Rocking horse St Rumbold’s graveyard

Are you sitting comfortably and enjoying the view? Perfect! Then allow me to introduce myself! My name is Charles, Prince Charles actually. I spent my boyhood in Mechelen and so I know the city like the back of my hand. I was born in 1500 and grew up on Keizerstraat at the court of my aunt Margareta of Austria. That’s the palace with the beautiful inner garden.

Here in Mechelen and all over the world they know me as Emperor Charles V. My empire that was so vast that the sun never set on it. I reigned over more than 27 kingdoms, 13 duchies and 22 counties in Europe, Central America and North Africa. Sadly, I was unable to enjoy them for long. I was just 58 when I died in Yuste in Spain.

Where you rock, I tell stories about the city and in particular about the places I have fond memories of.

Please note that the rocking horse in the St Rumbold's Graveyard is currently in the barn for maintenance. Therefore, you won’t be able to visit this horse temporarily.

Rocking horse St Rumbold’s graveyard

My grandfather was the king of Spain. He died when I was 16 and I succeeded him to the throne. From then on, I signed my letters “yo el Rey”, which is Spanish for “I, the King”. I was as proud as a peacock of my title, but it took some doing to acquire it.

A teenager at the time, I was happy mainly because I got to travel to Spain. It was a big adventure. With a fleet of 40 ships, my sister Eleonora and I sailed from Vlissingen in the Netherlands to Villaviciosa, a village in Spain where we ended up after going adrift. The Spaniards were very hospitable. They made us omelettes and pancakes. Eleonora and I were not alone of course. We travelled with 200 nobles, chamberlains and ladies-in-waiting.

The problem is that fewer than 40 horses were available. So most of the group had to cross the mountains on foot in the rain and mist. After 26 days we had only covered 80 kilometres. Eventually, after four months, we reached Valladolid, our final destination, where I was officially crowned king of Spain just before my eighteenth birthday.

  • You will also find this walk in the Visit Mechelen app. That way you can follow the horses on a map without having to scan the QR code each time. Download the app here.

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  • Available in 4 languages: Dutch, French, German & English.