From 1285 on stood at this very place the 'Waterhalle', wherein the ship could sail.It was demollished from 1787 on: it had lost its anterior function and became very dilapidated. The Kraanlei was overvaulted and a complex of houses was built in classicistic style.Part of these houses was used as Provincial Court.
In 1878 a fire caused lots of damage.This happened in the period of the neogothic vague, and because of this they argued in favour of a neogothic reconstruction.The Provincial Court (nr 2) and the Post Office(nr 5) were chosen according to the plans of the architects Delacenserie and Buyck > The construction of the Provincial Court started in 1887, but it was only in 1921 that the three left bay-spans were ready.
The white stone facade of the Provincial Court is assymetric: the left wing has three spans, the middle has alson three spans, but the ricght wing has four spans with a paasage. The middle part has a floor more and is accentuated as much as the corners with guerite towers. A stone spire with crockets is crowned with finials. The windows are decorated with tracery. The middle part has a hip, the rest of the building a saddleback roof. Both roofs ware cresting.
The facade in the back is made of bricks, and it has a great lancet.
The construction of the Post office, made of red bricks, was already completed in 1891. Although the soberer facadeconstruction quite analog is, it gives a warmer impression.
The building left to the Provincial Court was erected between 1910 and 1914 according the plans of the architecte J.Coomans. It was actually meant to function as residence for the governor. It was never used such as. Actually several public offices are located there. The facade in Belgian bluestone reminds of the Bread House in Brussels but the elegant stair case turret with its round gallery and open worked breastwork reminds of the tower of the Poortersloge. Underneath this building there is a gallery (right to the stair-tower), that changes into a loggia in the first floor.
At night the buildings are illuminated.