Investigations in the city archives of Brugge, together with local historian Ludo Vandamme confirmed that diamond were traded in Brugge long before diamonds were heard of in Antwerp and Amsterdam, and a number of diamond polishers, active in Brugge in the 14th century, were identified.
|Total States||10 Provinces|
|Airport City||Antwerp International Airport,Antwerp / Deurne, Ostend–Bruges International Airport,Bruges / Ostend, Liege Airport, Brussels Airport,|
|Ruling Type||King Ruled|
|Offical Languages||Dutch, German, French,|
|National Animal||Leo Belgicus (Heraldic Belgian Lion)|
|Food||Belgian Fries, Moules-Frites, Stoemp|
Autumn : Sep - Nov
Summer : Jun - Aug
Winter : Dec - Feb
Sprint : Mar - May
Brussels is a region of Belgium comprising 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels, which is the capital of Belgium. The Brussels-Capital Region is located in the central portion of the country and is a part of both the French Community of Belgium and the Flemish Community, but is separate from the Flemish Region (in which it forms an enclave) and the Walloon Region. Brussels is the most densely populated and the richest region in Belgium in terms of GDP per capita. It covers 161 km2 (62 sq mi), a relatively small area compared to the two other regions, and has a population of 1.2 million. The metropolitan area of Brussels counts over 2.1 million people, which makes it the largest in Belgium. It is also part of a large conurbation extending towards Ghent, Antwerp, Leuven and Walloon Brabant, home to over 5 million people.
Brussels grew from a small rural settlement on the river Senne to become an important city-region in Europe. Since the end of the Second World War, it has been a major centre for international politics and the home of numerous international organisations, politicians, diplomats and civil servants. Brussels is the de facto capital of the European Union, as it hosts a number of principal EU institutions, including its administrative-legislative, executive-political, and legislative branches (though the judicial branch is located in Luxembourg, and the European Parliament meets for a minority of the year in Strasbourg) and its name is sometimes used metonymically to describe the EU and its institutions. The secretariat of the Benelux and headquarters of NATO are also located in Brussels. As the economic capital of Belgium and one of the top financial centres of Western Europe with Euronext Brussels, it is classified as an Alpha global city. Brussels is a hub for rail, road and air traffic, sometimes earning the moniker "Crossroads of Europe". The Brussels Metro is the only rapid transit system in Belgium. In addition, both its airport and railway stations are the largest and busiest in the country.
Bruges is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium, in the northwest of the country, and the seventh largest city of the country by population.
The area of the whole city amounts to more than 13,840 hectares (138.4 sq km; 53.44 sq miles), including 1,075 hectares off the coast, at Zeebrugge (from Brugge aan zee, meaning "Bruges by the Sea"). The historic city centre is a prominent World Heritage Site of UNESCO. It is oval in shape and about 430 hectares in size. The city's total population is 117,073 (1 January 2008), of whom around 20,000 live in the city centre. The metropolitan area, including the outer commuter zone, covers an area of 616 km2 (238 sq mi) and has a total of 255,844 inhabitants as of 1 January 2008.
Along with a few other canal-based northern cities, such as Amsterdam and St Petersburg, it is sometimes referred to as the Venice of the North. Bruges has a significant economic importance, thanks to its port, and was once one of the world's chief commercial cities. Bruges is well known as the seat of the College of Europe, a university institute for European studies.
Ghent is a city and a municipality in the Flemish Region of Belgium. It is the capital and largest city of the East Flanders province, and the third largest municipality in Belgium, after Antwerp and Brussels. The city originally started as a settlement at the confluence of the Rivers Scheldt and Leie and in the Late Middle Ages became one of the largest and richest cities of northern Europe, with some 50,000 people in 1300. It is a port and university city.
The municipality comprises the city of Ghent proper and the surrounding suburbs of Afsnee, Desteldonk, Drongen, Gentbrugge, Ledeberg, Mariakerke, Mendonk, Oostakker, Sint-Amandsberg, Sint-Denijs-Westrem, Sint-Kruis-Winkel, Wondelgem and Zwijnaarde. With 262,219 inhabitants at the beginning of 2019, Ghent is Belgium's second largest municipality by number of inhabitants. The metropolitan area, including the outer commuter zone, covers an area of 1,205 km2 (465 sq mi) and has a total population of 560,522 as of 1 January 2018, which ranks it as the fourth most populous in Belgium. The current mayor of Ghent, Mathias De Clercq is from the liberal & democratic party Open VLD.
