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Contents
Itineraries

11
12
15

Belgium

19

Belgium Snapshot

21
22
29
41
45
52
65

The Authors
Getting Started

History
The Culture
Environment
Mmmm…Beer
Food & Drink
Brussels
History
Orientation
Information
Sights
Activities
Walking Tour
Brussels for Children
Bizarre Brussels
Tours
Festivals & Events
Sleeping
Eating
Drinking
Entertainment
Shopping
Getting There & Away
Getting Around
AROUND BRUSSELS
Forêt de Soignes
Nationale Plantentuin
van België

Western Flanders
Bruges
Damme

66
66
67
69
90
92
93
94
95
95
97
101
106
107
112
115
116
117
117
117

119
120
139

Ostend
Northeast Coast
Southwest Coast
Veurne
Around Veurne
Ypres
Around Ypres
Poperinge
Kortrijk
Oudenaarde
Ghent
St Martens-Latem

Eastern Flanders
Antwerp
Around Antwerp
Lier
Mechelen
Around Mechelen
Leuven
Around Leuven
Diest
Hasselt
Around Hasselt
Tongeren
Zoutleeuw

Hainaut &
Brabant-Wallon

140
145
147
149
150
150
153
156
157
160
160
169

170
171
199
199
201
204
205
209
209
210
212
213
216

217

Tournai
Around Tournai
Mons
Around Mons
Nivelles
Waterloo
Villers-la-Ville
Charleroi
Botte de Hainaut

218
221
221
222
223
224
225
226
227

The Ardennes

229

Namur
Around Namur
Dinant
Around Dinant
Rochefort
Around Rochefort
Redu
Around Redu
St Hubert
Bouillon

231
235
236
237
238
239
240
240
240
241

10

CONTENTS

Around Bouillon
Orval
Arlon
Bastogne
La Roche-en-Ardenne
Around La Roche
Durbuy
Around Durbuy
Liège
Spa
Stavelot
Coo
Malmédy
Hautes Fagnes
Verviers
Eupen

Luxembourg

265

Luxembourg
Snapshot
Luxembourg City
History
Orientation
Information
Sights
Activities

243
243
244
244
245
248
248
249
249
254
257
258
258
259
261
262

266
268
269
269
269
271
274

Walking Tour
Luxembourg City for
Children
Tours
Festivals & Events
Sleeping
Eating
Drinking
Entertainment
Shopping
Getting There & Away
Getting Around

275
276
276
276
276
278
279
279
280
281
281

MOSELLE VALLEY
Remich
Around Remich
Ehnen
Wormeldange
Grevenmacher
THE SOUTHWEST
Esch-sur-Alzette
Around Esch-sur-Alzette

Directory
Transport

Around the
Grand Duchy

282

LUXEMBOURG ARDENNES 283
Vianden
283
Esch-sur-Sûre
285
Around Esch-sur-Sûre
286
Wiltz
286
Clervaux
287
GUTLAND
288
Vallée des Sept Châteaux 288
Ettelbrück
288
Diekirch
289
MÜLLERTHAL
290
Echternach
290
Around Echternach
292
Larochette
292

Health
Language
Glossary
Behind the Scenes
Index
World Time Zones
Map Legend

Regional Map Contents
WESTERN FLANDERS
(p121)

EASTERN FLANDERS
(p172)
BRUSSELS
(p70)

HAINAUT &
BRABANT-WALLON
(p218)
THE ARDENNES
(p230)

AROUND
THE GRAND
DUCHY (p284)
LUXEMBOURG
CITY (p270)

293
293
294
294
294
294
295
295
296

297
314
326
329
337
339
343
350
352

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© Lonely Planet Publications. To make it easier for you to use, access to this chapter is not digitally
restricted. In return, we think it’s fair to ask you to use it for personal, non-commercial purposes
only. In other words, please don’t upload this chapter to a peer-to-peer site, mass email it to
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the above - ‘Do the right thing with our content.’

With a good plan. Brussels „ Old England Building (p83).© Lonely Planet Publications 12 Getting Started There’s nothing quite like daydreaming about chocolate shops fit for royalty. Bruges „ Musée Horta (p87). Belgium has a superb artistic heritage. see p307. linger-as-long-as-you-like cafés. Discounting is also common on weekends (p98). 13 . There’s a reason radio DJs in Belgium love the Beatles’ 1969 classic ‘Here Comes the Sun’. Bruges. „ Nerves of steel – you’ll need them on the road (p323). To avoid major dampness coupled with biting cold. August (p97) Paintings From primitive passions to Rubens’ nudes and surrealists at play. including glistening guildhalls. you’ll know whether it’s your French. makes getting around a minor expense. May (p96) „ Luxembourg National Day. because of this. mid-July (p165) „ KunstenFESTIVALdesArts. these are certainly the months to go. Belgium is. Antwerp „ Galeries St Hubert (p112). Pierre Alechinsky (Groeningemuseum. choose Friday not Monday. depending on where you go. „ Grand Place (p69). p183) „ Mystic Marriage of St Catherine. May (p96) „ Ommegang. as many museums in these cities close on Monday. Antwerp. slightly cheaper than Luxembourg. but the lion’s share of events take place over summer. on the other hand. B&Bs offer excellent value. whether you should you go by train or plane. p319) or from other neighbouring countries using the Thalys fast train network (see boxed text. DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT… lonelyplanet. as do those weekend discounts (p98). Antwerp „ Photocopying important documents – leave one copy at home and take another with you. Rubens (Onze Lieve Vrouwekathedraal. Bruges „ Onze Lieve Vrouwekathedraal (p179). Those staying in hostels. p128) „ The Descent from the Cross. „ The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb. except for fuel and bulk purchases of cigarettes and alcohol. For hiking and outdoor pursuits in the Ardennes and Luxembourg. The mild winter conditions from November to March usually mean grey. p197). p318). on the other hand. accommodation and dining will burn the biggest hole in your pocket. June to July (p96) „ Kroningsfeesten. p179) „ Fall of Icarus. and beer menus that simply go on and on and on. Bruges „ Cogels-Osylei (p184). p180) „ Sérénité. wet days with occasional light snow. „ Your sweet tooth – it’s praline paradise (p54). coupled with the diminutive size of both countries. on average. Ghent. COSTS & MONEY „ An extra jumper for when summer temperatures plunge (p305). sublime chocolates and speciality beers can all seriously dent the credit card too. tranquil almshouses and Art Nouveau jewels. plan a visit for May to September (late spring to early autumn). German or Flemish that needs brushing up. „ Your favourite hangover cure (p45). p183) „ The Three Nights. Those opting for hotels with full amenities and midrange restaurants will pay from €120. is quieter from mid-July to mid-September and. p127) „ Portrait of Maarten Pepijn. Breughel the Younger (Rockoxhuis. and where to find discounted accommodation. Ensor (Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten. some hotels cut prices. If you can tack on an extra day to your trip. Memling (Museum St Janshospitaal. But to loose your head in the clouds and arrive in Belgium and Luxembourg with no preparation is inviting challenges. In both countries. The disadvantages of this time include considerable crowds at tourist sights in a few places and. p161) „ Secret Player. doing a museum. May/June (p222) „ De Gentse Feesten. „ A small change purse to ward off zealous toilet sentinels (p311). Brussels „ Stadhuis (p124). Brussels „ Belfort (p124). WHEN TO GO See Climate Charts (p305) for more information. Public transport. „ Carnival. The weather here is fickle. 23 June (p307) „ La Doudou. June (p96) „ Brussels Jazz Marathon. „ A sense of humour – necessary when dried herrings are flapped in your face at carnival (p223). Breugel the Elder (Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts. You might want to time your trip for a local celebration – use the list on the next page as an initial guide. „ A credit card for avant-garde fashions (p114. Pack the right clothes and you can take advantage of uncrowded museums and plenty of cosy cafés. and shops often take Monday mornings off. Magritte (Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts. Both countries are big on festivals (p307). though Belgium’s exciting fashions. „ An umbrella – in an average summer it’ll hardly dry off. and when the sun comes out everyone celebrates. p83) „ Proverbs. p127) Architectural gems Belgium is full of architectural treasures. and all easily accessible from London on the soon-to-beeven-faster Eurostar (see boxed text. a scarcity of accommodation – Bruges is the most problematic in both these areas. is cheap – and that. Antwerp „ Zuiderterras (p193). around February (p223) „ Couleur Café. As a weekend break Brussels. Delvaux (Groeningemuseum. p83) „ Masks Fighting over a Hanged Man. filling up with fast fodder like frites (chips or fries) and baguettes and downing a good beer or two can expect to spend from €40 per day. Van Dyck (Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten. Brussels. July 2009 (p215) „ Tapis des Fleurs. „ An airsick bag – it may be necessary after eating filet américain (p58). For more on festivals.com G E T T I N G S TA R T E D • • C o s t s & M o n e y TOP TENS Festivals & Events Choose from fun and festivities throughout the year. Van Eyck (St Baafskathedraal. Ostend or Leuven are all perfect. Brussels „ Begijnhof (p128).

15 Litre of bottled water €0. An interesting account of his thoughts and opinions on all things Belgian. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver) This excellent novel tells the tale of an American missionary family living in 1950s Belgian Congo. Luc Sante returns at the age of 35 to explore the country he left behind.14 G E T T I N G S TA R T E D • • T r a v e l L i t e r a t u re HOW MUCH? Belgium Midrange hotel double €70-140 Baguette sandwich €3 Kilo of pralines €30-58 Cinema ticket €6 Bike hire per day €10 Luxembourg Midrange hotel double €70-140 Baguette sandwich €3. Belgium online in English (www. A Tall Man in a Low Land (Harry Pearson) This tale of family travel in Belgium came out a decade ago and is still a hit among visitors. Also look out for the occasional restaurant offering complimentary children’s meals. to get travellers started.75 Bottle of Bofferding beer €2. Luxembourg Internet Directory (www. check weather conditions or chat with locals and other travellers about the best places to visit (or avoid!).croissant €1. Belgian Tourist Office (www. including local news in English and an entertainment agenda.com) The Belgian Tourist Office’s excellent US site includes listings of events and general information on the country. Research your trip.50 Bottle of sparkling wine €7-15 Cinema ticket €7 Bike hire per day €15-20 LONELY PLANET INDEX Belgium Litre of petrol €1.com Families can minimise expenses by staying at hostels. postcards from other travellers. where you can ask questions before you go or dispense advice when you get back.80 lonelyplanet. book hotels. usually costing around €8. TRAVEL LITERATURE Few foreigners have taken up the challenge of penning travel tales about Belgium…and only one man has tackled Luxembourg.lu) Good links to almost all Luxembourgrelated websites.ont. and firmly shines the spotlight on the country’s many idiosyncrasies. what’s on offer is well worth reading.luxweb.lonelyplanet.50 Souvenir T-shirt €13 Street snack – frites €2.com) Belgium’s international community provide lots of information. The Factory of Facts (Luc Sante) Belgian-born but US-raised. It’s set during the record-breaking hot summer of 2003. Luxembourg National Tourist Office (www. Restaurants often have discounted children’s meals.10 Luxembourg Litre of petrol €1.com) Here you’ll find succinct summaries on travelling to most places on earth. Neither Here nor There (Bill Bryson) The author’s European sojourn took him via Belgium with the result that Brussels and the country as a whole receive detailed scrutiny in two fun-filled chapters. Lonely Planet (www. B&Bs or selfcontained guesthouses (p299). It’s full of anecdotes of everyday life. Luxembourg & the Jenisch Connection (David Robinson) Fictional tale of an Englishman’s holiday in Luxembourg that turns into a murder mystery. hunt down bargain air fares. Still. INTERNET RESOURCES The internet is a rich resource for travellers. Keep in mind too that children under 12 travel for free on Belgian trains.lu) Great for the local lowdown.visitbelgium. the best beds to book and the Thorn Tree travel forum.80 Bottle of Trappist beer €3. .40 Litre of bottled water €0.50 Souvenir T-shirt €15 Street snack .xpats.

longer if you’re into restaurants. an intimate medieval city that’s recently awoken to its inherent charms. Ostend Bruges Antwerp Ghent BRUSSELS BELGIUM LUXEMBOURG . No way you say.15 Itineraries CLASSIC ROUTES FULL-ON FLANDERS One Week / Brussels to Ostend Brussels. This grand tour of Flanders’ historic art cities takes in Belgium’s best – Brussels. The route is a neat 185km and. thanks to these towns’ intimate proximity. before heading uptown to the Sablon’s seductive chocolate shops (p113) and an Art Nouveau jewel. should you so desire. Ghent and Bruges – with a side trip to Ostend. though you may need to time things to avoid the crowds. This picture-postcard city is Belgium’s most romantic getaway. Bruges and Ostend. Beautiful Bruges (p120) mustn’t be missed. Follow on with Ghent (p160). look out (p107). cafés (pubs/bars) and designer fashions. Start with two nights in Brussels (p65). From here it’s an easy day trip to Ostend (p140). and so on. Next up is Antwerp (p171). one of the world’s most beautiful squares. can be covered in anywhere from a week to a month. If you’re only here for the beer. Belgium’s best-known beach resort with superb seafood. This eclectic port city deserves two nights. Sip the splendour of the Grand Place (p69). the Old England building (p83). Five cities in as many days. Antwerp. But it can be comfortably done – thanks to proximity: Antwerp is just 35 minutes from Brussels. Antwerp. Europe’s capital. Ghent 45 minutes from Antwerp. Ghent.

and the terrible toll of war.com THE ESSENTIALS Two Weeks / Bruges to Vianden Touring the length and. p140) is also a gentle cycle. Definitely book dinner at Breedewee (p278) – this Corniche eatery has unbeatable views. p149) is an easy cycle. and add in Ypres (p150) and nearby Poperinge (p156). From Echternach there are fascinating walks in the weird world of the Müllerthal. breadth of Belgium and Luxembourg is possible if you have a fortnight up your sleeve. but start in Bruges instead of Brussels. continue south and take up a section of the Flanders Cycle Route (p301) to the effervescent town of Kortrijk (35km. and in Veurne you can stay in a gorgeous hotel (see boxed text. these little towns hold poignant reminders of life in this corner of Belgium nearly a century ago. Ostend and the battlefields of Ypres. Providing the North Sea winds are not gusting. Antwerp and Brussels. The latter is Luxembourg’s most visited town. famed for its tapestries. a zany brewery at Esen. Start in Ghent (p160). Follow the one-week itinerary. and a fab range of B&Bs. Spend your last two days in Echternach (p290) and Vianden (p283). then head to Luxembourg where the Grand Duchy’s intimate capital and intriguing countryside await. De Dolle Brouwers (p50). On the frontline in WWI. good bike outlets include Mobiel (p160). Diksmuide to Veurne (20km. 625km tour of Belgium and Luxembourg. Explore castles and the serenity of the hilly Ardennes. p157). Ostend Bruges lonelyplanet. p143). together with some excellent places to stay. Ypres to Diksmuide (55km. Take in Place d’Armes (p275). or Bouillon (p241) to combine creepy castles and kayaks. and once in Ostend you can indulge in seafood delights – don’t wimp on the wollekes (sea snails. If you intend picking up wheels in Belgium. move onto the Ardennes. see p300. Next day. this tour reveals old tapestry towns. detour via the Abbaye Notre Dame d’Orval (p243) – the closest you’ll get to the inside of a Trappist brewery. . head south on the LF30 Scheldedeltaroute cycle route. p150) goes via the WWI and hops town of Poperinge (p156) and the monastery of Westvleteren (p150) with its famous but elusive Trappist beer (p47). a world away from the historic art cities to the north. kooky breweries and surrealist art. the new Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean (p273) and the beautiful Chemin de la Corniche (p275). a city with as many attractions as Antwerp or Bruges. Two days in Luxembourg City (p268) is ample time to explore the Grand Duchy’s captivating capital. p160). Start with Bruges. From shy Ghent to the calm coast. before moving on to Ghent. Rochefort (p238) for some easy biking. After Ghent. in parts.com CYCLING WESTERN FLANDERS Two Weeks / Ghent to Ostend This cycling tour takes in the oft-overlooked western corner of Flanders. En route to Luxembourg. Fietsen Popelier (p130) and Biker (see p169). From here head to either La Roche-enArdenne (p245) to explore smoked hams and little-visited centuries’ old limestone caves (p248) at nearby Hotton. It holds eclectic attractions – historic art towns. p148) brings you to the coast via De Panne (p148) and the Paul Delvaux Museum (p148). The essential two-week. two small towns in the Grand Duchy’s forested north. St Idesbald De Panne Veurne Diksmuide Esen Ghent Westvleteren Poperinge BRUSSELS Poperinge BELGIUM Ypres Kortrijk Oudenaarde BELGIUM Namur Hotton La Rocheen-Ardenne Rochefort Vianden Bouillon Echternach LUXEMBOURG Orval LUXEMBOURG CITY 17 ROADS LESS TRAVELLED Ostend Antwerp Ghent Ypres I T I N E R A R I E S • • R o a d s Le s s T r a v e l l e d LUXEMBOURG Saddle up and hit the bike ways of Western Flanders in this 225km two-week cycle tour that takes in lesser-known as well as welltrodden parts of Belgium. shouldn’t be missed either.16 ITINERARIES •• Classic Routes lonelyplanet. bizarre breweries. poignant WWI sights. St Idesbald to Ostend (30km. crowned by a hilltop castle. Kortrijk to Ypres (47km. p150) follows the banks of the Leie River before arriving in Ypres with its WWI memorials and the Ypres Salient (p153). After Brussels. WWI reminders and the coast – all wonderfully accessible by bike. following the Scheldt River to Oudenaarde (30km. For general cycling information. Namur (p231) is the gateway and a good overnight stop in order to see the Gothic horde at the tiny Trésor du Prieuré d’Oignies (p232). Belgium’s southern reaches. The former is steeped in Christian history and is a positively delightful little place to kick back. p150). The next leg. Veurne to St Idesbald (10km.

In Kortrijk (p159) it’s even possible to overnight in one of these historic sites. Plopsaland Openluchtmuseum (p148) near De Panne. like many belfries in Belgium. a selfcontained B&B near Tongeren. Start with Luxembourg City (p268) – the entire ancient core of this dramatic city is on Unesco’s hit list. From Ostend catch the Kusttram (p145) north and get off at any beach stop along the way. a load of high-quality playgrounds. plenty of cycling possibilities. Ostend Bruges Oostduinkerke Plopsaland WORLD HERITAGE SITES TOUR Bruges Ghent Kortrijk Tournai Mons Ath Exploring Belgium and Luxembourg by World Heritage sites is a breeze.com TAILORED TRIPS BELGIUM & LUXEMBOURG FOR KIDS Belgium is dotted with fab theme parks. Rent a selfcontained guesthouse (p133) to keep expenses down. the home of Art Nouveau master Victor Horta. easy nature excursions. In Belgium. Also proud of this LUXEMBOURG status are the bizarre Gilles (p223) from nearby CITY Binche. a sandy coastline that little kids love. One suggestion is to drop anchor for a week in Bruges (p120). on an everyday level. Follow up with the ‘Family of Man’ exhibition in Clervaux (p287). And not far away in the town of Ath (p222). van Ooit An alternative Belgian base for families travelling by car is Ruttermolen (p215). Bruges (p120) is another must – this medieval city’s whole historic centre is preserved. or go south Bokrijk to a quintessential Belgian theme park. From here. There’s the Cathédrale BRUSSELS Notre Dame in Tournai (p219). whose belfry offers fab city views and. For details on what’s available. Within half an hour you’ll be curling your toes in the sand at Ostend (p140). annual fairs with attractions galore. But to really immerse yourself. Bokrijk Openluchtmuseum (p212). In the Grand Duchy. has excellent child-oriented museums. giants are also listed. and hang up the car keys – there’s so much to see and do that’s easily accessible by train (kids under twelve are free). take a look at a Diest little corner of Wallonia. Brussels (p65) beckons with the amazing Grand Place (p69) and the Musée Horta (p87). circuses with live animals (they haven’t fallen out of fashion here) and. In Mons (p221). the charming town of Diest (p209) hosts the nation’s most beautiful begijnhof (a cluster of cottages around a central garden. has made the list. Next up there’s Ghent (p160). Plopsa Indoor (p211) and Echternach Het Land Van Ooit (p214) are on the doorstep.18 I T I N E R A R I E S • • Ta i l o re d T r i p s lonelyplanet. an international committee recently voted to include Clervaux the city’s La Doudou (p222) festival on Unesco’s list of intangible world heritage. . see p304. a huge Romanesque affair that is slowly being realigned after Binche a freak storm a decade ago. see p129). relax for a week in a medieval tower in Echternach (p291) and day-trip it to anywhere in Luxembourg. With good timing you Plopsa Indoor may even catch the paardevissers (horsefishers) Ruttermolen & Het Land at Oostduinkerke (p147).

in tow. More than 15 years later. a week in Bruges (p120) was mandatory – there’s so much to see and do within a steeple’s fall of this medieval town. bars. Lazy days at Ostend beach (p140) were followed by groovy Ghent (p160). the pair still covers Belgium and Luxembourg. and they don’t take freebies in exchange for positive coverage. So he returned to his stained-glass studio in home-town Antwerp and. Travelling with kids reveals a whole new world. Geert now divides his time between watching wallabies in Australia. galleries. Australia. and telling it how it is. Thumbs up to childhood revisited. p291). museums and more – and they take pride in getting all the details right. For more. puppet shows and circuses. dedicated travellers. They travel widely. chips and chocolate except Belgium. In return.‘Do the right thing with our content. GEERT COLE Geert was your atypical Belgian from the start. mass email it to everyone you know. day one of researching Belgium led her to Geert. please don’t upload this chapter to a peer-to-peer site. The latter satisfies his fix for all things essentially Belgian. And if that wasn’t prize enough.lonelyplanet. surprising Mechelen (p201) and historic Brussels (p65): read canal rides. The Ardennes’ calmness called us to La Roche-en-Ardenne (p245). But years on the road led to a disturbing discovery – nowhere on earth is founded on beer. To make it easier for you to use. but touring Belgium and Luxembourg as a family was our best trip ever. forest walks (Müllerthal. good for kayaking and nearby caves. to all the popular spots and off the beaten track. as a teenager he hated fashion and as an adult he pulled the pin…travelling all over the world instead of building a little red-brick house. When not on the road. They don’t research using just the internet or phone. After university came newspapers then a long-awaited oneway ticket out of Australia. as things would have it. Years of exploring different cultures led naturally to Lonely Planet. zoos. restaurants. see the authors section on www. See the terms and conditions on our site for a longer way of saying the above . Eleonor and Gwynevere. p290) and dreamy nights in medieval towers (Echternach. In other words. chip-loving chap from Antwerp. the family nestles down in Barkers Vale in beautiful northern New South Wales. a beer-guzzling.com. the joys of fatherhood and Lonely Planet. these days with two kids. Ostend Bruges Ghent Mechelen Brussels La Rocheen-Ardenne Vianden Müllerthal Echternach LONELY PLANET AUTHORS © Lonely Planet Publications. Leanne. access to this chapter is not digitally restricted. As a youngster he liked Brussels sprouts.© Lonely Planet Publications 11 The Authors LEANNE LOGAN Leanne first tasted Belgium and Luxembourg as a kid in the ’70s. With or without munchkins. Our Favourite Trip We’ve road-tested more Belgian chocolates and beers than is fair in anyone’s lifetime. we think it’s fair to ask you to use it for personal. met the love of his life. They personally visit thousands of hotels. palaces. Luxembourg awaited with chairlifts (Vianden. p283). or resell it. cafés. Six months of diary writing while cooped up with her family in a campervan around Europe set life’s direction. non-commercial purposes only.’ Why is our travel information the best in the world? It’s simple: our authors are independent. .

19 © Lonely Planet Publications Belgium MARTIN MOOS .

VB leader Filip Dewinter failed in his bid to become Antwerp’s burgomaster during the municipal elections. or national debt). So. however. see p32. Many are also discussing the future of ultraright-wing party. integration of migrant workers. affordability of social security. whose support has plummeted recently due to the major parties incorporating environmental issues into their own platforms. there are ups (tennis greats. following several years of big. who was killed for his MP3 player during peak-hour in Brussels’ Central Station. Sure. plagued by infighting during the last few years. On the moral freedom front.5 million Area: 30. Much has been done recently to grant gays and lesbians equal rights to heterosexuals (see p308). after which the Flemish press criticised his so-called ineffective conduct. and wouldn’t change it for quids (see p29). Belgium is a world leader. Some 80. the manifesto was quickly quashed by King Albert during his 2006 New Year’s speech. has come of age. For more on the monarchy. for the most part. when heir to the throne Prince Philippe led a trade mission to South Africa. It reignited recently when a controversial manifesto setting out why Belgium should split in two was made public. too. This state of play is relatively new to Belgium’s monarchy which. should be worried. Plenty of other subjects are hotly debated over a Duvel or two. but not in cafés (pubs/bars) Sex: 58% of Belgians are satisfied with their sex life. and calls for the king to be stripped of most of his powers ensued. include an ageing population. Euthanasia was legalised in 2002.278 sq km Unemployment: Flanders 10%. up on the worldwide average of 44% . when 300. p32) and downs (don’t mention the Red Devils. Verhofstadt’s Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten (VLD) party. Other challenges facing Belgium. Wallonia 18%. life is now on a pretty even keel. it seems. enjoys broad public approval. security is once again a public issue following the stabbing in early 2006 of 17-year-old Joe Van Holsbeeck.000 people marched through Brussels in memory of the young man and to put pressure on the government to curb street violence. but most Belgians are more than happy with their spot in the world. Disenchantment grew in 2006.000 people took to the streets to commemorate the victims of paedophile Marc Dutroux (who is serving a life sentence for the rape and murder of several young girls). however. should the Green parties. Put together and endorsed by movers and shakers in Flanders.8% GDP: US$350 billion National debt: Belgium has one of the EU’s highest debt levels – 94% of GDP in 2005 Minimum gross monthly salary: €1210 Beer consumption: 100L per head annually Chocolate consumption: 16kg per head annually Smoking: Banned in Belgian restaurants. But his criticism of Flemish separatism went down badly in parts. though recent proposals to broaden the laws to include adolescents and dementia sufferers are being fought by religious leaders. Brussels 21% Inflation: 2. This little country recently celebrated its 175th anniversary of independence and. p32. FAST FACTS Population: 10. the issue of asylum seekers and sustainable development. The march was the biggest since the White March a decade earlier.21 Belgium Snapshot At long last Belgium. bold moves to shake off a mousy image. not least the 2007 federal election. The vexed question of separatism – should Flanders go it alone? – forever simmers under the surface (see p31). On the street. see p91. Vlaams Belang (VB). If the results of 2006’s municipal elections are any indication. like many Western European countries. which may see Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt returned for a third term. for more.

His choice was fuelled by frustration with the rebellious burghers of Flanders. Built on an important trading route. in 1540 the townsfolk of Ghent planned an uprising against taxes imposed on them to 15th century Primitive passions flourish in the works of artists such as Jan Van Eyck and Hans Memling 17th century Pieter Paul Rubens comes to the fore as northern Europe’s greatest baroque artist . ruling from Spain. was raised during this time and is still one of Ghent’s chief sights.22 lonelyplanet. Bruges. The counts of Flanders presided over one of the most powerful courts during feudal times. initially ruled from Brussels. TIMELINE 57 BC The Romans arrive. Such was the case when Count Sigefroi built a castle on a high promontory in Luxembourg and laid the foundation stone of the Grand Duchy’s present-day capital. Tournai’s early place in history ensured its survival. As such their pasts reflect some of the major historical events in Western Europe. The current borders of these three nations – known earlier as the Low Countries – were only realised in the 19th century. p125). There’s little to show of their presence. pigs from Denmark. became Duke of Brabant and ruler of the Low Countries. The court’s wealth was legendary and is best seen today in the works of famous artists from that time. see http://vlib. and for this purpose they sided with the English during conflicts between England and France. later. In fact. The court had a palace in Dijon (France) but Philip ruled the kingdom from Brussels. flanked by elaborately decorated guildhalls – headquarters for increasingly wealthy merchant guilds. But it wasn’t all prosperous. during which the Low Countries once again boomed. a former Roman settlement. Sardinia. except for the town of Tongeren in the province of Limburg. EARLY SETTLEMENTS For a resource index of articles. This change in power was the basis of Belgium’s current language division – the northern region became German speaking while the southern portion remained Latin based. and from here they eventually controlled much of northern France. While the kings of France and emperors of Germany had overall control. the word ‘Belgium’ was born. Merchant ships from all over Europe docked in Bruges to trade Flemish cloth for cheese. were vassals of the French king. the country’s name even harks back to these times – Julius Caesar mentioned the Belgae during his conquest of Gaul. Leuven. though. wine from Spain. Gravensteen (p163). Flanders had been producing cloth since the 10th century. Ghent had grown to become the largest city in Europe after Paris by 1340. Cruise the canals in Bruges (p132) or Ghent (p165) to conjure up this bygone time. In addition Charles favoured up-and-coming Antwerp over the old cloth towns. setting standards for their craft and establishing a local trade monopoly. thus becoming Europe’s most powerful ruler. In Brussels the magnificent Grand Place (p69) was constructed.it/hist-belgium. set up their short-lived kingdom in Tournai. Bruges and Ghent in the 12th and 13th centuries. the first towns rose.com History Belgium. Philip was the richest man in Europe. HAPSBURG RULE Charles V was born in Ghent in 1500 and. who wrote the first textbook on human anatomy. after being crowned. In fact. The local counts. and today it remains one of Wallonia’s most appealing towns (see p218). lead and tin. Luxembourg and the Netherlands share a tangled history. with the Roman Empire collapsing. As feudalism declined. was responsible for the region for most of his reign. In the 5th century.iue . which connected Bruges to the North Sea. The Flemish weavers relied on a steady supply of high-quality wool from England. earning the title Conditor Belgii (Belgium’s founder). Caesar’s armies invaded in 57 BC and held Gallia Belgica for 500 years. known as the Merovingians. coal from England. particularly painting and tapestry making. the Battle of the Golden Spurs (see p159). where he was advised by the great humanist Desiderius Erasmus. Mary of Hungary. The counts quelled demands for greater power by calling in the French army. wool. known as the Flemish Primitives (see boxed text. and their fortunes and misfortunes have been largely shaped by Europe’s ever-changing balance of power. He was crowned king of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor in 1519. Baldwin the Iron Arm kicked it off by kidnapping and marrying the daughter of a French king and building a fortress in Ghent in AD 867. which bloomed with the expansion of trade across northern Europe and further afield. The next year he became king of Spain and later of Naples. who presided over a vast empire that included the Burgundian region of eastern France and the area covering most of modern-day Belgium and the Netherlands. Sicily and the Spanish territories in the New World (ie Mexico. Mechelen and Tournai were all prosperous towns. and when the nation needed a name following independence. THE BURGUNDIAN EMPIRE By the 14th century Ghent. The Romans were the first of many to invade Belgium. but the cultural changes that took place during this time were profound. books and subjects on Belgian history. flourished. But it wasn’t long before the aspirations of the burghers and weavers clashed with those of the local counts. The city’s sinister castle. He spent much of his life travelling in far-flung parts of the empire and. his court was the height of culture and fashion. The dukes of Burgundy ruled for less than a century. Charles grew up in Mechelen and. at the ripe old age of 15. Brussels. This situation came to a head in 1302 in bloody confrontations known as the Brugse Metten (see p120) and. Over the next three centuries Baldwin’s successors expanded the territory and influence of Flanders as far south as the Somme River in northern France. Belgium’s first university was founded in Leuven and the arts. Ypres. The first of the dukes was Philip the Good (r 1419–67). and furs from as far away as Russia and Bulgaria. silks and oriental spices from Venice and Genoa. Peru and the Caribbean). Tongeren still has part of its original Roman rampart as well as an excellent Gallo-Roman Museum (p214). THE RISE OF FLANDERS Parties of raiding Vikings forced the growth of feudal domains in the 9th and 10th centuries. Germanic Franks took regional control. a few months later. craftsmen and traders joined forces to form groups known as guilds. kicking off Belgium and Luxembourg’s tumultuous history of invasions AD 1340 Ghent grows to become the largest city in Europe after Paris H I S T O R Y • • T h e B u r g u n d i a n E m p i re 23 This flurry of activity bred a class of rich merchants who wanted increased political power. The great Flemish cloth towns were in decline due to competition from cloth manufacturers in England and the silting of the Zwin. the real power was held by local counts who ruled over fiefdoms. but its manufacture took off with the growth of cities like Ypres. The Frankish kings. Meanwhile. The science of anatomy was founded in the 16th century by Brussels-born Andreas Vesalius. His sister.

