Sint-Niklaas, with a population of 69,000, is in Flemish-speaking Belgium between
Ghent and Antwerp and is one of the larger towns in Belgium. It was officially twinned
with Abingdon in 1967 and this is still in existence, but due to local government
changes in 1974, a 'Treaty of Friendship' was signed between the town and the Vale
of White Horse.
Sint-Niklaas has the largest market place in Belgium that has recently been re-planned
with a large parking space underneath it. During the first weekend of September each
year the Peace Celebrations, including a great gas and hot air balloon festival,
are held there.
There is a diverse range of fine museums, catering for interests from map-making
to hairdressing. It has a large recreation park, De Ster, with lake, sandy beaches
and sports facilities.
Situated on the main rail network in northeast Belgium, Sint-Niklaas is only 29 miles
from Brussels, 50 miles from Bruges, 12 miles from Antwerp and 70 miles from Lille,
France, therefore ideally placed for many interesting excursions.