Geraardsbergen is one of the oldest cities in Belgium. It came into existence close to the settlement of Hunnegem and in 1068 was one of the first communities in Western Europe to be granted city status.
The city was destroyed in 1381 by Walter IV of Enghien and his troops. According to legend, during the siege local people threw some of their left over food over the city wall to show that they had sufficient food to survive a long siege. This bravado notwithstanding, the city was still captured by Enghien's troops. Every year the city organizes the krakelingenworp carnival on top of the hill at Oudenberg (111 metres (364 ft)) to celebrate this historical event.