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Belgium

Cultural sightseeing in Belgium. What to visit - museums, temples, castles and palaces

Some people mistakenly believe Belgium is not an interesting country to visit. This unfortunate misconception is utterly untrue. In fact, Belgium as a country contains everything necessary for cultural recreation: historical and art museums will acquaint you with the history and art of Belgium, churches, and temples of various denominations will amaze you with their beauty, grandeur, and antiquity, and besides, there are many interesting historical sites on the Belgian land, some of which are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This list includes, for example, the Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady Antwerp. It was erected in a space of 169 years, and in 1521 it was finally open to the parishioners. In this magnificent Gothic building are works of famous artists.
Belgium could not avoid such fashionable directions as design hotels. Modern fashion trends can be traced in a number of hotels offering their guests …
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The collegiate church of St. Gertrude is located in Nivelles. It was built ten centuries ago and was first a nunnery. In the early forties of the last century, the church was damaged by Nazi bombs, and its reconstruction was completed only in the mid-eighties. St. Gertrude Nivelles, the patroness of travelers and the first prioress of the monastery, after whom the church was named, was buried within the walls of the church. Cathedrale Saints-Michel-et-Güdüle is located in Brussels. This is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, built in the 10th century. It hosts services, art exhibitions, and other cultural events. This Cathedral was built for almost three hundred years, and its main pride is the baroque altar.
The Basilica of the Holy Blood in Bruges is famous not only for its wonderful stained glass windows but also for the legend that a flask with the blood of Jesus Christ is hidden in this building. Two ancient chapels are connected by a staircase, and the smaller one was built in the 12th century. A wonderful, fabulous town will be found by the guests of Bruges in the city center. Many buildings here have been preserved from the Middle Ages. This incredible place is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and it is so nice to just walk around and get mentally transferred a couple of centuries back. Quiet and calm, the center looks unusual, surrounded by a modern city. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
The capital of the European Union simply cannot afford not to have luxury hotels in its own square, especially considering the constant influx of …
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In Brussels, be sure to visit the Belgian Comic Strip Center. It is located in the center of the capital and offers visitors the opportunity to get acquainted with the works of artists who create short comic strips. The museum will be interesting to children and adults, as it is possible not only to watch the adventures of comic book heroes but also to learn the history of their creation. The Museum is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm. Another interesting place in Brussels is the Musical Instruments Museum, created in the seventies of the 19th century. In its four-storey building, visitors will find modern and ancient musical instruments, learn the history of music of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, as well as get acquainted with musical instruments from different eras from around the world. The Museum is open every day from 9.30am to 5 pm, with the exception of Saturdays and Sundays when it opens from 10 am to 5 pm, and Mondays when it is closed.
The Groeninge Museum in Bruges is renowned for its rich collection of Belgian art from different eras. Pictures of such giants as Jan van Eyck, the earlier works of Belgian artists, neoclassicism and 20th-century art are only part of the collection. In addition to the permanent exhibits, you can see other works within the framework of temporary exhibitions in the museum. The Museum is open every day except Mondays, from 10 am to 5 pm. The city of Antwerp is proud of the Diamond Museum, where every day there is a public demonstration of the polishing of diamonds. An extensive collection will introduce you to the characteristics of the jewel, their extraction, and processing phases. Also, there is a museum of photography (Fotomuseum) in Antwerp, showing the work of Belgian photographers of different years. The museum encourages young photographers in Belgium by displaying their work on its walls. It is better to visit this place without children, as some works can be quite explicit.
The Belgians, living in a country rich in history, not only maintain their own history but also try to extract a lot of benefits from it. Historical …
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The Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art is located in the city of Ghent. Permanent collection and temporary exhibitions offer guests the opportunity to learn a lot about modern art, which is often provocative and controversial. They also get to see the different methods of expressing thoughts, which are used by artists. Those who prefer the classics should visit the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Tournai, which was opened at the very beginning of the 20th century and contains works by Rubens, Monet, Van Gogh, and other famous artists. The building of the museum with its unusual shape brings to mind a turtle.
If you find yourself in Brussels, you are humbly obliged to visit the Grand Place in the City Center, which is considered one of the most beautiful squares in Europe. The square has been in existence since the 13th century. Cultural events are held here, and finally, it is just a pleasure to walk around the square, admiring the buildings with baroque and gothic architecture. In Ypres, there is the Menin Gate, built as a monument to the Belgians who were killed not far from here during the First World War. The bodies of the warriors, which number about half a million, were never found. For the past 90 years, every evening at eight o’clock, the trumpet here sounds, followed by a minute of silence in memory of the dead.
Belgium guide chapters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Fantastic City Tours and Excursions in Belgium