It came about partly due to the advent of printing. he quashed any resistance by implementing a string of anti-Protestant edicts and garrisoning towns in the Low Countries with Spanish mercenaries. The Reformation met with severe repercussions in the Low Countries. The fighting came to a head with the War of Spanish Succession (1701–13). which handed out 8000 death sentences to those involved in the rioting. William of Orange-Nassau. France’s Louis XIV sent in his military engineer Vauban to fortify strongholds – the result can be seen today in mighty citadels such as that in Namur (p231). In 1550 Charles ordered the Edict of Blood. Luxembourg and the Netherlands were roughly drawn. p225). Philip retaliated with a force of 10. the century was a peaceful change to what had come before. to the gruesome fate of 10 million Africans 1914 Belgium and Luxembourg are invaded by Germany. Philip was born in Spain and ruled from there. In the turbulent years that followed – a period known as the Revolt of the Netherlands – the present-day borders of Belgium. This religious and political rethink of the world according to the Roman Catholic elite became known as the Reformation. Rubens’ studio in Antwerp can still be visited. Theologians and humanists such as Martin Luther. he had little interest in the Low Countries and was largely unpopular. which closed part of the Scheldt River to all non-Dutch ships.royalty. The fact that people of different religions and customs were being forced together was of little consequence. which saw the Spanish Netherlands handed over to the Austrians. the French reclaimed the region and the following year absorbed it into France. The Netherlands expelled the Spaniards. p181). During this Catholic Counter-Reformation. THE UNITED KINGDOM OF THE NETHERLANDS The United Kingdom of the Netherlands was created largely to preserve the balance of power in Europe and to create a buffer state should France have any northward ambitions. and the city treasures many of his finest paintings. Brussels was proclaimed capital of the Spanish Netherlands in 1585 and Protestants were forced to leave.24 HISTORY •• Religious Revolt lonelyplanet. which meant Bibles were no longer the treasure of the Church and the ruling classes alone. was given the throne and he divided his time equally between Brussels and the new kingdom’s twin capital. running riot and ransacking churches in a wave of violence that has become known as the Iconoclastic Fury. overall. Luxembourg is designated a Grand Duchy 1830 An opera in Brussels sparks revolution and Belgium is born lonelyplanet. When his son Philip II came to the throne.nu. On an everyday level. which decreed the death penalty to those convicted of heresy. this brief economic boom boosted cultural life in Brussels and Antwerp and brought to the fore great painters. In 1566 the Protestants revolted. In 1555. leader of the new French state. John Calvin. The country was officially declared a neutral state and several years later was ceded the western portion of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. who set up the Council of Blood. tired of continual revolts and a lifetime of war. French laws were ushered in. Antwerp’s time of glory was cut short by the Treaty of Westphalia. Brussels was the base for central control but the Austrians allowed the country a large degree of independence. p110). The inevitable Belgian revolution began during an opera performance in Brussels on 25 August 1830 (see boxed text. were built. check out www . In turn. In 1815 Napoleon Bonaparte. Belgium and Luxembourg. the churches were symbols of the Catholic Church’s power and the magical redemption that awaited the faithful. Charles returned to Brussels and abdicated in favour of his son Philip II. while Belgium and Luxembourg. The latter angered not only the French-speaking Walloons in the south of Belgium but also Flemish speakers in the north who regarded their language as distinct from Dutch. life in the Spanish Netherlands worsened in the second half of the 17th century. which incorporated the Netherlands. just as the Spanish had.com H I S T O R Y • • Au s t r i a n & F re n c h O c c u p a t i o n 25 prospered and multiplied. The latter was widely unpopular and a passionate peasants’ revolt in 1798 was cruelly put down. signed in 1648. and Erasmus offered interpretations on Scripture that were different to traditional religious thinking. influenced the Austrians and they relaxed censorship and encouraged development. BELGIAN INDEPENDENCE At the Conference of London in January 1831. the Catholic Church was repressed (many churches were ransacked and monasteries closed) and conscription was introduced. For a rundown on Belgian royalty and a great booklist. The Enlightenment. the region’s premier port. stayed under southern rule. In 1598 Philip II handed the Spanish Netherlands to his daughter Infanta Isabella and her husband. This resulted in the Congress of Vienna and the creation of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. much of the Spanish Netherlands sunk into poverty and life became an exercise in religious piety. known then as the Spanish Netherlands. was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo near Brussels (see boxed text. RELIGIOUS REVOLT During Charles’ reign Protestantism swept much of Europe. thousands of tradespeople and anti-Spanish freethinkers moved north to the Netherlands. crowned King William I in Brussels. With many of its most skilled workers gone. Elaborate baroque churches. his French counterpart. such as St CarolusBorromeuskerk (p180) in Antwerp. which gave rise to new industries like lace making and diamond processing. huge wooden pulpits and glorified paintings of Christ’s suffering executed by artists such as Rubens. this book looks at the fight between the southern rulers and the rebellious countries in the north. the European powers recognised Belgian independence. a philosophical movement based on reason rather than the blind following of tradition. French plans to dominate Europe meant war after war was fought in this buffer land. and caused Antwerp’s collapse. and Charles V personally suppressed these uprisings. After yet another battle in 1794. Determined to defend the Catholic faith. By this time Antwerp had become the empire’s greatest port. This act guaranteed the golden age of Amsterdam. the latter took a more zealous approach to the defence of Catholicism. THE SPANISH NETHERLANDS The Dutch Revolt by Geoffrey Parker documents this interesting period in Belgian history well. Ypres is wiped off the map . The Hague.000 troops led by the duke of Alva. Their 40-year reign is most noted for its flamboyant court. But William made enemies quickly after refusing to give southern Belgium fair political representation and trying to impose Dutch as the national language. the newly formed Jesuit order 1815 Napoleon Bonaparte is defeated at the Battle of Waterloo near Brussels. With Spanish rule in the 16th century nearing its end. Filled with magnificent statues. Archduke Albert of Austria. such as Pieter Paul Rubens (see boxed text.com finance wars instigated by their absent leader. 1885 King Léopold II personally acquires the Congo. AUSTRIAN & FRENCH OCCUPATION The mighty Austrian Hapsburgs ruled from 1713 to 1794 and. the German leader of the Reformation.

others said the early surrender saved the country. The Belgian state held on to the Congo until 1960. In 1951. In 1885. with tension growing between Flemish and French speakers that would eventually lead to a language partition that divides the country to this day – see boxed text. became King Léopold I of Belgium. being built on the northeastern outskirts of the capital. and in 1908 the king was stripped of his possession. Léopold III (r 1934–51). (p31). POSTWAR BELGIUM After WWII the country was caught up in a constitutional crisis over Léopold III’s wartime actions.org/wiki/Belgium. see Bizarre Brussels (p94). The economy as a whole struggles with a huge public debt and high unemployment. Today his reputation is in tatters. p262). and the daunting Palais de Justice (p85). In 1967 the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) moved to Brussels from France a year after the French withdrew from NATO’s military wing.wikipedia . has surged ahead. when it became best known for poisoned chickens and paedophiles (see p21). which have responsibility for policies that affect the country as a whole. Baudouin was succeeded by his younger brother. home today to Belgium’s finest art collection. p203). on the other hand. Léopold II (r 1865–1909) came to the throne on his father’s death. His fair treatment of the Flemish and Walloons earned him respect from both sides. In one famous example of how a monarch’s personal convictions don’t always complement parliamentary progress. Léopold II had wider aspirations. but was courageously rebuilt. .com On 21 July 1831 Léopold of Saxe-Coburg Gotha. However. under pressure from Walloon socialists. Over the next 25 years millions of Congolese died due to Léopold’s rule. Léopold personally acquired a huge slice of central Africa – an area 70 times larger than Belgium. the executive and decision-making bodies of today’s EU (see boxed text. he abdicated in favour of his son Baudouin I (r 1951–93). Baudouin succeeded in bringing the nation together. After the war the Treaty of Versailles abolished Belgium’s neutral status and the country was given reparations from Germany. Belgium and Luxembourg and within eight days Belgium was occupied. wins the Nobel Prize for Medicine for research into blood serum 1940 Germany again invades both countries and they remain occupied throughout WWII lonelyplanet. part of a small triangle of land that remained unoccupied throughout the war. Sick of mismanagement and neglect. Flanders. The Belgian government opposed the king’s decision and fled to London where it operated in exile throughout WWII. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Albert moved his administration to the seaside town of De Panne. both through colonial conquests and national development. Belgium emerged as a key player in international politics after WWII. such as finance. defence and foreign affairs. 1962 The linguistic divide is drawn across Belgium. The ensuing years saw the start of Flemish nationalism. INTO THE 21ST CENTURY Belgium kept a low profile on the international arena until the end of the 20th century. Belgium’s Jewish population fared terribly during the war and the country’s small Roma (gypsy) minority was all but wiped out (see boxed text. in 1999. which separated the Allies and the strategic French coastal towns around Calais from the advancing German army. It was written in 1963 but re-released in 1999. lonelyplanet. While Brussels has been reborn as an important player in European affairs. Proof came when he died suddenly in 1993 and the entire nation mourned. Germany violated Belgian neutrality and occupied the country. leaving the Allies in a precarious state. others saw it as a refusal by Baudouin to put the public’s desire for change above his own conservative views. mainly through a series of dubious treaties and contracts. commissioning the construction of monumental buildings such as the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts (p83). The parliament consists of the Senate and a Chamber of Representatives. the nation turned to radical political reform and. and many admired his famous stance on abortion (see boxed text. the Belgian parliament passed the bill. In 1909 Léopold II died and his death marked the end of the country’s aspirations to grandeur. Albert’s jovial disposition has made him a national success. Although only 21 when he took the throne. WWI & WWII Léopold II was succeeded by his 21-year-old nephew Albert I (r 1909–34). the rest of the country’s fortunes have been divided. He put great effort into bolstering Brussels. Childless.com HISTORY •• Postwar Belgium 27 MAKING HISTORY Belgium is a constitutional hereditary monarchy. above). The Ypres Salient (p153) holds many wartime reminders. see http://en. King Léopold oversaw the industrial revolution in Belgium where coal mines and iron-making factories took off in parts of Hainaut and Limburg provinces. separating northern Flemish speakers and southern French-speaking Walloons 1967 NATO moves to Brussels from France For a hyperlinked indepth profile of Belgium. though many were still to lose their lives during the Battle of the Ardennes (see boxed text. For more on this dark chapter in Belgium’s past. Unlike his father. The country now celebrates his crowning as its annual 21 July National Day holiday. Léopold III put up little resistance and quickly surrendered to the Germans.26 HISTORY •• WWI & WWII The King Incorporated by British journalist Neal Ascherson deals with Belgium’s heart of darkness: the appalling cruelty and savage exploitation of the Congo under the reign of Léopold II. King Baudouin abdicated for two days in 1990 to avoid giving his approval to a bill legalising abortion – during the 48 hours that he relinquished the throne. and the colonies of Burundi and Rwanda in central Africa. While some accused him of collaborating with the Germans. nicknamed the ‘Soldier King’ due to his popular actions during WWI. In 1934 Albert I died in a rockclimbing accident and was succeeded by his son. the present King Albert II. On 10 May 1940 the Germans launched a surprise air attack on the Netherlands. Although initially reluctant to accept the throne. Belgium and Luxembourg were 1919 Jules Bordet. A new NATO headquarters. led by a king or queen (succession was only opened to women in 1991) and a parliament. liberated in September 1944. He was committed to transforming the tiny country into a strong nation. Wallonia’s economy rode on the back of the steel and iron-ore industries until their slump in the 1970s left this region floundering. p87). When war broke out in 1914. From here he lead the Belgian army’s efforts to man the northern end of the frontline. The former cloth town of Ypres (Ieper in Flemish) was reduced to rubble during the war. but there was also collaboration from fascist elements of Belgian society and from within the Flemish movement. a dashing but melancholy 40-year-old widower and uncle of future British monarch Queen Victoria. While this was seen by some Belgians as the admirable stance of a principled man. A strong resistance movement developed during Nazi occupation. In 1958 Brussels became the provisional seat of the European Commission and the Council of Ministers. p245). is expected to be finished in 2009. booted out the Christian Democrat party after 40 years in power. which included a chunk of land known today as the Eastern Cantons (see boxed text. developer of the whooping cough vaccine.

including profiles of its prime ministers.28 HISTORY •• Into the 21st Century For an overview of Belgium’s political scene. which allows the judging of crimes against humanity no matter where they took place. who quickly sought to raise public morale by reinventing Belgium with robust foreign policies and new moral freedoms (see opposite). the present King Albert II 2005 Belgium celebrates 175 years of independence .be (in Flemish and French). 1993 Death of King Baudouin and succession to the throne of his younger brother. Verhofstadt still leads the coalition government.com In came Liberal Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt.fgov. check out www. Socialists and Greens join forces to block the progress of the ultraright-wing Vlaams Blok (VB) and to stem rising racism (see p32). though forecasts for the 2007 poll suggest the Liberals will have a tough time securing a third term.premier. They were made under Belgium’s controversial universal competence law. lonelyplanet. Around the same time came a flood of lawsuits for war crimes against world leaders. Faced with potentially embarrassing diplomatic situations. including Israel’s Ariel Sharon and former US president George Bush. The country vocally sided with France and Germany against the US-led war in Iraq in 2003. which in 1999 saw a rather unusual grouping of Liberals. The Liberals and Socialists renewed their coalition in the national elections of 2003. In 2005 a Brussels court sentenced two Rwandan half-brothers to prison under this law for their part in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. the law was changed so that those charged had to live in Belgium.

irritates Belgians more than anything else. according to a 2005 poll. . Belgium is a world leader in rights for gays (see p308). Even so. From royalty and aristocrats. Belgium is one of the world’s most affluent countries. Life on the street may not be so manicured or presentable. when travelling through some regions and neighbourhoods. The Flemish are considered arrogant by their southern counterparts. And when talk of separation surfaces. Maybe too much surrealist art as kids is responsible – certainly their sense of humour can be odd. This. household scenarios range widely. however. taking the already high level of casual racism up with it. but inside any home you can be sure there’s a cupboard brimming with cleaning products and windows that sheen. is elusive: Belgians think of themselves as Flemish or Walloon first.29 The Culture THE NATIONAL PSYCHE Outsiders looking in often consider Belgians somewhat bizarre. sublime chocolates and the best beers are accepted as part of daily life. civil liberties are now being championed. understandably so. and is among the top 10 in living standards. and Belgian second. You’ll be hard pressed to believe that. Snob-value is minimal. A pissing boy and a bowler hat are national symbols. It’s true that Flanders is roaring along as the country’s economic and artistic bastion. except in arrogant Antwerp. it’s an obsession with neat and tidy. Belgians complain a lot. Folkloric traditions are very strong here – see for yourself at one of the amazing array of weird and wonderful festivals that take place throughout the year. The first gay wedding took place in June 2003. disparity rules. however. ‘National’ character. Belgium is the second European country after the Netherlands to legally recognise same-sex unions. the government passed the reforms a month later. and many resent that this part of the country is financially propping up its poorer counterpart.000 workers take to the streets in protest in late 2005. Cleanliness comes second only to family life. it’s always propelled from the Flemish side. to large sections of migrant communities living below poverty lines (see p33). LIFESTYLE If there’s one thing that unites Belgian households. The latter two are best exemplified by folklore. Liberalism and moral freedoms are big. the Belgian desire to own their own home and stay close to kith and kin is so strong that they enter the world carrying their future home’s first brick). and pride themselves on their open intolerance of rudeness and other forms of nastiness. According to a UN index. the Walloons are called feckless. Another social reform has also caused dissent. and a love of both the traditional and the quirky. Fab food. Despite the demonstration. Flemish nationalism is rising too. justifiable in one of Europe’s most highly taxed nations. About what? The weather. The government’s proposal to limit access to early retirement and bring the earliest possible retirement age up from 57 to 60 by 2009 saw 100. So do all these woes add up to a desire for greener pastures? No way. saying the measures were introduced to counteract the economic spectre of Belgium’s ageing population. and in 2002 it became the second country (following the Netherlands) to legalise euthanasia. After that. Ties remain incredibly strong – it must be that brick in the stomach they’re supposedly born with (according to this local saying. as is a widespread fascination with the monarchy. Eight out of 10 Belgians are proud of their country and most have no wish to live anywhere else. In general Belgians are unrelentingly friendly. extremely polite and helpful. Taxes. Recent proposals to extend this ruling are being contested (see p21). And dog mess on the streets. Despite its strong Catholic past.

winning almost every classic cycling event. Other contemporary cyclists to watch out for include Leif Hoste and Rik Verbrugghe. it was another 30 years before it was used in schools and only in 1967 was the constitution finally published in Flemish. Cycling is the only sport in which the Belgians have sprouted a truly international hero. the king calls for regional harmony… Four decades after the linguistic divide was made – cutting Belgium almost equally in half between the Flemish and Walloon populations – this little country is still a divided land. Stay tuned! 31 . Only after half an hour did the programme makers admit that it was all a hoax. Officially part of Wallonia. much of the tension created by this division will go unnoticed. lonelyplanet.com POPULATION Belgium’s population is basically split in two: the Flemish and the Walloons (see boxed text. The massive increase in bureaucracy generated by the additional tier of government is a burden for taxpayers. but it wasn’t until 1898 that Flemish was recognised as a second language. and many in Flanders resent the fact that their financially successful region is counterbalancing the country’s less affluent south. opposite). however. as the Walloons are less ready with Flemish or English. and while many Belgian cities have large immigrant communities none are as multicultural as the capital. So what is the nation’s future? Some parts of Flemish society call for independence but it is questionable whether the majority of Belgians would back such a move were it to be put to a vote.com T H E C U LT U R E • • T h e L i n g u i s t i c D i v i d e THE LINGUISTIC DIVIDE A television station organises a prank broadcast announcing independence for Flanders. Soon after. though it too has large cities and plenty of heavy industry. be it English. The roots of Belgium’s divisive language issue can be traced back to Roman times. is the top event. newspaper polls question the likelihood of a split. Historical and economic tensions grew until. see p320). The domestic cycling season starts in full with the Ronde van Vlaanderen in early April. Flemish Although many in Belgium were displeased by French this event. a nickname inadvertently started by the daughter of French cyclist Christian Raymond. stating it German intended to show the importance of the ongoing Bilingual political debate on the future of Belgium. suddenly disappears to be replaced by its French name. but it has not thwarted the intercommunity squabbles or the ‘them and us’ mentality. The latest episode in the drama was played FLANDERS out in December 2006 when Francophone pubBrussels lic broadcaster RTBF interrupted its normal programming with news that Flanders had declared independence. thanks to decentralisation of the national government during the 1980s and early ’90s. people will readily communicate in whatever language is needed. for example. and these days busies himself making top-notch bicycles for the international arena. in 1962.’ ‘Like a cannibal. Brussels’ population includes about 100 different nationalities among the foreign-born residents. The nation’s first constitution was drawn up in French – the official language of the country at that time – by the ruling elite. Raymond said: ‘He’s eating us all for breakfast. ‘Tournai’ (for details. with its foreign origin. The only peculiarity you’re likely to encounter is on the road. not to mention the Tour de France five times. The mix includes many European nationalities as well as Moroccans. and the monarchy. is linked to neither language community and is therefore a unifying force. it lies within Flanders but is governed separately. in the same season. winning not only the World Championship in Madrid but also. Turks and Africans. South of the divide sits Wallonia (La Wallonie). the Eastern Cantons flank the border with Germany around the towns of Eupen and St Vith and are home to 70. Unlike Armstrong. As a visitor. The establishment of regional governments was designed to appease the language communities and to a certain degree it has. In Wallonia the story is slightly different.5 million. Wallonia and bilingual Brussels. Belgium’s days of cycling glory were long past but in 2005 Flemish cyclist Tom Boonen went some way to reviving the country’s fortunes. Officially bilingual but predominantly Frenchspeaking. Even then. The remainder is a tiny German-speaking enclave in the far east in an area known as the Eastern Cantons (Ostkantons). Wallonia is more rural than Flanders. It’s heavily urbanised. the question of what to do with Brussels. In the 1950s and ’60s. with major cities sitting almost side by side in some areas. Paris–Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders (or Ronde van Vlaanderen in Flemish). it was the formation of the Belgian state in 1831 that crystallised it.000 people (for more details.30 T H E C U LT U R E • • P o p u l a t i o n lonelyplanet. see p262). One day in 1969. bemoaning the impossibility of ever beating Merckx. In his 2006 New Year speech. particularly in some areas immediately around Brussels. Grocer’s son Eddy Merckx is revered as one of the greatest natural cyclists ever. RTBF defended its actions. To the north of the divide lies Flanders (Vlaanderen). The Grand Prix Eddy Merckx. p32). Language is the dividing factor. The royal family. SPORT Cycling Bike helmets are not a legal requirement for cyclists and are generally ignored by adults. during his domination of the sport from 1968 to 1975. until the rise of tennis greats Kim and Justine that is (see boxed text. French or Flemish. Until recently. in an era before aerodynamic bikes and helmets. leaving French-speaking Belgians in an impoverished region. The African population is largely made up of immigrants from the former Belgian colony of Congo. He was known as the Cannibal (Kannibaal in Flemish). where French-speaking Walloons make up most – but not all – of the remainder of the population. whose Flemish speakers make up 60% of Belgium’s population of 10. Wallonia’s steel and mining industries declined. when the sign you were following to ‘Doornik’. cutting it almost equally in half. made official in 1962 when an invisible line – or linguistic divide as it’s called – was drawn across the country. Merckx turned 60 in 2005. Merckx won almost everything that was going. with 400 people per square kilometre (compared with 240 in Britain and just 100 in France). immediately followed by the equally demanding La Flèche Wallonne and Liège–Bastogne–Liège. The fake news bulletin included WALLONIA footage of a reporter standing outside the Royal Palace in Brussels. King Albert II acknowledged the cultural and economic tensions between Belgium’s regions but said separatism was an expensive and dangerous path. But even that hasn’t detracted from Merckx’s status as one of the best. claiming that King Albert had left the country. In Flanders. including the Giro and hour-records. This is one of the most densely populated corners of Europe. This division created the regions of Flanders. Those who think Belgium will stick together attribute this to the country’s huge public debt. Each region has its own government and autonomy. A campaign for the Flemish language started. it was decided to cut the country in half with an invisible line known as the linguistic divide. Flemish assertiveness grew as Flanders became the country’s modernday economic powerhouse. Only in 2004 was Merckx’s Tour de France record finally broken when Texan Lance Armstrong took out his sixth title. Daddy?’ his daughter replied. held in Brussels in May. And so the name stuck. And then there’s Brussels.

000 people. Belgium was far ahead of everyone in the TV stakes. walked against racism. the other Flemish. and a woman of Turkish descent was seriously injured. in which 18. although Brussels’ multicultural population also includes many other European nationalities. prefers hard-court tournaments and is quite at home in the public eye. . joined forces with one of the country’s best-known bands. failed to even qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany – it was the first time since 1978 that Belgium didn’t take part in football’s biggest event. the findings were worse. to those who died at the Heysel disaster. on the political spectrum. About 95% of homes are hooked to this system.com BELGIAN TENNIS DIVAS If it wasn’t for Justine Henin-Hardenne and Kim Clijsters. whom many hope can restore fortunes. Belgians had not witnessed racist-related murders on their streets. The report came just days before Antwerp’s so-called White March. It’s odd that Belgium. Many immigrants arrived in the 1960s to work in the mines. The suburb of Borgerhout in Antwerp is essentially Moroccan. Aimé Antheunis. Belgium’s print media divides pretty evenly in content between the serious and the superficial and. Since then. the picture for Belgium’s migrant communities is quite grim. Thirtynine people were killed (including 35 Juventus supporters) when Liverpool and Juventus fans clashed. Le Soir (French) and Grenzecho (German) are the pick of the crop. This sad state of affairs came two years after Belgium failed to qualify for the 2004 European Championships in Portugal. both winning their first World Tennis Association (WTA) title in 1999 and entering the top ten in the same month. a tiny country with just over 10 million people. Up until early this decade. Just before the elections. Antwerp’s Socialists overtook Vlaams Belang. between left and right. there’d be little to write of in the way of contemporary Belgian sporting icons. Antwerp is the power base of Vlaams Belang. Henin-Hardenne’s slight frame hides a cautious and at times withdrawn personality. She performs best on clay. Due to the country’s linguistic make-up. and a high level of casual racism among Belgians towards immigrant families remains. lonelyplanet. A week later. has a hefty physique and jovial nature. as announced). Antwerp-born Luc Tuymans. At the 2006 municipal elections. But in 2003 Belgium’s tennis aces became the world’s top two women’s tennis players. though its support base in country areas is rising. Amnesty International released its annual report severely criticising Belgium on a number of points. with unemployment hovering at 35%. followed six months later by the gunning down of a Moroccan school teacher in Antwerp. English clubs were banned from European competitions for six years following that disaster and Heysel – the country’s premier stadium – was in ruins. The issue resurfaced in 2006 following an apparently racist shooting in the heart of Antwerp in which a Malian nanny and a twoyear-old white girl in her care were killed. despite a series of injuries and the rise of a host of Russian players. The relationship between these communities and the Bruxellois ranges from fearful distrust to cheerful cohabitation. powering ahead with a 16% swing to take 35% of the vote ahead of Vlaams Belang’s 33%. Even second-generation immigrants with Belgian citizenship often don’t feel at home in society here. The national team. But the killing of a Moroccan couple in Schaerbeek in 2002. Ten years later it reopened under the new name Roi Baudouin (p111). Antwerp-based dEUS. But their rise was strangely parallel. but this number doubles when second-generation immigrants are added. Belgium is probably best remembered in football terms for the tragedy at Heysel stadium during the European Cup final in Brussels in 1985. it changed its name and relaunched itself in 2004 after a court banned the party on the grounds of permanent incitement to segregation and racism.000 foreign residents (including 13. there are plenty of contrasts. and what she lacks in height and natural power. becoming the youngest recipients of the nation’s top civil honour. Mayor Patrick Janssens was thrilled that he’d stopped Vlaams Belang leader Filip Dewinter from securing a majority in the city council. thanks to the introduction of cheap access to analogue cable in the 1960s. and the appointment of new coach René Vandereycken. The communes of Schaerbeek and St Josse in the capital are almost completely Turkish and North African in character. Clijsters. she makes up for with speed and accuracy. was invented in Antwerp by Abraham Verhoeven in 1606. could rear two outstanding female tennis players from different sides of the linguistic divide at the same time. They had different coaches and contrasting styles. with 60% of people of Turkish descent and 55% of Moroccan living below the €777 monthly threshold. None make the sensationalist grade of tabloid journalism as seen in England. This hasn’t happened of course. Football Belgian football is going through one of its most humiliating periods in decades. and can access 40-plus TV channels. Nieuwe Tydinghen. an ultraright-wing party with a blatantly anti-immigrant platform. there were hopes that Belgium’s tennis queens would somehow help unite this divided land. influential contemporary artist. But four decades later. Formerly Vlaams Blok. Most of the racial tension in recent times has surrounded Antwerp.000 Moroccans). changed all that. These days it’s the place to see the Red Devils’ home games as well as a memorial. the pair has continued to be highly competitive.com T H E C U LT U R E • • M e d i a 33 Economically. the Red Devils. This compares with 10% for native Belgians. This satisfaction with the status quo explains why Belgians are The world’s first newspaper. clad in white. Despite the similarities. and many felt it marked a nadir in the national side’s fortunes. and fans countrywide mourned. The fallout of all this has been the sacking of Red Devils former coach. to organise a festival to show that Antwerp is not synonymous with support for Vlaams Belang. A 2006 study by universities in Antwerp and Liège found one in three people of Turkish or Moroccan descent were living in poverty in Belgium. MULTICULTURALISM Belgium’s main immigrant communities are Moroccan. these communities have failed to integrate. MEDIA No big-name media barons or government domination here. religion and culture. belatedly erected. Peaceful demonstrations like this – usually to highlight justice or freedom issues – have found a place in Belgium ever since the first was held in the mid-1990s following the Dutroux paedophile scandal (see p21). Despite that. Turkish and Congolese. It’s easy enough to get a ticket at the stadiums for any local football event – the country’s best-known team on the domestic-league ladder is RSC Anderlecht (see p111). on the other hand. Instead the two have frequently stood in each other’s way when it comes to winning a title (which may be a thing of the past if Clijsters retires in 2007. HeninHardenne (b 1982) from Wallonia and Clijsters (b 1983) from Flanders climbed the ranks through separate tennis federations – one French-speaking. And compared with European poverty standards. Belgium has several daily newspapers – De Standaard (Flemish). Until very recently. however. they are two of the country’s best-known names and in 2004 were awarded the Grand Cross Order of the Crown from King Albert. particularly racism and discrimination. The party gained 30% of votes in local elections in 2000 but has since failed to make much further headway in Antwerp itself. At the start of their rise.32 T H E C U LT U R E • • M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m lonelyplanet. which has 50. sparking national debate about race.

was immediately put up for public sale. see p125. One of the country’s most pure expressionists was Frits Van den Berghe (1883–1939). a movement that developed in Paris in the 1920s. and come from various countries including Morocco. who focused on religious and mythical subjects. The port city of Antwerp was the region’s art hub. For details on Breugel and his two painter sons. Comic characters enliven daily life. it’s surprising that the Belgian state doesn’t have a good reputation when it comes to preserving its artistic heritage. who lived and worked in Brussels. Despite church attendance plummeting since the 1970s and ’80s (only 3% of the Flemish population go to church weekly). where the perverse and bizarre often go hand in hand and where artists had grown up with the likes of Bosch and Breugel. With a roll call like that. Bosch’ paintings are nightmarish – scenes filled with gruesome beasts and devilish creatures devouring agonised humans and other such treats. Among the most prominent artists were Victor Sevranckx. based around the city’s diamond district. The two big Belgian names in the 19th century were Constantin Meunier (p87). Brussels and Amsterdam) was formed as a reaction against formalism in art and out of an interest in the iconography of children’s painting 35 Introduced by Phillipe Robert-Jones. From 1904 two groups of painters. Such festivals are a fabulous way of getting under the Belgian skin – you really see what makes these people tick and what they get excited about. For more on this prolific artist. Permeke. His contemporary Jacob Jordaens (1593–1678) was one of the few artists who did not go to Italy. and can still be seen there. see boxed text. One of the world’s earliest-known oil paintings – a piece so rich it still feeds the senses – is holed up in Ghent. see boxed text. who used primitive cubism and colours full of contrast and subtle tonal gradings. The most famous of his altarpieces were painted for Onze Lieve Vrouwekathedraal (p179). The greatest 16th-century Flemish painter was Pieter Breugel the Elder. Ensor’s birthplace in Ostend has been torn down and Magritte’s last home. Mechelen-born Rik Wouters (1882–1916) was one of the prime figures of Brabant Fauvism. Breugel and Van Eyck – hold pride of place in top museums around the country. Algeria and Pakistan. and dance demons take centre stage. Antwerp held its cultural high ground during the 17th century. the best known of the group. the distinction between Dutch and Flemish painting actually dates from the late 16th century – prior to that Belgium and the Netherlands were simply known as the Low Countries and artists moved from one royal court or town to another. RELIGION Belgium’s most bizarre carnival celebration takes place on Shrove Tuesday in Binche and involves masked men throwing oranges at the crowd. Albert Servaes (1883–1952) was the best known. It found fertile ground in Belgium. In 2005 only 3% of households subscribed digitally. later came Gustave De Smet (1877–1943) and Constant Permeke (1886–1952). Scherpenheuvel (p210). Victor Horta’s Maison du Peuple was demolished in 1965. The Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts in the capital exhibits an excellent range of his works. dynamic dance. and you’ll probably come away with some odd sort of admiration for a country which has refused to lay down its love of folklore and religious tradition. used images from the subconscious to revolt against rationalism and to define a new way of perceiving reality. as well as portraits of European aristocrats. History of Painting in Belgium details the country’s rich artistic heritage from the 14th century to contemporary works. crazy comics… Belgium’s art world is remarkably huge for such a small country. Immediately following WWII. One Dutch painter worth mentioning at this time is Hieronymus Bosch (c 1450–1516). architectural grandeur. Roughly 75% of Belgium’s population is Roman Catholic. He worked mainly in the Netherlands but his style influenced Flemish artists and his works are prominent in museums in Flanders. For more on Belgium’s media. Turkey. Michael Palmer’s From Ensor to Magritte: Belgian Art 1880–1940 is a large. p298. first symbolists and then expressionists. Belgium also has an important place of pilgrimage. with rituals dating back hundreds of years. a pioneer of expressionism. It’s well worth timing a visit to coincide with one of these events. In 1948 an international group called CoBrA (an acronym standing for Copenhagen. Protestant. lonelyplanet. For more on these important artists. Of the first group. near the Flemish town of Diest. see boxed text. Christianity was established early in Belgium and today Catholicism reigns supreme. and recently received World Heritage listing. Belgium has many Christian-based festivals that date back centuries. Belgian Muslims number about 450. His sun-drenched landscapes. p223).34 T H E C U LT U R E • • R e l i g i o n lonelyplanet. In 1632 he was appointed court painter by Charles I of England and knighted. including politics and education. a group of artists that called itself La Jeune Peinture Belge (1945–48) produced mainly abstract work. contents included. It’s easy to think Bosch suffered bad karma. and James Ensor (p142). It’s actually a serious affair. Visual Arts Belgium’s art heritage began in Bruges in the late Middle Ages with painters known as the Flemish Primitives. light interiors and still-life canvases were a search for the vibration of light in pure colours. set up in the village of St-Martens-Latem near Ghent. Rubens’ studio nurtured artists such as Antoon Van Dyck (1599–1641). . mainly because of Flemish baroque painter Pieter Paul Rubens. Some 380 mosques dot the country. Anne Bonnet and Louis Van Lint. Orthodox Jews from Eastern Europe arrived here in the late 19th century and immediately took control of the burgeoning diamond industry.com T H E C U LT U R E • • A r t s Towards the end of the 15th century. but his paintings are generally thought to illustrate parables told in those days. see p32). But as for cherishing later art forms and artists – such as Art Nouveau buildings and the homes and studios of artists such as Magritte and Ensor – the nation has definitely fallen short. put out bold portraits of rural Flemish life that blended cubism. he specialised in everyday Flemish life and merrymaking. the big guns – works by Rubens. expressionism and social realism. These festivals tend to be extraordinarily lavish affairs in which the Belgians get right into some pretty odd behaviour (for examples see boxed text. compared to the European average of 25%. traditions remain strong and religion influences many aspects of daily life. Antwerp’s delightful cathedral. Belgium’s most famous sculptor. In any case. Sure. Belgium’s best-known surrealists were René Magritte (p90) and Paul Delvaux (p148). p181. inherited by the Belgian state in 1986. ARTS Fab artworks. a tight grid of streets immediately south of the main train station. Enter Brussels’ Grand Place or the stunning Galeries St Hubert and swoon under architectural beauties that have transcended time.000. Brussels and Antwerp also have sizable Muslim populations. For more information. Flemish art proceeded along two lines: some painters were influenced by Italian art while others developed an independent Flemish style. (p84). Surrealism. Jewish and Muslim communities also exist in Belgium. It’s still common in this quarter to see Orthodox Jewish men clad in black coats and fluffy hats and the whole district closes down on Saturday for Sabbath. Antwerp is home to the country’s largest Jewish community. and nearly 50% in the US. the Jewish holy day. Antwerp’s Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten (p182) is the best place to catch works by both these artists.com not embracing the digital TV revolution. soft-cover book with full-page colour reproductions of works by the major figures during this time. It covers some of the overlooked artists of that era.

