Battle of Gavere

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Battle of Gavere
Part of the Revolt of Ghent
15th-century painters - Surrender of the Burghers of Ghent in 1453 - WGA15789.jpg
The burghers of Ghent surrender to Philip the Good after the Battle of Gavere. Illustration from a contemporary manuscript.
Date 23 July 1453
Location Semmerzake-Gavere, Duchy of Burgundy
(modern-day Belgium)

Burgundian victory:

  • Peace of Gavere
Duchy of Burgundy Ghent rebels
Commanders and leaders
Philip the Good (WIA)
Louis de Gruuthuse
30,000 30,000
Casualties and losses
ca. 15,000

The Battle of Gavere was fought near Semmerzake in Belgium on July 23, 1453 between an army under the Philip the Good of Burgundy and the rebelling city of Ghent. The army of the duke came out victorious and around 16,000 citizens of Ghent died. The battle of Gavere was part of the Revolt of Ghent.


Ghent was the most populous, rich and powerful city in the Burgundian lands. The battle was a consequence of enduring opposition in Ghent against the high taxes. When the city openly declared its rebellion, the Duke assembled an army of around 30.000 from neighbouring lands and brought it to Gavere. When the news reached Ghent, many citizens immediately went out to the battleground, forming an army of a similar size as the duke's.

In the beginning of the battle Ghent lost most of its artillery because of an explosion, and the battle did not go well. Ghent lost around half of its army, a considerable part of the city's population. It was feared the Duke would destroy the city completely, but when asked to show mercy he is said to have replied "If I would destroy this city, who is going to build me one like it?"

The battle broke the power of Ghent only temporarily, as in 1539 there would be another revolt against the high taxes under Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (see Revolt of Ghent (1539)).

See also[edit]


  • Histoire militaire des Belges, Charles Terlinden, Brussels, La Renaissance du Livre, 1931.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°56′00″N 3°39′00″E / 50.9333°N 3.65°E / 50.9333; 3.65