Atomium Brussels

Atomium Brussels

Brussels - Belgium

The Atomium, symbol of Brussels and Belgium, is an international tourist attraction. This unique piece of architecture, created on the occasion of the World Fair of Brussels in 1958, became the most popular monument of the capital of Europe.Five balls of the Atomium are open to the public today. The basic sphere is dedicated to the permanent exhibition on the birth of the Atomium and the World Fair of 1958. Other balls welcome temporary exhibitions and multimedia installations. A whole sphere is reserved for children, with workshops and a place for sleeping for groups. The Atomium also welcomes concerts, projections of films, conferences,... Finally, the heighest ball is a restaurant with a great view on Brussels today.The Art & Design Atomium Museum is located next to the Atomium. This museum is dedicated to hundreds of items in plastic (1960-2000). It offers a permanent Plasticarium exhibition of objects, design and art as well as temporary exhibitions on art and design from the 20th century until today.


Ghent

Ghent

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Ghent is a historic city, yet at the same time a contemporary one. The modern daily life of the city’s active inhabitants plays itself out against a gorgeous historical backdrop. In Ghent, they live, work and enjoy life over and over again each day.A couple enjoys the peace of an authentic beguinage. Parents and children stroll through the traffic-free streets of the city centre. A tourist snaps a photo of the three towers, as so many have before, but just a little differently. A businessman with an iPhone walks along the distinctive Graslei, crosses the Lys and enters his stylish four-star hotel hiding behind a medieval facade. Dozens of pavement cafes invite you to discover Ghent’s specialities. The sun is reflected in the many waterways.


Bruges

Bruges

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Bruges, the capital of West Flanders in northwest Belgium, is distinguished by its canals, cobbled streets and medieval buildings.The Christmas Market in Bruges brings energy and glitter to the centre of this wonderful medieval city. It is up and running now and continues until January 3. Like all Christmas markets it has something of the feel of a fairground, but there are some good-quality craft items and artisan food products among the stalls, and seasonal cheer when the locals turn out for a drink at the pop-up bars. Bruges is a very walkable place: wrap up well, put on some stout shoes (for the cobbles) and wander the tranquil canals and byways beneath spires, towers and step-gables. Dip into the extraordinarily rich museums, then find a café or bar with a log fire and warm yourself with hot chocolate or a fine beer. Then head off for a meal and experience this city’s culinary renaissance.


Dinant

Dinant

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As you approach Dinant, it is the citadel on the high rock overlooking the town and the river which dominates. It is, however, the pear-shaped spire of the Collegiate Church of Our Lady that will attract your attention.The characteristic bell-tower, referred to as onion shaped or pear-shaped and often compared to a tulip bulb is more Byzantine than Walloon and was its designers probably took influence from the crusades. The church contains many vestiges of 13th to 15th century religious art.Not to be missed in the area: The Bayard rock. Less than a mile to the south, this 100ft. high needle stands between the road and the river and is another characteristic feature of Dinant. It is here that the British stopped the advance of the German troops in December 1944 and a memorial stone and plaque reminds us all of the important part played by the British troops in the Battle of the Bulge.The kayak canoeists of Anseremme: three miles down the road from Dinant, the impetuous River Lesse joins the Meuse.


Flanders

Flanders

Flanders - Belgium

The Flemish Region is one of the three official regions of the Kingdom of Belgium—alongside the Walloon Region and the Brussels-Capital Region. The Flemish-speaking provinces of West Vlaanderen and Oost Vlaanderen (West Flanders and East Flanders) roll east from the North Sea coast, stretching out towards Brussels and Antwerp. With the exception of the range of low hills around Oudenaarde and the sea dunes along the coast, Flanders is unrelentingly flat, a somewhat monotonous landscape at its best in its quieter recesses, where poplar trees and whitewashed farmhouses still decorate sluggish canals. More remarkably, there are many reminders of Flanders’ medieval greatness, beginning with the ancient and fascinating cloth cities of Bruges and Ghent, both of which hold marvellous collections of early Flemish art.The largest town on the coast is Ostend, a lively, working seaport and resort crammed with popular bars and restaurants.