Tournai is a Walloon municipality of Belgium, 85 kilometres (53 miles) southwest of Brussels on the river Scheldt. In the province of Hainaut, Tournai is part of Eurometropolis Lille–Kortrijk–Tournai, which had 2,155,161 residents in 2008.
Tournai is one of the oldest cities in Belgium and has played an important role in the country's cultural history. It was the first capital of the Frankish Empire, with Clovis I being born here.
Tournai is located in the Wallonia and Romance Flanders region of Belgium, at the southern limit of the Flemish plain, in the basin of the River Scheldt (Escaut in French, Schelde in Dutch). Administratively, the town is part of the Province of Hainaut, itself part of Wallonia. It is also a municipality that is part of the French-speaking Community of Belgium. Tournai has its own arrondissements, both administrative and judicial.
Leuven is the capital of the province of Flemish Brabant in Belgium. It is located about 25 kilometres (16 miles) east of Brussels. The municipality itself comprises the historic city and the former neighbouring municipalities of Heverlee, Kessel-Lo, a part of Korbeek-Lo, Wilsele and Wijgmaal. It is the eighth largest city in Belgium and the fourth in Flanders with more than 100,244 inhabitants.
KU Leuven, Belgium's largest university, has its flagship campus in Leuven, which has been a university city since 1425. This makes it the oldest university city in the Low Countries. The city is also known for being the headquarters of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest beer brewer and sixth-largest fast-moving consumer goods company.
Mechelen is a city and municipality in the province of Antwerp, Flanders, Belgium. The municipality comprises the city of Mechelen proper, some quarters at its outskirts, the hamlets of Nekkerspoel (adjacent) and Battel (a few kilometers away), as well as the villages of Walem, Heffen, Leest, Hombeek, and Muizen. The Dyle (Dutch: Dijle) flows through the city, hence it is often referred to as the Dijlestad ("City on the river Dijle").
Mechelen lies on the major urban and industrial axis Brussels–Antwerp, about 25 km from each city. Inhabitants find employment at Mechelen's southern industrial and northern office estates, as well as at offices or industry near the capital and Zaventem Airport, or at industrial plants near Antwerp's seaport.
Mechelen is one of Flanders' prominent cities of historical art, with Antwerp, Bruges, Brussels, Ghent, and Leuven. It was notably a centre for artistic production during the Northern Renaissance, when painters, printmakers, illuminators and composers of polyphony were attracted by patrons such as Margaret of York, Margaret of Austria and Hieronymus van Busleyden
Chaleroi is a city and a municipality of Wallonia, located in the province of Hainaut, Belgium. By January 1, 2008, the total population of Charleroi was 201,593. The metropolitan area, including the outer commuter zone, covers an area of 1,462 square kilometres (564 sq mi) with a total population of 522,522 by January 1, 2008, ranking it as the 5th most populous in Belgium after Brussels, Antwerp, Liège, and Ghent. The inhabitants are called Carolorégiens or simply Carolos.
The Charleroi area was already settled in the prehistoric period, with traces of metallurgical and commercial activities along the Sambre. Several public buildings, temples and villas were built in the area in the Roman period. Burial places, with jewels and weapons, have been found. The first written mention of a place called Charnoy dates from a 9th-century offering in the Lobbes abbey, which lists various neighboring towns and related tithe duties. During the Middle Ages, Charnoy was one of the many small hamlets in the area, with no more than about 50 inhabitants, part of the County of Namur.
Ostend is a coastal city and municipality, located in the province of West Flanders, Belgium. It comprises the boroughs of Mariakerke, Raversijde, Stene and Zandvoorde, and the city of Ostend proper – the largest on the Belgian coast.
In earlier times, Ostend was a small village built on the east-end (oost-einde) of an island (originally called Testerep) between the North Sea and a beach lake. Although small, the village rose to the status of "town" around 1265 when the inhabitants were allowed to hold a market and to build a market hall.
The major source of income for the inhabitants was fishing. The North Sea coastline has always been rather unstable and in 1395 the inhabitants decided to build a new Ostend behind large dikes and further away from the always-threatening sea.
Liège is a major Walloon city and municipality and the capital of the Belgian province of Liège.
