the 100th anniversary of the UCI World Championships, and the peloton passes by the street where we were born, raised and still live. On top of that, the Erstwhile headquarters is located in the same street.
So we have to tell you a bit more about Mechelen (or Mechlin as you wish), our beloved city in the centre of Belgium. If you're visiting Flanders and have a spare afternoon, give us a call, and we'll show you around on our bikes.
The main square in the city centre. The riders will cross it during the World Championships.
Mechelen is one of Flanders' prominent cities of historical art, with Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent, and Leuven. It was notably a centre for artistic production during the Northern Renaissance when patrons such as Margaret of York and Margaret of Austria attracted painters, printmakers and composers.
During the Late Middle Ages, Mechelen became the capital of the Low Countries (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg).
Since the 13th century, Mechelen has been an important textile city, famous for it's laken (woollen cloth), so it's not a coincidence we started Erstwhile. Other historically famous Mechlinian trades include tapestries, wood carving and sculpturing, and furniture.
The Dyle (Dutch: Dijle) flows through the heart of the city, perfect for summer evening strolls with your friends or family. Usually, we start our bike rides on the river banks, and we love to run there as well.
Amsterdam, Bruges, Venice, Mechelen.
Other things you should know? Sure! We have a world-famous, award-winning brewery, Het Anker. You should taste one of their fantastic beers. Our local football team KV Mechelen won two European Cups in the eighties. We're big fans of the club, and our office is located in the stadium. We'll show you around next time. And the grandfather of Ludwig von Beethoven was born in Mechelen. So Ludwig is one of our all-time heroes.
KV Mechelen won the Cup Winners Cup in 1988, beating Ajax Amsterdam in the final.
Last but not least, we have our beautiful landmark, the St. Rumbold's Cathedral, with its dominating tower (UNESCO world heritage!). From the top - 97 metres up in the sky - you have a fantastic view, all the way to Antwerp and Brussels on a sunny day. You'll see our famous tower during the live coverage on tv, no doubt about that.
We love our city, and there's a lot more to tell you about. We have some great bars, restaurants, parks and even a zoo, but we understand you want to start your weekend, so we'll wrap it up here. Enjoy the championships, and don't forget to give us a call when you're around.