Reference information
Map of all art museums
Art galleries in Belgium
♥   Art museum 'Cinquantenaire Museum' Brussels. On the map   Photos
♥   Art museum 'Groeningemuseum' Bruges. On the map   Photos
♥   Art museum 'Horta Museum' Brussels. On the map   Photos
♥   Art museum 'Museum Mayer van den Bergh' Antwerp. On the map   Photos
♥   Art museum 'Museum of Fine Arts' Ghent. On the map   Photos
Map of all churches
Cathedrals and basilicas in Belgium
♥   Basilique Saint-Materne, Walcourt. On the map   Photos
♥   Basilique-Abbatiale Saint-Benoît de Maredsous, Anhée. On the map   Photos
♥   Basilique abbatiale Notre-Dame de Bonne-Espérance, Vellereille-les-Brayeux. On the map   Photos
♥   Cathédrale Saint-Aubain, Namur. On the map   Photos
♥   Basilique Notre-Dame de Bonsecours, Bon-Secours. On the map   Photos
♥   Sanctuaire de Notre-Dame de Banneux, Banneux. On the map   Photos
♥   Basilique Notre-Dame de Tongre, Tongre-Notre-Dame. On the map   Photos
Map of all palaces
Palaces in Belgium
♥   Palace 'Egmont Palace' Brussels. On the map   Photos
♥   Palace 'Royal Castle of Laeken' Brussels. On the map   Photos
♥   Palace 'Royal Palace of Antwerp' Antwerp. On the map   Photos
♥   Palace 'Royal Palace of Belgium' Brussels. On the map   Photos

Extreme Guinness-type places in Belgium

Nemo 33 Pool

From the series “The Most Amazing Swimming Pools in the World”
Nemo-33 is one of the deepest pools in the world, located in the Belgian town Uccle. The depth of this pool is 33 meters, 7 years was spent for its construction. This pool was built especially for divers, its complex construction includes many caves and courses - ideal conditions for training. More than 3 million euros was laid for the construction of the pool. It is so large that 2.5 million liters of water are needed to fill the pool.

The opening of the pool took place in 2004, the author of the project was the world-famous diver John Birnerts. Initially, the center was used to train professional divers, and later it was used for filming. Today, one of the deepest swimming pools in the world is accessible for free visits. Absolutely all fans of diving can swim in it, but only if there … Read all

Chateau Miranda

From the series “Deserted Places Causing the Feeling of Chill”
One of the most frightening abandoned buildings in the world is found in the Belgian city of Celle. It is the beautiful Miranda Castle, which was built by the French aristocracy in the post-revolutionary period. During the Second World War, the castle was converted into an orphanage. It came to desolation in 1980. Today the castle attracts paranormal researchers from around the world. A lot of scary legends are telling about it. Many witnesses claimed that they have met ghosts while walking through the dark corridors of the castle, as well as have heard unexplained creepy noises.

The castle stays in complete desolation since 1991. Now it’s life-threatening to stay inside. Over the years, the castle became dilapidated and destroyed. Its ceilings and stairs can collapse at any time, and … Read all
All unique sightseeing Belgium
Country maps Maps of Belgium
Car rental on OrangeSmile.com Car rental in Belgium
Map of cities Cities map of Belgium
Map of sights Map of sights in Belgium

Traveling in Norway: the Best Places to See During a Short Getaway

If you plan to stay in Norway only for several days, do not limit yourself to the capital. Hotels in Oslo are quite expensive but it is still better to book a hotel located close to the city center. Most tourists start their journey in Norway with Oslo as the biggest airport in the country is located in the capital. The capital’s major attractions include the Oslo Opera House, the Royal Palace, the National Museum, the Munch Museum, Grand Hotel, Parliament building, and Karl Johaus Gate Road. Visit the Munch Museum to see famous “The Scream” painting and then move to Aker Brygge harbor – most tourists come here to take pictures of old ships. Finally, the Grünerløkka neighborhood is a trendy place for everyone who likes partying at night or visiting cute vintage shops in the daytime. Read this

07.05.2021

Top cultural sites of Belgium: monuments, theaters and churches

Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Brussels

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Catholic Basilica of the Sacred Heart is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was inspired by the eponymous basilica in Paris.
» This shrine is the sixth area of the Roman Catholic Church in the world.
» The church is the large structure with two towers and a green copper dome towering 89 meters above the ground. The length of the building is almost 165 meters.
» In total the church can accommodate up to 2,000 people.
»  The basilica houses a restaurant, a Catholic radio station, theater, two museums, and a place of training cavers and climbers.

Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Brugge

Location on the map:   Interesting facts: » The Cathedral of Christ the Savior was built in the 19th century. Nowadays, the cathedral is a main city church. It is a bishop’s seat.
»  The cathedral is famous for its luxury interior, many religious relics and pieces of art.
»  The walls of the cathedral are decorated with Brussels canvasses of the 18th century and multicolored paintings of the 19th century. Due to them, the cathedral looks festive.
»  In the cathedral, there is a museum where you can see such precious artifacts, as “The Death of Hippolytus”, a triptych created by Dirk Bouts and Hugo van der Goes in 1470, and the painting “Golgotha”, one of the oldest canvasses in Brugge.
»  The organ in the cathedral is the oldest in the country. It was created in the baroque style in 1717.

Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula, Brussels

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula is one of the main attractions of Brussels, and the clearest example of Gothic architecture.
» The building of the cathedral is a symmetrical composition with two towers, within which there is a long staircase opening onto the terrace that is 64 meters high. The terrace offers a magnificent view of the city.
» The Cathedral has four doors decorated with wrought-reliefs and statues of saints. There is a huge stained glass above the main entrance.
» Stained glasses decorating the cathedral were created in the 16th century by Jan Haq and in 18-19th century by Jean-Baptiste Kaproner.
» The cathedral houses the mausoleum of the Belgian national hero Frederic de Merode.

Chapel Church, Brussels

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Chapel Church is one of the oldest churches in Brussels, the first mention of which dates back to 1134 year. During its long history the church has undergone many changes; it has repeatedly been destroyed and rebuilt.
» There are graves of local nobility and famous people inside the church.
» Nowadays, the Chapel Church is the parish church of the Polish Catholic community in Brussels.
» You can see the entire collection of paintings, sculptures and stained glass inside the temple.
» The church regularly hosts a variety of concerts. It’s open to visitors all year round.

Church of Our Blessed Lady, Brussels

Location on the map:   Interesting facts: » The Church of Our Blessed Lady is one of the clearest examples of temples built in the late Gothic style.
» The Church was built in the period from 1400 to 1594. It’s located near Small Sablon Park that was laid in honor of the great men of the sixteenth century.
» The church building is decorated with beautiful stained glass windows; bright interior lighting is turned on in the night.
» Since its construction in 1784, the church has being serving as the burial place for noble aristocratic families.
» The church is famous for its numerous sculptures adorning the facade of the building, its grounds and interior.

Church of Our Lady, Brugge

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Church of Our Lady is a construction that features the combination of Gothic and Roman styles.
»  The construction lasted over 2 years and was completed in the 13th century.
»  In the spacious church with a 122-meter tower, the only sculpture of Michelangelo, “The Virgin Mary with the Baby”, is kept.
»  Some windows of the church have the shape of a Reuleaux triangle. Such windows are quite rare.
»  The church is famous for the fact that the wife of Maximilian I Mary of Burgundy who lived a short life was buried here. The emperor loved his wife very much and called her the most beautiful woman in the world.

Church of Saint-Jean, Liege

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The octagonal church of St. Jean looks bleak and strict.
»  The church is named Saint-Jean-en-Lille, which means “a temple on the island”). The first building was built on the plot surrounded by water.
»  The founder of the church was Bishop Notger. The bishop expressed his gratitude to God for assistance in captivating the Chevremon Fortress. The warrior found rest here. The tomb with his relics was lost due to the overflow of the river. The sarcophagus of the leader was restored but his remnants were not found. The flood gave an impetus to the building reconstruction.
»  Italian and Liege architects worked on the project. Only a bell tower built in the Roman style has survived.
»  At the Saint-Jean-en-Lille, pieces of sacred art are kept: the wooden sculpture of Apostle John and the Mother of God with a baby (1230), paintings from the Late Middle Ages, a carved cross, and wooden lockets depicting St. Paul and Peter. On the altar, there is the preserved gospel dating back to 1564.
»  The interior is distinguished by stained glass windows of the 16th century, furniture on the baroque style, and a carved Gothic vault.

