Year 1616. In the small Flemish village of Boom, the burgomaster is preparing a banquet for his daughter’s wedding to the local butcher. She, however, is in love with the painter Jean Breughel. A messenger suddenly announce the arrival of a Spanish army unit, led by the Duke of Olivarès, passing through on their way to Holland. The news causes widespread panic - the male villagers go into hiding and the burgomaster pretends to be dead. The burgomaster’s wife, Cornelia, takes charge of the situation, gathering the women of the village to organise a fête to welcome the Spaniards. With her husband safely out of the way, Cornelia charms the war-weary Spanish Duke and gets him to approve her daughter's marriage to Breughel.
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