Belgium is a country of contrasts: here history coexists with modernity. Walking around one city, you can enjoy both the historical heritage protected by UNESCO and ultra-modern constructions. Shopping, beautiful landscapes, delicious traditional cuisine, special atmosphere are just a few of the advantages of this small but attractive country. What to see in Belgium?
Grand Place, Brussels
The Grand Place is a market square dating back to the 12th century. Today it is the historical center of the city, where 2 architectural monuments are located - the Town Hall (built in 1455) and the Bread House ("King's House" in Dutch). To get the most pleasant experience from visiting the square, it is worth planning a trip in August: since 1971, every two years in August, the square is transformed by a giant floral carpet measuring 24 by 77 meters and an area of 1,800 square meters.
The most famous statue in Belgium is the Manneken Pis located near the Grand Place. There is no consensus on the date of installation of the sculpture: it is believed that this happened between the XIV and XV centuries. The boy was given a modern look by Jer Deckenois in 1619. On ordinary days, the boy "emits" a stream of water, on holidays - beer or wine, and the change of his wardrobe takes place solemnly: honorary residents of the city accompanied by orchestral accompaniment.
The Atomium is the main ultra-modern landmark of Brussels, the capital of Belgium. The construction has become a symbol of technological progress - the developments of scientists that allow using the energy of the atom for peaceful purposes. The shape of the structure completely repeats the iron lattice enlarged 165 million times. Some of the balls are hollow inside and are available for visiting; you need to move between them along escalators - connecting pipes. At the top of the figure there is a mini-Europe park and an observation deck.
Royal Galleries of Saint Hubert, Brussels
The Royal Galleries of Saint Hubert are the first shopping galleries in Brussels, opened in 1947. The length of the glazed passage is only 212 meters, on which are located:
- Art and craft workshops
- Theater stage
- Museum of Letters and Monoscripts.
While walking in the Royal Galleries, you can buy rare, antique, branded and ethnic goods.
Basilica of the Holy Blood
Basilica of the Holy Blood is a Christian church built in the XII century. The place is very popular for pilgrimages: here is kept a piece of tissue soaked in the blood of Jesus Christ. The temple consists of 2 parts: lower and upper. The lower one includes two Romanesque chapels. The upper one is in the Gothic style.
Grothe Markt, Antwerp
Grote Markt is the main square of Antwerp, most of the buildings on which were built in the 16th - 17th centuries. The architectural ensemble includes:
- Town hall building
- Fountain Brabo
- Guild houses
- The building of the Cathedral of Our Lady.
An interesting legend is connected with the Brabo fountain located on the square, which also explains the origin of the city's symbol - the hand: the Roman Brabo from Tongeren learned that all ships sailing from Cologne to Paris must pay tribute to the greedy and evil giant. Anyone who refused to do so lost their hands. Brabo went in search of the giant, won a fight with him and cut off his hand, throwing it into the Scheldt. At this place, Antwerp arose, the name of which literally translates as "throwing a hand".
Royal Palace, Brussels
The Royal Palace in Brussels is the residence of the monarch, which hosts official receptions and ceremonies. Built in the 18th century, the palace underwent restoration in 1904 and received updated facades that adorn the building to this day. From late July to October, several rooms of the palace are open to tourists: the Imperial Room, where flowers from all Belgian provinces grow, and the Hall of Mirrors, whose ceiling is lined with millions of wings of Thai scarab beetles.
The caves of an-sur-less
One of the main natural attractions of the country is the caves of An-sur-Lesse. The excursion starts from the adjoining village, then on a retro tram the tourists go further to the caves themselves. Another unusual part of the excursion is a boat trip along the cave lakes. The main stalactite cave of the entire complex has a height of 5 meters, inside it, tourists will see a light show, in the last one - perhaps the strongest echo on the planet. When visiting An-sur-Lesse, it is better to dress warmly: the temperature here never rises above 13 degrees.
Menen Gate, Ypres
The Menen Gate is a tribute to the soldiers who died in the First World War. In appearance, the gate resembles an arch. At the top is a strategic plan for positioning troops in battles during the liberation of Ypres. The ensemble is crowned with a sculpture of a lion. Inside the Menen Gate are carved the names of soldiers and officers who died or went missing during the war. From the first day of the opening of the monument, every day at 20:00, a trumpet player at the gate plays the end signal - this tradition was interrupted only during the Second World War.
Notre Dame, Tournai
Notre Dame is the cathedral of the city of Tournai, striking in its beauty and grandeur. Construction began in 1110 and continued until 1325. The cathedral was built in the Gothic style and is included in the list of the most beautiful places of worship in Europe. The main pride of the cathedral is its towers, which are about 80 meters high. In 2008, the cathedral was included in the list of structures protected by UNESCO.