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and the primitive world of the mentally ill. The group sought to promote free
artistic expression of the unconscious and used intense, expressive colours.
Belgium’s most famous member is Pierre Alechinsky (1927–), who has gained
international prominence for his works (mainly in inks).
One of Belgium’s best-known contemporary artists is Antwerp’s avantgarde Panamarenko (1940–). Obsessed with space and flight, his bizarre
sculptures fuse authentic and imaginary flying contraptions, and even his
pseudonym – a bastardised abbreviation of ‘Pan American Airlines Company’ – harks to this theme. His works, including the enormous Aeromodeller, made in 1969, can be seen at Ghent’s SMAK (p163), as well as at Ostend’s
PMMK (p142). Panamarenko retired in 2006.
Another name to catch is Jan Fabre (1958–), who made waves in international artistic circles recently by being the first contemporary artist chosen
to have a solo exhibition at Paris’ Louvre museum. He’ll be showing there
in 2008. Back in Belgium, you may also be able to see his work at Antwerp’s
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten (p182).
Also worth tracking down are paintings by Antwerp-born Luc Tuymans
(1958–), considered Belgium’s most prominent living artist. His subjects
range from major historical events, such as the Holocaust or the politics of the
Belgian Congo, to the inconsequential and banal. He has the honour of being
the first living Belgian artist to have works hung in London’s Tate Modern.
To discover the Art
Nouveau jewels of
Brussels, visit www
.brussels.artnouveau.be.

Architecture
Belgium is endowed with a fine legacy of architectural delights. Many of the
country’s earliest buildings, though largely restored in later centuries, are on
Unesco’s World Heritage List. These include mighty belfries such as the one
in Bruges (p124), many Flemish begijnhoven (clusters of cottages around a
central garden; p129) and, of course, Brussels’ famous Grand Place (p69).
For more, see the World Heritage Sites Tour, p18.
On the flip side, exciting modern architecture is only just starting to get
a look in. The old art cities of Antwerp and Bruges recently realised that
modern can sit alongside ancient, and have embraced projects like the
Concertgebouw (p137) in Bruges and, in Antwerp, the new Justitiepaleis
(law courts; p184) and bOb Van Reeth’s Zuiderterras (p193).
In recent times Brussels expertly brought new life to some of its landmark
old buildings, such as the Old England building (p83) and the former Belgian
radio and TV building, Flagey (on Place Flagey). But swathes of the city
have also gone under the demolition ball to make way for the boring glass
buildings that typify the EU quarter.
Churches are the lifeblood of Middle Ages architecture, and the ornate
towers that dominate the skylines of many Belgian cities are this period’s
most enduring showpieces, built first in Romanesque style and then Gothic.
Romanesque is characterised by columns and semicircular arches – a good
example is the Collégiale Ste Gertrude (p223) in Nivelles, just south of Brussels. Gothic features the pointed arch, and the style is at its most impressive
in Antwerp’s monumental Cathedral of Our Lady (p179). During the 15th
century, secular buildings were also built in the increasingly flamboyant
Gothic style, such as Brussels’ Hôtel de Ville (p79). Belgium’s most stunning
tribute to secular Gothic architecture is Leuven’s town hall (p205).
Baroque was an artistic and architectural movement of the CounterReformation in the 16th and early 17th centuries, characterised by ornate
and exuberant decoration. Flemish artists and architects of that time altered
and made additions to baroque to come up with a homegrown style called
Flemish Renaissance or Flemish baroque. Although it has Italian influences,
it’s a style unique to Flanders and is much flaunted in Antwerp. Indeed, the

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ART NOUVEAU IN BELGIUM
In the early 1890s, Brussels was at the forefront of a European wave that went under various
names including Jugendstil in Germany and Art Nouveau in Belgium. Art Nouveau is characterised
by its use of sinuous lines – organic tendrils, feminine curves and floral motifs – and favoured the
use of wrought iron, glass, exotic timbers and marble. Intricate wrought-iron balconies (one of the
best examples is Brussels’ Old England building, see p83), round windows, frescoes and sgraffito
(an incised mural or ceramic decoration that is beautifully displayed, for instance, on the façade
of Maison Cauchie, see p93) were employed to give buildings a hallucinogenic look. One Art
Nouveau café (pub/bar) in Brussels is even named De Ultieme Hallucinatie (The Ultimate Hallucination, p107). But it wasn’t only about façades. Some of the buildings from this era are plain
from the outside but overwhelmingly ornate within – to visit these you’ll need to book a guided
tour with Atelier de Recherche et d’Action Urbaine (ARAU; p95), a heritage conservation group.
Art Nouveau blended architecture – its most visible form – with daily aspects of life. Everything
from banisters to beds and cupboards to cutlery were moulded to bring elegance into the lives
of those who could afford it. The movement sought to break free from the restrictive classical
styles that dominated much of 19th-century art and design, and flourished in Belgium until WWI,
fed by ballooning populations in Brussels and Antwerp.
Art Nouveau architecture made its first appearance in Brussels in 1893 when Victor Horta
designed the Hôtel Tassel (hôtel here referring to a townhouse) for a Belgian industrialist, and
Paul Hankar built a unique house for his own use a few blocks away. For more on Horta and
lesser-known figures, see p87 and p92.
Another of the movement’s leading figures was Henri Van de Velde (1863–1957). Van de Velde
didn’t have Horta’s flair but he was innovative and influential abroad, and designed the Netherlands’ famous Kröller-Müller Museum. Not much of his work is on display in Belgium – excluding
the Belgian Railways logo that is seen everywhere.
Until recently, Horta and his contemporaries were virtually ignored in Brussels, and in the 1960s
and ’70s some of their finest buildings were torn down. The destruction of Horta’s Maison du
Peuple in 1965, in the face of worldwide protest, helped bring about laws protecting the city’s
heritage. ARAU was formed to save and renovate city treasures.
Antwerp also has some excellent Art Nouveau buildings, found mainly on Cogels-Osylei (p184)
and in ’t Zuid (p184).

city is extremely proud of this heavy, distinct architecture; excellent examples
are Rubens’ house (p181) and St Carolus-Borromeuskerk (p180).
After the 1695 bombardment (p69) of Brussels, the guild houses on the
Grand Place were rebuilt in Flemish baroque, though many retained Gothic
features. Nearby is arguably the country’s finest Flemish baroque church,
Église St Jean Baptiste au Béguinage (p82). Incidentally, Brussels’ famous
little pisser, Manneken Pis (p80), also dates from this period.
For most of the 18th century, while Belgium was under Austrian rule,
architecture took on a cold, rational, neoclassical style. It is best reflected
in the cluster of stark white buildings surrounding Brussels’ Place Royale
(p82). The sombre Place des Martyrs (p81) is another good example. After
Belgian independence in 1831, a number of extravagant buildings were constructed to enable Brussels to compete with the likes of Paris and London.
One of the first buildings to be built was the gorgeous Galeries St Hubert
(see boxed text, p112).
Throughout his reign, Léopold II (r 1865–1909) focused on urban development, realising that making Brussels more aesthetically appealing
would boost its economic potential. He used the vast riches gained through
scandalous exploitation of the Congo (see p96) to fund the construction of
gigantic public buildings and elaborate town-planning schemes. Almost
everything that’s big or ruler-straight in Brussels is due to him, but it’s an

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unloved style these days. His pride and glory was the Palais de Justice, Brussels’ law courts (see p85).
An industrial boom in the late 19th century resulted in the construction
of several glass and iron buildings in Brussels. Notable examples include the
Halles de Schaerbeek (p88) built in 1901, and the massive, newly renovated
complex known as Tour & Taxis (p89).
At the end of the 19th century, Art Nouveau hit Belgium. For details on
this lavish style, see boxed text, p37.
The impassioned style of Art Nouveau cooled off with Art Deco, a movement that originated in the 1920s and developed into a major style in Western
Europe and the USA in the 1930s. Victor Horta, the master of Belgium’s Art
Nouveau scene, abandoned curls and frills for the cleaner lines of Art Deco in
his later works, which include Bozar (p110). The style’s most intimate example
is the Musée David et Alice Van Buuren (p88), one of Brussels’ little gems.
Belgium’s most unique post-WWII architectural structure is the newly
revamped Atomium (p89), menacingly visible from the city centre on clear
days. The EU’s ill-fated but now reopened Berlaymont (see boxed text, p87)
is another famous edifice.
Belgian poet and author
Marguerite Yourcenar
was the first woman
elected (in 1980) to
the male-dominated
Académie Française.

Literature
Belgium’s most famous and prolific novelist was Liège writer Georges Simenon (1903–89). For more on Simenon and his detective character Inspector
Maigret, see boxed text, p253.
Hugo Claus is one of the few Flemish writers to succeed abroad. His bestknown novel is Het Verdriet van België (The Sorrow of Belgium), published
in 1983. It weaves a story of wartime Belgium seen through the eyes of a
Flemish adolescent, though the underlying theme is Nazi collaboration
during WWII.
Amélie Nothomb is one of few modern Belgian writers to have works
translated into English. Her novels The Stranger Next Door, about strange
events in the Belgian countryside, Loving Sabotage, set in 1970s Beijing,
and The Book of Proper Names, which details a girl trying to emulate her
mother, are easy to find.
Belgium’s Francois Weyergans recently won France’s prestigious Goncourt prize with his new work, Trois Jours Chez Ma Mêre (Three Days at
My Mother’s). The story explores a mother-son relationship challenged by
mental and physical problems.

Cinema

Screen star Audrey
Hepburn, known from
My Fair Lady, was born in
Brussels in 1929.

Belgium is almost too small to have a cinema industry. The scene is generally
devoted to black humour and down-to-earth realism and, while well received
in art-house circles, it’s almost starving (Belgium is one of the least generous
countries in Europe when it comes to film subsidies).
The biggest local names are brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne who
in 2005 won their second Golden Palm at Cannes, thereby joining a very
select group of directors to have this double honour. Their most recent win
was with L’Enfant, a harsh yet upbeat story about a petty crook coming to
grips with fatherhood. This followed their 1999 win with Rosetta, another
stark story, this time about a girl in search of a job and meaning to her life.
For more on these films, see boxed text, p251.
The country’s biggest export to Hollywood is the ‘Muscles from Brussels’,
actor Jean-Claude Van Damme. Van Damme’s career took off in the late 1980s
after he put on an impromptu martial arts display outside a posh restaurant
for the head of a Hollywood studio. He has since earned millions from hit
action movies such as Universal Soldier and Timecop.

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39

THE 9TH ART
Belgium’s so-called 9th art is the comic strip (beeldverhalen in Flemish, bandes dessinées in French).
With colourful comic murals dotting the capital, specialist shops devoted exclusively to comics
and their merchandising, and even a national centre in Brussels devoted to this art form, Belgium
is proof that comics aren’t just for kids.
It was Hergé (1907–83), the creator of Tintin, who set the ball rolling here. Hergé’s real name
was Georges Remi – his pseudonym comes from his reversed initials (RG) pronounced in French.
In 1929 the first adventure, Tintin au Pays des Soviets (Tintin in the Land of the Soviets), was published. A further 22 books followed, all including the sanctimonious asexual roving reporter and
his dog, Snowy, a pragmatic smart aleck with a penchant for booze. The series is still Belgium’s
top international seller, with close to 120 million copies sold in French and 90 million in other
languages. Visitors arriving at Brussels’ Gare du Midi in 2007 will come face to face with a large
Tintin fresco especially created to celebrate Hergé’s centennial, and the Belgian postal service
will also issue commemorative stamps to celebrate the event.
The end of WWII saw a host of comic-strip authors emerge, including Antwerp artist Willy
Vandersteen, who created the delightful Suske and Wiske (Bob and Bobette in English) in 1945. This
is one of the nation’s longest-running comic-book series and is the biggest domestic seller.
In 1946 Maurice De Bevère, better known as Morris, came up with Lucky Luke, a classic Western
parody, and Edgar P Jacobs brought out the sci-fi exploits of Blake and Mortimer. The following
year Marc Sleen invented Nero and in 1948 Pierre Culliford (aka Peyo) created the little blue
characters known as the Smurfs (Les Schtroumpf ).
The next decade saw Belgium’s comic authors move into the adult realm and this genre lives
today. Well known are the works of Brussels artist François Schuiten and author Benoit Peeters, who
teamed up to produce the highly regarded Les Cités Obscures. The best-known title from this intellectual series is Brüsel, the exaggerated story of an old city destroyed by the new (a thin disguise of
Brussels and the EU). De Kat (The Cat) by Philippe Geluck is long-running and still going strong.
This bevy of comic-strip talent is easily admired in Brussels, where the Centre Belge de la Bande
Dessinée (p81) showcases the nation’s best, and where you can follow the Comic Strip Route –
see boxed text, p82.

Festivals to catch include Anima or the International Festival of Fantastic
Film, both in Brussels (p95), as well as Bruges’ Cinema Novo Film Festival
(p132) and Ghents’ Filmfestival (p165).

Music
Jazz is right at home in Belgium. Adolphe Sax invented the saxophone and
octogenarian Toots Thielemans still enthrals audiences with his legendary
harmonica playing. To get right among the jazz scene don’t miss Brussels’
Jazz Marathon (p96).
In the 1950s Jacques Brel took the French-speaking world by storm and
is still much-loved in his homeland (see p80).
Arno Hintjens is the godfather of Belgian rock. From early days as a bluesman, he created TC Matic in 1980 and went solo a few years later. He now
weaves chanson, blues and funk. Love or loathe him, Helmut Lotti is also
Belgian, not German, and pumps out crooners and the classics.
Belgium as a whole doesn’t have a contemporary music scene, but Flanders does. The only groups to make it internationally come from the north
and include the well-established K’s Choice, the Antwerp-based dEUS, and
Axelle Red, who plies her trade in French despite Flemish roots. Hooverphonic from St Niklaas near Ghent do trip-hop, while Praga Khan is heavy
techno. Brothers David and Stephen Dewaele, also known as 2ManyDJs,
are known internationally for their mixing skills, as well as being members
of rock group Soulwax.

www.tickets.com has
online ticket bookings
plus interesting links to
venues.

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T H E C U LT U R E • • A r t s

lonelyplanet.com

In the classical arena, opera has always been important – a performance
in 1830 sparked Belgium’s revolution (see boxed text, p110).
The international site
www.whatsonwhen.com
gives good coverage of
Belgium; it links every
venue and event.

Theatre & Dance
Belgium’s dynamic contemporary dance scene centres on two companies –
Rosas (p109) in Brussels and Charleroi/Danses (p226) in Charleroi. The
country’s drama scene is also inspiring. To combine the two, investigate Brussels’ KunstenFESTIVALdesArts (p96). Most theatre and dance companies
take a break during July and August. Antwerp is the realm of classical ballet –
see the Koninklijk Ballet van Vlaanderen (p195).

meteo . This area of rivers. they don’t associate nature and strong environmental policies with Belgium. and provides the city with its economic lifeline to the North Sea. many of which have supported villages and towns for centuries. France to the south and a 66km North Sea coastline to the west. they dream of vast open spaces in places like Australia and parts of America.be (in Flemish & French). A few of these areas. It’s 240km at its widest from east to west and 193km from north to south. Germany and Luxembourg to the east. has full international links. used each year by thousands of birds to breed and refuel while journeying between Europe and Africa. Belgians are used to turning on the TV news or picking up the morning newspaper and coming face to face with headlines proclaiming the country to be the worst in Europe or the world in various environmental matters. stripped of native vegetation and fast becoming an ecological desert.be. high plateaus and ancient caves is Belgium’s most scenic region. It’s bordered by the Netherlands to the north. it’s no wonder the environment is now highly degraded. The country is riddled with rivers. Belgium’s North Sea coastline is monopolised by largely unattractive resort towns between which a few patches of windswept – and now highly prized – dunes have been spared from the developer’s bulldozer. Near the border with Germany. This is possibly understandable when you consider that today’s Belgians were born into a country already chock-full of cities and towns. The flat landscape of Flanders comprises the north of Belgium. a country that’s heavily industrialised. the Ardennes gives way to the Hautes Fagnes. By the time it gets to Antwerp it’s a river to be reckoned with. The largest is the Scheldt (Schelde in Flemish. national passions just don’t include the environment. It’s topographically uninteresting. THE LAND Belgium is one of Europe’s little countries. On top of that. It originates near the northern French town of Charleville-Mézières and Check out the highs and lows of Belgium’s weather at www. Greenpeace’s Belgian site. Way back in 1993 Belgium was dubbed the ‘dirty child of Europe’ by Greenpeace and. since then the country has not done anywhere near enough to clean itself up. In stark contrast is the wonderfully hilly countryside of Wallonia’s Ardennes region in Belgium’s southeast corner. .greenpeace. they look to France or Italy or. which enters Belgium from northern France and gradually widens as it passes through Flanders. tiny country that has been at the heart of European development and destruction for centuries. In a densely populated. a wild and untamed plateau of bogs and swamps that holds Belgium’s highest point (694m). if recent reports are anything to go by. the website of the Royal Meteorological Institute. the only lumps or bumps to break the monotony of the horizon are grazing cattle and the slender steeples of village churches. when allowed to throw the net wider. such as Het Zwin and Zwin-Polder. you can cross it in 2½ hours. www. are now protected nature reserves. wooded valleys. both near Knokke-Heist. When many Belgians think of nature. People have missed Belgium by dozing off in the car – when there are no traffic jams. Escaut in French).41 Environment There’s no point beating around the bush – Belgium’s environmental picture is not pretty. This dearth of grass-roots environmental consciousness means the already pitiful situation has improved little in recent decades. Unfortunately. The Meuse River (Maas in Flemish) is the country’s other great waterway.

Two more recent studies have not brightened the picture. When it crosses into the Netherlands just north of Liège. About 400 species of flora exist in Belgium. The reserve is home to about a third of the wildflowers found in Flanders. Also on the agenda now is whether Belgium will continue with its nuclear phase-out plan (the country’s seven reactors are due to be decommissioned between 2015 and 2025). the Scheldt and Meuse. with the highest concentrations of nitrates and pesticides. About 25% of the country’s surface area is cultivated. much still needed to be done. transforming Bruges from a busy medieval port into a small provincial city. the production of large quantities of waste. and tap water is drinkable. despite the country struggling to meet its Kyoto Protocol targets. Nuclear power provides two-thirds of the country’s energy (Belgium is the lowest ranked country in Europe for use of renewable energy sources) and. p117) near Brussels. as the situation was worse now than a decade ago. close to Brussels. and sightings of any (except rabbits) are rare. but those that existed were too small and fragmented.be) in Limburg. turtle doves and golden orioles have all but disappeared from the Forêt de Soignes (Zoniënwoud in Flemish. such as the Forêt de Soignes.inter environment. A controversial UN report on water quality published back in 2003 firmly put Belgium last among 122 countries in terms of waste treatment. ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES Water and noise pollution. Cuckoos. abutting the border with France. The reserves mix salt marshes. the endangered crested lark and little ringed plover all live here. squirrels and rabbits. protect a wetland ecosystem maintained by North Sea flooding. and there’s also a recreation area known as Kattevennen near Genk. on the coast northeast of Bruges. where it’s joined by the Sambre River. lakes and hills that host rare plants and animals such as hawks. each picked up individually) as late as 1998. From here it flows east to Liège. and intensive use of land for agriculture. see Forêt de Soignes.42 E N V I R O N M E N T • • W i l d l i fe lonelyplanet. is De Westhoek Vlaams Natuurreservaat (p148). below. and the region is constantly criticised for having the highest levels of ground-water nitrate pollution in the EU. if you’re lucky. The nature reserves of Het Zwin and the nearby Zwin-Polder. are heavily polluted. and provide sanctuary for numbers lonelyplanet. www. toads and newts.com ENVIRONMENT •• Environmental Issues 43 of bird and rare flora species. The males are black and have a noticeable red bonnet. with the cleared land used for agriculture and pasturage. The study’s report stated that things were also not looking good for flora and fauna biodiversity. can be spotted in bare branches of trees. and a small area of wetlands. which thrive on salty soil. Storks are being successfully bred in Het Zwin reserve on the coast. forest and pasture-land each make up an additional 20%. In Brussels. glass and compostable matter. Liquid manures are commonly sprayed around Flanders’ fields. nightingales. The Nationaal Park Hoge Kempen occupies 5700 hectares between the Limburg towns of Genk and Maasmechelen. For more on both reserves.org. Belgium was a late-starter in recycling. beginning with selective household rubbish collection (paper. Recycling and/or composting of household waste is in full swing. wild boars. Belgium’s high population density and its good standard of living have resulted in high energy consumption. Other isolated patches of forest. The remainder includes industry and urban living space. a 340-hectare nature reserve and popular winter haven for migratory birds. see p146. Belgium’s largest rivers. . en route becoming a heavily used waterway. It’s Flanders’ biggest uninterrupted area of forest and nature. The critically endangered black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) has found its last refuge in the Hautes Fagnes Nature Reserve. such as glasswort and seablite. At the opposite end of the Belgian coast. larks and partridges having fallen by almost 90% since the 1970s. consisting of heather fields. Belgium & Northern France by Arnoud Van Den Berg describes the best places in Flanders and Wallonia for watching and twitching. these birds live in moorland habitats and. Over 90% of the dragonfly species found in Belgium live here. which has adopted it as the park’s emblem. Water taken from these rivers is treated. insects and butterflies. the world over. north of Antwerp on the Belgian– Dutch border. Although not your typical field guide. as do rare species of spiders and insects. snakes. WILDLIFE Animals Before the last Ice Age. birch and oak. badgers. it’s flanked by decaying industrial estates.nationaalpark. Environmental groups have been around since the 1970s but the movement only gained recognition in the 1980s due to the rising power of the Belgium has some of the smelliest farm fields in Europe. A handful of walking trails crisscross the park. untreated sewage went straight into the Senne River. see National Parks. an American study by Yale and Columbia Universities ranked Belgium as Europe’s biggest polluter. Warblers. is a megadatabase that tells you who’s doing what to protect the earth. calls have been made to scrap the plan. Belgium was home to mammoth and later to bears and bison. Only two nationally protected areas exist – the Hautes Fagnes Nature Reserve (see boxed text. Plants The native forests that once covered much of Belgium have been destroyed by centuries of clearing. The Kalmthoutse Heide Nature Reserve. p117) boasts one of the largest collections of plants in Europe. Where to Watch Birds in Holland. foxes. it said. however. A report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released in late 2006 said Belgium had the worst water in the industrialised world. including many indigenous plants. For more on birdlife. NATIONAL PARKS The World Directory of Environmental Organizations. just as it had done for centuries. urbanisation and waste management are some of the most pressing environmental issues. coastal dunes and freshwater wetlands.com gently winds to Namur. are dotted around the countryside. and one in five is threatened. Protected in Belgium. Europe’s third-largest inland port. pollution control and quality of fresh water. but there must be a reason why Belgians arrive at the supermarket cashier each week with trolleys brimming with bottled mineral water. Birdlife has been similarly hammered by the destruction of habitat. The season runs from 15 October to 15 January. though it’s still home to one of Europe’s largest populations of sparrowhawks. with Belgium almost last in the rankings. right up until 2006 when new waste treatment plants finally came on line. The OECD report stated that while Belgium had made an effort towards improving air and water quality. its vegetation includes wet and dry heath as well as active and inactive sand dunes. Researchers of a bird atlas published in 2005 cited numbers of even common species such as sparrows. The area silted in the 16th century. p260) east of Liège and the Nationaal Park Hoge Kempen (www. frogs and toads. Today’s forests – concentrated in the Ardennes – are largely coniferous monocultures used for logging and are unable to sustain the diversity of plant and animal species that once lived in this region. Earlier in the same year. Hunting is still a beloved pastime among some Belgians and is largely based around the town of St Hubert in Wallonia. features important remnants of the area’s original heath and dune landscape. in 39th position worldwide. Belgium’s National Botanic Garden (see Nationale Plantentuinvan België. Not only was there a lack of nature reserves. mainly beech. pine forest. hunting and the destruction of habitat has meant that the only wild critters left today are deer.

Louis is determined to give options to children who are discriminated against by the majority Bantu population. Our nonprofit partners are linked by a grass-roots approach to the areas of health. Groen! (renamed in 2003 from Agalev. two main green political parties. was torpedoed at the national election in 2003. which supports girls at risk of falling victim to sex traffickers. Wallonia and Brussels – it’s likely things will continue to stagnate. to the Foundation for Developing Cambodian Orphans. however. GIVE SUSTAINABLY – THE LONELY PLANET FOUNDATION The Lonely Planet Foundation proudly supports nimble nonprofit institutions working for change in the world. and the downward trend has continued. One of the chief stumbling blocks on environmental matters is the country’s linguistic divide. so many of the groups we work with aim to change the way people see themselves and the future for their children and communities. and the government must put into place more fiscal measures to encourage ecologically sound practices. . TREAD LIGHTLY. Their 1999 electoral success. Our partners range from Kabissa. Many – such as Louis Sarno who works with BaAka (Pygmy) children in the forested areas of Central African Republic – choose to focus on women and children as one of the most effective ways to support the whole community. Belgium needs better vision – and action – in relation to sustainable energy and air quality. Just as travel is often about learning to see with new eyes.com TRAVEL WIDELY.44 ENVIRONMENT •• Environmental Issues lonelyplanet. until there’s greater cooperation between the three regions – Flanders. education or sustainable tourism. with both parties polling poorly at communal elections in 2006. Each year the foundation donates 5% of Lonely Planet company profits to projects selected by staff and authors. in Flanders) and Ecolo (in Wallonia). which provides small nonprofits across Africa with access to technology. Sometimes foundation assistance is as simple as restoring a local ruin like the Minaret of Jam in Afghanistan. this incredible monument now draws intrepid tourists to the area and its restoration has greatly improved options for local people.

Orval and Duvel for example – now commonly sit in off-licences worldwide. Coriander is another favoured spice. Every beer has its own glass. the country’s largest brewer and exporter. the US or Australia.com is a US-oriented site but shows a love of Belgian beer. Honey and spices were added to enhance the flavour. giving a bar-by-bar account of what to taste. Some waiters pour beers. Belgium had more than 3000 breweries. . this so-called ‘cure’ worked. If you like beer.belgianstyle . It’s hard to define numbers – between 400 and 800 different beers are brewed in Belgium – ranging from deep-brown Trappist beers that come with a creamy white head and a kick to them. BEER CHECKLIST Walk into a specialist beer café in Belgium. breweries and links. a blend of herbs and flowers such as rosemary and myrtle. you soon might. as was gruut. Some beers even arrive in a champagnestyle bottle with a caged cork. Forget the stockstandard lagers of Jupiler. Beer became an everyday drink – a ‘liquid bread’ to supplement an otherwise meagre diet. not quaffing and nurturing hangovers. the lion’s share will come bottled. and let you in on the dos and don’ts of Belgian beer.45 Mmmm…Beer Belgium may be tiny. Some of the quality beers – Chimay. however. though mostly it’s brews (such as Stella. and you’ll be handed a beer menu the size of a book. Here it’s about sipping and appreciating flavours. WWI caused the collapse of half and. Spontaneously fermented lambics sit alongside amber beers that hint at godly connections. And nowhere will you find the quantity of quality beers as is offered by this little nation. by 1946. No country in the world boasts a brewing tradition as rich and diverse. though only a handful has taken on the international arena. This seductive presentation and personal involvement is all part of the pleasure of beer drinking in Belgium. only 775 remained. uniquely embossed and specially shaped to enhance the taste and aroma. that dominate the market. The Kwak glass looks like a science-lab escapee. A tiny bowl of peanuts. Unlike in many other countries. cubed cheese or other savoury nibblies will also be offered. This chapter will unravel some of Belgium’s beer mysteries. As beer was boiled and water wasn’t. Belgian beer was one of Europe’s best-kept secrets. detail which breweries open their doors to curious travellers. Hoegaarden and Leffe) owned by Leuven-based InBev. who must be thanked for this bevy of beers. The Belgian love of beer has nabbed both sexes and all ages. about 100 breweries compete for the local market. www. It’s the Trappist beers made by monks. By the early 19th century. and if you don’t like beer. There’s an art to pouring Belgian beers and techniques differ from beer to beer. This explains why. St Arnold convinced locals to drink beer rather than water. The Good Beer Guide to Belgium & Holland by Tim Webb is an excellent book. listing pubs. until the late 1980s. but its beers are big and bold. It is St Arnold. such as Brussels’ Le Bier Circus (p107) or ’t Brugs Beertje (p137) in Bruges. Maes and Stella Artois – these conventional beers mirror brands the world round. and definitely takes some juggling. These days. When plague broke out in the Middle Ages. in cafés (pubs/bars) stocking several hundred brews. where to taste it and which breweries welcome devotees. you’ll love Belgium. believed to protect against hangovers. and the acquired taste of tangy lambics that get connoisseurs in a tizz. Presentation is all-important. others leave that pleasure to you. to thirst-quenching white beers that go down deliciously on hot summer days. There’s none of that beer-belly baggage that goes with beer drinking in Britain. the patron saint of brewers. bottled beer is the preferred choice and. the golden nectars named after the devil himself.

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MMMM…BEER •• Beer Checklist

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and then there’s a whole range of speciality beers produced for festive occasions or simply for the fun of creating.
Most cafés, of course, don’t have every brew in stock, but your average pub
will have no trouble coming up with 20 different beers and in specialist pubs
you’ll be looking at several hundred. With such choice, it’s no wonder firsttime visitors go gaga over the beer menu. Taking a stab in the dark or picking
a beer by name is one solution; however, tasting by name is a tantalising if
dangerous way to go – after sinking a Duchesse de Bourgogne, followed by a
Guillotine and a Satan, you’ll think you’ve got Delirium Tremens (whose logo
appropriately features pink elephants); come the next morning you’ll wish
for Mort Subite (literally, Instant Death). Endeavour to resist the temptation
to sample 10 different beers in the first night – Belgians generally stick to
one or two types per night, and shine the next day.
No Belgian beer is exactly like the next – keep this in mind for acquired
tastes like lambic, some of the artisanal brews, and even your first Trappist.
The uninitiated have been known to make ghastly comments about their first
Belgian beer. ‘It’s worse than medicine’ was one Australian woman’s reaction
to one of the great Trappist ales. Harry Pearson, author of A Tall Man in a
Low Land, also struck a brew he didn’t much admire during his time touring
Belgium: ‘It came in a bottle with a witch on it and had a tannic edge so hard
it felt like it was scraping the enamel off your teeth and using it to sandblast
your tastebuds’. Our advice: start tasting and judge for yourself.

