Restaurant ‘t hofke
The alley was created in 1591 and was originally inhabited by shoemakers. The name is presumably derived from the Flemish word
“vlaai”, a local kind of pie.
At the end of the nineteenth century, there where many of these alleys in the city center. They may look idyllic now, but at the time only the poorest were housed here. Living conditions were often abysmal, with many of the large families crammed into small spaces. Sanitary conditions were poor with often just one pump providing water for a whole alley.
During the twentieth century, many of these alleys were demolished and redeveloped. By the 1960s the dilapidated Vlaeykensgang was also slated for demolishement, but fortunately a local antique dealer Axel Vervoordt purchased the houses in the alley and restored the whole complex.
Today the Vlaeykensgang is a quiet refuge from the hectic center and a popular spot to listen the cathedral’s carillon concerts that are held every monday evening during summertime.