The Legend of Gulden Draak
The legend of the dragon (draak in Flemish) is centuries old. The odyssey of this mythic beast begins in northern Scandinavia on the prow of a Viking ship and, after a long and winding journey, ends at the top of the Ghent Belfry.
THE GILDED DRAGON
Legend has it that the gilded dragon graced the prow of the ship sailed in 1111 by the Norse king, Sigrid Magnusson, while on his crusade. After many battles, against the Muslims in Spain and the Balearic Islands, among others, he occupied the city of Sidon.
After this victory, the warrior gave the gilded figure to the Emperor of Constantinople (what is now Istanbul) so the emperor could place it atop the dome of the Hagia Sophia.
SYMBOL OF POWER AND INDEPENDENCE
Less than one hundred years later, the Flemish Count Boudewijn IX moved the showpiece to Flemish shores, where the Norse dragon ultimately fell into the hands of the people of Bruges.
After the Battle of Beverhoutsveld in 1382, the fighters from Ghent took the dragon as part of the spoils of war and placed it on top of their Belfry. The Belfry was the place where the city charters were stored. The dragon was there to protect them but also stood as a symbol of the freedom and power of the city.
After its many wanderings, the gilded dragon still shines there on its tower. It has watched over the city for almost 700 years now and is an inextricable part of the Ghent identity: headstrong, unconventional, resolute, powerful and independent.
TREMENDOUS BEER FOR TITANS
With its Gulden Draak, the Van Steenberge Brewery has brewed a beer that is as robust as the symbol of the dragon itself. It is a beer with a fiery colour whose flavour and aroma are simply unparalleled. The people who drink this beer aren't Gulden Draak drinkers - they’re world-wide fans.
The Brewery aims to export and promote the spirit of Ghent’s Gulden Draak throughout the world. The Gulden Draak is not only a trophy for the people of Ghent, it is a reward for all of the titans of today.