The city is situated in the valley of the Meuse, in the east of Belgium, not far from borders with the Netherlands (Maastricht is about 33 km (20.5 mi) to the north) and with Germany (Aachen is about 53 km (32.9 mi) north-east). At Liège, the Meuse meets the River Ourthe. The city is part of the sillon industriel, the former industrial backbone of Wallonia. It still is the principal economic and cultural centre of the region.
The Liège municipality (i.e. the city proper) includes the former communes of Angleur, Bressoux, Chênée, Glain, Grivegnée, Jupille-sur-Meuse, Rocourt, and Wandre. In November 2012, Liège had 198,280 inhabitants. The metropolitan area, including the outer commuter zone, covers an area of 1,879 km2 (725 sq mi) and had a total population of 749,110 on 1 January 2008. This includes a total of 52 municipalities, among others, Herstal and Seraing. Liège ranks as the third most populous urban area in Belgium, after Brussels and Antwerp, and the fourth municipality after Antwerp, Ghent and Charleroi.
Dinant is a Walloon city and municipality located on the River Meuse, in the Belgian province of Namur. It lies 90 kilometres (56 mi) south-east of Brussels, 30 kilometres (19 mi) south-east of Charleroi and 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of Namur. Dinant is situated 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of the border with France.
The municipality includes the old communes of Anseremme, Bouvignes-sur-Meuse, Dréhance, Falmagne, Falmignoul, Foy-Notre-Dame, Furfooz, Lisogne, Sorinnes, and Thynes.
Dinant is positioned in the Upper Meuse valley, at a point where the river cuts deeply into the western Condroz plateau. Sited in a steep sided valley, between the rock face and the river. The original settlement had little space in which to grow away from the river, and it therefore expanded into a long, thin town, on a north-south axis, along the river shore. During the 19th century, the former Île des Batteurs (Drummers' Island) to the south was attached directly to the town when a branch of the river was filled in.
Mons is a Walloon city and municipality, and the capital of the Belgian province of Hainaut. The Mons municipality includes the former communes of Cuesmes, Flénu, Ghlin, Hyon, Nimy, Obourg, Jemappes, Ciply, Harmignies, Harveng, Havré, Maisières, Mesvin, Nouvelles, Saint-Denis, Saint-Symphorien, Spiennes and Villers-Saint-Ghislain.
Mons was made into a fortified city by Count Baldwin IV of Hainaut in the 12th century. The population grew quickly, trade flourished, and several commercial buildings were erected near the Grand’Place. In 1814, King William I of the Netherlands increased the fortifications, following the fall of the First French Empire. The Industrial Revolution and coal mining made Mons a center of heavy industry. In 1830, Belgium gained its independence and the decision was made to dismantle the fortifications, allowing the creation of large boulevards and other urban projects.
On 23–24 August 1914, Mons was the location of the Battle of Mons. The British were forced to retreat and the town remained occupied by the Germans until its liberation by the Canadian Corps during the final days of the war. There are several memorial placards related to the WW1 battles. Today, the city is an important university town and commercial centre. The main square is the centre of the old city. It is paved in the manner of old cities and is home to many cafes and restaurants, as well as the town hall and belfry. It is forbidden to park in or drive through the centre.Together with the Czech city of Plzeň, Mons was the European Capital of Culture in 2015.
The Musée Magritte Museum, located in the heart of Brussels, brings together the world's largest collection of the renowned surrealist artist René Magritte: 230 works and archives are displayed. The multidisciplinary space houses paintings, gouaches, drawings, sculptures and painted objects, as well as advertising posters, musical scores, photographs and films. The Museum also has the most important collection from the artist’s "vache" period.
The selection of works exhibited in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium is constantly expanding with a changing selection of external loans. With the support of Belgian and foreign museums as well as private collectors, works are being made available that have previously never been exhibited. The visitor can thus discover many treasures that are still in private possession.The Musée Magritte Museum has already received 8 nominations and prizes. Every year more than 300,000 visitors come here for all over the world to discover the life and the works of René Magritte.
Manneken-Pis was at first a fountain that played an essential role in the former distribution of drinking water since the 15th century. The system was well-known in all of Europe. Towards the end of the 17th century, the statue became more and more important in the city life. It was also a survivor of the bombardment of Brussels in 1695. Manneken-Pis became a precious good and enjoys a ceaselessly growing glory.
