Tag Archives: Belgium
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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. Who were these women? According to one theory, wars and […]

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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 at a transnational property, comprising 56 belfries scattered throughout this […]

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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 the most famous – a 16th century Amazon.com, you might […]

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World at a Glance: Stoclet House

Stoclet House – or Stoclet Palace – is a secret heritage site. All you’ll see is the back of the building. Through an iron fence. I’m feeling a bit like a stalker, snapping photos through the fence as cars pass by on Brussel’s busy, snazzy Avenue de Tervueren. Now, the back of the building does […]

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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. So when VisitFlanders invited me to have a closer (and […]

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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 what I thought, too. In fact, when I learned we […]

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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 day, and not necessarily topics relevant to real life. Students […]

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