Mechelen

Mechelen

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Mechelen is a small and picturesque city that is big on charm and history, thriving with quaint shops, car-free areas and pleasant little squares. The grace of centuries-old palaces and majestic churches appeals to everyone. There are no less then 336 listed buildings and monuments, including eight gothic and baroque churches from the 14th-17th century. The Begijnhofkerk is especially unique, with its feminine art schemes and pastel colours.Mechelen is a city for all ages. Young people can actively enjoy themselves in the Toy Museum or the Tivoli Children's Farm, whereas the young at heart can entertain themselves at the Anker, one of the oldest operating breweries in Belgium. Students from all over the world come to learn to play church bells at Mechelen’s carillon school. Sitting outside on the terrace of a cafe sipping a local beer while listening to the bell music coming from the sky is nothing short of delightful. It is also home to one of the last remaining places in the world that restores and repairs antique tapestries, at Royal Manufacturers De Wit.


Namur

Namur

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Namur is the capital of southern Belgium.Historically the city's raison d'être has always been its location at the confluence of the Meuse and Sambre Rivers. It is commanded by a vast former military citadel that was one of Europe’s mightiest fortresses until very recent times. Below the citadel, Namur's gently picturesque old-town core has much to discover if you look behind the slightly grubby exterior. It's also the best town by which to access the Ardennes. With its good hotels and an impressive choice of restaurants the town deserves a couple of days of your time. What's more, the surrounding Ardennes make it an ideal base camp for a longer stay in this part of Belgium.


Antwerp

Antwerp

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Antwerp has grown to become a trendy city, attracting many Flemish and foreign artists, writers, intellectuals, and actors. This is reflected in the city's many trendy bars and shops. Antwerp is a city with many faces. While it may not be as historically preserved as Bruges or Ghent, it is a very dynamic city, offering a perfect mix of history and present-day modern life.Antwerp is also known as the global diamond trade hub - more than 70% of all diamonds are traded in Antwerp. The overwhelming friendliness of the people of Antwerp and their innate penchant for good food and good living, combined with their low stress lifestyle, makes it a desirable and relaxing place to visit.


Ypres

Ypres

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Ypres is a city with a very rich and varied past. During the Middle Ages Ypres was a flourishing trading centre. In those days Ypres was one of the main Flemish cloth centres next to Bruges and Ghent. During the First World War the charming town was reduced to a heap of rubble.  Ypres was almost entirely destroyed by four years of senseless violence. The citizens of Ypres rebuilt their city with respect for the past.Ypres is a charming city for you to discover. The memory of the Great War is kept alive in one of the museums or on the historic sites. The medieval  character of Ypres can be experienced in the cosy centre or on the ramparts. Ypres has all facilities to accommodate each one of you. Centre for Ypres and the Westhoek, located in the western wing of the Cloth Hall. There you will discover the many assets of Ypres, Flanders Fields and French Flanders, over the border.


Leuven

Leuven

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Leuven is a dynamic and thriving city of about 95,000 inhabitants in Flemish Brabant, Belgium. It's a true university town in which the town is more alive during the academic year (end of September till June), although there are a lot of events in Summer.The city has a long and interesting history, being founded probably in the 9th century. It was particularly interesting because of the location, at the river Dijle and close to Brussels. Most of the city was thrashed and burned to the ground by the German invasion in World War I, and was again damaged during World War II. The historic centre itself however has been preserved and historic buildings like the University Library have been restored, partly with foreign relief funds.You may find that the average age of the population drastically changes during the academic year, when it often seems only students stroll around the city. In general however, Leuven has everything to appeal to both young and old: A lively nightlife, interesting and sometimes stunning historic sites, the important and world renowned University and two seemingly endless shopping streets.



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