During big events, we adorn him with luxurious clothes. We know that in the 18th century, Manneken-Pis was dressed at least 4 times a year. Since he lost his main function in the network of water conveyance of the City in the 19th century, Manneken-Pis gradually became an image and symbol of the Brussels folklore, the joy of the inhabitants and their capacity of self-mockery.
The Grand-Place is the central square of the City of Brussels. All over the world it is known for its decorative and aesthetic wealth. The Grand-Place is surrounded by the guild houses, the City Hall and the Maison du Roi.
The Brussels Grand Place was historically a marketplace where traders and citizens traded goods. You can notice that streets surrounding the square are named after foods. Like butter (Rue au Beurre), herbs (Rue du Marché aux Herbes), cheese (Rue du Marché aux Fromages) and so forth. As the city grew, market stands gave way to grand buildings by which the Grand Place is surrounded to this day. The Maison du Roi, in French means king’s house, but the lesser used name of Broodhuis in Dutch means bread house. Most of the buildings were rebuilt or restored after the bombardment of Brussels by France in 1695.
The Royal Palace of Brussels is the King’s administrative residence and main workplace, where he works daily with his staff. In his office at the Brussels palace, the King receives the representatives of political institutions, foreign guests (heads of state, ambassadors) and other guests. In addition to the office of the King and of the Queen, the Royal Palace plays host to the services of the King’s Household: the King’s Cabinet, the General Secretariat, the Civil List, the Military Household, the Protocol and the Queen’s Secretariat. The other members of the Royal Family also have an office at the Brussels Palace, where their staff work. The Palace comprises also prestige reception rooms where various activities of the King and the Royal Family are organised (work meetings and roundtables, receptions, concerts, lunches, etc.).
The Royal Palace is where the King of Belgium exercises his authority as Head of State and is the official palace of the King and Queen of Belgium. It also houses rooms for the country’s special guests, most of which are Heads of State and the offices of certain ministries.
he Cinquantenaire (50th anniversary) site is comprised of a vast set of gardens dotted with monuments and museums. It is dominated by a triumphal arch with three arches. The park hosts numerous activities throughout the year: events, celebrations, firework displays, sporting events, concerts, etc.
This place of interest was built in 1880 for the 50th anniversary of the independence of Belgium. The broad pathways lead to the Pavilion of Human Passions designed by Victor Horta, the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces & Military History, the Royal Museums of Art and History and to Autoworld. At the top of the three triumphal arches there’s a bronze quadriga and an unbeatable sweeping view over the whole of Brussels.
The Cinquantenaire Park (Parc du Cinquantenaire) is the second most important urban park in Brussels. Since it is so close to the European quarter, it is usually visited at lunchtime by the employees of the European Union.
This park is usually a little less lively than the Brussels Park (Parc de Bruxelles) but, if you visit the area, you can go for a short walk around and check out its numerous statues.
The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium hold the most important collection of visual arts of the country. Through paintings, sculptures and drawings, over 20.000 artworks and six museums tell our history, from the 15th to the 21st century.
The Old Masters, Magritte, Fin-de-Siècle and Modern Museum as well as the studios of artists Antoine Wiertz and Constantin Meunier represent a unique cultural heritage. The collections of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium trace the history of the visual arts – painting, sculpture and drawing – from the 15th to the 21st century. They preserve the works of the Flemish Primitives, of Pieter Bruegel, Peter Paul Rubens, Jacques Jordaens, Jacques Louis David, Auguste Rodin, James Ensor, Paul Gauguin, Ferdinand Khnopff, Henry Moore, Paul Delvaux, René Magritte, Marcel Broodthaers, Jan Fabre and many others.
Le Palais de Justice (The Palace of Justice) is one of the largest and most impressive buildings in the whole of Europe. It is currently still the most important court building in Belgium. Due to its cheer size; 160 by 150 meters and a total ground surface of 26,000 m² and its location on the high Town of Brussels, the building is visible from most parts of the town. The best views of Brussels are found on Poelaert Square, where the main entrance to the building is located.
The building was constructed between 1866 and 1883 by Joseph Poelaert, who died four years before the Palace was inaugurated. For the building to be completed, 3,000 houses had to be torn down.The only part of Brussels that can compete with the beauty of the Palais de Justice is the Grand Place. Visiting the Palace should be a must when staying in Brussels and we highly recommend discovering its interior to see one of the main jewels of Europe.