Trappist Beers
Belgium’s most famous tipples are divine creations. Trappist beers – gold
or dark in colour, smooth in taste and dangerously strong (from 6% to 12%
0
0

BELGIAN BEER
Roman

NETHERLANDS

De Koninck
Karmeliet

Trappist

Westmalle

Duvel
De Dolle Brouwers

Achel

Antwerp

BRUGES

Breendonk

A

N

Y

InBev

Buggenhout

Esen

Westvleteren

GE
RM

De Gouden Boom
De Halve Maan

50 km
30 miles

Roeselare
Oudenaarde
BRUSSELS
Mater

Trappist

Leuven
Hoegaarden

BELGIUM

Rodenbach

Jupille

Pipaix
Liefmans
Brasserie
Dubuisson
Cantillon

F

R

Rochefort
Trappist

A

Chimay

N
C

Trappist

E

Belgian Brews
Breweries

LUXEMBOURG
Orval
Trappist

LUXEMBOURG
CITY

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MMMM…BEER •• Beer Checklist

47

BELGIUM BY BREWERY
„ Musée Bruxellois de la Gueuze (p90) – best intro to Brussels’ strange lambic brews.
„ De Dolle Brouwers (p50) – crazy brewers that defy categorisation.
„ Brasserie à Vapeur (p51) – still blowing steam, and a great day out.
„ Brouwerij De Halve Maan (p128) – Belgium’s most accessible brewery.

alcohol by volume) – have been made for centuries by Trappist monks,
members of the strict Cistercian order. In earlier times, when water was foul,
monks were permitted to consume the regional beverage: those in France and
Italy took to wine; in Belgium monks chose between buttermilk and beer.
Only a handful of European abbeys have carried the brewing tradition into
the 21st century, and Belgium has six – Westmalle, Westvleteren and Achel
in Flanders, and Chimay, Orval, and Rochefort in Wallonia. Only Orval
monastery (p243), except its brewing hall, is open to visitors.
Westmalle (www.trappistwestmalle.be; Antwerpsesteenweg 496, Westmalle; hnot open to
visitors), northeast of Antwerp, is the oldest of the six-pack. Brewing started
here in 1836 and these days it’s well known for two beers: the deep-brown
Double (7%), known as Dubbel in Flemish, and the gloriously bronze Triple
(9%), one of Belgium’s most popular drinks. The latter also has a devoted
international following – during a recent beer competition organised by
The New York Times, Westmalle Triple trumped the 25 contenders. Beer
devotees will find Café Trappisten (%03 312 05 02; Antwerpsesteenweg 487, Westmalle;
h9am-midnight), a popular pit stop for thirsty cyclists on the main road near
the abbey, is the closest drink they’ll get to the abbey.
The Trappist beers hardest to come by are the trio produced by the Abdij
St Sixtus (www.sintsixtus.be; hnot open to visitors) at Westvleteren, west of Ypres.
These beers aren’t even labelled – they come in dark bottles identified by
the colour of their cap: the green cap (5.8%) is blond, light and refreshing
while the blue cap (8%), known as 8, and the yellow cap (10.8%), or 12, are
both dark, unfiltered, malty beers with vigorous flavours. Indeed, the latter
was recently voted as the world’s best beer by thousands of beer enthusiasts
from 65 countries on www.ratebeer.com.
Westvleteren is the smallest of the Trappist breweries, producing just
500,000L annually, all of which sells out within days of being on the market.
According to the monks, they have no plans to increase production, despite
worldwide popularity. Very few ordinary cafés around Belgium stock Westvleteren beers – Oud Arsenaal (p193) in Antwerp is a notable exception.
The abbey is not open to visitors but you can visit the big, modern café
In de Vrede (%057 40 03 77; Donkerstraat 13, Westvleteren; h10am-8pm Sat-Thu), opposite
the abbey, which also contains a small museum and beer shop. This place
figures prominently on cycle routes in the area but there’s no public transport
passing by. At the shop you can buy six-packs (€8.70), but for larger purchases
make an appointment with the abbey’s beer master (%057 40 10 57), then
drive to Westvleteren to pick up the goodies. A crate costs €30 and, in order
to make things fair, the monks limit purchases to two crates per car. The
appointment system is new, introduced in 2006 to stem the queue of cars – it’s
not unknown for beer lovers from Italy to cross the Alps just for a crate or two,
and in recent times police have been called in to handle traffic chaos.
Close to the Dutch border, in the province of Limburg, is the Benedictine
abbey De Achelse Kluis (www.achelsekluis.org; De Kluis 1, Hamont-Achel; hnot open to visitors) in
Achel. Monks from Westmalle founded this abbey in 1846 but it closed down
during WWI. In 1999 another Westmalle monk, Brother Thomas, started

Many beers are best
drunk at room temperature – ask for van ’t
schap (from the shelf )
in Flemish or tempéré in
French.

www.beerparadise.be is
the site of the Confederation of Belgian Brewers.

Alcohol-free beers
(alcoholvrije bieren/bières
sans alcool) do exist in
Belgium – try Tourtel,
Jupiler NA or Groene
Palm.

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MMMM…BEER •• Beer Checklist

The colour of a beer
usually depends on the
temperature during the
malting process – a pale
malt makes light beers
while well-roasted malt
results in dark brews. The
addition of sweeteners
such as caramel and
candy sugar also affect
colour.

lonelyplanet.com

brewing three beers – 4, 5 and 6, named after their alcohol content. There’s
also now an Achel 8. The abbey’s pub (%011 80 07 69; h11am-6pm Tue-Sun) sells all
the beers plus other local produce. To get there from Hasselt, take bus 18A.
The Abbaye Notre Dame de Scourmont (www.scourmont.com; Forges; not open to visitors),
on a hillock near Chimay in the province of Hainaut in Wallonia, is the most
famous Trappist monastery. In 1860 Chimay led the commercialisation of
Trappist brews, and these days it’s the one you’re most likely to find in your
local off-licence. Chimay’s three main beers are identified by the colour of
their caps and labels: Chimay red (7%) is bronze coloured and soft flavoured;
Chimay white (8%) is golden with a fresh, slightly bitter taste; and Chimay
blue (9%) is dark, fruity and aromatic. Auberge de Poteaupré (p228) is the
abbey’s official watering hole.
As locations go, the Abbaye Notre Dame (p243) at Orval boasts the most scenic monastic surroundings. Southeast of Bouillon, deep in the forests of the
Ardennes and close to the French frontier, it is the only abbey open to visitors. Unlike all the other Trappist breweries, Orval produces just one beer –
a beautiful deep-orange brew that undergoes a second fermentation, has a
hoppy character, and is served in a solid, gold-rimmed glass.
Also in the Ardennes is the Abbaye de St Rémy (www.trappistes-rochefort.com in French;
hnot open to visitors) at Rochefort. This abbey produces the strongest Trappist ale
but its three brews are not as well known as those of Westmalle or Chimay.
In ascending order of strength there’s 6 (7.5%), a deep-amber beer with a
spicy, fruity taste, 8 (9.5%), a poignantly dry brew with an assertive pallet,
and 10 (11.3%), with a red-brown colour and full-on flavour.
Trappist beers should be poured slowly with the glass tilted – aim to
have a full glass with a solid head. Many bartenders don’t pour the last few
millimetres of Trappist brews as the dregs cloud the beer, but it’s perfectly
fine to drink them.

White Beers
White beers – known as witbier in Flemish and bière blanche in French – are
thirst-quenching wheat beers, drunk iced with a twist of lemon on summer
afternoons. Typically pale and cloudy and served in a solid tumbler, the

TOP 10 BREWS
„ Achel 6 – a relative newcomer to the Trappist scene, and richly flavoured.
„ Bush Prestige – at 13% it’s Belgium’s strongest beer, produced by Dubuisson, a little brewery

in Hainaut.
„ Cantillon Gueuze – Brussels’ lambic that’s nectar to those in the know; others may need

convincing.
„ De Koninck – bowl up to a bar in Antwerp and order a bolleke of this much-loved ale.
„ Duvel – a hallowed golden brew that stands in a class of its own. Loved on hot summer days

as well as in the depth of winter. Deceptively strong, at 8.5% alcohol by volume.
„ Karmeliet – strong amber abbey beer.
„ Orval – Trappist brew deserving of its devoted following.
„ Rochefort 10 – top-shelf Trappist that packs an 11.3% punch. If that’s too strong, go for the 8

(9.5%).
„ Westmalle Triple – all-time Trappist favourite, chocolate-brown and creamy, with a 9% kick.
„ Westvleteren 12 – recently voted the ‘world’s best beer’, but notoriously difficult to come by.

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MMMM…BEER •• Beer Checklist

49

best-known and most popular is Hoegaarden, named after a Flemish village
about 40km east of Brussels where this regional beer was revived by Pierre
Celis in the 1960s. Celis thought the beer would be liked by older folk but
it took off with young people and has been a hit ever since. That said, some
connoisseurs have recently struck it off their list, claiming its flavour has
gone downhill since beer giant InBev took over the brewery and subsequently
moved it from Hoegaarden to a site near Liège.
If you’re keen to try a white beer produced by a small local brewery,
choose Brugs Tarwebier, produced by De Gouden Boom (The Golden
Tree) in Bruges.

Lambics
The champagne of the beer world – that’s lambic (lambiek in Flemish). Like
real champagne, this unique beer takes up to three years to make and comes
out sparkling at the end. On the way it spends a night of revelry with wild
microorganisms in a cold attic, and later spontaneously ferments. Unlike
champagne, lambics are not immediately likable – they’re sharp and acidic
and tend to contort the faces of novices.
Lambic is the traditional beer of Brussels and is best explored at the Cantillon Brewery (www.cantillon.be), also known as the Musée Bruxellois de la Gueuze
(see p90). This brewery and museum is one of Belgium’s most atmospheric
breweries. Located on a faceless backstreet in dog-eared Anderlecht, it’s utterly unpretentious – the outside is unrecognisable as a brewery and inside
is full of dusty old barrels and pungent aromas. The Cantillon family has
brewed lambic here for four generations and they know their stuff. Tours
include the attic room where the wort (a cooked mixture of wheat, water,
malt and hops) spends a night in a huge, shallow tub in order to meet up with
lambic’s essential ingredient, wild yeast. These microorganisms fly around in
the grimy Anderlecht air and spark the beer’s spontaneous fermentation.
Faro is a young lambic that’s been sweetened with sugar or caramel and
has a short shelf life; straight lambic has matured for longer, usually at least
a year, and hasn’t been tampered with sweeteners. Both are difficult to find
in cafés. The most popular lambic is gueuze (pronounced ‘gerze’) – a sour,
refreshing beer made from a mix of different-aged lambics. It’s reminiscent
of a hard-core cider and is readily available in many pubs. Then there are
fruit lambics, made more palatable by adding real cherries, called kriek, or
fresh framboise (raspberries). Make no mistake, they’re still sour-tasting beers.
Lambics are generally moderate alcohol beers (4% to 6%).
Easy to find are imitation fruit lambics. These beers are made using quick
brewing methods, and fake sweeteners and flavourings are added for mass
appeal. The results tend to be sickly sweet and nothing like the real thing.

Golden Ales & Abbey Beers
Golden ales comprise all the gleaming beers that have crept onto the market in recent years in an attempt to imitate one of Belgium’s most beloved
brews, Duvel (www.duvel.be). Duvel was invented immediately after WWI as a
dark-coloured victory drink, and a passing comment that its taste ‘comes
from the devil’ supplied the name. It was reinvented as a golden ale after
WWII but it wasn’t until 1970 that the present-day brew made its appearance. Duvel comes in a seductive undulating glass and has a dense, creamy,
two-inch-thick head that slowly dissolves to reveal a strong, distinct flavour.
It’s produced by Duvel-Moortgat.
Another golden ale worth sizing is Straffe Hendrik Blonde, produced by De
Halve Maan brewery (p128) in Bruges. This brewery does tours for individuals and groups but, as it’s located in the heart of one of Belgium’s most

One of the world’s best
beer writers, Michael
Jackson waxes lyrical on
all that Belgium has to
offer in The Great Beers
of Belgium. He goes into
great detail to explain the
different varieties of beer,
their tastes and unique
attributes.

A gistje, a foul-tasting
yeast extract, is served
in schnapps glasses in
some pubs in Antwerp
and downed by drinkers
needing a shot of
vitamin B. It’s a brewing
by-product and, not
surprisingly, free.

50

MMMM…BEER •• Beer Checklist

lonelyplanet.com

lonelyplanet.com

MMMM…BEER •• Beer Checklist

TOP 10 BEER PUBS

BEER ON THE HOP

„ Beermania, Brussels (p113) – the place to start, or finish, any serious beer study.

Belgium’s most popular beers can be bought in any old supermarket but for the greatest diversity
you’ll need to head to a specialist beer shop.

„ Bierhuis Kulminator, Antwerp (p193) – off the beaten route but well worth finding.
„ Café Botteltje, Ostend (p144) – seaside pub with 280 beers and counting.
„ De Garre, Bruges (p137) – well-hidden bar between Bruges’ main squares.
„ Herberg de Dulle Griet, Ghent (p168) – inside or outside, as the weather dictates.
„ Het Waterhuis aan de Bierkant, Ghent (p168) – waterside location and a superb array of brews.
„ Moeder Lambic, Brussels (p107) – grungy bar known worldwide for its extensive beer list.

51

„ Beermania, Brussels (p113)
„ Bottle Shop, Bruges (p138)
„ De Biertempel, Brussels (p113)
„ Den Dorstvlegel, Antwerp (p196)
„ Ter Posterie, Ypres (p153)

„ Oud Arsenaal, Antwerp (p193) – not a strict beer-specialist café (pub/bar), but can hold its

own among the big guns.
„ ’t Brugs Beertje, Bruges (p137) – Belgium’s most famous beer-specialist pub.
„ Ter Posterie, Ypres (p153) – cellar café with a great summer courtyard.

www.beermania.be is
the site of a Brussels
beer shop that organises
exports worldwide.

touristy towns, the tours tend to be crowded and impersonal. Still, they’re a
good way to see inside a relatively small brewery, and if you’re there outside
summer the crowds will have thinned.
A plethora of abbey beers – Grimbergen, Maredsous and the ubiquitous Leffe,
to name a few – compete in Belgium. Despite the divine title, these beers are
not touched by the hand of God nor made in a monastery. The abbeys after
which they’re named have sold their labels to the big boys such as InBev and
Moortgat. Abbey beers tend to be strong amber ales with substantial flavour.
Karmeliet is a relative newcomer to this group, and well worth trying.

Vlaams Rood & Oud Bruin

Brussels’ Grand Place
is the setting for the
Belgian Beer Weekend
(www.belgianbeerweek
end.be), a beer-tasting
event showcasing new
and time-honoured
brews held annually
in early September.
Some 48 brewers were
represented in 2006.

Vlaams Rood, or Flemish Red beers, are produced in the province of WestVlaanderen and are best represented by Rodenbach brewery in Roeselare.
Rodenbach Grand Cru is a Belgian classic and takes up to 20 months to
mature in huge wooden barrels.
Oud Bruin, or Old Brown, beers originate from around Oudenaarde
and nearby Zottegem in the province of Oost-Vlaanderen and are made by
blending young and old beers that undergo a secondary fermentation in
the bottle. They’re a sourish beer with a nutty character and usually come
in at around 5% alcohol per volume – the breweries of Roman (established
in 1545) at Mater, and Liefmans (since 1679) at Oudenaarde are two of the
best known. Neither brewery is open for visits, though cafés in Oudenaarde
(p160) stock plenty of local brews.

Speciality Brews
A plethora of small-production artisanal breweries in Belgium produce
special beers that can’t be categorised. They’ll pull out a new one especially
for Christmas, or try new variations of age-old recipes simply for the fun
of brewing. In Wallonia they’re often referred to as ‘saisons’, or ‘seasonal’
beers, which tend to be light-flavoured but hoppy and are best imbibed on
hot days to quench the thirst. These speciality brews explain why it’s impossible to pin down the number of beers produced in Belgium – it’s as fluid as
the product being created.
De Dolle Brouwers (%051 50 27 81; www.dedollebrouwers.be; Roeselarestraat 12B, Esen;
hcafé 2-7pm Sat & Sun, tour 3pm Sun) is the nation’s wackiest brewery. Its name –
‘The Crazy Brewers’ – says it all. Located about 3km east of Diksmuide in
the province of West-Vlaanderen, it’s well worth a stop if you’re prepared to

get off the beaten track. The brewery opens its doors on weekends and offers
a free tour. Four beers – each with kooky labels – are produced. The best
known is Oerbier, while Dulle Teve (Mad Bitch) has one of the nation’s more
descriptive names. All are available for tasting in the brewery’s little café.
Brasserie à Vapeur (%069 66 20 47; www.vapeur.com; Rue du Maréchal 1, Pipaix; admission
incl a beer €5; h9am-noon Sun Mar-Oct & last Sat of each month), as its name foretells, is a
steam-operated brewery, unique in Belgium. It’s located in a snoozy village
in the province of Hainaut, about 15km east of Tournai off the road to Ath.
The current owner, Louis Dits, bought the place in the mid-1980s and has
painstakingly restored it to its 18th-century origins. The beers – saisons and
one called Cochonne (or Little Bastard) – have a strong hops flavour and
some are quite spicy. Unquestionably, the best time to visit is the last Saturday
of each month when Louis fires up the kettles at 9am to brew a new batch.
Visitors can watch the whole process. At noon, sit down to a feast – including
dishes made with the brews and unlimited beer – for €20. Book in advance if
you plan to stay for lunch. To get there from Tournai, take the train or bus
to Leuze and then another bus back to Pipaix (30 minutes all up).
While you’re in the neighbourhood, another local brewery worth discovering is Brasserie Dubuisson (%069 67 22 21; www.br-dubuisson.com; Chaussée de Mons
28, Pipaix; admission €5; htour 3pm Sat), maker of Bush Prestige (13%) – Belgium’s
strongest beer. Others in the range include the bitter-sweet Amber (12%),
the strong Blonde (10.5%), and a light ale (7%).

Antwerp extols the virtues of Belgian beers with
the Bierpassie Weekend
(www.beerpassion.com)
in late June.

According to its label,
Bush, one of the country’s
strongest beers (13%
alcohol by volume), is
produced by ‘passion
passed on for eight
generations’.

Jenever is often sold in big earthenware bottles that are best stored at room temperature. Discussing the merits of a particular restaurant or a new dish occupies Belgians for hours. Qualitywise. rose and sparkling. no matter whether in Antwerp or Liège. bread. Age does decide quality: the best jenevers have matured in wooden barrels for at least eight years. lonelyplanet. and Côtes de Sambre et Meuse in Wallonia. Horse. if your survival depends on a solid start to the day. with modern soup kitchens popping up in the trendiest cities. Portuguese and Asian cuisines all thrive here. Alcoholic Drinks In Belgium. on average. Turkish. such as the ever-popular salade de Liège with potatoes. From chic restaurants to casual brasseries. is a zany. hare and guinea fowl are typical offerings throughout Belgium as is offal. and if you want to get into a particular Brussels restaurant at midi (noon). ask for a witteke (literally. Belgians love their food…and foodies love Belgium.godiva . though slowly more and more restaurants and wine bars are stocking these home-grown products. is an autumn speciality from the Ardennes. you’d be wise to book. there’s jenever/genièvre (gin).com Food & Drink Vegetarians and vegans should keep in mind that salads. (p55). tripe and liver. In a restaurant. Specialities of Godiva (www. a lighter jenever made in Wallonia.50. These menus comprise three courses (but sometimes expand to seven). There are three appellations: Hageland. there’s rarely reason to complain. The Belgian palate is broad. Saignant (rare) is a euphemism for dripping with blood. Like beer. Irish. 53 Nonalcoholic Drinks Bottled mineral water. . in the eastern part of Limburg province. and bien cuit is the closest thing you’ll get to well done. among other things.50 to €3. and work out cheaper than selecting individual courses à la carte. it’s hard to ascertain how many jenevers are made in Belgium – figures range from 150 to 270. rabbit. Christmas and Easter are always reason enough for families to come together for a five-course meal. Beautifully presented food using fresh ingredients and timeless recipes are paramount to the dining experience. based around the villages of Rillaar and Zoutleeuw east of Leuven. croissant and bit of baguette (continental breakfast). though popular entrées. and year-round they warm up on soup.com) is one of the most famous names in Belgian chocolate. Lunch and dinner hold almost equal importance. The Ardennes is also famed for its cured hams and pâté. Expect to pay anywhere from €2.skynet . If you’re looking for a bargain. For more. Italian. Birthdays. with family and friends saying final farewells over coffee and cake. Game. while those in Wallonia content themselves with a coffee. The wines are predominantly white. brains. In Wallonia you can order café au lait (coffee with steamed milk). you’ll automatically be given costly mineral water – brace yourself for a contemptuous look should you summon ordinary kraantjeswater/de l’eau du robinet (tap water). are gourmet affairs. Weddings.50. They’re not all that easy to find. It’s as common to find octogenarians languishing over a beer at the end of a five-course lunch as it is to see minimalist restaurants filled night after night by the designer set. Coffee is generally strong and aromatic and served espresso-style. Japanese. more than any other people in the world. including pheasant and boar. has a smooth taste and contains 35% to 40% alcohol per volume. These names are a misnomer as age is not what determines the category. Belgians are reputed to dine out. and this starts right at the very beginning. Other types include sweetened fruit jenevers and pékèt. This national pastime crosses all age boundaries and is cherished by both sexes. in-your-face cookbook with advice on good tunes to play while cooking guinea fowl in raspberry beer. and a 330mL Trappist beer going for between €2. often accompanied by wild mushrooms and sauces made from forest berries. Naturally. There are two categories: jonge (young) and oude (old). North African. is widely available. there’s no such thing as bring your own (BYO). the creators of a London-based Belgian restaurant. To wash it all down. they eagerly await autumn’s tasty game dishes. of course. When ordering at a bar in Flanders. although it’s no longer Belgian owned. see boxed text. and most are Germanic in style. depending on the café (pub/bar). Haspengouw. Old jenever is typically pale yellow. bacon and beans (see p56). Greek. elaborately presented suikerbonen (sugar-coated almonds) are given to relatives and friends by proud new parents. Funerals also end in a reunion. Wine – everything from French to international – is the standard accompaniment when dining.60 to €2. chocolate. quiz your accommodation host about their style of breakfast as some hotels still do just the continental version. The quality is excellent and the variety incomparable (see p45). beer rules – and deservedly so. And it’s not all local fare. such as the Belgian manufactured Spa. CELEBRATIONS You only need look back at a Middle Ages painting by Breugel to see the importance of food and drink to the Belgian psyche and the high place it’s awarded in festivals and celebrations. Belgium has a tiny home-grown wine industry that started in the 1970s. Also watch for a ‘menu of the day’ (dagmenu in Flemish or menu du jour in French). often contain some form of cheese or meat. The country’s cuisine is highly regarded throughout Europe – some say it’s second only to French while in other people’s eyes it’s equal. a ‘little white one’) – it should come in a tall shot-glass cooled in a bed of ice. with entire afternoons and evenings taken over to drinking and feasting. Some chefs now incorporate Belgium’s incredible range of beers into sauces to reveal unique flavours. Tea. including herbal varieties. including kidneys. they know by heart which months mean mussels. Cappuccino-lovers beware: Belgians often replace the much-loved froth with artificial whipped cream.80 and €4. On the arrival of each child. And you can be sure every Belgian can run off their top-10 places to eat. In Flanders coffee is usually accompanied by a tub of evaporated milk. Steak is cooked in a way slightly unfamiliar to most English-speaking visitors. as visitors staying in hotels or B&Bs generally receive the full kit and caboodle. sliced cheese. à point (medium) is what Anglophones would consider rare. this high standard involves seasonal appreciation. rather it’s the ingredients and techniques used. Prices match quality.50 depending on quality.52 The Belgo Cookbook by Denis Blais and André Plisnier. jam and coffee.be/chocolat/uk FOOD & DRINK •• Drinks Breakfast in Belgium mirrors the nation’s cultural divide – folks in Flanders sit down to a hearty meal of cold meats. Meat and seafood are abundantly consumed and although there are traditional regional dishes – such as Ghent’s famous waterzooi (a cream-based chicken stew) – the most popular dishes have crossed local boundaries. Belgians count the days until spears of spring asparagus appear. butter. take advantage of lunchtime when many restaurants offer a dagschotel/plat du jour (dish of the day). DRINKS STAPLES & SPECIALITIES A cute exposé on chocolate making and its history can be found at www. This difference may go unseen.users. with a 250mL lager costing from €1. however. Belgians are great soup eaters and this timeless food is seeing a huge revival. quality is the yardstick. is preferred over tap water. No gathering here goes without food.

sugar and cocoa butter in varying proportions. Filled chocolates. hundreds of chocolate producers vie for the domestic market. Five percent more or less may seem incidental to novices. it’s sip not slam). On Easter Sunday. The popularity of this snack cannot be understated. 250g. St-Pol and Smeets. Pure cocoa butter is the fundamental ingredient. or Black Peter). Belgium’s first chocolate shop. Tearooms open for breakfast and shut by about 6pm. the praline scene divides neatly into popular chains and national stars. both good midrange producers. and white chocolate is made by extracting only the butter from the cocoa. the atmosphere calm and seductive. making them a great place to catch a late-night bite or to dine outside standard restaurant hours. many kids eagerly await not only the Easter Bunny but also the Klokken van Rome (Bells of Rome). Neuhaus’ grandson is credited with inventing the praline – in 1912 he filled an empty chocolate shell with sweet substances. Later it spread to Britain where the taste was adapted and the name changed to ‘gin’. and there are even shops specialising in them (see p113). Quick Eats The Belgians swear they invented frieten/frites – chips or fries – and judging by the availability. In a short space of time.com BELGIAN CHOCOLATE Chocoholics beware! Nowhere in the world will test your self-control as much as Belgium. any time. Stirring the chocolate. served in convivial surroundings. fresh cream and extra cocoa butter flavoured with coffee. known as a ballotin. And if you’re the sort who likes turning simple ol’ Sunday mornings into a special time of relaxation. and so a Belgian institution was born. most desire? According to cosmonaut Frank De Winne. They usually offer sandwiches. What does a Belgian. are the nation’s forte. Dark chocolate uses the most cocoa. which lists almost 10. or pralines (pronounced ‘prah-leens’). Today there are about 70 distilleries scattered around Belgium. Any place. Ask the assistant to cover the full spectrum or to go heavy on a particular type if you’ve got a preference. brasserie kitchens don’t close. Restaurants command the lion’s share of the dining scene and generally open for lunch and dinner. Every Belgian city of any size has divine chocolate shops but in Brussels the choice is staggering. and not only survive but thrive. Domestically. But not everything to do with chocolate is sweet. Row upon row of assorted pralines await. is what defines smoothness – grainy chocolate just hasn’t been conched enough.54 FOOD & DRINK •• Belgian Chocolate lonelyplanet. Neuhaus (p113) in Brussels’ Galeries St Hubert. grasses and juniper berries. and the seashell-shaped Guylian. all lounging in air-conditioned comfort and attended by glove-clad assistants. The smell is sweet but spiced. ranging from 125g.com F O O D & D R I N K • • W h e re t o E a t & D r i n k 55 these times include speculaas (cinnamon-flavoured biscuits). traditionally given on December 6. milk chocolate mixes in milk.resto. Prices match quality and reputation – in the better establishments you’ll be paying for the white gloves they wear to hand-pick each praline. cin- namon or liqueurs. opened in 1857 and still exists. lonelyplanet. Marcolini has taken Belgium and key international cities by storm. The Limburg capital. Many shops have prepackaged boxes. Some terms include: „ Crème fraîche – praline filling made from fresh whipped cream. with sound portions and good quality. which apparently fly all the way from Rome and drop small chocolate eggs from the sky when they arrive in Belgium. the following trio are specialist jenever cafés: „ Gianduja – blend of milk chocolate and hazelnut paste. Brasseries and bistros tend to open from 11am to midnight.be. dishing up the country’s – and possibly the world’s – most expensive pralines (€58 per kilo) in innovative boxes that break the ballotin mould. the US-owned Godiva. or a Belgian-world mix. when returning from space. riding a white horse and accompanied by his (now politically correct) offsider Piet (formerly. Ghent (p168) „ Praliné nougatine – ditto but uses larger pieces of nuts or toffee to provide the crunch. „ La Maison du Pékèt. you’ll find honest food being served at much-loved eateries. and locals simply regard good chocolate as an everyday part of life. Top of the ladder is a host of independent chocolateries such as Burie and Del Rey in Antwerp (see p196) and Mary’s or Pierre Marcolini in Brussels (p113). On a daily level. to chain stores and top-notch chocolateries (chocolate shops). smothered until unrecognisable with large blobs of thick mayonnaise (or flavoured sauces) and eaten with a small wooden fork in a futile attempt to keep your fingers clean. „ Ganache – blend of chocolate. Antwerp (p193) „ Praliné – mix of chocolate and finely ground toffee or nuts. Next up is Neuhaus and Corné. you’ll think differently after trying Belgian chocolate. it’s been distilled in Belgium since the Middle Ages when it was drunk medicinally. Liège (p253) . light meals and nonalcoholic drinks. „ De Vagant. Every Belgian village has at least one frituur/friture (chip shop) where frites are served in a paper cone or dish. Leonidas is the most ubiquitous of the chain shops. 375g. Traditionally made from grain spirit. Hasselt. Arguments have raged in recent times over the EU’s definition of chocolate. but some open for dinner only (for standard opening hours see p303). and it was the EU’s decision to allow cheaper vegetable fats to replace 5% of the cocoa butter that had Belgian manufacturers up in arms. or ‘conching’ as it’s known in the industry. but that takes the fun out of buying. WHERE TO EAT & DRINK Belgium’s dining scene reflects the nation’s love of food. the day Sinterklaas (St Nicholas) supposedly arrives by boat from Spain. Browse menus and book a table on www. The food is usually either traditional Belgian fare. This love affair explains why so many restaurants can sit side by side in a city the size of Antwerp. Belgium’s fabulous. Galler has made a name for itself by experimenting with flavours and making the results accessible in a range of chocolate bars. Limburg is a good place for serious study and sampling (remember. it’s a claim few would contest. These days speculaas are devoured at any time. the Zwarte Piet. Count on anywhere between €30 and €58 per kilogram. nothing less than frites! He’s gotta be Belgian. Belgian chocolate traditionally mixes cocoa paste. And if you never thought your average block of chocolate was grainy before. and savour the moment each praline is popped into a special little box. „ ’t Dreupelkot. Shopping List Entering a Belgian chocolate shop involves a shift of consciousness. such as the elephant-emblazoned Côte d’Or. The Belgians have been quietly making the world’s finest chocolate for well over a century. Just wander down to the local bakery and join the locals choosing koffiekoeken (coffee cakes) from Sunday’s vast array.000 restaurants in Belgium. boasts the Nationaal Jenevermuseum (p211) and it puts on the Hasseltse Jeneverfeesten (p211) in October. 500g and 750g to 1kg jumbo packs. but the big names are Filliers. They’re the type of place you come to for a drink and end up staying to eat. Lined up at the counter are the ballotins. though only a handful have gone international. THE ORIGINAL GIN Jenever/genièvre (ye-nai-ver) is the precursor of modern-day gin. Unlike restaurants. The Players From local bakeries and supermarket delis. but there’s no denying the taste or smoothness of Belgian chocolate.

or three-course dinners. self-service restaurants – we’ve mentioned a couple in this guide. See Oud Arsenaal (p193). BELGIUM’S TOP FIVE EATERIES „ Taverne du Passage. „ Bruin café – ‘brown café’. On the coast. These places tend to be larger than ordinary cafés. and staying open from lunch ’til late. Such sandwiches are immensely popular snack foods and cost around €2. but they’re expected to behave perfectly. albeit reluctantly at times. The scene pretty much divides neatly into mainstream bistros and restaurants offering one or two vegetarian options (it may be nothing more exciting than a cheese omelette). But modern cultivation techniques have extended the season. flowers or a bottle of wine are standard accompaniments. HABITS & CUSTOMS You’re in for the duration when dining in Belgium. steaming bowls of wollekes (sea snails) are dished up from sidewalk stalls. Smoking in restaurants was banned in Belgium in January 2007. See Herberg Vlissinghe (p137). A belegd broodje/sandwich garni is half a baguette filled with one of an array of prepared fillings – from thon mayonnaise (tuna with mayonnaise) to poulet samouraï (spiced chicken). a chain of family-friendly. see p303. it’s remarkable they aren’t as fat as butter.50. there’s always a wafel/gaufre (waffle). no food. And don’t worry about a fork – use an empty mussel shell to prise the others out. A great place to eat with kids is Lunch Garden. and locals now tuck in from July. Midrange restaurants will often list children’s meals on their menus. Vegans. Good for a drink or meal at any time. Cooked as you wait and served piping hot from street vendors. een terrasje doen (doing a terrace). It’s common for Belgians. check out the Hipp Bio range sold in Delhaize supermarkets. Don’t eat any that haven’t opened properly once they’ve been cooked. Panos is a good national outlet. Great for casual dining or a drink at any time. About the only thing you’ll see Belgians munching as they window shop are piping hot waffles in winter and ice creams in summer. A few local terms include: „ Bar – mostly associated with jenever (gin) and other strong drinks. EATING WITH KIDS Dining out with the kids is quite normal in Belgium. Brussels (p102) „ Le Pain Quotidien/Het Dagelijks Brood (p103) „ Kaffee Pergola. but bear in mind that cafés (often good for a snack) were exempt from this ruling and are still generally full of smoke – not the healthiest of environments for kids to hang out in. See Café Belga (p107). Local kids eat out at topend establishments. Flemish name for a café serving a decent range of beers plus a limited number of meals. For more general information on travelling with little ones. Even in ubiquitous sandwich bars such as Panos. on the other hand. health-food shops that have tacked on some form of eatery. Antwerp (p191) „ Bouchon. Also called a bruine kroeg. even at home. The country’s indigenous alternatives – frituren/frituries and the hamburger chain Quick – have been strong enough to keep big guns such as McDonald’s to a minimum. mirrored walls and globe lights. a small. . aims to take some of the guesswork out of deciphering the many French menus you’ll come across in Belgium and Luxembourg. DOS & DON’TS „ Feel free to take your children to restaurants of all persuasions. VEGETARIANS & VEGANS Fear not: Belgium may be carnivore kingdom but vegetarians are catered for. and full-blown veggie restaurants where the clientele demand smoke-free surroundings untainted by meat. often with a terrace. and expect it to be a social occasion.com ABC OF BELGIAN CAFÉS Belgium’s café (pub/bar) scene is one of its idiosyncratic delights. „ Traditionally. Highchairs for toddlers are often available but ring ahead if you want to be sure. indulging in chocolates.56 F O O D & D R I N K • • Ve g e t a r i a n s & Ve g a n s lonelyplanet. old-fashioned pub noted for its décor: wood panelling. Restaurants in Belgium became smoke-free in 2007. to have two. On sunny days the populace emerges to soak up the sun and a drink at pavement cafés or. also called gyros) are also popular snacks. the rule of thumb is to eat mussels only during months with an ‘r’ in their name. See La Maison du Pékèt (p253). Hasselt (p212) 57 „ Belgians sit down to eat. For jars of organic baby food. Stuffed pitas (pitta breads. Mostly drinking only. For something sweet. Belgians take good food – along with great chocolate and beer – as part of everyday life. See Falstaff (p106) or Le Cirio (p106). „ Eetcafé – literally ‘eating café’. And don’t worry if someone suggests smothering them in slagroom – it’s the Flemish word for whipped cream. will go hungry almost everywhere.50 or €3. Fast food in the form of international chains has only belatedly found a foothold. „ Grand café – old-world establishments adored by elderly mesdames but attracting an eclectic clientele. Considering the amount of time the average Belgian spends at the table. and dish up drinks and sometimes meals. frites or waffles is sure to be a winner. The latter have only surfaced in the past decade or so. but not overdone. seating is provided. See Lokkedize (p135). Don’t let yours run riot. The exception is restaurants that provide a special ‘smoking room’ – here blazing up is allowed only before meals are served and during dessert. stuffing your face on the hoof is just not done. As far as snacking goes. It’s appreciated often. „ Herberg – old Flemish title for a tavern. it’s usual to bring a gift – chocolates. with soup being the standard starter. There’s no official closing time – these linger-as-long-as-you-like pubs stay open until the last person leaves. by Christian de Fouloy. Also called eetkroeg or estaminet. All cafés serve alcohol and are open from around 10am. whether at home or not. as the Flemish put it. French-English Dictionary of Good Eating & Drinking. „ Brasserie – spacious modern eateries. a hypercool Antwerp eatery that’s been telling meat eaters where to stuff it for decades.com FOOD & DRINK •• Eating with Kids considered somewhat of an enigma to this heavily meat-based society and restaurants were predominantly hidden behind or above health-food shops. nonsmoking symbols are not included in reviews throughout the Belgian chapters of this guide. We’ve listed vegetarian options throughout the guide. Due to this development. Belgian children are educated at an early age into fine dining and generally behave perfectly. The exception to all this is Lombardia (p191). they’re a national favourite. prior to that vegetarians were lonelyplanet. Bruges (p135) „ Walrus. „ If you’re invited to someone’s home for dinner. The national passion for eating means you’ll find leisurely breakfasts followed by long lunches and topped by decadent dinners.

