Maarkedal was created on January 1, 1977 through the merger of the municipalities of Etikhove, Maarke-Kerkem, Nukerke and Schorisse. The name of the municipality refers to the Maarkebeek that flows through the municipality.
Together with the municipalities of Etikhove, Maarke-Kerkem (with the villages of Maarke and Kerkem), Nukerke and Schorisse, Maarkedal is part of Louise-Marie, a hamlet on the border of Maarkedal and Ronse.
Maarkedal is a rural municipality, located the Province of East Flanders, in the Flemish Ardennes. It has a population of 6,338 inhabitants (as of 2018).
9680 Maarkedal, Belgium
Maarkedal - the Flemish Ardennes at their best
Maarkedal has a typical landscape with rolling hills, deeply cut brook valleys and hollow roads. Maarkedal is a pedestrian's municipality par excellence that also encourages cycling enthusiasts. It is a patchwork of beautiful spots that are hidden behind every bend of the many winding roads. Maarkedal is the Flemish Ardennes at their best.
The unique landscape and authentic atmosphere can be experienced in the villages of Etikhove, Kerkem, Maarke, Nukerke, Schorisse and Louise-Marie, situated between Oudenaarde and Ronse, close to the linguistic border. The Taaienberg, Eikenberg, Steenbeekdries and Kortekeer are only a few of the legendary hills, which are a challenge for thousands of cyclists who attempt to defy these steep climbs every year in the springtime. Maarkedal is the pre-eminent setting of the Flemish cycling classics; the Tour of Flanders is a real festive day here.
However, Maarkedal is also a paradise for hikers. The many rural roads and breath-taking views guarantee hours of hiking pleasure.
“Burreken”, a natural park situated on the border of the villages Brakel, Horebeke and Maarkedal. You will find a unique combination of woods, valleys, hills, grassland, fauna and flora.
It is managed by the organisation “Natuurpunt”. There are two marked hiking trails.
Bos ter Rijst
“Bos ter Rijst” is a natural preserve of 26 hectares with a central walking trail of 2 km, with wooden benches and picnic tables, allowing some rest. The walking trails winding through the woods are called “Getuigenheuvels Vlaamse Ardennen” and the route is named “Omer Wattez”.
The eight chapels of Seven Woes
In the Annoven district in Schorisse we find a curious religious gem: eight chapels in the middle of a lush botanical garden. The eight chapels were built in 1901 in a neo-gothic style on the initiative of a resident, as a gesture of thanks for the cure of a serious illness. There is one larger chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Seven Woes, around which there are seven small brick chapels in an ellipse shape.
In 1997 the chapels and the site were protected because of the cultural and folk value.
Forest mill Etikhove
The new Bossenaar mill was founded in 1996 on the hilltop of the Bossenaar. It is therefore roughly at the same place as the old Bossenaarmolen, which disappeared in 1939.
This wooden windmill consists of a large square oak cabinet that rests on a heavy spindle or stake, around which the cabinet can rotate. A small storage place was built at the bottom of this standard mill or post mill.