Aalst is the second-largest city in the province of East Flanders. It is known as the largest and most colorful carnival in Belgium.
The carnival originated from the Middle Ages, it was first organized by locals without the intervention from the authorities. Only starting from 1923 did the administration officially recognize this celebration. The carnival is mainly a street event with kilometers-long parades. The celebrants dance in the squares and move from one location to another. The inhabitants of Aalst take pride in their celebration and are thrilled that the carnival of Aalst has been included in the List of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO since 2010.
Aalst is home to one of the oldest architecture in the Flemish region. The “Aldermen’s House” was first built in 1225 and is still standing strong after 2 horrible fires. The first incident was due to a war in 1380 and the second due to fireworks accidents in 1879. This stone-hard building is also on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Not so far from the “Aldermen’s House”, the oldest house in Aalst is to be found. It is located on the corner of “Lange Zoutstraat 18”. This 17th-century townhouse has a stepped gable in traditional brick and sandstone style with some baroque ornamentation. Traces of the older half-timbered construction are preserved to this day. In 1976, the building got listed and protected as a monument.
Transporting in Aalst is easy to do so with STEP. The streets are not all made out of cobblestone and thanks to bicycle lanes, riding STEP has never been easier.
So come and celebrate in Aalst. Become part of STEP's riders in Aalst today!