The meat is mixed with pig’s blood. ən taa·fəl voar tway als·tu·bleeft Do you have a menu in English? Hebt U de kaart in het Engels? hept u də kaart in hət eng·əls A table for two. „ Bloedworst – black pudding. please. la not seel voo play Food Glossary FLEMISH Basics avondmaal frituur gevogelte groente kruidenier middagmaal nagerecht ontbijt vis vlees wild aa·vont·maal free·tur khə·voa·khəl·tə khroon·tə krəy·də·neer mi·dakh·maal naa·khə·rekht ont·bayt vis vlays wilt dinner chip shop poultry vegetable grocery store lunch dessert breakfast fish meat game Starters. Une table pour deux. „ Paardefilet/steack de cheval – no matter how you write it. but the first home-grown bivalves are expected to arrive on Belgian plates in 2007. ik ben vay·khay·taa·ree·yər I’d like to order the… Ik zou graag… willen bestellen. Soups & Snacks belegd broodje bə·lekht broa·tye boterham boa·tər·ham frieten free·tən koude voorgerechten kow·də voar·khə·rekh·tən pide pee·də snee brood snay broat soep soop warme voorgerechten war·mə voar·khə·rekh·tən filled sandwich slice of bread (with filling) chips/French fries cold starters Turkish pizza slice of bread (no filling) soup warm starters Meat bloedworst eend black pudding duck What’s the speciality here? Wat is hier de specialiteit? wat is heer də spay·sya·lee·tayt I’d like the dish of the day. Most mussels served in Belgium are grown in the Netherlands. served in steaming cauldrons and accompanied by a bowl of frites (chips or fries). a firm favourite. though how the great artist would take to being compared to chunks of beef and tongue set in gelatine is anyone’s guess. For Flemish pronunciation guidelines see p330. La note. What sounds like a succulent American steak is actually a blob of minced beef served raw. or other less traditional sauces. Rabbit cooked until tender in a sauce spiked with prunes. „ Filet américain – deceptive name for this most adventurous of Belgian dishes. De rekening alstublief. please. Ostend’s fish version. „ Breugel Kop – the name translates to Breugel’s Head. either veal or sheep.com FOOD & DRINK •• Eat Your Words I’d like the set menu. s’il vous plaît. It’s traditionally served with appelmoes (apple sauce). „ Waterzooi – cream-based stew originating in Ghent where it was traditionally made with chicken. EAT YOUR WORDS Want to be able to recognise horse from herring? Bacon from brains? Get behind the cuisine scene by getting to know the languages – both of them. subterranean fungi that’s a highly prized seasonal delicacy (autumn and winter). „ Fondue au fromage – no swirling pot of melted cheese and chunks of bread here. ewn ta·bler poor der seel voo play Do you have a menu in English? Est-ce que vous avez la carte en anglais? es·ker voo za·vay la kart on ong·lay What’s the speciality here? Quelle est la spécialité ici? kel ay ler spay·sya·lee·tay ees·ee I’d like the dish of the day. please. Een tafel voor twee. This dish comprises deep-fried croquettes made with a cheesy/creamy filling. fat and bread and is made into sausages. Has been blamed for giving people worms. „ Paling in ’t groen/anguilles-au-vert – eel in spinach sauce.58 FOOD & DRINK •• Eat Your Words lonelyplanet. Useful Phrases FLEMISH A table for two. də ray·kə·ning als·tu·bleeft „ Cervelle de veau/agneau – brain. try it as an entree. zher pron ler mer·new I’m a vegetarian. TRAVEL YOUR TASTEBUDS Ik neem het dagmenu. Ik ben vegetariër. „ Truite à l’Ardennaise – Ardennes trout poached in a wine sauce and served sprinkled with almonds. blood sausage made from leftover pig. for French see p333. These days you’ll find regional variations such as Oostendse Waterzooi. zher voo·dray a·vwar ler pla doo zhoor I’d like the set menu. Princely portions of mashed potatoes are tarted up with toppings such as a spiegelei (fried egg) or a fat sausage. please. was big on Belgian plates until mad cow disease made it lose its lustre. ik hat khraakh də dakh·skhoa·təl blood·worst aynt 59 . „ Stoemp – Grandma’s kitchen come to the city. FRENCH „ Croque monsieur – the essential grilled ham and cheese sandwich. „ Konijn met pruimen – the Flemish favourite. Not the most visually appetising of dishes. s’íl vous plaît. nor is it moreish after the fourth chunk. Je voudrais avoir le plat du jour. this is horse in no uncertain terms. Je prends le menu. „ Mechelse asperges – spring asparagus from Mechelen. though it’s still found on many menus around the country and is traditionally served with a pile of chips. „ Mosselen/moules – considered by many to be Belgium’s national dish: mussels cooked in white wine.com lonelyplanet. zher swee vay·zhay·ta·ryun/vay·zhay·ta·ryen I’d like to order the… Je voudrais commander… zher voo·dray ko·mon·day The bill. Je suis végétarien/végétarienne (m/f ). ik zow khraakh… wi·lə bə·ste·lən The bill. Ik had graag de dagschotel. „ Truffels/truffes – Truffles. ik naym hət dakh·mə·nu I’m a vegetarian. alstublief.

com FOOD & DRINK •• Eat Your Words erwtjes groene paprika komkommer kool look maïs olijf peterselie pompoen prei rode paprika selder spinazie spruitjes witloof wortel erw·tyəs khroo·nə pap·raa·ka kom·kom·ər koal loak ma·yees o·layf pay·tər·say·lee pom·poon pray roa·də pap·ree·ka sel·dər spee·naa·zee sprəy·tyes wit·loaf wor·təl peas green pepper (capsicum) cucumber cabbage garlic sweet corn olive parsley pumpkin leek red pepper (capsicum) celery spinach Brussels sprouts chicory carrot Desserts cake koek roomijs taart wafel kayk kook roam·ays taart waa·fəl cake biscuit ice cream tart (pie) waffle Drinks bier jenever lambiek wijn beer zhə·nay·vər lam·beek wayn beer Belgian gin Brussels beer wine Miscellaneous azijn boter brood ei geitenkaas kaas konfituur melk pannenkoek peper rijst speculaas suiker zout water a·zayn boa·tər broat ay khay·tən·kaas kaas kon·fee·tur melk pa·nə·kook pay·pər rayst spay·ku·laas səy·kər zowt waa·tər vinegar butter bread egg goat’s cheese cheese jam milk pancake pepper rice cinnamon-flavoured biscuit sugar salt water Cooking Methods gebakken gegratineerd gegrild gegrild aan ’t spit gepaneerd gesauteerd gestoomd khə·ba·kən khə·khra·tee·nayrt khə·khrilt khə·khrilt aant spit khə·pa·nayrt khə·soa·tayrt khə·stoamt baked browned on top with cheese grilled spit-roasted coated in breadcrumbs sautéed steamed 61 .60 FOOD & DRINK •• Eat Your Words lonelyplanet.com everzwijn fazant hammetje hersenen hert hesp kalfsvlees kalkoen kip konijn lam lever paard parelhoen ribstuk rund schaap slak spek tong varkensvlees vleeswaren worst ay·vər·zwayn fa·zant ha·mə·tye her·sə·nən hert hesp kalfs·vlays kal·koon kip ko·nayn lam lay·vər paart paa·rəl·hoon rip·stək rənd skhaap slak spek tong var·kəns·vlays vlays·waa·rən worst boar pheasant ham on the bone brains venison ham veal turkey chicken rabbit lamb liver horse guinea fowl rib steak beef mutton snail bacon tongue pork cooked/prepared meats sausage Fish & Seafood ansjovis baars forel garnaal haring inktvis kabeljauw krab kreeft maatjes oester paling rivierkreeft roodbaars St Jacobsschelp steurgarnaal tong tonijn zalm zeebaars an·shoa·vis baars foa·rel khar·naal haa·ring ingt·vis ka·bəl·jow krap krayft maa·tyəs oos·tər paa·ling ree·veer·krayft roat·baars sint·yaa·kop·skhelp steur·khar·naal tong to·nayn zalm zay·baars anchovy bream trout shrimp herring squid cod crab lobster herring fillets oyster eel crayfish red mullet scallop prawn sole tuna salmon sea bream Vegetables aardappel ajuin artisjok asperge aubergine boon champignon courgette aart·a·pəl a·yəyn ar·tee·shok as·per·zhə oa·bər·zhee·nə boan sham·pee·nyon koor·zhet potato onion artichoke asparagus eggplant bean mushroom zucchini lonelyplanet.

62 FOOD & DRINK •• Eat Your Words gerookt geroosterd gevuld op het houtvuur bereid lonelyplanet. Soups & Snacks croque monsieur krok mer·syer entrées chaudes entrées froides frites potage sandwich garni tartine on·tray shod on·tray fwad freet po·tazh son·dweesh gar·nay tar·teen grilled ham and cheese sandwich warm starters cold starters chips/French fries soup filled sandwich slice of bread Meat agneau bœuf boudin noir brochette canard cerf cervelle charcuterie cheval dinde entrecôte escargot faisan foie jambon jambonneau langue lapin marcassin mouton pintade porc poulet saucisson veau a·nyo berf boo·dun·nwar bro·shet ka·nar ser sair·vel shar·kew·tree sher·val dund on·trer·kot es·kar·go fay·zon fwa zhom·bon zhom·bon·no long la·pun mar·ka·sun moo·ton pun·tad por poo·lay so·see·son vo lamb beef black pudding kebab duck venison brains cooked/prepared meats horse turkey rib steak snail pheasant liver ham ham on the bone tongue rabbit boar mutton guinea fowl pork chicken sausage veal lonelyplanet.com FOOD & DRINK •• Eat Your Words Fish & Seafood anchois anguille brème cabillaud calmar coquille St Jacques crevette dorade hareng homard huître langouste raie rouget saumon scampi thon truite on·shwa ong·gee·yer brem ka·bee·yo kal·mar ko·kee·yer sun·zhak krer·vet do·rad a·rong om·ar wee·trer long·goost ray roo·zhay so·mon skom·pee ton trweet anchovy eel bream cod squid scallop shrimp sea bream herring lobster oyster crayfish ray red mullet salmon prawn tuna trout Vegetables ail artichaut asperge aubergine champignon chicon chou choux de Bruxelles citrouille concombre courgette échalote épinards haricot maïs oignon persil petit pois poireau poivron rouge/vert ai ar·tee·sho a·spairzh o·bair·zheen shom·pee·nyon shee·kon shoo shoo der brew·sel see·troo·yer kong·kombr koor·zhet ay·sha·lot ay·pee·nar a·ree·ko ma·ees on·yon pair·sil pay·tee pwa pwa·ro pwav·ron roozh/vair pomme de terre truffe pom der tair trewf garlic artichoke asparagus eggplant mushroom chicory cabbage Brussels sprouts pumpkin cucumber zucchini shallot spinach bean sweet corn onion parsley peas leek red/green pepper (capsicum) potato truffle Desserts couque gâteau gaufre tarte glace kook ga·to go·fref tart glas biscuit cake waffle tart (pie) ice cream Drinks bière genièvre bee·yair zhay·nyevr beer Belgian gin 63 .com khə·roakt khə·roas·tərt khə·vəlt op hət howt·vur bə·rayt smoked roasted stuffed cooked in a wood stove day·zher·nay day·sair dee·nay ay-pee·say·ree free·tewr zhee·byay lay·gewm per·tee day·zher·nay pwa·son vyond vo·lai lunch dessert dinner grocery store chip shop game vegetable breakfast fish meat poultry FRENCH Basics déjeuner dessert dîner épicerie friture gibier légume petit déjeuner poisson viande volaille Starters.

access to this chapter is not digitally restricted.’ . please don’t upload this chapter to a peer-to-peer site. mass email it to everyone you know. In other words.‘Do the right thing with our content. we think it’s fair to ask you to use it for personal. See the terms and conditions on our site for a longer way of saying the above . In return. or resell it. non-commercial purposes only.com lambic vin lom·bik vun Brussels beer wine Miscellaneous beurre confiture crêpe eau fromage fromage de chèvre œuf lait pain poivre riz sel sucre vinaigre bur kon·fee·tewr krep o fro·mazh fro·mazh der she·vrer erf lay pun pwa·vrer ree sel sew·krer vee·nay·grer butter jam pancake water cheese goat’s cheese egg milk bread pepper rice salt sugar vinegar Cooking Methods à la broche à la vapeur au feu de bois au four farci fumé gratiné grillé pané rôti sauté a la brosh a la va·per o fer der bwa o foor far·see foo·may gra·tee·nay gree·yay pa·nay ro·tee so·tay spit-roasted steamed cooked over a wood stove baked stuffed smoked browned on top with cheese grilled coated in breadcrumbs roasted sautéed © Lonely Planet Publications. To make it easier for you to use.© Lonely Planet Publications 64 FOOD & DRINK •• Eat Your Words lonelyplanet.

Brussels is a city of fine food. the capital’s African quarter. flaming outside interest and inner-city regeneration. the chocolate shops sublime and the pub scene extraordinary. Constant among all this is the quality of everyday life – the shopping’s great. Full of contrasts. And in an age where so much is already discovered. the restaurants fab.900 „ LANGUAGES: FRENCH & FLEMISH . emerged. Nearly a decade on. it’s Brussels. For a long time Brussels didn’t go out of its way to impress. historic versus hip. contradictions and intrigue.65 © Lonely Planet Publications BRUSSELS Brussels If ever a city could claim split personality. Some of the world’s most enduring images of surrealist art were created in the nondescript northern suburb of Jette. this is a multicultural equation that goes much deeper than just red tape and Eurocrats. Brussels is looking better than ever. Art Nouveau architecture and the surreal. French versus Flemish. HIGHLIGHTS „ Kick Back The Grand Place on a summer’s evening (p69) „ Jewel in the Crown The capital’s Art Nouveau gems (p92 & p93) Musée des Instruments de Musique Musées Royaux Musée Bruxellois des Beaux-Arts de la Gueuze „ Art History Old masters and surrealists at Grand Place the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts (p83) „ Popping Beers Strange brews at the Musée Bruxellois de la Gueuze (p90) Koninklijk Museum voor Midden-Afrika „ Bizarre Booty Koninklijk Museum voor Midden-Afrika (p94) „ Musical Views Panoramas. just short of cockiness. Watch money go down on swish Ave Louise or buy dried caterpillars just blocks away in Matonge. Belgium’s capital seduces as one of Western Europe’s unknowns. café culture. A new spirit. Pull up a chair and join laissez-faire locals who value the city’s casual atmosphere. An historic heirloom is closer to the mark. bizarre versus boring. but its stint as Cultural Capital of Europe in 2000 saw the city dusted and polished in a flurry that brought renewed life to historic buildings and decaying streets. And the architecture ranges from monumental edifices such as the Grand Place to organic Art Nouveau façades and the EU’s real-life Gotham City. instruments and Art Nouveau all wrapped up in the Musée des Instruments de Musique (p83) „ Parades & Pageants A festival for all seasons (p95) „ Fashion Feast Capitalising on fashion (p114) „ Diner’s Delight From ancient cafés to minimalist marvels (p101) „ Drinking Scene Pubs by the thousands…and no two alike (p106) „ POPULATION: 999.

Ixelles and its neighbour. with the Socialists alone taking poll position in the 2006 election. a former market square. Thus you’ll find wide boulevards flanking monumental buildings such as the Palais Royal and the Palais de Justice. are known for their many Art Nouveau buildings. train stations. collectively known as the Brussels Region (Brussels Gewest in Flemish. Bishop of Cambrai and Arras. this area of industrial decay held little appeal for visitors. best known for its soccer team but also boasting an interesting museum and a not-to-be-missed eatery (see boxed text. a kids’ play area and helpful staff make this English-language bookshop a welcome respite. Expect floor-to-ceiling stacks. and sella. an old working-class neighbourhood where some locals still speak Bruxellois. Immediately west of here in Molenbeek (Map pp70–1) is the city’s modern-day port. a popular park that eventually joins the Forêt de Soignes. Last. %02 209 22 11. Until recently. although this was restored to its full glory within five years. Many of the Upper Town’s architectural gems were built during this time. 10am-7. h10am-7pm Mon-Sat) Department store with extensive literary selection. a motorway which provides easy central access. %02 502 49 56. a lively quarter home to the capital’s African community. but new urban developments like Tour & Taxis (p89) have put it on the map. and to the southwest is Anderlecht (Map pp70–1). %02 502 99 80. Just northwest of here is Heysel. the Marolles (Map pp76–7). ORIENTATION Most of Brussels is surrounded by the Ring. There’s plenty to see within the Petit Ring.000. %02 511 79 37. INFORMATION Bookshops Anticyclone des Açores (Map p74. Brussels residents revolted in 1830 (see boxed text. Nicola’s Bookshop (Map pp76-7. h11am-7pm Mon-Sat) Small English-language bookshop specialising in world literature. %02 548 78 00. it evolved into an administrative and commercial hub.30pm Mon-Fri. but Brussels extends much further. Charles V’s successor. But it was its stint as Cultural Capital of Europe in 2000 that gave the city the push it needed. h9am-8. This spirit was radically expressed in the 2001 local elections when the Bruxellois ousted the long-standing Liberals for a red-green coalition. Duke of Lorraine. the main BRUSSELS •• Information 67 residence of Belgium’s royal family. The Upper Town (Map pp72–3 & Map p74) has a vastly different atmosphere.com THE BRUSSELS REGION Brussels comprises 19 communes. %02 219 27 08. and established punishments for crimes. Brussels’ 30. After WWII. Rue du Midi 89. The city grew enormously in both population and stature during the next century due largely to the expansionist policy of King Léopold II (see p96). The dukes of Brabant controlled the region on and off for the next two centuries and their fortunes were aligned through marriage to the dukes of Burgundy. Brussels developed unchecked. which guaranteed protection for citizens and private property. lonelyplanet. per hr €2) Groovy café/bar with an internet alcove. h9.BRUSSELS •• History HISTORY Legend has it that St Géry. h8am-8pm Sun-Tue. Rue Neuve. Austrian rule in the 18th century fostered urban development. Emperor Charles V used Brussels as the capital of his vast kingdom and the city flourished under his patronage. The modern EU quarter (Map p86) – signposted Europese Instellingen/Institutions Européennes – lies to the east and borders the vibrant Ixelles (Map pp76–7). Blvd Maurice Lemonnier 55) Cavernous secondhand bookshop. vocal protesters against Spanish rule.30am-6pm Sun) Brussels’ biggest English-language bookshop. built a fort on the St Géry island and moved from Cambrai to Bruocsella. at that time home to 100. dwelling) wasn’t recorded until 966. the Hapsburgs came to power. and given its unofficial name from a square in the Congolese capital Kinshasa. In 1482. Place de la Vieille Halle aux Blés 46. This area is best explored on foot. which straddles Ave Louise. as well as the Belgian parliament and government headquarters. first becoming the headquarters of NATO and later the EU (p87). 106 Rue de Stassart. its cobbled streets leading to popular quarters such as Ilôt Sacré. northwest of the centre are the little-visited communes of Jette (Map pp70–1) and Koekelberg (Map pp70–1). Central Brussels is divided into two main areas – the Lower and Upper Towns. This region is the only area in Belgium to be officially bilingual and the communes often (but not always) have two names – thus you’ll see signs for the commune of Elsene (as it’s known in Flemish) and Ixelles (its French name).30pm Sun) Comfy sofas. based along the Canal de Charleroi. Among the thousands given death sentences at this time were Counts Egmont and Hoorn. St Gilles (Map pp76–7). the canal separates the rundown immigrant neighbourhoods of Schaerbeek (Map pp70–1) and St Josse (Map pp72–3) from the affluent commune (suburb) of Laeken and the Domaine Royal (Map pp70–1). They were executed on Brussels’ Grand Place in front of the Maison du Roi. BRUSSELS BRUSSELS 66 . Rue du Fossé aux Loups 34) Travel specialist. now an entertainment complex.30am-6pm) Buys and sells all sorts of books. Philip’s fanatical Catholicism lead to the Protestant’s Iconoclastic Fury (see p24). For details.com city’s old dialect. with the construction of squares such as Place Royale and completion of the royal palace at Laeken (1784). p105). the city’s main international train station. which Philip quashed through the Spanish Inquisition. per hr €4) Inside the main international train station. Unbeknown to most visitors. hnoon-midnight. Ste Catherine. 11. English-language books. Gare du Midi. We’ve used French place/street names throughout this chapter. Gare Centrale and Gare du Midi. Pêle Mêle (Map pp72-3. the Senne River. although the name Bruocsella (from bruoc. Rue du Fossé aux Loups 38. and some major museums and chic shopping precincts based around the Sablon and Ave Louise areas. Waterstones (Map p74. Brussels has three main train stations: Gare du Nord. Duke of Brabant. City 2 shopping centre. A settlement developed and. This setup didn’t last long. Blvd Adolphe Max 71-75. see p115. Rue Jean Stas 16a. travel guides and maps. site of the infamous 1985 soccer stadium disaster and home to the Atomium. published the first Brussels charter. South of Ixelles. The same goes for the names of streets. Emergency Ambulance/Fire (%100) Police (%101) Internet Access BXL (Map p74.000-strong Portuguese community is based around Place Flagey where the first immigrants settled in the 1960s. as its capital. upon the death of Mary of Burgundy. to the south. North of the old city centre is a business district built around Blvd Émile Jacqmain and resembling a miniature Manhattan. noon6. They held power until 1815 when Napoleon was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo (p225) and Belgium and Luxembourg were incorporated into the newly formed United Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Lower Town (Map p74) comprises the medieval core based around the imposing Grand Place. p110) and Belgium became an independent state with Brussels. They destroyed 4000 houses and much of the Grand Place. It rises to the east and southeast of the Grand Place and was traditionally home of Belgium’s Frenchspeaking elite. Further north. The French Revolution inspired similar sentiments in Brussels and the Austrians were eventually forced out by the French. La Librairie de Rome (Map pp76-7. %02 513 94 00. Neglected buildings and neighbourhoods were spruced up and a shift of consciousness gave birth to new spirit. %02 217 52 46. In 1229 Henri I. marsh or swamp. ruled from Spain. a space-age leftover from the 1958 World Fair.30pm Sat. %02 223 62 23. the affluent commune of Uccle (Map pp70–1) flanks the Bois de la Cambre. St Géry and. on which the city grew up. public buildings. protected by several defensive ramparts and gates. In 979 Charles. Concepts Telecom (Map pp76-7. the lonelyplanet. h9am-7pm Mon-Sat. By 1100 Brussels had its first fortified wall. still runs through this area but was covered over in the late 19th century for health reasons (cholera outbreaks and the like). has seriously boosted the area’s nightlife. The renovated Flagey building. Évasions 1 (Map p74. In 1695 Louis XIV’s French army under Marshal De Villeroy bombarded Brussels for two days in retaliation for Dutch and English attacks on French Channel ports. Philip II. built a chapel on one of the islands in the swampy Senne (Zenne) River in AD 695. FNAC (Map pp72-3. to 9pm WedSat) For international magazines and newspapers. Another ring – the Petit (Small) Ring – encases the historic centre in a pentagon of boulevards that allows rapid transit. Région de Bruxelles in French). although the latter also has a down-at-heel quarter not far from Gare du Midi. culturally Brussels is still riding a high. you name it. Also in Ixelles is Matonge. Sterling Books (Map p74. While things have since mellowed politically. h10am-7pm Mon-Sat. which links Brussels with Charleroi to the south and Antwerp to the north.

BRUSSELS •• Information

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BRUSSELS •• Sights

BRUSSELS IN…

WHAT STREET IS THIS?

Two Days

First-time visitors to Brussels are often flabbergasted by its peculiarly long street names. Blueand-white street-corner plaques proclaim titles like ‘Petite Rue de la Violette Korte Violetstraat’
or ‘Place de la Vieille Halle aux Blés Oud Korenhuis’. It’s tricky recalling what street a great café
is on when it’s almost impossible to get your tongue around the name.
Street names become manageable when you remember it’s two names in one – the French
followed by the Flemish. Thus Petite Rue de la Violette is the French name followed by Korte
Violetstraat, the Flemish. Note also that, in French, rue (street) comes at the start of the name
whereas in Flemish straat is tacked on to the end.
Move on to Brussels’ working-class Marolles and street names become even more vexed as
three languages are used – French, Flemish and Bruxellois (the city’s old dialect). Try wrapping
your tongue around Rue Haute Hoogstraat Op d’Huugstroet (ie High Street).

Order a petit noir on the Grand Place (opposite), Brussels’ gorgeous central square, before exploring nearby cobbled streets and the Galeries St Hubert (p112). Head to the Upper Town to
take in old and modern masters at the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts (p83) before viewing
the cityscape from the Old England building (p83). Ogle chocolate shops (p113) on the swish
Place du Grand Sablon, followed by Art Nouveau at the Musée Horta (p87). At night head to
Rue des Bouchers (p80), Brussels’ famous restaurant street, before pub crawling around the
Lower Town (p106).
Head out of the centre on day two to either the Koninklijk Museum voor Midden-Afrika
(p94), one of Belgium’s more bizarre outings, or the Musée Bruxellois de la Gueuze (p90) for
strange Brussels brews. Chill out in the afternoon with some shopping (p112) – first the Rue
Antoine Dansaert quarter, then Ave Louise. Dine at one of many restaurants in or around
Ixelles’ Rue St Boniface (p104), and finish up with a drink at Place Flagey (p107), one of the
city’s trendiest locales.

Four Days
Follow the two-day itinerary, then on your third day add a surrealist trip to the Musée Magritte
(p89) or an Art Deco day at the Musée David et Alice van Buuren (p88). On day four delve into the
city’s comic-strip culture – choose either the Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée (p81) or trace the
Murals of Brussels (p82) walk. There’s no shortage of restaurants and pubs to finish up in.

Laundry

Money

Salon Lavoir de la Chapelle (Map pp72-3; Rue Haute;

ATMs and exchange facilities are found on
and around the Grand Place, at Gare du Midi
and Brussels National Airport.

h8am-6pm Mon-Fri) Old-fashioned, full-service laundrette.
Was-Salon Lavoir (Map pp72-3; Rue de Laeken 145;
h7am-10pm) Self-service laundrette.

Left Luggage
Brussels National Airport Luggage lockers on Level 0
of the terminal.

Train stations Luggage lockers (€2.60 to €3.60 per 24
hours depending on the size of the locker, with a maximum of 72 hours) or left-luggage offices (€2.50 per article
per day; open 5am or 6am to 9pm).

Libraries
Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée (Map pp72-3;
%02 219 19 80; Rue des Sables 20; hnoon-5pm
Tue-Thu, noon-6pm Fri & Sun, 10am-6pm Sat) Specialised
comic-strip library. Small admission charge (€2) to access
the reading room or study section.

Post
Post office Main post office (Map p74; Blvd Anspach 1;
h8am-6pm Mon-Fri, 10.30am-4.30pm Sat); Gare du
Midi (Map pp76-7; Ave Fonsny 1E; h7am-7pm Mon-Fri,
10am-3pm Sat); City 2 shopping centre (Map pp72-3; Rue
Neuve; h9.30am-6.30pm Mon-Fri, 10am-1pm Sat)

Tourist Information
Belgian Tourist Information Centre (Map p74;
%02 504 03 90; www.visitflanders.com, www.belgique
-tourisme.net; Rue du Marché aux Herbes 63; h9am6pm Mon-Fri, 9am-1pm & 2-6pm Sat & Sun, to 1pm
Sun Jan & Feb) Supplies national tourist information (as
opposed to information on Brussels itself ).

Medical Services

DISCOUNT CARDS

Helpline (%02 648 40 14) Twenty-four-hour assist-

The Brussels Card (€30) is valid for three
consecutive days and offers free entry to
nearly all museums, free public transport
and discounts in various restaurants, bars
and shops. It’s available at all participating
museums, the tourist offices in Brussels, public transport agencies and some hotels.

ance line run by Community Help Service. Can provide a
list of English-speaking doctors, dentists and other health
professionals.
Hôpital St Pierre (Map pp76-7; %02 535 31 11,
emergency 02 535 40 51; cnr Rue Haute & Rue de
l’Abricotier; h24hr) Central hospital offering emergency
assistance.

Brussels International (Map p74; %02 513 89 40;
www.brusselsinternational.be; Grand Place; h9am-6pm
Easter-Oct, 9am-6pm Mon-Sat, 10am-2pm Sun Nov-Dec,
9am-6pm Mon-Sat Jan-Easter) The city of Brussels’ tourist
office, located inside the town hall and usually crammed.
Sells a couple of discount booklets or cards, such as the
Brussels Card (see boxed text, opposite).
Brussels International – Tourism (Map pp76-7; Gare
du Midi; h8am-8pm Sat-Thu, to 9pm Fri May-Sep, 8am5pm Mon-Thu, 8am-8pm Fri, 9am-6pm Sat, 9am-2pm Sun
Oct-Apr) For visitors arriving by Eurostar or Thalys.
Espace Wallonie-Bruxelles (Map pp70-1; %02 725
52 75; arrivals hall Brussels National Airport; h8am9pm; ) Gives information on Brussels and Wallonia. For
information on Flanders, you’ll have to visit the Belgian
Tourist Information Centre (opposite).

Travel Agencies
Airstop/Taxistop (Map p74; %070 22 22 92; www
.taxistop.be; Rue du Fossé aux Loups 28) A travel agency that
matches long-distance travellers and drivers headed for the
same destination for a reasonable fee. Offers cheap charter
flights and car transport (€3 per km) to other European cities.
Connections (Map p74; %02 550 01 30; www
.connections.be; Rue du Midi 19) All-round travel agent.

SIGHTS

Grand Place
For one of Europe’s finest urban views, head
straight to Brussels’ magnificent central
square, Grand Place (Map p74; metro Gare Centrale or
premetro Bourse). It boasts the country’s best baroque guildhalls, the beautiful Hôtel de Ville
(Town Hall), museums, pavement cafés, chocolate shops and intimate cellar restaurants –
a combination that lures visitors in droves.
Hidden at the very core of the old town, it’s
revealed as you enter from one of six narrow
side alleys (Rue des Harengs is the best) – a
discreet positioning that adds charm.

