Belgium Off The Beaten Path

  • Grootseminarie Brugge,Brugge,West Flanders,Belgium
    Grootseminarie Brugge,Brugge,West...
    by Greggor58
  • Quiet Streets and Areas.
    by Poznick
  • Schellemolen windmill near Damme
    Schellemolen windmill near Damme
    by Dabs

Belgium Off The Beaten Path

  • Tours & Walks

    Brussels Off The Beaten Path

    Directly next door, at Avenue Palmerston, 2, an extension to Hôtel van Eetvelde (at Avenue Palmerston, 4) was designed by Victor Horta in 1898. Known as Hôtel Delhaye, this building has a beautifully detailed sandstone façade. It was designed to house a garage, an office and a billiard room for van Eetvelde, as well as apartments, therefore it...

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  • Nearby Towns or Villages.

    Brugge Off The Beaten Path

    In Brugge, I rented a bike and followed an easy route to the Netherlands. The path was next to the tree-lined Damme canal with the occasional windmill and small town on the side - there was even a pub or two for emergency refreshment breaks. The towns on the way are Damme, Ooskerke, Hoeke. I rode for about an hour and fifteen minutes to reach a...

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  • Pedestrian tunnel

    Antwerp Off The Beaten Path

    To get the best views of Antwerp's skyline you'll need to cross the river. I suppose you could always swim but the easy way to do it is to use the Sint Anna Pedestrian Tunnel, with its wooden escalators and 572 metre tile-walled foot/cycle path - http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/p/m/22f5f2/ Once on the left bank you get great views over the...

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  • Down on the Beach

    Oostende Off The Beaten Path

    When a grain of sand enters an oyster shell, the oyster covers it with nacre, a substance the oyster also uses to coat the inside of its shell. Layer upon layer of nacre is deposited on the grain of sand, which gradually turns into a lustrous pearl. But…only 1 out of 15.000 wild oysters contains a pearl! So keep on searching!

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  • WW I related

    Ieper Off The Beaten Path

    If you are travelling by car from the French ports towards Ypres, this cemetery is an extremely interesting place to stop, 12kms southwest of Poperinge. It is at the location of the Remy Sidings casualty clearing hospital, where the badly injured soldiers arriving by railway from Ypres would have their first opportunity to find surgeons, operating...

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  • Parcs & Gardens

    Brussels Off The Beaten Path

    These conservatories were built in the 19th century by king Leopold II to house his collection of plants from the Congo. They consist of 16 connected greenhouses. This complex can be visited only for two weeks every year; usually between april and may. I was very lucky to be in Brussels at the beginning of may, so that I could enjoy those rich...

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  • Belgian Windmills

    Brugge Off The Beaten Path

    There are four windmills along the canal that circles the old town section of Brugge. It seems as though most people do not bother to venture out to them, so, there are no bothersome crowds. I walked out to them in the early morning dawn and again at night. Also, if you go at night the windmills are lit and there is so little traffic that all is...

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  • Along the river, right and left bank

    Antwerp Off The Beaten Path

    Many radio fans come to Antwerp to visit the former Radio Veronica ship, that transmitted on MW from the free Nothsea in the 60's and 70's. Location: Kempische Dok; kaai 35 - 2030 Antwerpen. 2008 Update: In the summer the ship has been prepared to be moved. Both main masts have been removed; new masts lie horizontally on deck. There is a plan to...

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  • Museums

    Oostende Off The Beaten Path

    For those with an interest in Second World War history one of the best preserved sections of Hitler's coastal defence, the Atlantik Wall, is to be found just outside Oostende. This was a series of connected gun emplacements, bunkers and barracks which stretched the whole of the coastline from Norway down to Spain in order to repel the threatened...

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  • Outside Ieper

    Ieper Off The Beaten Path

    Grab yourself a bicycle at the train station in Ieper...The surrounding countryside is beautiful and perfect for a ride exploring War Memorials or just to change up your pace of life for a day or two...and get yourself out into the countryside... There are many towns within kilometers of each other...you would be hard pressed to find yourself...

