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the battle a city a king a general
the cause introduction the Sun King the Duke of Marlborough
11 July 1708 the scale-model Vauban the French
the landscape of the battle beautiful people in the 18th century the allies



The exhibition is in the different rooms of the town hall.  In the first room, the Cale, the visitors get a picture of Europe and the political situation at the end of the 17th century, featuring the main figures in the War of the Spanish Succession.  In the central passage the war of Louis XIV is evoked by images from the films ‘Barry Lyndon’ and ‘Le roi danse’ and by music.

The downstairs clothmakers’ hall features the Battle of Oudenaarde.  The most important military actors are introduced and the visitor learns about warfare in the 18th century: about the uniforms and flags of the different armies, how ‘soldiers’ were recruited, which weapons they had, …  In the polyvalent room the landscape where the battle took place is reconstructed and confronted with the landscape of today.  The visitor can also follow the troop movements on 11 July 1708 via multimedia.

In the upstairs clothmakers’ hall 18th-century Oudenaarde is shown, with the showpiece of the exhibition, the scale-model made in 1747 and based on the plans of the military engineer Vauban.  The scale-model is the property of the French state and returns to Oudenaarde for this one time.  Also 3D-presentations of the scale-model will be shown, describing the evolution of Oudenaarde since the Middle Ages.

The exhibition features many other important items on loan from renowned museums: bullets, drums, spurs, swords, pistols, carbines, a kettledrum, a trumpet and a saddle with holsters.  The visitor can also admire the ‘Sword of Oudenaarde’, which Marlborough used during the battle and which is now part of the trust of the Duke of Buccleuch.

Portraits and busts of the principal participants in the battle come from the castle of Versailles, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and the National Portrait Gallery in London.  From the Delft Army Museum there is a French flag, seized in Oudenaarde.
The Koninklijke Musea voor Schone Kunsten of Belgium in Brussels provided drawings of cavalry battles and soldiers and sketches of the daily life in army camps. In all about one hundred objects are on display.

in the Town Hall – Market – Oudenaarde

  • Open from 10.00 a.m. till 06.00 p.m.  No more admissions after 05.00 p.m.
  • Closed on Monday
  • Tickets cost € 7 per person
  • Free admission for children under 12
  • Limited accessibility for wheelchair users