69

The square dates from the 12th century and
rose on a site that was once marshland. By
the early 15th century, Brussels was booming
through the cloth trade and the patronage of
the dukes of Burgundy. A prosperous market
covered not only the Grand Place but also
neighbouring streets, such as the beguilingly
named Rue au Beurre (Butter St) and Rue des
Bouchers (Butchers’ St). The city’s increasingly wealthy merchant guilds established
headquarters – guildhalls – on the square. The
construction of the Hôtel de Ville sealed the
Grand Place’s role as the hub of commercial,
political and civic life. Medieval tournaments
and public executions took place before highspirited crowds.
In 1695 much of central Brussels, including
the Grand Place, was bombarded for 36 hours
under the orders of Louis XIV of France. The
attack was designed to distract the allied forces
of England and the Spanish Netherlands, with
whom the French king was at war. Most of the
guildhalls, as well as thousands of houses and
many churches, were destroyed. Miraculously,
the Hôtel de Ville survived the bombing, but
nearly all the other buildings that you see
on the Grand Place today are 17th-century
replacements.
The Grand Place takes on different auras
depending on the time of day and the season.
In the morning the superb guildhalls at the
southern end glint in the sun; at dusk the
azure sky makes a vivid backdrop to the illuminated buildings. For three days in August
(even years only), a carpet of flowers covers
the whole square. At any time of the day or
night, you’ll find people milling about here,
simply gazing up and absorbing its beauty.
(Continued on page 79)

BRUSSELS

BRUSSELS

68

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Forest National..................32
Hippodrome de Boitsfort....33
Kinepolis............................34
Le Peruchet........................35
Stade Roi Baudouin............36
Van den Stock Stadium......37

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Pavillon Chinois..................22 C1
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Serres Royales....................25 B2
Statue of Léopold I.............26 B2
Tour & Taxis......................27 C3
Tour Japonaise...................28 C1
Villa Belvédère...................29 B2

SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES
Abbaye de la Cambre...................... 4 D5
Atomium..........................................5 A1
Basilique Nationale du Sacré-Cœur...6 B3
Bois de la Cambre............................ 7 D6
Bruparck...........................................8 A1
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Woluwé-St-Pierre........................ 9 G4
Château Royal de Laeken...............10 B2
Château Stuyvenbergh...................11 B2
Jean Massart Experimental Garden.. 12 G5
Maison Autrique............................ 13 D3
Mini Europe....................................14 A1
Musée Constantin Meunier............ 15 D5
Musée David et Alice van Buuren .. 16 D6
Musée des Enfants..........................17 E5
Musée Magritte............................. 18 C2
Océade..........................................19 A1
Palais du Centenaire.....................(see 21)
Palais Stocklet.................................20 F4
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TRANSPORT
Eurolines.........................................51 F1
Touring Club de Belgique...............52 H5

See Marolles, Sablon & Ixelles Map (p76-7)

35

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City 2 Shopping Centre..................47
DoD............................................... 48
Galerie Ravenstein..........................49
Mary’s........................................... 50

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DRINKING
De Ultieme Hallucinatie.................. 37 H2
La Fleur en Papier Doré.................. 38 D6
Le Bier Circus................................. 39 G4
ENTERTAINMENT
Bozar..............................................40
Cirque Royal.................................. 41
Dirty Dancing@Mirano.................. 42
Kaaitheater.....................................43
Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg....44
Musée du Cinéma..........................45
Théâtre National.............................46

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2Go4..............................................24 E3 To
Art Hotel Siru..................................25 F2 Raffinerie
(900m)
B&B Phileas Fogg........................... 26 H3
Centre Vincent van Gogh.............. 27 H3
Hooy Kaye Lodge.......................... 28 D2
Hôtel Astoria.................................. 29 G4
Hôtel du Congrès........................... 30 G4
RE
Hôtel George V.............................. 31 C5
Pierrvariste
on
Jacques Brel................................... 32 G3
Les Auberges de Jeunesse............(see 32)
Sleep Well......................................33 F3

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SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES
Cathédrale des Sts Michel & Gudule..8 F5
Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée...9 F4
Cercle Royal de Billiard................... 10 C6
Colonne du Congrès...................... 11 G4
Crosly Super Bowling......................12 E6
Flanders Gate Squash Club.............13 C3
Godefroid de Bouillon Statue..........14 F6
Grand Magasin Waucquez.............(see 9)
Halles de Schaerbeek......................15 H1
Le Botanique.................................. 16 G3
Musée BELvue................................17 F6
Musée Bruxellois de la Gueuze.......18 B6
Musée d'Art Ancien.....................(see 21)
Musée d'Art Moderne..................(see 21)
Musée des Instruments de Musique..19 F6
Musèe du Jouet............................. 20 G3
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts......21 F6
Old England Building...................(see 19)
Palais Royal.................................... 22 G6
Playground.................................... 23 G5

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INFORMATION
Amazone......................................... 1 H3
Australian Embassy.......................... 2 H6
FNAC...........................................(see 47)
French Embassy............................... 3 H5
Pêle Mêle......................................... 4 C6
Post Office...................................(see 47)
Salon Lavoir de la Chapelle...............5 E6
USA Embassy................................... 6 H5
Was-Salon Lavoir..............................7 E3

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CENTRAL BRUSSELS

72

6

... 24 C6 Halles St Géry......................................................................................................................................... 51 Bij den Boer. 41 Hôtel Arlequin......84 B4 Le Greenwich....................... 65 Le Pain Quotidien/Het Dagelijks Brood....... 121 D4 Marina Yee...................................................... 78 C4 À la Mort Subite.......................................................... 126 A3 Passage du Nord..................58 GB Express......... 30 C5 Musée de la Ville de Bruxelles........(see 117) TRANSPORT Hertz.......101 B4 The Music Village...................................87 B4 Monk................... 114 D4 Galler................................................................................................................................ 120 D5 Manufacture Belge de Dentelles.................................................................................... 25 A4 Horse Drawn Carriage.............29 B5 Musée de la Brasserie.89 B5 Toone........................ὈὈ ὈὈ ὈὈ C Po nt- Ne INFORMATION Accessible Travel Info Point...57 Fritland.. 3 C4 Brüsel............................................................... 63 La Belle Maraîchère................................................ 100 A2 Pathé Palace.......... 19 A4 Église Notre Dame du Finistère................4 B4 Brussels International... 96 C3 Chez Maman................................... 108 D5 Dandoy............. 129 A5 STIB/MIVB Office..........15 B4 Broussaille Mural....................... 112 D4 Galerie Bortier........................ 72 Rugantino........................................... 76 Viva M'Boma............................................................................ 12 D1 Laeke n uf es au Va ns Di de R olay Pl de Dinant RN eu ve rs R Ad de la Fia ncée ol ph eM ax uC olom bier Rd vd Bl e uv Ne R ge nt Rd 'Ar s ère tag Po aux Her bes éo po ld on t agne RL M R s ain nic oi mi uR Do ie d ler es Ga Rd ine Re R Ca rdin Merc al ier s ier nn ro pe sÉ de R 49 y sno ue u Rd q Du Blvd de l'Im pératrice ie d e la Ga ler Ha R d ren es gs peli e on M Carr de l'Europe 108 44 Gare Centrale 120 113 Pl de I'Albertine R St Jean I'H ôp ita Mont des Arts l r reu pe 'Em vd Bl l de SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES ARAU..........................83 B5 Le Cirio...........105 C2 SHOPPING Annemie Verbeke........... 9 C2 Sterling Books.............................................75 Taverne du Passage............................................................... 47 Hôtel Welcome............. 90 A4 ENTERTAINMENT Actor’s Studio. 40 Hôtel Amigo......................... 14 C5 Bourse.................. 113 D5 Galeries St Hubert....................8 B5 Post Office..........53 Brasserie de la Roue d’Or................................ 103 C3 Théâtre Royal de Toone............................................................................................ 115 C4 Grand Place Flower Market............................................ 106 A3 Boutique Tintin........... 119 D4 La Maison de la BD.... 42 A3 A5 C5 C4 Hôtel La Légende............................ 55 Comocomo... 74 Shamrock........ 67 Pataya.......... 88 A3 Rainbow House........................................ 37 A3 Zinneke...................................................................80 A3 Falstaff.......................118 D1 Kaat Tilley.................91 B4 Arenberg Galeries.....................................................(see 42) Ancienne Belgique....................... 111 C4 Delvaux................... 98 A4 L'Archiduc............................................................................ 66 Panos.........69 Picnik.................... 31 C4 Musée du Cacao et du Chocolat........... 34 A4 Scientastic Museum. 32 C4 Musée du Costume et de la Dentelle................ 35 B4 Stained-Glass Windows...........................................................................97 B5 Dr Vinyl.....................48 Royal Winsor Hotel............. 64 La Maison du Cygne... 11 B5 Waterstones..........................130 B2 .......................122 A1 Martin Margiela....45 Hôtel Noga...................................................125 A2 Olivier Strelli.................................................(see 93) Bizon...................... 18 A4 Église Notre Dame des Riches Claires........................................................................ 38 A3 Ὀ Ὀ ὈὈ ὈὈ ne tag la de Novotel Brussels Grand Place Ag ora rs xie na nt inçon uve -Ne erre Ale r RT R du Po du R es alie Acc ie Esc Pl Rouppe R d' ler e I' 6 Ga 124 95 R Rd M idi es Rd leu rche Fou ab ora t on 24 ni 51 Pl St Jean 6 R de Pl de la Vieille Halle aux Blés R ig He es e 107 ollin C 67 e la 17 Rd 29 nH elm Blv So 92 121 rb Cha 82 e ên ds de ain rs pie Fri es Rd de Ch x ar R Emil e Ja h An sp ac Blv d Rd eT idi ve tu l'É de re nie r L'G R de ou ttie ine Blvd lle s Ha Rd uM on arb Ch Mo cqm R Pl d Blv dA ns pa ch la G rand e île R St Gé ry R de ns ero ch ou dM on R es s R du Lem rm Rd aux e e R domm n I'H hrétie C Ca hé tte ds rd ran arc R ice ole m es G 114 112 lle be Isa te an nf I'I de eine R la Madel R de Vi Lo Rd 79 Gale Prinrie des ces 119 76 104 111 uM 47 65 14 30 R des Br asseurs R d 71 u 33 Fro Mar ma ché ge au s x 54 la u R d 55 es Bo uch ers 26 de Rd 43 8 g Bo dM Grand Place 116 27 R Charles Buls R 128 s aur R Têt 28 la Rd 3 31 'Or 5 ed la de er s 86 ux oups cuy Impasse de la Fidélité e R er tit ch Pe Bou s de 115 ba u éa ch 97 Ma r ine R de 42 32 87 Re e l'É re igo our s 11 e la Impasse des Cadeaux 109 oite ux L ces Rd ur 60 7 16 Be es B rg s rs R de 129 58 110 rre au 41 Sec Rd uF ossé a Prin 103 ry 22 Rd Rd es Pl de la Monnaie Ilôt Sacré 102 urie 74 be eint Gr 'Am eI Rd on R d'O Jard liv in es 73 R du 40 Pie R 91 en eB Pl Fontainas 81 R en 4 s 89 83 Rd ns au Pl des Martyrs 2 10 Rd 78 ri M e est es T to 5 en t lat Je RH RP Rd de s6 35 R des 1 Passage St Honoré s Pl de la Bourse R de 84 la Bo ur se 15 rts l el ins 9 96 eO 101 ich Ar R du Pont de la Carpe ust 69 g va let Ch d' 25 ou 50 75 Bourse R J Van Praet Bo r R des Riches Cl19 aires ug 93 98 St Géry RA 90 18 xP ux ust êt au Inno Parking ou x Ra De Brouckère R 118 20 e R tophe R ckx R Pletin 34 hé 13 tèr 45 ue ux 61 e ld t r Pl A n St Géry Va arc va R d 94 e ev on ss oi P es tM ire No ie 53 63 66 99 85 De R St Chris 37 uM rs inis RS 127 de ug Rd aul 38 R des Chartreux Pl de Brouckère Rd es Vie 56 rt 36 ne RP e sa an 3 eri uF 105 R d 130 el 'Év êq e la Rd 39 Ca th eD in to An e ai Br 126 Ste elles di Parking 58 Rd 68 R la uV de ieu R R lst ond sA rge 88 M x lsens Rd ersil du P hé arc Pl Ste Catherine R Me au rE s Hir Pl du Samedi u latea 80 de Same RJP xG R de R Pl Ste Catherine ns rai u Ste Catherine 23 ue ès ypr 48 64 117 an du ge R uina g Bé eu 77 72 125 er pli uC e ndr e Fla 100 21 Pl du Béguinage P du R irq RV R Marrdu onn ier ouleau 62 uC ie R du R Ste Catherine n ari nM hie C du R Rd 2 R R de I'Infirmer e Rd No du R 4 ag s su Je e-d 52 Rd R Pa ys d in m 106 Bé gu du R du eL ièg e epag e 123 R 46 r rûle àB ns ois sso uB Poi Qa ux ues éa Briq rch ux Ma Qa 122 RLL 70 57 R de d-Hospice Marché aux Porcs 1 12 au xF R du Gran 75 D tP B 59 LOWER TOWN RS Q à la Houil le Q Barqaux ues A 200 m 0.......................................................................... 85 A3 Le Roy d'Espagne....................23 B2 Fondation Jacques Brel........50 Al Barmaki....................(see 3) Airstop/Taxistop.....93 B3 Beursschouwburg Café..........1 miles ierr e 0 0 LOWER TOWN 74 Pl de la Justice SLEEPING Atlas..............123 A1 Neuhaus....................... 13 D1 Art Nouveau Plaque......... 82 C5 Le Belgica....110 B4 De Biertempel........................................99 A3 Maison la Bellone........................................... 107 C4 Corné Port Royal.. 5 C4 BXL...........................................................................................................................................................70 Pita Places..................................... 36 A3 Statue Everard 't Serclaes........................... 17 C4 Clock repair shop....................... 124 D4 Nicolas Woit............................. 10 D3 Tels Quels................................................................................................68 Petite Boxeur..... 95 D4 Caroline Music... 39 Downtown-BXL................................................ 73 Samourai....................... 54 Chez Léon................ 79 D3 De Markten.......................................... 1 C2 Anticyclone des Açores....... 7 B4 Évasions 1............................. 2 D3 Belgian Tourist Information Centre............16 B4 Brussels City Tours.... 61 Jacques......................................................(see 95) Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie/Koninklijke Muntschouwburg..... 6 C5 Connections...............127 C2 Planète Chocolat..................................................................... 22 C4 Église Ste Catherine......................................................81 B4 Goupil le Fol........................................................52 Bonsoir Clara............................... 92 D4 Beursschouwburg......................................59 GB Express............................................................................................ 28 C4 Manneken Pis............ 86 C4 L'Homo Erectus..............(see 104) Zebra........... 109 C4 Darakan....46 Hôtel Saint Michel....................................................... 104 C4 UGC De Brouckère Cinema..... 102 B4 Théâtre du Vaudeville............128 B5 Stijl..............20 D1 Église St Jean Baptiste au Béguinage.....116 C4 Idiz Bogam... 33 C5 Nero Mural..................... 49 EATING AD Delhaize.... 26 C5 Hôtel de Ville................ 60 Gourmet d'Asie.....................................21 B1 Église St Nicolas.............................................. 44 Hôtel Métropole............ 62 Kasbah.. 77 B5 D5 C2 B1 C5 B2 C5 B3 C5 A2 A3 C5 C4 A3 A1 B4 A1 C4 A3 A2 A3 A2 C5 A3 C4 A3 B4 A1 C5 A2 A5 D2 B4 D4 A2 DRINKING À la Bécasse.............. 71 Pré Salé................94 A3 Brussels on Stage.......................................... 117 A2 Inno....................................................(see 14) Tower........(see 37) Courtyard Entrance...........................43 Hôtel Le Dixseptième....... 27 C4 Jeanneke Pis............... 56 Comus & Gasterea....

.....................................34 F5 Le llème Élément...................................................10 Elevator...........41 F5 27 Pl Breugel Ca Pré eH 'He es e la Rd eI 47 R d 22 e la Égli H2 G2 B1 C2 F3 G1 s de 36 G du re Rd 8 30 45 lain le de Pl du Petit Sablon Sablon R ter e éo G6 ir Jean H3 E5 D2 C5 Ru ssi gle e l' 6 D1 D2 D6 G5 de ne his emp 9 39 Trône Pl du Trône de r oe 'An on Rd 5 SLEEPING Bruxelles Europe à Ciel Ouvert................16 Piscine Victor Boin..36 E1 Le Variété...29 F4 Easy Tempo..62 Galeries Louise..55 F3 Thèâtre Les Tanneurs.........................................32 F5 L'Amour Fou.................51 C2 La Démence.............28 F5 De la Vigne à l’Assiette................................17 Playground Parc Tenbosch............. 74 G6 Bus to Charleroi Airport....6 Post Office.4 New Zealand Embassy..............63 Gambala...(see 51) Recyclart......1 Concepts Telecom..................................... 53 C5 Sounds Jazz Club.....5 Nicola's Bookshop...................................... ar k Flagey Building.................................................................................3 La Librairie de Rome..68 Pierre Marcolini...ὈὈ ὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ ὈὈὈ ὈὈ Ὀ Ὀ ὈὈ ὈὈ Ὀ Ὀ Ὀ ὈὈὈ ὈὈ ὈὈὈὈ ὈὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ ὈὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ ὈὈ ὈὈὈ ὈὈὈὈὈ Ὀ ienc e R de RW iertz R d'A Trèv es rlon R de R de Bo Marie urgo gne See EU Area Map (p86) d' Id al ie R lip e R Cans Site m lse Vo R t rga Vle u d ar ch de Ga R e ssé au Ch uL ac R o 18 74 la Val lée R de at leur g ée de V ail du M Rd R Washington ge Pa du R 73 Chauss oi Charler Chaus sée de RM d ar rn Be St R n gma n Bru Ave alib ran u B eau s-M de ôt el- I'H de Rd on na ies Chaussée de Waterloo R erich r Did rthu Te Jardin du Roi R du Étangs d'Ixelles lle Pl Albert R Leemans de de Gau ine te Wit ch os nb rica Square du Souvenir ral RA id uN Rd R Vilain XIV é Gén mé Ave RA de uc Ave ued 5 d'Or s 12 ction la Jon Square de Biarritz rons Aq R Lanfray s Épe rlo e Ave d W Étangs d'Ixelles ise de es du Ch u Lo ée ate afelaert Av de ss ell R Église des Augustins in e Av RHW Albert au 'Ix 31 e sseri la Bra R de 50 ère lvéd Pl u Be Ste Croix R d 13 la ate rt Ch ed 28 Ba Bréa D Ave sé Af 15 aux s au e ain e l' e éti ucp Pl Antoine Delporte illi Rd ni 32 ise ba Pa u Rd ric R o 4 Pl Flagey R Lesbroussart 67 41 M lo Jan m l-É ou eL Av ine Anto Al Ch re die R R W er n la de R ice oi ar R Am or at Va er an Je M en ct C2 E1 46 e Vi voie e Sa urn la nb 53 Rd de 14 Pl H Conscience R Maes 34 is d' la Sc I'Ind Du bl in de R Rd e la Tu de Ar lis e id nn és Pr du d' ce R de l'Arbre Bénit t en de R R R eV R ge oix Cr u qz fac De e ée Aa llè Capouillet u Rd R R de merc e Com R du ourg dimb R d'E ay olv ES R Pa ix la de R de nc Co la isse R de Su e Stas sart R de sart Stas R au x R Cap Crespel R de or La in es RE R ustrie s s Art Ave de e Ré ge nc la de R es es Min im ard Rd All lae RH aut e s ae Bl R Ha ut e s es ag M es Rd de R RB rs eu Ta ste s es F leu ri én e M ér od y sn on eF Av Rd ni ez og Br ce an nn coss n Rd 33 3 Pl Raymond Blyckaerts Va Co R d'E R Vi du 42 n so on R Lo er az ss de Fa ile Ch R s illa Ve id R au uc ad 29 ivo eL de Ave Bla t Horta eur Vi ou R Ha yd R R em AD e uv So R du -S ci Pl Fernand Cocq er 55 ôn ns s ain Tr Sa uc ad du R art he Rd R R rc Av e arl R es ise ue 19 RG off Ixelles ng h ec e 54 R d Go Vi 2 R Fr s dre on de eL Rd R e Matonge ell ou R x Pa V des ng ld ve en ey eL Lo s u ed Pl de Londres 57 R 'Ix ed RK Av rs eau Barrière de St-Gilles che ssé s ier 23 la Pl du Luxembourg Lo ue yer ly 35 40 1 onto nc ord en Per au s Be 43 Ch er o eR de lliard RM aro 25 c R R Be RC 20 yal Prin rg ie Ve Rd e ali ire Berck mans Pl Loix eg Av ap Dr cto Vi lde e eB rha e la es R er rg 6 58 R du Pl Stéphanie Square R du de Meeûs Luxe mbo 5 u 24 77 ussé ed R St...........8 Église Notre Dame au Sablon............23 Hôtel Stanhope..44 E1 R neu 38 R Brédero Rd 3 B2 B2 D2 E3 G1 F3 B2 R i u Mid Blvd d e Hal orte d e la P 78 oll INFORMATION Brussels International – Tourism......57 Boutique 114............ 50 H5 Fuse....2 Hôpital St Pierre.... 25 G2 Au Stekerlapatte.................75 A2 Eurolines Bus Stop.. 64 Gare du Midi market.....42 F4 Saint Boniface....................... 46 C5 a 49 Upper Town Na R pu Pl du Jeu-de-Balle R de sR 71 e an ile tG se S EATING Archy's...........2 miles F 70 Seig tteeu oinca nander uc ve eu -N R re du er R 2 str otre ir de Gare du Midi l'In R 72 Pl du Grand Sablon 69 RN iro 65 R de 10 Pl de la Chapelle es ittinn Brig R des Lemonnier 21 Pl de la Constitution Blvd Jamar E 52 i to 'Au eI D R des Ursulines R Wa m no u Mid Blvd P R Lim R Square de l'Aviation ie Rd Blvd d de heu Rd Square R Péqueur Pl Bara 2 a el RG 1 C ne ser Ca st B rne Blv dM aur ice Av Lem ed on nie eS r ta lin gr ad A See Central Brussels Map (p72-3) R 0 0 MAROLLES...................66 Les Enfants d'Édouard.......15 Palais de Justice...................... 12 Hôtel Solvay..43 F2 Wittamer ........................69 Place du Grand Sablon Antique Market....30 D2 La Quincaillerie...............(see 50) Les Petits Oignons..................................78 B2 d Blv Vo F2 E3 G2 B2 E3 F5 E3 E1 ce Porte de Hal do F2 F2 i o aT ed Av loo a eW r 'O nd iso ter u Mid es G2 E3 F2 yan Blvd d Louise vo es s R dêtre Pr s ine a xL e en ENTERTAINMENT ed ra ssé et Bazaar........................(see 1) TEC Bus W.............21 Hôtel Galia........65 Inno..................................................... 18 uT M an Rv Rd 7 tG r Rd Rouge Tomate.......... 48 E1 du Église de StDaJean ne et St St Gilles 49 D2 Étienne auxmMinimes.52 D1 N5 St Gilles Town Hall..............................24 D2 E1 vo Ave 4 SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES Breugel House...........40 F2 Notos...........................7 rg 76 75 La R I'A Gare du Midi 1 RS 56 T Ave d n 37 M 77 G 44 R ré tio du 400 m 0......56 C1 RT h SHOPPING Beermania.....35 G2 Le Perroquet..59 Galerie de la Porte de Namur..77 G2 STIB Branch Kiosk..........61 Galeries de la Toison d'Or......37 D1 L'Idiot du Village...........58 Exotic Food...70 Place du Jeu-de-Balle flea market............38 D1 Lola............... 19 Chambres en Ville......e Wav Boniface 64 re 61 59 du R 68 ourc Rd re 17 ise er la la S ou ck de R de 4 n R Pl J Dillens eL on Jo nS ea RJ 63 da ur R tas Cha 66 Av eJ RD t res Fo el R Bosquet d Hôtel des Monnaies E1 Parc de TRANSPORT Avis...................14 Musée Horta.(see 50) Styx.... 45 Jo Em se R Café Belga.(see 50) Héros ph Cl Moeder Lambic................ SABLON & IXELLES 76 Man astè re 6 ......................11 Hôtel Hannon....22 Hôtel Rembrandt.....33 G3 Le Framboisier........67 Olivier Strelli........................27 C2 Contact GB...............................................................9 Église Notre Dame de la Chapelle......... 47 C2 s au Ch Conservatoire Royal de R Musique........60 Galerie d'Ixelles................71 Wittamer...76 B2 La Maison des Cyclistes............................................................. 26 D2 Brasserie La Clef d'Or.......72 Pl J Jacobs ev Ch 51 rico tier 3 26 a el ed Av Pl Louise Ab d'O Rd e I' 60 62 r is To ate s de Rd ière Marolles o rlo on rf Ras R au on Co 16 Ce Rd Porte de Square du Namur Bastion R rds Pl du Champ de Mars de Mars R du Champ W de d Blv d- e Jardin d'Egmont ran litr 48 Porte de Namur na cto ur RC Hanssens Pl Poelaert 11 H ôn Tr s m du cin de r DRINKING Fé ile D2 Pl des Brasserie RPloegmans..31 E6 La Tsampa........................................13 Musée Communal d'Ixelles..................................Forest 73 F6 Budget........................................39 E1 L'Ultime Atome............................. 20 Hôtel Agenda Midi......... 54 G3 Studio 5........................

Maison du Roi. though only a fraction of his 700-odd garments are displayed. noon-5pm Sat & Sun Dec-Easter) occu- pies the basement of the brewers’ guildhall.50. despite the name. No 5: La Louve (The She-Wolf ) The archers’ guild topped their building with a golden phoenix rising from the ashes to signify the rebirth of the Grand Place after the bombardment. shorter. No 7: Le Renard (The Fox) This house served the haberdashers. The small museum aims to enlighten visitors on the modern world of brewing but. At the start of the street. It’s a superb structure. No 10: L’Arbre d’Or (The Golden Tree) Hops plants climbing columns hint at this building’s former and current role as the brewers’ headquarters. the city’s hero and modern-day good luck charm. www . and an intricate 96m-high tower topped by a gilded statue of St Michel. with a creamy façade covered with stone reliefs of nobility and gargoyles. Nos 26 & 27: Le Pigeon This guildhall belonged to the city’s artists. No 2: La Brouette (The Wheelbarrow) Faint gold wheelbarrows can still be seen above the door of this house. Nowadays it’s home to the square’s finest restaurant. brooding building was never home to royalty.be. If you want to see a real brewery. Grand Place. South of Grand Place RUE CHARLES BULS Leading off the southern side of Grand Place is Rue Charles Buls (Map p74. which was home to the grease-makers. adult/concession €3/2. occupies this building. These days it houses the Musée de la Ville de Bruxelles (right). No 4: Le Sac (The Bag) This incredibly ornate building was the headquarters of the cabinet-makers. in two words. MUSÉE DU COSTUME ET DE LA DENTELLE A stone’s throw from the Grand Place.78 lonelyplanet. Rue de la Violette 12. one of the square’s most popular cafés. Next to it is a reclining statue of Everard ’t Serclaes. not surprisingly. GUILDHALLS THIS MAP NOT AVAILABLE IN PICK & MIX The splendour of the Grand Place is due largely to its antique frame of guildhalls. www. It paves the way to Manneken Pis and. head to the Musée Bruxellois de la Gueuze (p90). due to space constraints. MUSÉE DE LA VILLE DE BRUXELLES The Brussels City Museum (Map p74. the city’s patron saint. the guilds rallied and rebuilt their headquarters in under five years. The building is not symmetrical. this is the smallest building on the square. a 14th-century hero who defended the city – rub his gleaming torso for good luck. don’t bother. One room on the 3rd floor is devoted to the worldly wardrobe of Manneken Pis. metro Gare Centrale. architectural relics.30pm Tue & Wed Apr-Sep. is lined with lace and trinket shops. Each merchant guild erected its own building. MUSÉE DE LA BRASSERIE The Brewery Museum (Map p74. inquire at Brussels International (p69). metro Gare Centrale). No 1: Maison des Boulangers (Bakers’ House) Le Roy d’Espagne (p106). the Costume and Lace Museum (Map p74. The gilded bronze bust above the door represents their patron. the left-hand side was begun in 1402 but the right wing wasn’t added until 1444 and is. When the guildhalls were obliterated in the 1695 bombardment. No 9: Le Cygne (The Swan) Adorned with a huge swan and built in classical style.brucity. St Aubert. BRUSSELS (Continued from page 69) BRUSSELS •• Sights . 79 No 8: L’Étoile (The Star) Across Rue Charles Buls from the Hôtel de Ville. No 6: Le Cornet (The Horn) The boatmen’s guild is easily identified by the stern-shaped gable. Victor Hugo lived here during his exile from France in 1852. admission €3. Everard ’t Serclaes (see below). L’Arbre d’Or. paintings and. %02 511 49 87.be. Later. this dark.com HÔTEL DE VILLE The splendid Gothic-style Hôtel de Ville (Map p74) was the only building on the Grand Place to escape the 1695 French bombardment – ironic considering it was the target. 45 min) are possible. Pieter Breugel the Elder’s Cortège de Noces (Wedding Procession) of 1567. %02 279 43 50. you’ll find an 1899 gilded Art Nouveau plaque dedicated to the city by its appreciative artists.beerparadise. Some of the highlights: Maison du Roi (King’s House) Opposite the Hôtel de Ville. Guided tours (tours €3. Grand Place 10. which is named (there were no street numbers back then) and adorned with gilded statues and elaborate symbols related to its trade. h3. in a small arcaded gallery. using stone (rather than partial timber as before) for the façades and adding fanciful baroque touches to the gables. h10am-5pm daily Easter-Nov. this house originally served the butchers’ guild. The statue of St Gilles was added in 1912. which belonged to the bakers’ guild. admission €4. displayed on the ground floor. h10am-5pm Tue-Sun) provides an historical overview of the city through old maps. %02 213 44 50. died here.

From a public courtyard off Place St Géry (go through the black steel gates next to the bistro La Lion St Géry). but certainly there’s no bond between her and the tourist office. cnr Rue de l’Étuve & Rue du Chêne. Nearby is the Nero mural. www. and Zinneke (p82). trendy and full of restaurants. premetro Bourse) occupies a grandiose neoclassical edifice from 1873. www . Place Sainte-Gudule. including Chez Léon (p101). all housed in a remarkable building. especially on Saturday afternoons. He never denied his Belgian status – his songs often hark back to his flat. h10. Rue au Beurre 1. vibrant comic-strip culture.20/5. Read about Belgium’s place in lace history in the boxed text. see boxed text. He died of lung cancer in 1978 and is buried on one of the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia. Impasse de la Fidélité. Manneken Pis (Map p74. metro Gare Centrale. an ugly square that is home to Brussels’ most prestigious cultural venue. It’s pure Art Nouveau: light. a little boy cheerfully taking a leak into a pool. and on occasion dress him up in one of his 700-odd costumes. the cathedral took some 300 years to build and consequently reveals a blend of styles – from Romanesque through all the stages of Gothic and right up to Renaissance. h8am-6. Colourful. an elegant 19th-century shopping arcade (see boxed text. others say he was a nobleman’s son. Kitsch? Well. never fails to disappoint visitors despite its diminutive size. RUE NEUVE AREA Rue Neuve (Map p74. www. Brel rose to stardom in Paris in the 1950s for his passionate songs that have transcended a generation. the people of Brussels have adopted him as the symbol of their indomitable and irreverent spirit. Tue.net in Flemish & French. %02 511 10 20. from its earliest beginnings to contemporary BRUSSELS •• Sights 81 favourites. Pick up the English-language booklet before setting off.be. In addition. Rue des Sables 20. Thu & Fri. a mongrel dog with cocked leg. h8am-6pm). Love.com pedestrianised cobbled street is a spectacle not to be missed. In the crypt are the remains of an 11th-century Romanesque chapel. cafés. p112). h10am-6pm Tue-Sun). The Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate (Map p74. with its monument to the 467 who died in the 1830 revolution. Rue de la Tête d’Or 9. Whatever. including an old bustehouder (bra). In the early 1960s Brel toured the USA and USSR and became known as the singer from France. p158). stands in St Géry. 9am-7.30pm Tue-Sun Sep-Jun) is for chocolate die- hards. The out-of-the-way location between the Lower and Upper Towns means it is often overlooked by visitors. Nearby is the sombre Place des Martyrs. Notice the sombre black attire once worn by women en promenade (out walking in public) and the more colourful lace gowns for women en visite (visiting someone’s home). St Géry & Ste Catherine Neighbouring St Géry (Map p74. Despite standing empty for 16 years. Start exploring at Place St Géry. sits gleaming on the hillside to the north of Gare Centrale.jacquesbrel. premetro Bourse. this 219 19 80. so much so that his first daughter is named France. Tour the country’s rich. The dark and sombre interior is noted for the unusual angle at which its three aisles were built. there’s more – his little ‘sister’. sculpted by Antwerp artist Hendrik Verbruggen. crypt €1. named after GALERIES ST HUBERT Brussels’ male and female patron saints. squats in an alley on the north side of Grand Place. poor city planning has left it marooned like an ancient island in the midst of modern development.30pm daily Jul & Aug. there’s a view of Église Notre Dame des Riches Claires. premetro Bourse. It’s three blocks from the Grand Place. see boxed texts. p112. North of Grand Place BOURSE The Belgian Stock Exchange (Map p74. The present-day bronze Manneken Pis was sculpted by Jerôme Duquesnoy in 1619. first by Protestants in the 17th century and later by the French army. an engaging square surrounded by popular cafés and dominated by Halles St Géry. or proceed to the clock repair shop at No 42 where (weekdays only) you can push open the black door to reveal part of a 12th-century sandstone tower. Place de la Bourse. For more on comics. lonelyplanet. Rue Neuve terminates at Place de la Monnaie. Both sides of the street are packed with tables for dining throughout the year – overhead heaters keep frostbite at bay in winter.30pm Mon-Fri. Loyalty to what we’re not sure. Almost as old as Brussels itself. it’s dedicated to the patron saint of merchants. bleak homeland – but he cherished France. premetro De Brouckère. Waiters entice diners with iced displays of marine delicacies and the odd novelty (expect dancing plastic fish). CENTRE BELGE DE LA BANDE DESSINÉE ÉGLISE ST NICOLAS The Church of St Nicolas (Map p74. metro Gare Centrale or premetro Bourse).30-5pm Mon. This little girl. The admission cost entitles you to one chocolate-dipped biscuit. it has been heavily restored through the centuries.30pm Sun) is a pint-sized edifice encrusted with shops and easily overlooked. The following year he headed to Paris and mixed with songwrit- 514 20 48. a Brussels cabaret. Head up Rue du Pont de la Carpe to Rue des Chartreux. 2-5pm Sat & Sun) is Belgium’s second-best lace exhibi- lonelyplanet. reclining nudes. an 18th-century church that sits in vivid contrast to the modern mania around it. The legendary chansonnier was a transient troubadour who performed with intensity. gleefully squatting. metro Gare Centrale or premetro Bourse). p138). According to a member of the Fondation Jacques Brel: ‘He sang like a boxer and usually lost a kilo during each performance’. Rejoin Rue du Neuve to meander through the Passage du Nord. metro Ste Catherine) are prime downtown real estate. admission free. an intriguing asymmetrical church. The Belgian Comic Strip Centre (Map pp72-3. This former department store was created by Victor Horta in 1906 for the Waucquez family textile business. One of the few sights in this area is Église Notre Dame du Finistère. is not to be missed. Many of the restaurants are not recommended but there are exceptions. the spirit of revolt and the hypocrisy of the bourgeoisie were his passions. Note also the antique underwear. lunging horses and a multitude of allegorical figures. bars and fashion shops.50. the Grand Magasin Waucquez. about 800m northeast of the Grand Place.30am5pm Tue-Sat) is an archive centre and museum dedicated to Brussels’ raspy-voiced singer Jacques Brel (1929–78).be. Begun in 1226. these quarters lend the city an invigorating air. His career started in 1952 in La Rose Noire. Whether you decide to eat at one of the many seafood restaurants here or not. the French painter. %02 FONDATION JACQUES BREL The Jacques Brel Foundation (Map p74. is worth inspecting – note Adam and Eve being driven out of Eden by fearsome skeletons. CATHÉDRALE DES STS MICHEL & GUDULE This twin-towered cathedral (Map pp72-3. metro Rogier. p39 and p82. Pause for a drink at Le Greenwich (p106). Jeanneke Pis (opposite).com tion (top honours goes to the Nationaal Vlas.cathedralestmichel. %02 RUE DES BOUCHERS Leading off Galeries St Hubert in a lively little quarter known as Ilôt Sacré is the famous Rue des Bouchers (Map p74. adult/ concession/child €5/4/free. metro Gare Centrale. The statue’s origins are lost in legend: some say he’s modelled on a boy who extinguished a fire. ers and singers such as Édith Piaf.BRUSSELS •• Sights h10am-12. Stained-glass windows flood the nave with light and the enormous wooden pulpit. The interior is light and airy but almost bereft of decoration due to plundering.comicscenter. For details on Galeries St Hubert. JEANNEKE PIS Manneken Pis’ female counterpart is Jeanneke Pis (Map p74.30pm & 1. premetro Bourse) and Ste Catherine (Map p74. adult/concession €6. it was spared from the demolition madness that stripped Brussels of many of its Art Nouveau showpieces. freedom. a renovated meat market that now hosts exhibitions. the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie/Koninklijke Muntschouwburg (see p110). near Paul Gauguin. p82). Appropriately enough. One of the statues is by Rodin. adult/concession €5/3. Place de la Vieille Halle aux Blés 11. MANNEKEN PIS MUSÉE DU CACAO ET DU CHOCOLAT A national symbol and known throughout the world. was erected in 1985 by Denis Adrien Debouvrie ‘in honour of loyalty’. 10am-4. 9am-6pm Sat. a wander through some mediocre exhibits and taste-testing at a praline-making demonstration. airy and full of glass and wrought iron. h10am-4. but a stone version – named Little Julian – stood here from the mid-14th century. whose official guidebook fails to acknowledge her existence. metro Gare Centrale or premetro Bourse). metro Rogier) is a pedestrianised street that’s wall-to-wall shoppers. one of 50 such BRUSSELS BRUSSELS 80 . Kant en Linnenmuseum in Kortrijk. The cream façade is festooned with friezes and sculptures of exotic fruits. one of the city’s many comic-strip murals (see boxed text. His first record was cut in 1955 and within two years he was an idol. just off Rue des Bouchers.