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  • Jeanneken Pis

    Brussels Off The Beaten Path

    This statue of a little girl urinating is in a little-used street a few blocks from Brussels's Manneken Pis. Little boys peeing has been a staple of fountains for a thousand years, but I don't know of a female version from before 1985, when sculptor Denis-Adrien Debouvrie made this one and struck a blow for the sisters. It's protected by an iron...

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  • Quiet Streets and Areas.

    Brugge Off The Beaten Path

    “I forgot to mention that Memling’s pictures in the Hospital of St. John were presented to the Institution by that stunner in return for the care bestowed upon him when he was received here, severely wounded and in great want, after the battle of Nancy. The interior of the hospital has undergone since his time but very little alteration. His...

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  • Sint Anna beach

    Antwerp Off The Beaten Path

    A very popular place. I was there on the first sunny Sunday of 2004 and already there where people at the beach. Must be very crowed when it is really hot. It is a good place to get a tan or for watching the people while enjoying your beer. Swimming is not allowed.

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  • Mercator

    Oostende Off The Beaten Path

    MERCATOR MARINE. You cannot miss it arriving at Ostend. The Mercator Yacht Harbour,the three masted sailing ship 'Mercator',it also contains many yachts. It is nice to take a walk among the pride of many seaman.

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  • Inside Ieper

    Ieper Off The Beaten Path

    The Lakenhalle is a masterpiece of reconstruction, as is all of central historical Ieper. It is almost impossible to 'see the join' between what was left after the town was almost obliterated and what has been rebuilt. But if you look carefully at the lower layers of the Lakenhalle, you can see. Some of the original stones, slightly coarser and...

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  • Markets & Flea Markets

    Brussels Off The Beaten Path

    Go to the MAROLLEN (quarter in BRUSSELS) and walk around and I am sure that you will find beautifully coloured nice clothing and lots of fine gifts.......POTTERY e.g.. and....when the shops don't have whatever you want walk over the KAATSBALPLEIN, where there is a flea-market from 7AM till 2PM (and a bit later.......) No chance that you return...

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  • Canals/ Boats / Bridges.

    Brugge Off The Beaten Path

    The canals in Brugge are now mainly used for pleasure boats and tourist boats, but in earlier times Brugge had direct access to the sea and was a major commercial seaport. According to the website www.brugge.be, the early medieval port of Bruges was accessible from the sea until around 1050, when the natural link between Bruges and the sea silted...

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  • Church: Saint Pauls church

    Antwerp Off The Beaten Path

    Inside the church gate, the Mount Calvary is situated, surround by houses from beginning 16th century. It's a peculiar, spectacular open-air theatre of statues, built between 1700-1734. It depicts the trial, torture, death and burial of Christ. The Calvary garden was built from 1700-1734 and has 63 lifesized statues made of sandstone. The idea...

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  • St Petrus & Paulus Church

    Oostende Off The Beaten Path

    Since the church looms above the cityscape when you exit the train station, you can't really call the Saint Peter and Paul Church "off the beaten path", and yet somehow it is. It's easy to disregard architectural wonders and cultural sights in a beachfront town, even when they're staring you in the face. The church is nice, but it's easy to...

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  • Chinese & Japanese Towers

    Brussels Off The Beaten Path

    These were commisioned to a French architect by king Leopold II. They are located on the northern corner of the Royal Park in Laeken area. I couldn' t see much inside the Japanese Tower, because only the first floor was opened when I went here. Inside there is a collection of Japanese ceramics. The Chinese Pavilion has various small rooms richly...

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  • Statues / Murals / Memorials

    Brugge Off The Beaten Path

    There is an absolutely breathtaking marble statue of Mary with Child, in one of the Catholic churches in Brugge. Funny story (what is a Michelangelo doing in Belgium?)... Apparently the pope of the age commissioned a Madonna and child sculpture, but stipulated that there be 'No Nudity' shown. In the final sculpture, Mary is appropriately covered...

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  • Graffitti walls and wall paintings

    Antwerp Off The Beaten Path

    Every city has graffiti, but not every city has graffiti that is both more artistic and concentrated in easy to view galleries. One particular park, with picnic tables, benches and green grass is near the intersection of Muntstraat and Oever. This is just one example, but I came across many others. Get your walking shoes and go explore for more.