The Market Square , in the shadow of the majestic belfry tower, was the scene of mediëval festivals, fairs, tournaments, uprisings and executions. A place full of history!
Today, the square serves as e meeting place for the locals and the three tot four million visitors who flock to the town every year. The most striking building is without any doubt the Belfry.This large market square in the centre of Bruges is more of a circle than a square. If you stand in the middle by the large statue, you can turn a complete circle and see a ring of gorgeous buildings, including the belfry. Car free since 1995, it makes for great people watching, whether from the view of a horse drawn carriage or sitting at one of the many market side cafes.
Important buildings around the square are the landmark Belfry Tower of Bruges and the Cloth Halls. The provincial court stands on the site of the former medieval Water Halls today. On the left of the court complex is the residence of the Provincial Governor of West Flanders and the Bruges Post Office is located to the right of the court building. On the northern side of the square are many Medieval-style buildings with stepped gables. The statues in the square are of Jan Breydel and Pieter de Coninck – heroes of the 'Battle of the Golden Spurs', an uprising by the Flemish people against French domination.
The 'Princely Beguinage Ten Wijngaarde' with its white-coloured house fronts and tranquil convent garden was founded in 1245. This little piece of world heritage was once the home of the beguines, emancipated lay-women who nevertheless led a pious and celibate life. Today the beguinage is inhabited by nuns of the Order of St. Benedict and several Bruges women who have decided to remain unmarried. In the Beguine's house, you can still get a good idea of what day-to-day life was like in the 17th century.
Bruges Beer Museum – a new beer museum – opened last month in Bruges just a stone’s throw from the city’s main square.
The venture is the brainchild of two young entrepreneurs from the city, Thibault Bekaert and his lifelong friend, Emmanuel Maertens.The museum is modern and interactive. Visitors receive an iPad mini and Sony headphones and are able to navigate the information in the museum through text, audio and film in one of the ten languages available. The technology is intuitive. Hold the iPad up to the exhibit at which you are standing and it will automatically give you the option to ‘Read’, ‘See’ or ‘Hear’ something about that which you are pointing at.
The Lace Centre has been housed in the renovated old lace school of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. The story of Bruges lace is told in the Lace Museum on the ground floor. Multimedia installations and testimonies from international lace experts help to explain the various different types of lace and their geographical origin, and focus on the lace industry and lace education in Bruges. Demonstrations and various courses are organized in the lace workshop on the second floor.
Saint John’s Hospital has an eight hundred-year-old history of caring for pilgrims, travellers, the poor and the sick. Visit the medieval wards where the nuns and monks performed their work of mercy, as well as the chapel, and marvel at the impressive collection of archives, art works, medical instruments and six paintings by Hans Memling. Also worth a visit: the Diksmuide attic, the old dormitory, the adjoining custodian’s room and the pharmacy.
1 ) 1. Boombal Festival
Festival Month - August
Boombal Festival is the most appreciated folk dance festival in Belgium. The traditional folk music, written by the best local songwriters in Belgium, are presented here. The several stalls in the Boombal Festival offer some of the best vegetarian dishes from the local cuisine. Folk lovers from across the world come here to witness this incredible presentation of traditional folk music and dance. During the festival, the whole place gets lit up in colorful lights and the people gather around bonfires. Boombal Festival Dates: August 2019
2 ) 2. Rock Werchter
Festival Month - June
Rock Werchter was awarded the Arthur Award in the year 2015 for being the best music festival. This is one of the grandest events in Belgium featuring many talented Belgian musicians showcasing their love towards rock music. It started in the year 1974 and has continued to remain one of the best music festivals in Belgium. Many famous and well-known artists have performed here, including Iggy Pop, U2, Muse, Eurythmics, Ramstein, Florence + The Machine, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Metallica. Rock Werchter: 27th June 2019 to 30th June 2019
3 ) Tomorrowland Festival
Festival Month - July
Tomorrowland Festival in Belgium is the best music and dance festival which is visited by people from every nook and corner or the world. This festival is a must for every electronic music fan. It started in 2005 and has been an annual event since then. It is hosted at a park in Flanders showcases some of the best musicians and performers from all over the world. It is normal to find thousands of people dancing and swaying to the melodious tunes played here. Tomorrowland Festival Date: July 26th, 2019 to July 28th, 2019