Rue Antoine Dansaert is the ruler-straight border between Ste Catherine and St Géry. Move onto Quinten Matsijs. just pick out a few. Inside.30am-5pm Tue-Fri. all displayed in the Old England building. Part of the Musée Moderne reopened in 2007 as a museum devoted exclusively to this famous artist. metro Gare Centrale or premetro Anneessens. Go through the black doors at number 36-40 to a small courtyard (this is private property but the owners do not mind if visitors peek inside – the doors are open 7am to 5pm weekdays) where two old stained-glass windows (Rue du Vieux Marché aux Grains 36-40) are visible. To view the collections chronologically. Moseying past some of the murals is a great way to explore less-visited neighbourhoods and discover the city’s nooks and crannies. It’s particularly well endowed with works by Pieter Breugel the Elder and Rubens. Place du Béguinage. Ensor’s macabre fighting skeletons. tram 92. Deemed by many to be Belgium’s most beautiful. in the shadow of the huge Palais de Justice. The Breugel family.BRUSSELS •• Sights lonelyplanet. 93 or 94. depicting a young couple arm-in-arm discovering Brussels. including his famous Secret Player. it is Brussels’ oldest church. Painted in 1991. Nearby is the imposing façade of the Église St Jean Baptiste au Béguinage (Church of St Jean Baptiste au Béguinage. h8. Once a quiet street where farmers from Flanders bought hardware.fgov. h9. The champion of the 17th and 18th centuries is Rubens. The building’s black façade is a swirl of wrought iron and arched windows. www. A glass elevator connects the Marolles’ Place Breugel with Place Poelaert in the Upper Town. One not to miss is Broussaille (Map p74. opposite). Other national artists include Léon Spilliaert and Rik Wouters. Hans Memling and Gerard David. and many paintings by Paul Delvaux. Portraits and small. which explains its strong Flemish baroque style. lies the Marolles (Map pp76–7). Begin with the Flemish Primitives (see boxed text. The Église Notre Dame de la Chapelle (Map pp76-7. The city’s changing face is the reason behind the decline. The Breugel House (Map pp76-7.30pm Sun) rises between the Marolles and the Sablon. In Bruxellois. Whether here or there. to reach here from Gare Centrale. The strip is located in Brussels’ gay nightlife hub and. h10am-5pm Tue-Sat. a student of Rubens. At the centre of Place Royale stands a statue of Godefroid de Bouillon. though Belgian surrealist René Magritte currently holds pride of place.30am-noon Sun). immediately above Gare Centrale in the Upper Town. but locals found it floating on a chunk of turf and fished it out. one of Rubens’ contemporaries. in particular Pieter Breugel the Elder (see boxed text. Protestants hurled it into the Senne in 1744. metro Ste Catherine. as intimate restaurants and antique and interior design shops set up along the main streets. Rue de la Régence 3. it was the city’s first. is definitely worth a visit. 10am-8pm Sun). metro Ste Catherine. Built in Romanesque Gothic style. It continued to be a bustling working-class quarter complete with factories set along the Senne River right up until the late 19th century when the river was covered. are still full of workingclass kudos (see boxed text. It’s Belgium’s premier collection of ancient and modern art. 83 Marolles Between Grand Place and Gare du Midi. 8am-7. 9. Tiny pockets.30am8pm Thu. Once resolutely working-class. Map p74.fine-arts-museum. the adjoining Musée d’Art Moderne and the brand new Magritte Museum. the word architekt is a first-degree insult. tram 92.be.30am-5pm Mon-Sat. some of the collection has been moved to the Dexia Art Centre in Rue de l’Écuyer. Due to the opening of the new Magritte Museum here. metro Gare Centrale or Parc. offering a great way to move between the quarters plus a fab city view. and the quarter’s best-known attraction. 1-5pm 1st Wed of month free. 93 or 94.50. One features a young woman in a white gown standing before a pond. h9am-5pm Mon-Sat. and is not to be missed. A new highlight in this area is the Magritte Museum. Place Royale Brussels’ Royal precinct is based around the busy Place Royale (Map pp72–3). p125). an 11th-century crusader considered one of Belgium’s ancient heroes. Cross the street to reach the 19th-century Église Ste Catherine (Church of St Catherine. Map p74. founded in 1134. Rue Montagne de la Cour 2. Use Mont des Arts’s open-air stairway.30am-5pm Tue. both of whom belonged to the Fauve group of painters. The Fall of the Rebel Angels (1562) is characteristic of his gruesome religious allegories. Place Ste Catherine. %02 508 32 11. The museum has the world’s largest Magritte collection – some 150 paintings and drawings. adult/ concession €5/3. the Place du Jeu-de-Balle flea market (p115). It boasts one of the world’s biggest collections of instruments. 10am-5pm Sat & Sun) combines the Musée d’Art An- cien. The word originated in the 19th century when architect Joseph Poelaert designed the massive Palais de Justice and. Rue Haute 132) occupies the house where Pieter Breugel the Elder lived and died (see boxed text. p69). the dialect is dying. 8. Bruxellois has its roots in both French and Flemish but. the church dates from the 17th century and was designed by Luc Fayd’Herbe. forcibly evicted many inhabitants of the Marolles. including the acclaimed Ascent to Calvary (c 1638). the old dialect of Brussels. 10am-5pm Sat & Sun) is another must. Place de la Chapelle. defensive towers that once stretched for 4km around the old city centre. the other a Chinese lady. An Art Nouveau gem is concealed nearby on Rue du Vieux Marché aux Grains. Wed & Fri. Jordaens. The Musée d’Art Moderne houses 19th. www. Set aside three hours to trace the 6km circuit (detailed in a free brochure available from Brussels International. with few speakers left. one of the dialect’s strongholds. recently incorporated into the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts (below). it was difficult to tell whether the couple was straight or not. adult/concession €6/3. Don’t miss a drink at the roof-top café – the terrace gives a superb city panorama. Gay establishments used the mural to promote the quarter until 1999 when the mural was repainted and the black-haired figure was given a more feminine hairstyle. earlier highlights to look out for include sculptures by Constantin Meunier. although De Volkstelling (The Census at Bethlehem.com lonelyplanet. in the original version. p84). premetro Bourse). The mysterious Fall of Icarus is one of his most famous works.and 20th-century art and occupies a subterranean gallery that meanders for six levels below ground. First there was Manneken Pis. comes along next. who lived nearby. a former department store and Art Nouveau showpiece built in 1899 by Paul Saintenoy. a statue of a dog with its leg cocked. MUSÉES ROYAUX DES BEAUX-ARTS The Royal Museums of Fine Arts (Map pp72-3. Rue Haute and Rue Blaes. The Marolles dates from the 17th century when workers moved here to be close to the Upper Town’s building boom. MUSÉE DES INSTRUMENTS DE MUSIQUE & OLD ENGLAND BUILDING Brussels’ Musical Instrument Museum (Map pp72-3. Rue du Marché au Charbon. engaging sketches (such as Studies of a Negro’s Head) contrast vividly with gigantic masterpieces.mim. The museum is only open by reservation – ask at Brussels International (p69). earrings and (slightly) bigger breasts. Many Marolles residents moved out and more have gone in recent times as the district is being bought up and gentrified. p84). Only in the shops round Place du Jeu-de-Balle or at the counter of the few old pubs on Rue Haute are you likely to overhear some of the dialect’s earthy expressions. is also well represented. including works by Rogier Van der Weyden. Designed by Flemish sculptor Tom Frantzen. however. Although empty for many years. whose paintings demonstrate a turning point in Flemish art as traditional realistic scenes were superseded by the more flamboyant Renaissance style imported from Italy. h9. %02 545 01 30.be. there’s a chapel devoted to Pieter Breugel the Elder. The international scene is much less extensive but BRUSSELS BRUSSELS 82 . this quarter is fast shedding its proletarian past. by Frank Pé. then Jeanneke Pis and now Zinneke (cnr Rue des Chartreux & Rue du Vieux Marché aux Grains). in so doing. Alternatively. metro Gare Centrale or Parc.com BRUSSELS •• Sights MURALS OF BRUSSELS BRUSSELS’ DIALECT Brussels’ Comic Strip Route is a series of giant comic murals and colourful statues that enliven alleys and main thoroughfares throughout the old city centre. Dirk Bouts. it’s now home to avantgarde fashion shops (see p114). Take a look at the 15th-century black statue of the Virgin and Child. the nominal heart of this quarter. start with the Musée d’Art Ancien. it miraculously escaped demolition and early this century metamorphosed into this fab museum. Zinneke exemplifies Brussels’ irreverent spirit and has given rise to one of the city’s zaniest festivals (see p96). painted in 1566) is more typical of his distinctive peasant scenes.

sion’s headquarters until 1991 when leaking asbestos forced its evacuation. Laid out under the dukes of Brabant. It is the only EU institution that meets and debates in public. New information panels dotted around the building give insight into the history of this neighbourhood and Brussels’ international role. Just one out of 958 exhibits touches this subject – a newspaper clipping from the New York lonelyplanet. a ceiling lined with green wings taken from millions of moths (where else but bizarre Belgium!). His work ranged from powerful landscapes to satirical allegories likened to those of Hieronymus Bosch. one subject that’s still skirted is the genocide in the Congo during King Léopold II’s rule (see p96). although this palace is still their ‘official’ abode. The statue has long since gone and the inside is now best noted for its 11 impressive stained-glass windows and the chapel of the local Tour et Taxis family. Place Poelaert. The Palais Royal is open to visitors for a limited time in summer (usually late July to early September). Free tours (htours 10am & 3pm MonThu. EU Quarter MUSÉE DES SCIENCES NATURELLES The EU district (Map p86) is bordered by the Petit Ring to the west and Parc du Cinquantenaire to the east. legend has it he was struck by illness brought on by witchcraft attributed to the many Marolles residents evicted to make way for the building. The European Parliament is the EU’s legislative branch. Well. built by the archers’ guild in the 13th century.BRUSSELS •• Sights lonelyplanet. opposite) and soars 25m high to be crowned by a statue of Léopold I. North of Place Royale American. 93 or 94). the view from here is drab. 93 or 94. BRUSSELS •• Sights p86. PALAIS DE JUSTICE South of Place Royale EU BUILDINGS ÉGLISE NOTRE DAME AU SABLON The most famous building is the four-winged Berlaymont (Map p86. Built in 1967. ‘Velvet’. a village near Mons in Hainaut province. wife of Léopold III. BRUSSELS BRUSSELS 84 . metro Louise. located at the top end of the Sablon.30pm Tue-Sun late Jul-early Sep). tram 92. metro Schuman). published 10 December 1904. and so on) but. www. but in the inner city it’s a different story. and here too is the glass elevator that connects Place Poelaert with the Marolles’ Place Breugel. An English-language audio-guide takes you through Belgium’s history from independence. admission free. tram 92. until recently the oldest train station in Belgium. In Belgium.30pm Mon-Fri.monarchy. this charming little garden (Map pp76-7. elections are held every five years (next in 2010).belvue. showing Congolese men and children with chopped off hands. no matter how it’s written. 93 or 94) is framed by 48 bronze statuettes depicting the medieval guilds. The building was created by the architect Joseph Poelaert. formal park flanked by the Palais Royal and the Palais de la Nation. Place du Luxembourg). or to tour the hemicycle when parliament’s not meeting. Place des Palais 7. The museum’s stars are the fossilised skeletons of nine iguanodons – two-legged. 93 or 94. an old.be. The excellent Museum of Natural Sciences (Map began as a chapel. It was purposely sited on a hill above the working-class Marolles as a symbol of law and order. including museums. in 1878.be. Opened in 1998 by King Albert II.45pm Tue-Fri. 93 or 94. Although the square is at a good elevation. %02 284 34 57. who were beheaded on the Grand Place in 1568 for defying Spanish rule. Breugel’s first son.naturalsciences. The nearby viewing platform offers a vista of northern Brussels. www. but was enlarged in the 15th century when pilgrims descended in droves to pay homage to a statue of the Madonna reputed to have healing powers. bus 34 or 80. Despite avid opposition. h8am-5pm Mon-Fri) was one of Léopold II’s most stupendous projects. this colossal law court (Map pp76-7. Since the death of Queen Astrid. The easiest way to get to the European Parliament from central Brussels is with bus 38 (direction Homborch. that he’s best remembered. It’s possible to sit in on a parliamentary session in the huge debating chamber (the hemicycle). homage to the Belgians who died during the two world wars. Rue de la Régence 3b. start at the visitor’s centre (Map p86. admission free. But it’s for his quirky scenes of contemporary peasant life. COLONNE DU CONGRÈS The Congress Column (Map pp72-3. Place des Palais. 10am Fri). adult/concession €4/3. the visitor’s centre is down to the left.30am-4. At its heart is a monument to Counts Egmont and Hoorn. intended to evoke the temples of the Egyptian Pharaohs. h9. it’s dotted with classical statues and framed by trees with mercilessly trellised branches. This 19th-century palace is a low. %02 627 42 38. 85 Larger than St Peter’s in Rome. 10am-6pm Sat & Sun) is undergoing renovation and expansion until late 2007. But even with some rooms closed. Rue Vautier 29. and is once again the area’s landmark sight.com PARC DE BRUXELLES Brussels is well endowed with outlying forests and parklands. Rue Wiertz 43) sits next to Parc Léopold. metro Parc. content yourself with the excellent collection of family works in Brussels’ Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts (p83). Rue de la Loi 200. is equally intimidating. www. metro Parc. p91. The museum’s brochure claims ‘there will be few secrets left about Belgium’s past’ following a visit here. largely copied his father’s style but later earned the nickname ‘Hell Breughel’ for his preoccupation with scenes of damnation. h10am-6pm Tue-Sun Jun-Sep. Pieter the Younger (1564–1638). 93 or 94) was erected in 1850 to commemorate the National Congress of 1831. who founded Belgium’s postal service. Lunchtime office workers. using multilingual headphones.be. It was designed by Joseph Poelaert (better known for his massive Palais de Justice. The distinctive domed European Parliament (Map p86. Place du Congrès. By and large it’s not an area for idle wandering but it does offer interesting sights. metro Botanique or Madou. The largest central patch of greenery is the Parc de Bruxelles (Map pp72-3.com tram 92. there’s plenty to see. His sensitive paintings of landscapes and flowers led to his sobriquet. 10m-high dinosaurs that lived 135 million years ago – found in a coal mine in Bernissart. Pass next to the façade and cross the concrete walkway to arrive at the Paul-Henri Spaak entrance (directly in front of you – go through the covered passageway). h9am-6. it was the European Commis- Flamboyant Gothic is the style of this large but gloomy church (Map pp76-7. PALAIS ROYAL & MUSÉE BELVUE Overlooking the southern end of Parc de Bruxelles is the Royal Palace (Map pp72-3. metro Parc. %02 551 20 20. all but the façade of the old ticket hall has been demolished. It THE BREUGEL FAMILY The Breugels dominated Flemish art in the latter half of the tumultuous 16th century and early into the next. cream-toned building that commands little attention these days as it’s no longer the royal residence. It finally reopened in 2006. tram 92. Also visible are the remains of Gare du Luxembourg (Map p86. Rue Wiertz 43). who died during its construction in 1879.30am-4. and are well worth browsing if you’re in the area. 10am-7pm Sat & Sun). From this street there’s a good view of the parliament’s blue dome. joggers and families with kids love it in summer. Art circles debate the spelling of their names (with or without and ‘h’. Attached to the palace’s western end is the new Musée BELvue (Map pp72-3. tram 92. until 5pm Oct-May). which proclaimed the Belgian constitution. %02 508 64 10. tram 92. and an article expressing outrage at the goings on. woven around portentous religious events and myths. For more on the royal family. departs from next to Gare Centrale) to the stop De Meeus on Rue du Luxembourg (Map pp76–7). Breugel the Elder (c 1525–67) was undeniably the family’s master. Jan Breughel (1568–1625) spent most of his artistic life in Antwerp and was a colleague of Rubens. The family comprised Pieter Breugel the Elder and his sons Pieter the Younger and Jan. attached to the Paul-Henri Spaak section of the parliament. when a largely Belgian crowd comes to gawk at its most controversial feature. look out for Francis Bacon’s delightful Le Pape aux Hiboux (Pope with Owls). the Berlaymont and European Parliament buildings and Art Nouveau houses. see boxed text. PLACE DU PETIT SABLON About 200m uphill from Place du Grand Sablon. Belgium’s monarchs have lived at Laeken (p88). The best place to see works by Breugel the Elder is Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum. %02 545 08 00. metro Trône or Maelbeek. Its design. h10. At its base burns the eternal flame. it’s all steel and blue glass and is nicknamed ‘Caprice des Dieux’ (Whim of the Gods) after a French cheese. adult/child €3/2. Many of his works were painted in a house on Rue Haute (Map pp76–7) in Brussels where he spent much of his life.

... and parts of the city are full of Eurocrats.... a triumphal arch built in 1880 to celebrate 50 years of Belgian independence...70.be....... Unfortunately........ For details on other Art Nouveau treasures in this district...17 B3 Rosticeria Fiorentina...... As its name foretells.. the splendour dims somewhat when it’s too crowded – time your visit for a weekday... www.......com THE EU IN BRUSSELS The capital of Europe – that’s Brussels’ boast..be in Flemish & French.... h10am-noon & 1-5pm Tue-Fri...... h2-5.. The EU area (Map p86) lies east of central Brussels. check out www... military and motor vehicles – and the massive Arcade du Cinquantenaire.. adult/concession €4/3.. originally designed for the Council of Europe in the 1950s and adopted by the European Commission in 1985......... follow our walking tour (p92) and see boxed text.. 1-5pm 1st Wed of month free.30pm Tue-Sun)........ watching or reporting the political goings-on..... Sablon & Ixelles Map (p76-7) 5 'Aud 3 2 Gare du Luxembourg d Ave Pl du Luxembourg 6 vale rie Trèv e R de R du Luxembourg 15 Parc du Cinquantenaire lliard EATING Maison Antoine.. is best known for his emotive sculptures fed by social realism. Larger-thanlife bronzes depict working-class themes – muscular miners from Hainaut. Rue Van Volsem 71........ It’s p86.15 Autoworld.16 y du INFORMATION German Embassy.20 B1 The Wild Geese..10 Hap A3 sMaison Cauchie.. an economic and political union.... Brussels has fared well. MUSÉE COMMUNAL D’IXELLES The Ixelles Museum (Map pp76-7... metro Mérode.. metro Schuman or Mérode) was built during Léopold II’s reign.. 10am-5pm Oct-Mar) is one of Europe’s biggest BRUSSELS •• Sights aissa g 2 3..... and complain about high civil servant salaries and the bureaucracy size..... Parc du Cinquantenaire 11..be.. More and more multinationals and foreign companies are based here. a residential suburb with distinctive town houses.... is made up of 25 countries stretching from the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean Sea. The museum occupies the town house where he lived and worked during his last years.... In 2007 the EU celebrated 50 years since the formation of the Treaty of Rome and the start of European institutions in Brussels... metro Mérode.. It’s the EU flag......... glorious timber panelling. manipulating........ bus 34 or 80... www. As a visitor. Hôtel Van Eetvelde and Maison Cauchie..... As the capital of this union. In summer.... ART NOUVEAU HOUSES The EU area is a treasure trove of Art Nouveau. nce Schuman Rond-Point Schuman R Be 736 41 65.... But there’s also plenty of Eurosceptics who lament the EU’s excesses (the European Parliament building cost US$1... T-shirts and umbrellas – you’ll see a dark-blue flag featuring a circle of 12 five-pointed gold stars.6 billion but its debating chamber is used for just a few weeks each year)...3 miles Rd ich R de 21 eM seph es C C Av R Jo Rd Square Marguerite Square Ambiorix magne R St ngstone 1 Rd Ébu es ron s 10 Square ton Marie-Louise Ave Palmers Ave Livi R Hamer B R Archimède See Central Brussels Map (p72-3) EU AREA A Co Ave Av alain de la Ren s Etterbeek des iens Ave des lois Gau 11 Gra eux Th de e ôn Tr R A3 B1 D3 C1 A3 A3 la C Ave Hap de ouis RL has se European Parliament... The two main thoroughfares – Rue de la Loi and Rue Belliard – house ugly office blocks and bellow with traffic..... BRUSSELS BRUSSELS 86 . www.. and negotiations are underway to admit Turkey. %02 648 17 18.1 Ireland Embassy... plus alternate weekends) – if you’re into the shock- ing or nasty....eu.. it may appeal.. Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire (Map p86.... dockworkers from Antwerp and men reaping fields.. Everywhere in Brussels – on car licence plates... 6 D2 et d'Histoire Militaire.... Musée Royale de l’Armée et d’Histoire Militaire (Map PARC DU CINQUANTENAIRE lonelyplanet.. see ‘Brussels’ Art Nouveau Top 10’ (p93)..... the three most famous buildings........ p88).. see boxed text.. There are airy rooms radiating from an iron-laced staircase... All labelling is in French and Flemish but there is an English-language audio-guide.. The knock-on effect for service industries has been huge. intimate stained-glass inlays and even curly door handles..europa.9 A2 R Loui Hôtel Van Eetvelde..... where an outside balcony affords good city views. In typical Horta style it’s the inside that tells the story....... 10am5pm Sat & Sun) is chock-full of antiquities from ensembles of vintage cars and other wheeled contraptions. MUSÉE CONSTANTIN MEUNIER The southern part of Ixelles is home to the intimate Musée Constantin Meunier (Map pp70-1...... www.30pm TueSun) boasts a staggering collection of all things best known for its cluster of museums – art.....2 Luxembourg e Embassy...19 B3 James Joyce. history. h9am-noon & 1-4.. metro Mérode. For more on the EU..... metro Trône or Maelbeek.. h10am-6pm AprSep.. Ten new members – mainly Eastern European countries – joined in 2004. %02 515 64 22... thanks to the EU..18 C1 DRINKING Café de l'Autobus.. admission free. Take the elevator to the top floor... Antoine Wiertz (1806–65) was a 19th-century Brussels artist bent on painting giant religious canvases depicting hell and other frenzied subjects. military dating back to Belgian independence...com MUSÉE ANTOINE WIERTZ Down the road from the Musée des Sciences Naturelles is the Musée Antoine Wiertz (Map p86. %02 543 04 90.. the most noticeable thing is usually the queue of people waiting to get in..........int... ὈὈ Ὀ Ὀ ὈὈ ὈὈὈὈὈὈ ὈὈὈ ὈὈὈὈὈ ὈὈ Parc du Cinquantenaire (Map p86. Constantin Meunier (1831–1905)... h10am-noon & 1-5pm Tue-Fri.. admission €5.. there’s not a great deal to see though there are landmarks to seek (p85)......3 ptr 4 UK Embassy. Autoworld (Map p86...5 e t Pierr ssée S Chau R Mérode Metro Station Nerv R Général Leman 14 Chaussée de Wavre Pl Raymond Blyckaerts Che de la issart R Fro 22 Pl Jourdan 19 17 tier R Vau RW iertz R du Cornet 13 Ave iertz RW Parc Léopold 9 R 4 7 16 Ave em ergh See Marolles. For details on Maison St-Cyr. lobbyists and journalists. There are also those who resent the demolition of Quartier Léopold... p93. a Brusselsborn artist.... www ....11 C1 Maison St-Cyr.. Rue Vautier 62.. %02 648 44 49.....kmkg-mrah..22 B3 87 From the outside..21 A1 D2 D3 SHOPPING Place Jourdan market... this area is put to good use with a popular drive-in cinema (p108).BRUSSELS •• Sights lonelyplanet.. The building was Wiertz’s home and studio and was also once the residence of the noted Flemish writer Hendrik Conscience... admission free.. %02 741 72 11...... Rue de l’Abbaye 59........be. tram 81 or 82.. %02 around the world..30am-5pm Tue-Fri. The EU. Parc du Cinquantenaire 0 0 12 érin Charle Blvd 18 rés oy er Pl de Jamblinne de Meux lin 3 ge de L Fra e ed gh r be n rte 8 ues édé D nk R la Lo Maelbeek i 4 R Ja cq uN R des Patriotes An R d'A rlon 20 onf el- 1 II 500 m 0... adult/concession €6/4..12 A2 Musée Antoine Wiertz... It occupies two adjoining houses in St Gilles that Horta designed and built between 1898 and 1901 and is where he lived until 1919 (for more information. %02 737 78 11...... Rue Américaine 25...... all bent on working.... plus alternate weekends).13 Musée des Sciences A3 R Naturelles.8 B2 d'Histoire...musee-ixelles.. mirrored walls..14 SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES Musée Royale de l'Armée Arcade du Cinquantenaire.............klm-mra............ Parc du Cinquantenaire 10.. admission free. tram 93 or 94... 7 D3 Musées Royaux d'Art et Berlaymont..autoworld... Sce du Visitor's Centre... Ixelles & St Gilles MUSÉE HORTA A superb introduction to the late-19thcentury Art Nouveau movement is the Musée Horta (Map pp76-7.. tram 91 or 92...be in French... that was wiped out to make way for the EU’s real-life Gotham City... h9....horta museum..

30pm) is a space-age left- over from the 1958 World Fair. Rue Esseghem 135. From 1922 to 1928 Horta designed the bold but severe Palais des Beaux-Arts – an innovative multipurpose entertainment centre that is still used today (see Bozar. www. suburban yellowbrick house: that’s the façade of the Musée Magritte (Map pp70-1. 10am-5pm Sat & Sun) has a small but engaging collection of mod- St Josse & Schaerbeek ern Belgian and French art. admission free. But. These days it supports a solid programme of theatre. h9am-5pm May-Sep. founders of Belgium’s postal service. although works for the latter paid his bread and butter.com. were built at the start of last century by the Tour et Taxis family. Sublime furnishings. p91. Standing almost opposite each other on the edge of the Domaine Royal are the Pavillon Chinois and Tour Japonaise (Chinese Pavilion & Japanese Tower.com HORTA’S CREATIONS Of all the buildings Victor Horta (1861–1947) created in the short flowering of Art Nouveau. see boxed text. Map pp70– 1) is home to Belgium’s ruling family. BOIS DE LA CAMBRE This forest (Map pp70-1.20/5. %02 218 21 07. h10am-6pm Wed-Sun). Rue Royale 236. p83). It covers most of the movements of the 19th and 20th centuries and features works by Magritte and Delvaux.magritte museum.museumvanbuuren . The museum opened in 1999 as the private initiative of a friend of the widow Magritte. p90.45pm 1st Wed of month free. tram 23 or 52. roller-skating rink and artificial lake. tram 93 or 94). metro Botanique) is the cultural centre of Brussels’ French-speaking community. Ave Jules Van Praet 44. Map pp70-1. amid international criticism. For more information. BASILIQUE NATIONALE DU SACRÉ-CŒUR This mighty basilica (Map pp70-1. Five rooms are open to the public and are crammed with ancient paintings. at the end of Ave Louise. After the Maison. metro Bockstael then bus 53. Horta. photos. metro Simonis then tram 19. And fans will delight in discovering details of the house that Magritte faithfully reproduced in dozens of his famous paintings (many of which can be seen at the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts. torn down. a discordant mix of neogothic and Art Deco with dull brown stonework.be. Leftovers from the original have been used to construct the Grand Café Horta (p193) in Antwerp. The Parc de Laeken starts opposite the Domaine Royal and stretches to the Atomium. Le Botanique (Map pp72-3. It was designed to be an entertainment venue – a project based on socialist principles. furniture and a pipe. Horta turned his talent to his own house at Rue Américaine (now the Musée Horta. It was built by the powerful Belgian metal industry as a model of an iron molecule – enlarged 165 billion times. On the edge of St Josse. www. a playground. Square Atomium. www. like many of the architects of the Art Nouveau movement. p81). www. The impressive neoclassical glass building from 1826 originally housed the city’s botanical garden. cafés. adult/concession €6. but you can visit the nearby Serres Royales. now prime examples of the city’s industrial heritage.com The enormous Serres Royales (Royal Greenhouses. it was eventually abandoned and in 1965. Ave du Parc Royal 61. This museum in Jette occupies the house where Magritte and his wife Georgette lived from 1930 to 1954. the latter is used for temporary Japanese art exhibitions. and has lawns. %02 268 16 08. Exact opening dates are available annually from January – check with Brussels International (p69).be. Originally destined for demolition post-1958. it’s a great example of industrial architecture and has been restored as a performing arts venue.BRUSSELS •• Sights lonelyplanet. It was a daring glass-vaulted building full of Horta trademarks. All the chateaux are out of bounds to tourists. The Domaine Royal (Royal Estate. (Map pp70-1. Recent renovation saw it closed for a couple of years. stained glass and carpets are dotted throughout and the meticulous staff ensure plastic shoe-coverings are donned before entering. www. With scandalously little support from the Belgian state. %02 475 47 77. and then to the Grand Magasin Waucquez (now the Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée.be in Flemish & French. Ave L Errera 41. and the heir-apparent Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde occupy the main building. Koekelberg & Molenbeek MUSÉE MAGRITTE A completely anonymous. Rue Picard 3.45pm Tue-Sun). The 102m-high steel structure consists of nine balls linked by columns. Both are Léopold II leftovers. admission €2. TOUR & TAXIS The newly revamped Tour & Taxis complex (Map pp70-1. showed the outside world. ATOMIUM & PARC DES EXPOSITIONS The Atomium (Map pp70-1. %02 428 26 26. and Belgians queue en masse during the two weeks each year when the greenhouses are open to the public. the Maison du Peuple (1896–99) was his most famous. like many buildings of its genre. erected in 1880. The former is a gloriously glittering affair and houses an extensive collection of Chinese porcelain. particularly his love of creating transparent places in which light was free to play. When approached from central Brussels. %02 551 20 20. BRUSSELS •• Sights 89 Jette. These old warehouses and customs depots. a trade fair complex built in the 1930s to commemorate a century of independence. an Art Deco piece featuring terraced tiers capped by statues.be.halles. The Maison du Peuple was built on Place Vandervelde.atomium.tourtaxis. The park was established in 1862 and joins the much larger Forêt de Soignes (p117). hlate Apr-early May) were built by Alphonse Balat (Horta’s teacher) during Léopold II’s reign.30pm Tue-Fri. metro Yser) is the first stage of a massive trans- formation of Brussels’ unloved canal quarter. tram 92 or 93). p87). 10am-2pm Oct-Apr) sits at the end of ruler- straight Blvd Léopold II in Koekelberg. cyclists and families on weekends. metro Simonis then bus 87. Dotted with chestnut and magnolia trees. p110). the complex is now being developed into a new waterfront neighbourhood.monarchy. www . %02 218 79 35.be. but it reopened in 2006 with shiny new stainless steel spheres and updated displays inside. h10am-5. Rue Royale Ste Marie 22. its focal point is Léopold I’s statue. Uccle The exquisite Musée David et Alice van Buuren LE BOTANIQUE HALLES DE SCHAERBEEK The Halles de Schaerbeek (Map pp72-3. take tram 81. metro Heysel. adult/concession €10/5. a former 12th-century convent.30pm Wed-Mon) is located in the former Laeken house of Dutch banker David van Buuren. Its appeal comes from its incredibly ordinary nature. His last major work was the arguably ugly Gare Centrale. built after he saw similar at the 1890 Paris World Fair. Parvis de la Basilique 1. Fuchsias and all sorts of tropical species thrive inside. the Pavillon Chinois and the Tour Japonaise. the Château Royal de Laeken. DOMAINE ROYAL & PARC DE LAEKEN lonelyplanet. BRUSSELS BRUSSELS 88 . tram 23 or 90. Up the road from the Atomium is Parc des Expositions (Map pp70-1. the curators assembled hundreds of original items – from Magritte’s passport to paintings. it looms over houses in the nearby suburbs like an alien from a ’60s Hollywood movie. It’s the world’s fifth-largest church and is also arguably the city’s most ghastly religious edifice. Map pp70-1. Place de Belgique). Belgium’s most famous surrealist artist. %02 420 60 69. a former food market. is just past Église Ste Marie in southern Schaerbeek. adult/concession €6/5. former Queen Fabiola (widow of King Baudouin) inhabits the Château Stuyvenbergh. was committed to creating works for the people rather than the bourgeoisie. 1-4. see boxed text. a wealthy collector and patron of the arts who built this Art Deco showpiece in 1928. including a version of the Fall of Icarus by Pieter Breugel the Elder. h1-6. h10am-4. exhibitions and concerts. Built in 1901. King Albert II and Queen Paola live in the Villa Belvédère. %02 343 48 51. on a slope just below the Sablon. admission €3. and the façade that René Magritte. it became a symbol of postwar progress and is now a city icon. To get there head for Heysel metro station or. Not everything’s original – the piano in the salon is a copy – but there’s more than enough to give an inkling into Magritte’s private world. h2-5. as well as more modern works such as Peeling Potatoes by Vincent van Gogh. separates Ixelles and Uccle and is named after the Abbaye de la Cambre. It’s immensely popular with couples. His exile in England and the USA during WWI marked a transition in styles – gone was the sensuous Art Nouveau and in its place stood the clean-cut functionalism of Art Deco. more scenically. capped towers and a bulbous 90m-high dome (€3 to climb). adult/concession/ child €9/6/free. It’s odd to think the man responsible for some of the 20th century’s most enduring images spent 24 years of his life in this bourgeois backstreet. The major building here is Palais du Centenaire. For more on the royals. Abandoned in the 1980s.