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  • Statues / Monuments

    Oostende Off The Beaten Path

    Napoleon built this fort as defence against a possible invasion from the English. A British invasion never came and the fort was completed only upon the fall of Napoleon During worldwar I and II this fort was used by the German military As from 1995 this fort is managed and restored by money the "Flanders Heritage" It became a hospitable spot for...

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  • Museums

    Brussels Off The Beaten Path

    The Horta Museum, located in the house that Victor Horta built for himself in 1898, is not a museum in the traditional sense of the word. There are no displays explaining the foundation of art nouveau architecture or even the architect, Victor Horta, instead the house itself serves as the museum. The Horta Museum is located at Amerikaanse straat /...

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  • Lace making

    Brugge Off The Beaten Path

    And the softness of my body will be guarded from embrace By each button, hook, and lace. For the man who should loose me is dead, Fighting with the Duke in Flanders, In a pattern called a war. Christ! What are patterns for? — from the poem “Patterns” by Amy Lowell (1874-1925) The art of lace making has been practiced in Belgium for centuries. In...

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  • Antwerp-Sint Andries

    Antwerp Off The Beaten Path

    When Noro-Liva visited Antwerp last July 2003, I took her to the Munt plein. There is this little open space (how long still?) where you can find a real treasure of graffiti! The walls were covered with some real nice paintings. It seems that on regularly base, they add new ones, because when I was here a few years ago, there were other graffiti's...

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  • Excursions

    Brussels Off The Beaten Path

    Take this road to get out of town. It's a beautiful road, the hills slowly rear up, you get glimpses down the Meuse at Namur as you shoot over a high spanning bridge, and the road connects easily with the Bvd. General Jacques on the `ceinture' running around Brussels. The Walloon tourist authorities have put up beautiful plaques by the side of the...

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  • Churches / Museums / Parks

    Brugge Off The Beaten Path

    Where? In Potterierei, just under a mile from the old city centre What? A quirky museum of all things medieval: sculpture, books and manuscripts, religious articles, paintings, furniture - pretty much anything, really. A baroque chapel is on-site as well.

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  • Antwerp-around Central Station

    Antwerp Off The Beaten Path

    As we were exiting Centraal Station, no doubt reading a map in one of our guidebooks, a local came up and suggested that if we liked architecture that we should visit the Antwerp Zoo, right next door to the Centraal Station. Antwerp's zoo is one of the world's oldest, opened in 1843. At the front gates you can see the gold mosaic lion and tiger...

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  • Waterloo

    Brussels Off The Beaten Path

    Who never heard of Waterloo? The village itself might be small but the place of interest is outside the village. Here historici can dream of the big battlefield between Napoleon against big names as Wellington and Willem van Oranje. You can climb up the many steps to the mountain where the rememberance statue is placed, a lion overlooking the...

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  • Medieval Architecture

    Brugge Off The Beaten Path

    “Bruges is a grey, silent town with crow-step gables to the house fronts, its shadows being shot with the gleams from canals that run through the streets. Its roof-level is dominated by an immense belfry from which there descend chimes. The chimes are practically never silent. Beautifully and drowsily five minutes before every quarter of the hour...

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  • Beguinage

    Antwerp Off The Beaten Path

    A Begijnhof, or Beguinage is a collection of buildings used and occupied by Beguines from the 13th century onwards. Beguines were a catholic order of women who dressed and lived like nuns but who never took formal vows. Legend has it that there were not enough decent men around at the time and so they decided to live a life that allowed them to...

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  • Atomium & Heyzel area

    Brussels Off The Beaten Path

    “The atom bombs are piling up in the factories, the police are prowling through the cities, the lies are streaming from the loudspeakers, but the earth is still going round the sun.” — George Orwell (1903-1950) As part of the permanent exhibition at the Atomium, models of the pavilions of nations that exhibited at Expo ’58 are on display. They...

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  • Tours / Town Gates (Poorten)

    Brugge Off The Beaten Path

    If you find yourself over looking at the windmills on the northeast side of the city, just to the south of the final windmill is one of the old city gates, Kruispoort or Cross Gate, which looks like a mini castle with a drawbridge. At one time Brugge was surrounded by a city wall with nine of these city gates, built in the 13th-14th centuries....

