There is a very beautiful river divided in three parts through the city, with three well-made bridges in position, and the city itself is remarkable and ancient with nice
p.41well-built old houses, and with many sluices which stop and direct the water wherever the people of the city please or desire. The King of Spain has a strong, fully-defended castle in the town, commanding and having power over the whole city, andRome the river is drawn around it.
Tadhg Ó Cíanain wrote this in Rome, 1609.
There are a thousand soldiers always guarding and watching the castle with everything they require of great ordnance and ammunition. They have a splendid church inside that there may be no communication between them and the people of the city. As the roads from Douai to Tournai were dirty, and the highways narrow and uneven, the writer and narrator of this could not easily note or observe the country or the land along the route.