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austria belgium england europe france italy themed posts

Travelling Europe in wintertime

Last weekend I visited Gemünd, in the German Eifel region. While I was walking around town with my friend Shira, we noticed that it was so quiet there. Ofcourse, we added, nobody travels in winter around here. Everybody seems to want fun in the sun and doesn’t consider winter chills. And that’s a pitty. Because …

AF belgium europe

Eksaarde: local life

We live in a small village called Eksaarde, which is part of the city of Lokeren, located halfway between Gent and Antwerpen (Belgium). The village is rather large in terms of surface area though, but most of that are meadows and crop fields. Eksaarde is green, agricultural and the people here are uncomplicated and easy-going. …

AF belgium europe

China light zoo festival

The zoo in Antwerpen is the oldest zoo of Belgium. For this winter, they are celebrating the holidays the Chinese way: with a light festival. We decided to check it out and didn’t regret it. A big part of the zoo is illuminated with all kinds of animals, making it a light festival both adults …

AF belgium europe

Hiking around Bouillon

During the Easter holiday of 2015 we spent 3 days in the Ardennes with Maarten’s family. His father turned 70 and that called for a celebration! Maartens parents travel to the area of Bouillon each year in fall, to enjoy hiking and good food. This spring their children and grandchildren were invited as well, to …

AF belgium europe unesco world heritage

Grote Markt – Brussels

  This beautiful open square has outstanding architectural value, with buildings dating mostly from the 17the century. The earliest mention of activity on this place, is 1174. It was then called Nedermarckt (Lower Market). The present name came into use in the late 18th century. At the Grote Markt both public & private buildings surround …

AF belgium europe unesco world heritage

Historic centre of Bruges

  Bruges has been a very influential city in medieval times with regards to both commerce and culture. Both its spacial and structural organisation was conserved throughout the years and the city’s groundplan documents the different phases of its development. In the late 19th century, a renovation of the facades gave the city a neo-gothic …

AF belgium europe unesco world heritage

Belfries of Belgium

The Belfry of Ghent.   The 56 Belfries of Belgium and the North of France are belltowers of medieval origin (all built between the 11th and the 17th century), representing the transition from feudalism towards mercantile urban society. In this sence, they are strong symbols of the rise of civil liberties in the Middle Ages. …

AF belgium europe unesco world heritage

Flemish beguinages

Beautiful red houses of the small béguinage in Ghent. In the 13th century the béguines (women who lived a religious life, but without any formal vows) founded the béguinages as closed communities where they could live and worship in a quiet environment. They are architecturally distinct unities within cities, composed of small houses, a church …