World at a Glance: Flemish béguinages, a 13th century women’s movement

A béguinage, what is that? Well, let's begin with a béguine (come on, that was funny...) A béguine is, or rather was, a woman who dedicated her life to her god - but didn't necessarily want to take a vow, or withdraw from the world. [...]

2018-06-06T12:23:05+00:006 June 2018|Belgium, UNESCO World Heritage|

Belgian Belfries

We’ve covered many serial world heritage sites here on Sophie’s World. Some are within the same country, such as the mining landscapes of Cornwall and Devon, while others are transnational: Struve’s Geodetic Arc, Europe's ancient beech forests, and even transcontinental, like le Corbusier’s buildings. Today, we’re in Belgium, taking a look [...]

2018-06-01T11:37:05+00:0031 May 2018|Belgium, UNESCO World Heritage|

Plantin-Moretus publishing house: a 16th century amazon.com.

In Belgium's second city, you’ll find the Plantin-Moretus Museum, a fascinating 16th century printing shop, publishing house and residence. Antwerp, then a city of 100 000 residents, was one of Europe's leading cities for printing and typography, with 140 bookshops, printers and publishers. Among these, Christophe Plantin was [...]

In Bruges: UNESCO meets black comedy crime

I was first in Bruges just after uni. It was a brief trip, just 3-4 hours, and what I remember best was cleanliness! Not so much as a gum wrapper littered the cobbled streets. Years later, I returned with Ali. Possibly an even shorter visit. [...]

2018-06-01T10:49:34+00:002 October 2017|Belgium, UNESCO World Heritage|

De Koninck: Antwerp in a Bottle

As you may recall, we really like Antwerp here at Sophie’s World. So we just had to return! Earlier, we’ve talked about the city’s three World Heritage sites (three!). This time, I'll tell you about an unusual Antwerp brewery. Sounds, well, not that exciting? That’s [...]

2017-10-10T15:35:12+00:0024 September 2017|Belgium, Food and drink, Magic of Cities|

One day in Antwerp – a snapshot

One of the most famous novels in Norway is called Gift (meaning Poison. Oddly, it also means 'married'). It was written in 1883 by Alexander Kielland and is a deeply critical social commentary on the educational system. Cramming and memorising was the order of the [...]

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