Alden Biesen Castle and Gardens in Limburg, Belgium A gorgeous castle and garden await your visit in Flanders’ Limburg province. Alden Biesen Castle is one of Belgium’s finest and best of all admission is free.
J’aime beaucoup me promener dans la Vallée de la Meuse en amont de Dinant. C’est un peu par hasard que nous avons improvisé ce parcours en boucle, qui part d’Anseremme le long de la Meuse et y revient par la Vallée de la Lesse.
Located right in the middle of the triangle formed by Bruges, Ghent and Kortrijk, it’s inevitable that the town of Tielt struggled to make a mark on the West Flanders scene. Skilled craftsmen were – and still are – attracted to the three nearby cities in search of more or better paid work. Today’s tourists frequently do something similar, bypassing Tielt on their way to visit its three more famous neighbours. They should re-think their itinerary, and plan at least half a day in this quiet but surprising market town.
Belgium is such a quaint country. Everywhere you look you find yourself thinking “What? How? Why?”. Take the Flemish municipality of Voeren, for example, which is located in the far east of the country.
Walking into Villa Empain for the first time is a unique experience. You are blown away by the sheer opulence of the whole thing, standing in a house straight out of the Great Gatsby and the gilded jazz age. The architectural details hit you next and you ask yourself if you have somehow stumbled into an interbellum murder mystery à la Hercule Poirot.
When I was a little boy, my mother took me to the city and I remember standing at the Cathedral which, at the time, was completely covered in scaffolding. In 8 years time the whole church will be renovated, my mother said.
For three weeks every spring, the phenomenal Royal Greenhouses in Laken are open to the public (this year until May 9). They are a marvel of 19th-century architecture that house a stunning collection of plants, many of which are now in bloom.
When it feels like if I’m carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders I just crave paradise. Although it may be out of reach for a while, I’ll offer you the second best location for some peace of mind.
Many fascinating traditions exist in Brussels, dating from the city’s beginnings: festivals, parades, religious ceremonies and trade guilds. One of the most interesting of the later is the Grand Serment Royal et de Saint-Georges des Arbalétriers de Bruxelles – the crossbow guild of Brussels.
It seems that almost every important thinker, philosopher and writer has passed through Brussels at some point: Victor Hugo, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Verlaine, Karl Marx to name a few. Erasmus, the Dutch Renaissance thinker and humanist, who went on to found a highly popular student exchange programme, lived in Anderlecht for a few months on his way to France.
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