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  • Surroundings-Lillo

    Antwerp Off The Beaten Path

    Less than 10 kilometers out of the city centre, and still in the harbour of Antwerp, this tiny village next to the river 'Schelde' used to be a military fort dating back to 1580. Most of the surrounding 'polder' villages disappeared during the industrial revolutions of the 1960's, but this little gem survived in the middle of industrial...

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  • Cinquantenaire & museums

    Brussels Off The Beaten Path

    “But Brussels should ask to be delivered from its friends. It is not a miniature anything, but a very solid and extensive old city, with a physiognomy and character quite its own. It is very much less elegant than the Paris of the last twenty years; but it is decidedly more picturesque.” — from “Transatlantic Sketches” 1875 by Henry James...

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  • Breweries / Cafes.

    Brugge Off The Beaten Path

    This is a great spot ....quiet at the time that I visited with the few people that participated in a bike tour with Quasimondo Bike Tours...we stopped in to have a refreshment...we discovered a GREAT pub with an assortment of over 130 types of beer...and a menu for food... This is the oldest existing pub in Brugge and dates to 1515....Vlissinghe’s...

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  • Parks and botanical gardens

    Antwerp Off The Beaten Path

    Most of Antwerp's parks can be found outside the city center. The largest park in the center is the 14 hectare (35 acres) city park or stadspark. It is located in the Jewish neighborhood, not far from the Central Station. When the large fortifications around Antwerp were built between 1860 and 1865, the Spanish fortifications had become redundant....

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  • Beguinage / Begijnhof

    Brugge Off The Beaten Path

    Most people don't know this, but you'll get an excellent view of the Minnewater and the Beguinage from the roof top of the De Haalve Maan Brewery. Of course, you'll need to join the brewery tour to get to the roof.. Location Brewery De Halve Maan Walplein 26 8000 Brugge Phone : 32 50 332697 Fax : 32 50 345935

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  • Surroundings-Zurenborg (Berchem)

    Antwerp Off The Beaten Path

    This area is situated between the Dageraadplaats and the Berchem Train Station ... for more info about the history of the Cogels Osylei and its surroundings, i.e. Zurenborg quarter, go to my TravelogueL*

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  • Miscellaneous tips, info, walks, tours

    Antwerp Off The Beaten Path

    According to the legend of Brabo the name of Antwerp comes from: hand (English: hand) and werpen (English: to throw). Although the legend seems to be untrue, the “hand” is still the symbol of Antwerp. Thus the hand also appears in the town flag.

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  • Vlaeykensgang

    Antwerp Off The Beaten Path

    A real discovery... I noticed a wooden door with some nice woodcarving in a street near Grote Markt. What I was interested about was taking a picture of the door (of course). A bit dusty but interesting... And did it! I asked Dannie about the building with such a special door and she asked "You want to enter?" I said "Yes!" but I suspected she...

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  • Antwerp-South

    Antwerp Off The Beaten Path

    .. and a cultural center Off beat track regarding the evolution in the design: from hydraulic power plant to "cultural power plant". Also, off beat path considering its current activities and concern: promoting world culture through different media: perf (plays, music), poetry evenings, exhibitions, festivals. Some infos translated from their...

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  • Surroundings-Hoboken

    Antwerp Off The Beaten Path

    Away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, in the suburb of Hoboken, a small statue can be found of one of our famous novel characters. Even if this one is more renowned on the other side of the globe than in his own country; Nello and Patrasche. The rather quaint statuette can be found just off Kioskplaats (Kiosk Square), at the beginning...

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  • University of Antwerp City Campus

    Antwerp Off The Beaten Path

    In 2005 Antwerp University has been formed out of the three different universities that existed before, resp. UFSIA, RUCA and UIA. All campus sites got new names: in the city it became Stadscampus (City campus); in Wilrijk RUCA has been split up in Campus Groenenborger and Campus Middelheim; UIA was renamed Campus Drie Eiken (three oakes, but I am...

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Belgium Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of Belgium off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Belgium sightseeing.
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