Church of St. Bartholomew, Liege

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Church of St. Bartholomew attracts with its exterior. Vertical ledges of red columns contrast with the background of the white sandstone walls.
»  A lot of pilgrims following the road of St. Jacob visited the church.
»  The unfinished building was blessed when the foundation was laid.
»  The Church of St. Bartholomew built in the Roman style is located beyond the city.
»  There are two similar bell towers at the sides of the church.
»  In the hall, you can see paintings by eminent artists. The main theme of canvasses is the glorification of Jesus.
»  You can also see a brass bowl here. A font was built in the 12th century. The bowl is installed on the backs of bulls. There were 12 statues of animals but two of them have been lost. These bulls represent twelve followers of Christ. The walls of the font are decorated with five relief paintings depicting scenes from the life of celestial beings. The fineness of details really impresses. The font is placed on a pedestal in a separate room.
»  The restoration of the building lasted 7 years and was completed in 2006. The colorful ornament on painted walls was renovated. It had to change 10 000 tiles.

Culture and monuments in popular cities of Belgium

Brussels
Travellers will get introduced with the history of the city in Civic Museum, the collections of which include numerous historical artifacts and art objects. The museum is located in a beautiful historical building that features Gothic Revival style. Young visitors will also find much interesting in visiting another cultural institution - Museum of Natural Science. Among the exhibits of this place you will find rarest dinosaur skeletons. According to archaeologists, the age of some of them is … Read more
Brugge
There are also natural attractions in Bruges. Minnewater Lake is one of them. It is considered the most romantic place in the city, and so many interesting superstitions and legends are connected with it. On evenings you can see many romantic couples on the lake who come here to admire the sunset and enjoy the intimate atmosphere. Among the major attractions of the city is also the bell tower of Church of Notre-Dame, which height estimates 122 meters. The bell tower is made in the Gothic style. … Read more
Antwerpen
You should definitely visit Plantin-Moretus Museum, the collection of which is devoted to the history of typography. The museum contains a large library, which stores copies of rare and old books. The halls of the museum are decorated with exquisite decor items, many of which have a long history of more than one hundred years. Museum of Diamonds is, without a doubt, no less interesting. The treasury of the museum stores priceless jewelry. Some of the masterpieces were created by goldsmiths in … Read more
Oostende
The Sint-Pieters-Leeuw Tower (Sint-Pieterstoren) is a landmark of the earlier period. The construction is mostly known under nickname of “caster”. The tower is the only element of the church built in the 15th century which has survived till nowadays. The most remarkable fact about the church is that in the course of five hundred years of history the tower has not changed and still appears in its initial look. In the course of its long history the tower has not been restored or reconstructed … Read more
Gent
Belfry is one of the main sights of Ghent and a true symbol of prosperity and independence. The height of the bell tower estimates 91 meters. The construction of the old tower was completed in 1338 and lasted more than 30 years. Korenlei embankment is a great place for evening walks. You will see many beautiful old mansions as you walk down it. Among the religious attractions of the city we should definitely mention Saint Bavo Cathedral, in which has survived an ancient tomb made in the … Read more
Spa
Each spring has its interesting history. For instance, in the middle of the 17th century Source de la Géronstère was constructed on donations of the Burgsdorf count. The count spent several months at the resort and was healed from few diseases. The luxurious pavilion built on his funds became the best gratitude to the welcoming resort. One of the very interesting historical monuments is Pouhon Prince de Condé. It was found by the local pharmacist in his own cellar in 1863. This … Read more
Liege
The significant landmark of Liege is the Town Hall which was built in the beginning of the 18th century. The fronton of the building presents the Liege emblem and the entrance of the Town Hall is beset with a magnificent memorial tablet. The tablet is put to commemorate Commissar Maigret who was born and lived in Liege. The most unusual and attracting sight of the city is of course the Perron colonnade. Up to 1697 a huge column, which later turned to a part of the fountain, stood on this place. … Read more
Kortrijk
In a short walk from the square there is a symbolic landmark - Begijnhof St. Elizabeth founded in the mid-13th century. Up until the late 17th century architectural complex has being continuously changing its appearance. It was rebuilt and supplemented by new buildings. Visitors are invited to visit the most beautiful buildings and rooms where state receptions took place a few centuries ago. There is also a museum there, which collection is devoted to the history of the architectural complex. … Read more

Belgium map of cultural and historical sites

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