In the very
heart of the historical centre of Gent, in front of the City Hall and
the Tourist Office is situated the Hotel-Restaurant St. Jorishof - Cour
monument of the Cour Saint-Georges dates back to 1228 and is considered
to be the oldest Hotel in Europe. It presents a rich historical
character. During the 15th century the General-States of Flanders held
their meetings there. It was also there that, on the 11th February 1477
Mary of Burgundy, daughter of Charles the Bold, signed the famous "Grand
Privilege", historical charter assuring to all Flemish cities the
privilege of their independence and the right of legislation.
A spacious Gothic Hall, with a monumental chimney of unestimable value -
a sheer gem of Flemish primitive art - is jealously preserved there. It
is in that very hall that the Princess Mary of Burgundy offered a
banquet to the Ambassadors of Emperor Frederick III, on April 27th 1477,
when they came to propose to her on behalf of the Emperor's Son.
On that occasion the effigy of the Lion of Flanders, symbol of Liberty
of the City, was carved into the monumental mantlepiece.
Many of the
illustrious personages who honoured the city of Flanders stayed at the
"Hotel Cour Saint-Georges".
Also Emperor Charles the Fifth regularly came to stay there during his
reign, and Napoleon I, emperor of France, spent there the nights of the
2nd and 3rd February 1805.
necessities and requirements of modern life, compelled the present
proprietors to enlarge the establishment by annexing two 18th century
houses : House "De Groote Scaec" and House "Serlippens".