De Ultieme Hallucinatie (p107). Centre Sportif de la Woluwé-St-Pierre (Map pp701.30pm Mon-Thu. 10am-1pm Sun). Chess For a spot of chess. Magritte spent most of his working life in Brussels. was the outcome of a long affair between the then-prince and Belgian Baroness Sybille de Selys-Longchamps. though he has hinted that his marriage went through difficult times. But amends are being made and. The Royal Amicale Golf Club (Map pp70-1. including poets André Breton and Paul Élouard. Blvd de l’Empereur 36. an artist. In 1999 the existence of a fourth child to Albert became public. blending ordinary images with those that could be conjured up only from the subconscious. 8. Ice Skating The Marché aux Poissons (the square around Ste Catherine metro station) converts to a patinage à glace (ice-skating) rink in the last two weeks of December. 2-7pm Sat). %02 512 98 23. born in 1968. and he’s credited with holding the country together during some difficult times. Astrid’s husband. there are always those ready to question his ability to be king. go no further than Cercle Royal de Billiard (Map pp72-3. Tasso (p106). Map pp72-3. to see what’s going on. Have a meal in the first restaurant to have opened here. King Albert and Italian-born Queen Paola ascended the throne with three grown-up children and more.50/8 per half-hour or €45/68 for a fivehour card. Exhibition centres. Léopold III’s cosy relationship with Hitler during WWII backfired after the war. Crisis followed crisis after that. and Le Greenwich (p106) was where Magritte hawked his paintings. Rue de la Scholle.be. featuring the unlikely combination of a classical bust and a rubber glove. the monarchy’s survival is generally not questioned as it’s widely seen as an essential – if expensive (€12 million per year to Belgian taxpayers) – ingredient in keeping Belgium together.50/3. On a glossy level.30am-4. Blvd Barthélémy 17. And as for the future of the royals? While there are occasional calls for the king’s powers to be reduced. adult/child €5/4. %02 773 18 20. took over. %02 521 16 87.30am-4. www. It’s not Bowling If you fancy a game of golf. In 1927 Magritte and his wife Georgette moved to Paris where he befriended several Parisian surrealists. Tables cost €3. While Baudouin had remained childless. where the owners still proudly use traditional methods to make their strange lambic beers (p49). p96). Belgium isn’t much of a swimming nation but those who are interested in unusual pools might want a dip at Piscine Victor Boin (Map Skate hire is €2. Léopold II became king and set about exploiting the Congo (see boxed text. h9am-4pm Mon-Fri. Belgium’s monarchy has hit headlines plenty of times during their 175-or-so years on the throne. Seventy years ago. There are 20 lanes and a bar. premetro BRUSSELS BRUSSELS 90 . adult/concession €3. head to Le Greenwich (see p106) or. Queen Astrid (mother of the present monarch. first with the death of the next monarch. Rue Rogier Van der Weyden 3. Museum. metro Comte de Flandre. The kitchen window offered a view of a postage-stamp garden and a brick wall. in a rock climbing accident in 1934.50 to €6 per half-hour for squash and €11 per hour for tennis. restaurants and modern apartments are either on the drawing board. His interest in surrealism was sparked in 1922 after seeing a reproduction of Giorgio de Chirico’s painting The Song of Love (1914).30pm & 811pm Fri. the man in the bowler hat whose face is hidden from view. h8. Angry at the palace’s snub. premetro Lemonnier. His most famous motif. Ave Salomé 2. %02 521 49 28. It was a prime example of Belgium’s indifference to its artistic heritage. 10am-6pm Sat & Sun) has an indoor rink. His paintings often confused space and time.50. On the edge of St Géry is Flanders Gate Squash Club (Map pp72-3. %02 512 08 74. Swimming %02 345 16 11. Ave du Globe 36. During celebrations as part of the country’s 175th anniversary in 2005. although a The capital’s largest bowling alley.BRUSSELS •• Activities lonelyplanet. make your own way around the ancient complex before returning to sample a beer or two. That same bowler hat is now one of Belgium’s international icons. handful of other breweries still operate in Lembeek and Beersel southwest of the capital. accusing the king of discrimination against his daughter. which opened at the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts (p83) in 2007. there are several courses to be found in and around Brussels. Today Cantillon is Brussels’ sole survivor. Boël. Anyone with even a vague interest in Belgian beers must not miss a visit to the excellent Musée Bruxellois de la Gueuze (Brussels Gueuze 3rd fl. %02 539 06 15.50 per hour. In 1950 the majority of Belgians voted in a referendum against his return and so his eldest son Baudouin took the reins. It has six courts and members/nonmembers pay €5. and then a year later with the death of his daughter-in-law. if you’re keen to see a swathe of Magritte’s artworks. so much a museum as a self-guided tour through the family-run Cantillon brewery. For the next few years. and public hostility forced him into exile. he became a full-time painter. bus 48. shops. Rue de la Perche 38. King Léopold III. her mother went public for the first time. tram 18. for Magritte it was a looking glass into another world. On top of that. Palais du Midi. The couple returned to Brussels three years later and moved into an ordinary house on an ordinary street in the ordinary Brussels suburb of Jette – Magritte’s thoughts and paintings may have been surreal but he was at the same time conventional to the hilt. his younger brother.com BRUSSELS •• Activities MR MAGRITTE A ROYAL READ René Magritte (1898–1967) was one of the world’s most prominent surrealist painters. Delphine Boël. 2pm-midnight Fri.50. All was relatively peaceful until his son. 10am-4pm Sat). The Patinoire de Forest National (Map pp70-1. h2pm-midnight Mon-Fri. housed in a ’60s building on the edge of the Marolles. Brussels International (p69) will have details. Magritte became active in the Belgian surrealist movement and in 1926. After a brief introduction. Green fees cost €35/50 during the week/weekend. followed by Prince Philippe’s younger brother Prince Laurent’s marriage to Princess Claire – and a string of blue-blood births. The king has never publicly acknowledged this daughter. Newspaper hints that King Albert might soon abdicate to make way for Philippe have failed to materialise. the villa and all its furnishings were given to the Belgian state.com lonelyplanet. Born in Lessines north of Mons. King Albert) in a car crash on the shores of Lake Lucerne. exemplified surrealism’s main premise: a rebellion against European rationalism. When Georgette died in 1987. 2pm-2am Sat. King Albert. was at the wheel at the time. with the support of a Brussels art gallery. premetro Lemonnier. for something less smoky. After his sudden death in 1993. was barred from attending an official event. recent pickings have been rich with two royal weddings – the first was heir-apparent Prince Philippe to Princess Mathilde. Two excellent books to explore are Magritte by Suzi Gablik and René Magritte by AM Hammacher. %02 511 10 08. Rue Gheude 56. Two cafés also offer nostalgic reminders: La Fleur en Papier Doré (p107) was a former surrealist haunt. pp76-7. which had deteriorated into the horrors of WWI.30-11pm Mon-Fri). The couple moved from Jette in 1954 to a villa in Schaerbeek. This house is now the Musée Magritte (p89). hnoon-2pm & 4. metro Gare Centrale. including its move to a federal state. Baudouin’s reign largely restored the institution of the monarchy. ACTIVITIES 91 Billiards Golf Squash & Tennis Anderlecht For a sedate billiard hall. Albert. Magritte painted most of his famous works here – he set up his easel in the kitchen and painted wearing a three-piece business suit. tram 39) is a huge sporting complex in Woluwé-St-Pierre with squash and tennis courts. near completion or newly opened. h5pm-midnight Mon. The royalty again made headlines in 2006 when Crown Prince Philippe was attacked by the Flemish media for his apparent lack-lustre performance during an African trade mission. which promptly offered it all up for public sale. 50 family-run breweries in and around Brussels made lambics. as in Time Transfixed (1939) in which a steaming locomotive roars out of a living-room mantelpiece as if it is just leaving a tunnel. metro Eddy Merckx) in Anderlecht has 18 holes. Rates range from €4.cantillon . Léopold I kicked things off when crowned the first king on 21 July 1831 – the country’s annual national day holiday commemorates this event. check out the new Magritte Museum. is Crosly Super Bowling (Map pp72-3.

be). built in 1893. BRUSSELS’ ART NOUVEAU TOP 10 Art Nouveau is Brussels’ architectural jewel. The other pair. Exotic timbers stud the interior. tram 92 or 93. but many design elements hint at what’s to come. the façade alone definitely warrants a visit. which is reserved for women on Tuesday and Friday. Admission is limited to ARAU tours. If you intend visiting the Musée Horta as part of this tour. Ave Louise 224. WALK FACTS Start Place Flagey Finish Hôtel Hannon Distance 3. Rue Defacqz 71) was his own studio. tram 91 or 92. The first. h11am1pm & 2-6pm 1st Sat & Sun of month) Built in 1905. Ave Palmerston 2-4. It’s now the Contretrype photography gallery and is one of the few Art Nouveau buildings readily accessible to the public. note that it is open afternoons only. Les Hiboux Art Deco pool has a bain turc (Turkish bath) at the rear. Thursday and Saturday. From puppets to parks and pools. hnoon-6pm Wed-Sun) The Schaerbeek house that started it all. h2-5. %02 673 15 06. h8am-7pm Mon. is one of the most beautiful in Brussels. and it’s well worth viewing. A petition saved the house from demolition in 1971 and since 1975 it has been a protected monument. metro Schuman) The haunting façade of this narrow building (up for sale in 2006 for €725. Alternatively. admission €5. it was Horta’s first true Art Nouveau house. it’s reserved for men Monday.com (11. are noted for their sgraffito and are signed and dated (1902) by Blérot. A single pool ticket costs €2. B R U S S E L S • • B r u s s e l s f o r C h i l d re n BRUSSELS FOR CHILDREN There’s absolutely no reason for kids to utter the ‘b’-word in Brussels. 1-6pm Sat & Sun) This lovely building. Plenty of buildings can be visited (see www. and closed on Monday. There’s little luxury or extravagance. Continue up Rue Vilain XIV. It has a fantastically tall stained-glass window and a lovely 2nd-floor balcony.scientastic. admission €2. The walk takes about two hours.autrique. the interior is another Horta masterpiece (1895–1901). This walking tour takes in Art Nouveau gems in the adjoining neighbourhoods of Ixelles and St Gilles (Map pp76–7). Thu & Fri. Ave de la Jonction 1. It covers famous works as well as buildings by lesser-known architects. 9am-6pm Sat) in St Gilles. The final two houses on the walking tour are two (big) blocks south down Chaussée de Charleroi. (Map p86. opposite). This covered Rejoin the lake. admission €4. the large Maison Camberlaini (7. Rue des Francs 5. and have a drink in one of the city’s most famous Art Nouveau cafés. a favoured feature of many Art Nouveau houses. Turn left into Rue Amazone. A prolific builder with a great imagination. Built in 1893. „ Hôtel Solvay (Map p86. above premetro station Bourse. stay onboard until the tram reaches De Ultieme Hallucinatie (p107) in Schaerbeek. Blérot designed 60 houses all up. WALKING TOUR Brussels’ brief flirt with Art Nouveau furnished the capital with a prized collection of buildings. then round the corner to find Rue Africaine 92 (9). It has creamy tones. Now wander past two houses by Paul Hankar. who gave him free rein in matters of design and budget. and follow it northwards to Horta’s Hôtel Solvay (4. It’s open only to ARAU tours. daily during school holidays) has interactive science-related pursuits for youngsters aged six and up. The first of these abodes.com. to get there take tram 81 or 82 from Gare du Midi. Chaussée de Haecht 266. below). www.000) is an extravagance of knotted and twisted ironwork.40/2. each different from the next. and follow it to two groups of houses designed by Ernest Blérot.BRUSSELS •• Walking Tour lonelyplanet. not including time spent inside the few buildings that are open to the public. Blérot’s own home stood between these two groups until it was torn down in the 1960s. 2-7pm Wed. h11am-6pm Wed-Fri.90. was designed in 1902 by Jules Brunfaut. Smack in town. p87). Minister for the Congo at that time and the country’s highest-paid civil servant. who worked as an apprentice to Horta and also built Art Nouveau houses in Schaerbeek. the Scientastic Museum (Map p74. It was commissioned by the Solvay family (soft-drink manufacturers). %02 215 66 00. tram 93 or 94) Horta designed this in 1894 at the age of 33 and it’s considered one of his masterpieces. Maison Hankar (8. It was built in 1903 for the painter Léonard St-Cyr by Gustave Strauven (1878–1919). but a handful is closed to the public except to those on ARAU tours (p95). metro Mérode. It was commissioned by Baron Van Eetvelde. including a beautiful. Ave Brugmann 55) has intimate owls adorning the façade. The first two.30pm Sat & Sun. „ Hôtel Van Eetvelde (Map pp70-1. this stunning house was the home of architect „ Maison Cauchie and painter Paul Cauchie (1875–1952). at Rue Vilain XIV 9 and 11 (3). Rue Defacqz 48) was being renovated at the time of writing. „ Maison St-Cyr „ Musée Horta (p87) „ Old England Building (p83) 93 BRUSSELS BRUSSELS 92 . Square Ambiorix 11. From here. From here it’s a short walk to the Musée Horta (10. Try timing a visit to meet the limited opening hours. (Map pp76-7. adult/concession €4. The second. and its sgraffito façade. Cross Ave Louise to arrive at Hôtel Tassel (5) at Rue PaulÉmile Janson 6. this child-friendly city offers plenty. Horta’s first „ Maison Autrique building of note (1893) opened its doors to the public a couple of years ago. turn right into Ave Louise. Tue. www. the hints of Art Nouveau visible on the outside are worth a look. have excessive wrought-iron railings.50. if that’s not possible. adorned with graceful female figures. gilded sgraffito design at the top. It has simple Art Nouveau tones. Walk along the pond’s western side then deviate off to reach Rue du Lac 6 (1). Don’t be put off by the grim setting when arriving in the premetro station’s concourse – inside it’s great. metro Schuman) While the outside of this building is unusual. Roosenboom also signed this house. Right next door to it is one of the city’s showpieces. tram 18 or 81. at Ave Général de Gaulle 38 and 39 (2). harmonious lines and a big circular window. %02 538 42 20. with its stone frieze and stained „ Hôtel Hannon glass. walk back to the tram stop Ma Campagne at the intersection of Chaussée de Charleroi and Chaussée de Waterloo to take tram 92 (direction Ste Marie) back to town.be. Continue straight ahead to reach Albert Roosenboom’s creation at Rue Faider 83 (6). designed by De Lestrée in 1903. The following (in alphabetical order) are Brussels’ best: „ De Ultieme Hallucinatie (p107) „ Falstaff (p106) (Map pp76-7. one of 11 houses in this area designed by Ernest De Lune.2km Duration About 2 hours Bru gma nn Ave ée de at urg Vle de e c Jardin du Roi W ate rlo o Étangs d'Ixelles Gaulle ss R Square du Souvenir éral de au Pl Albert Leemans 2 3 R Vilain XIV e uis Ave nction Ch ine Te Lo 11 & 12 rica de 1 Gén mé h sc o nb e Av RA uc u La Chaus ued Ave o d'Or e l' Aq 10 lo rons Rd er Square de Biarritz s Épe ain ric Af W at Jo de la du Pl St Croix Étangs d'Ixelles ssé R 4 Ba Rd Charler illi e 9 R de 6 R de R Lesbroussart 5 e ée De R Am az on e ss mil l-É au ss la Bra e Ave d sée de R 7 RP z q fac erie Pl Flagey au 8 an eJ uis Lo au er ὈὈ Ὀ Ὀ ὈὈ ὈὈ ὈὈ son id e Av Ch Fa Ch R R Washington 300 m 0.2 miles oi 0 0 lonelyplanet. The tour begins at Place Flagey near the Étangs d’Ixelles (Ixelles Ponds). Jules Brunfaut’s Hôtel Hannon (12. %02 732 13 36. (Map p86.brussels artnouveau. if you can’t time that.com Horta. and there’s a central glass dome infused with African-inspired plant motifs.

ULB Job Service (%02 650 21 71) Run by students at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. and Mini Europe (%02 478 13 13. BRUSSELS BRUSSELS 94 . adult/ child €11.50/3. www. a Gallery of Remembrance commemorating the 1508 Belgians who never returned from the dark continent. It incorporates the Océade (%02 478 43 20. metro Heysel) is a theme park located near the Atomium. Closing hours vary depending on the month. Occupying an old whitewashed stone farmhouse in the middle of modern Ixelles. Rue de l’Association 24. Musée des Enfants (Children’s Museum. this museum houses the world’s most impressive array of artefacts from Africa.3m €14/11. with 2¾-hour tours of all the major sights costing adult/concession/ child €25/23/12. like London’s Big Ben and Venetian gondolas. The Italian family-run Florilegio (www. Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée (p81) Comicstrip museum.be) Respected festival of contemporary classical music from mid-March to early April. adult/concession €4/3. This radical geometric building was designed by Josef Hoffman between 1906–11 and it’s claimed to be the world’s most complete example of Art Nouveau. Sun Sep-Apr) is basically a big old mansion that’s morphed into an indoor playground. Rue de la Colline 8) is the main bus-tour company. lonelyplanet. snacks and drinks including African beer. h2.50/3 per hour in the day/evening. FESTIVALS & EVENTS JANUARY & FEBRUARY Foire des Antiquaires/Antiekbeurs The revamped Ars Musica (www.museedesenfants.brussels-city-tours.50.be. but way off centre with current thinking. a Flemish-speaking town 14km east of Brussels. Crosly Super Bowling (p90) Bowling alley located in the heart of town.20.be) The royal greenhouses (p89) at the Domaine Royal in Laeken are open to the public for 10 days from the end of April. museum director Guido Gryseels has been overhauling exhibits in preparation for the museum’s 2010 centennial celebrations.arau. Roller coasters. especially if you’re keen to get into some of the private Art Nouveau showpieces (p93). %02 673 87 30. Playgrounds. bottled creatures and dead insects. near Grand Place.30am-8pm). so you may have to plan your visit. passing opulent embassy villas. The latter displays miniature mock-ups of European highlights. from where it’s a few minutes walk down the main drag to Léopold’s extravagance.B R U S S E L S • • B i z a r re B r u s s e l s Le Peruchet (Map pp70-1. hop-on hop-off double-decker buses that stop at 13 places including the Atomium. much of which was plundered during King Léopold II’s exploitation of the Congo in the 19th century (see p96).com. or €15 for overnight service (see also p303). Rue Joseph Dachamps. %02 219 61 68. Autoworld (p87) For youngsters into cars. Cycle tours are offered by La Maison des Cyclistes (p116) and Centre Vincent van Gogh (p98). a supervised kid’s screening (€1. h10am-noon & 2-6pm) is a newly renovated museum that explores the toys of yesteryear. through the northern reaches of the leafy Forêt des Soignes. It’s aimed specifically at kids (as opposed to productions at Théâtre Royal de Toone.50/14. h3pm Wed. BIZARRE BRUSSELS The Koninklijk Museum voor Midden-Afrika (Royal Museum of Central Africa.arsmusica. 10am9pm Sat & Sun). TOURS MARCH & APRIL Atelier de Recherche et d’Action Urbaine (ARAU. explore a space capsule. Kids (aged three to nine) can paint. wave makers and pools make this a big day out.50 per hour (€8 after midnight).com BRUSSELS •• Tours 95 Start by jumping on tram 44 from its terminus at Montgoméry metro station. Wed & Sat May & Jun. Rue du Bourgmestre 15. Musée du Jouet (Map pp72-3. Sat & Sun. www.80. 20 min) do circuits of the Lower Town starting from Rue Charles Buls.florilegio. and raises its big top annually at the Hippodrome de Boitsfort (Map pp70-1. but the set up is unique enough for kids of any language to enjoy.bru parck. It’ll be interesting to see then whether the facts are faced. Chaussée de Vleurgat. Bois de la Cambre (p88) One of Brussels’ favourite parks. a heritage conservation group. The Art Nouveau bus tours (three hours) are held at 10am on the second and forth Sunday of the month (May to mid-September). the EU quarter. adult/child €30/25. particularly on wet days. The Rouge Cloître in the Forêt de Soignes (p117) lonelyplanet. admission €6. What happened in the Congo is simply not addressed. h9. Anima Brussels Animation Festival (www. a small café serves meals (€7 to €15). %02 769 52 11. These buses leave Gare Centrale every halfhour. and an adjoining museum chock full of colourful characters. The museum houses a staggering collection of stuffed animals. www. the ponds at Parc de Woluwé and. plant a garden. Book at least a day ahead. All productions are in French. Walibi & Aqualibi (Map p218. adult/child €4. which offers the best from antique dealers in Belgium and neighbouring countries. Lots of interactive displays. the Grand Place area and the Marolles.monarchy. Baby-sitters charge €2. Ave de la Forêt 50. Hanging to see the latest blockbuster? Drop the kids off at Les Samedis du Cinéma. bake biscuits and more. The most central playground is in Parc de Bruxelles (p84). Since the beginning of this decade. It’s formidable booty. sandy. Tervuren. where walking paths meander past manicured lawns and into the forest. not to mention an enormous 22mlong pirogue (canoe) crafted by the Lengola people. Fanning out before the museum entrance is the pleasant Park van Tervuren. mirroring views from decades ago when it was established. Koninklijk Museum voor Midden-Afrika (below) Africa museum. metro Botanique or Madou. Chaussée de la Hulpe 51-53. Sit on the right and keep a sharp eye out to view the Palais Stocklet (Map pp70-1. a subtropical water fun park that kids love. over/under 1. www . Blvd Adolphe Max 55. The cost is €15 for bus tours and €10 for walking tours (2½ hours). and today offers a variety of theme tours to Art Nouveau buildings. Several travelling circuses set up during autumn and into winter. located about 20km southeast of Brussels off the E411 to Namur. Tour & Taxis (p89) customs depot is the new venue for this annual 10-day antique fair held in late January. h10am-11pm Apr-Oct) combines a theme park and water park. Bruparck (Map pp70-1. Leuvensesteenweg 13. Map pp701.org. They will baby-sit at hotels or B&Bs. Place Royale and the EU’s Rond Point Schuman. fairground rides and fast-food outlets are dotted throughout Brupark. There are usually only one or two tours per theme per month. It’s an easy half-day excursion from Brussels that won’t be readily forgotten. It’s very popular.50. %02 219 33 45. h10am-7pm Mon-Fri. Most tours depart from Place de Brouckère. www . making it one of those Brussels experiences you won’t forget. p111) in the two-to-eight age group.minieurope. tram 93 or 94) has a fenced.305pm Mon-Fri Jul. Attracts a showcase of musicians to various venues. and charge €4 to €5. %010 42 17 17.com. Go through thick curtains to discover a world of fables and fairytales. tram 23 or 90. Wavre. Baby-sitting organisations in Brussels: Gezinsbond (%02 507 89 66) Family-oriented organisation with centres throughout Flanders.awn. Blvd du Centenaire 20. Map p74. Other attractions: Atomium (p89) Kids love exploring this space-age leftover.com in Flemish & French. It’s full of stuff. %02 513 77 44.80/8. Tickets can be bought on the bus. All use animals. h10am-5pm daily Jul & Aug. %02 533 10 80. Ixelles’ small Parc Tenbosch (Map pp76-7.com) Twelve-day festival in late February premieres featurelength films and about 100 shorts produced in Belgium and elsewhere. Horse-drawn carriages (Map p74. the giant Kinepolis cinema (p108). Art Deco houses. It also runs the cheaper Visit Brussels Line (adult/concession/child €16. Twenty minutes later tram 44 trundles to its Tervuren terminus.com offers a playground suitable for kids up to about 12. so phone for details. tram 32. %02 640 01 07.be. later. This old yellow tram runs all the way to Tervuren along a beautiful tree-lined track next to the wide Ave de Tervuren. dog-free play area for toddlers. Ixelles.50) organised every Saturday morning at 9am by the UGC De Brouckère cinema (p108).5/8. closed Jul & Aug) is one of several small private puppet theatres to survive in Brussels. admission €5. tools and woven baskets. Brussels City Tours (Map p74. per carriage €18. But that’s it.70. In 1975 it began running tours of the city’s architectural gems. metro De Brouckère). and what’s displayed is only a fraction of what’s still locked in the museum’s vaults. Musée des Sciences Naturelles (p85) Great for rainy afternoons. They’re highly recommended. Musée des Instruments de Musique (p83) Offers kids a playful approach to music. Brussels International (p69) has full details of ARAU’s seasonal programme and will book tours. tram 44. Located on the edge of Tervuren. But the permanent exhibition has long been regarded as an imperialistic showpiece. www.africamuseum .museedujouet. and some tours are conducted in English. Ave de Tervuren 281.be. www. %02 474 83 77. h10am-5pm Tue-Fri. plus masks. Serres Royales (www. but it’s not ‘Hands off!’. 10am-3pm Sun-Fri Sep-Jun). was set up in 1969 by locals concerned at the destruction taking place around their ears. and join other parents catching an adult film. 10am-6pm Sat & Sun) is one of Belgium’s most haunting sights. Inside the museum. the theatre is totally at odds with all around it. tram 94). A new sign in the Gallery of Remembrance acknowledges ‘there is no mention of the Congolese victims’ and that ‘the viewpoint is exclusively European’.50. hnot open to the public).com) concentrates on acrobatics.

Couleur Café (www. and special buses shuttle punters from one venue to the next. Artbrussels (www. The quarter is smack in the city centre.30-10. shone this period of history squarely into Belgian faces – and some didn’t like what they saw. set up as homage to Léopold. thriller and sci-fi movies. Les Nuits Botanique (www. whose promising career (two silver Olympic medals in 800m and 1500m in Montreal) was ended in a fatal car accident. from 2pm Wed & Sat) The main French-speaking gay/lesbian group in Belgium. Designers’ Trail (see boxed text. L’Homo Erectus (Map p74. Concours Musical International Reine Élisabeth de Belgique (www. Ommegang (a ‘walk around’ in Flemish) dates back to the 14th century.rainbowhouse. It’s named after local athlete Ivo Van Damme (1954–76). a good starting point for finding out what’s on. attracting about 20. mains €13-19. aired in Belgium in 2004. lists gay bars. troops had to bring back the severed right hand of those killed. Comics Festival (www. ivory and other commodities. hfrom 5pm Sun-Tue.couleurcafé. %02 511 97 89. Black Dead.be) The Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition is one of Belgium’s most prestigious classical music events. nonstop jazz concerts on stages all over the city. Brussels International Festival of Fantastic Film (www.be in French. Chez Maman (Map p74. Léopold set up philanthropic fronts to ‘protest’ the slave trade. hfrom 10pm Thu-Sun) The capital’s most beloved transvestite show. %02 514 74 93.be) is held in Brussels on the first Saturday in May and the march ends with an all-night party.visitbelgium. Attracts an international set and is a must when visiting the capital.be) World-music event staged over three days during the last weekend in June. prémetro Anneessens. a monthly French-language magazine (€2. %02 512 20 76. A procession of ‘giants’ winds down from the Sablon to the Grand Place where they plant a maypole.com Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet. Brussels 20km Run (www.htm) Brussels’ Grand Place comes alive in early September with beer stalls where visitors can sample many of the nation’s brews. Red Rubber. It runs from mid-July to mid-August on Blvd du Midi near Gare du Midi (Map pp76–7). www. According to Adam Hochschild in his book King Léopold’s Ghost. www.org in French) runs for 10 days in late January and is firmly established. This is one of the few festivals where Brussels’ French. %02 511 40 00.20kmdebruxelles. www.be) This medieval-style procession takes place in late June or early July. It began half a century ago and was inspired by the nation’s former Queen Elisabeth. Borgval 3.brusselsjazzmarathon . A BBC TV documentary White King.flowercarpet.chezmaman.be in Flemish & French) A week of rock. 7pm-3am Sun) Despite the unassuming façade. 8pm to midnight). Rue du Marché au Charbon 42.sport. h10pm-3am Thu-Sat. who was a violinist. Meyboom (www. unless BRUSSELS BRUSSELS 96 . Breakfast is included in all prices. p114) Marché de Noël The Grand Place is the setting for a Christmas craft market held over a week in early December and featuring stalls from many EU countries.telsquels. Rue des Pierres 57.org) Biennial one-day multicultural parade in May (even years) that’s designed to bridge social divides and to expose Brussels’ zanier side. Tickets for the finale need to be bought well in advance. BELvue (p84). concentrated around Rue du Marché au Charbon. saying it was biased and didn’t take into account the social context of that time. The Festival du Film Gay & Lesbien de Bruxelles (www.concours-reine-elisabeth. On Léopold’s orders. hfrom noon Mon-Fri. Reservations essential Friday and Saturday.blgp.be) Brussels’ famous Floral Carpet takes over the Grand Place for five days in mid-August every two years in even years. the Belgian government stripped the king of his personal fiefdom due to international criticism of the atrocities committed under his rule. Darakan (Map p74.be. Belgium’s King Léopold II personally acquired the Congo in Africa. restaurants and activities in Brussels and Wallonia. So too was the Koninklijk Museum voor Midden Afrika. when celebrations were held following the arrival in Brussels of a statue of the Virgin Mary brought by boat from Antwerp. Rub shoulders with the artists and writers behind some of Belgium’s best-known comic characters. Rue du Marché au Charbon 81. Brussels Jazz Marathon (www.be) Big names – both local and international – in the worlds of music. Brussels’ gay and lesbian communities are small but thriving. and today his reputation is in tatters. Between then and 1908.com BRUSSELS •• Sleeping LÉOPOLD II & THE CONGO GAY & LESBIAN BRUSSELS In 1885. While all this was going on. It is now one of the capital’s most famous events. But what is sure is that the booty from this barbarity was enormous. Rainbow House (Map p74.50.ommegang. Thu & Fri.comicsfestivalbelgium.be in Flemish & French. Belgium’s new history museum. when the Belgian state stripped the king of his possession. www. . SLEEPING Start hunting around the Grand Place. Last weekend of May. it is estimated up to 10 million Africans died because of starvation. To keep account of ammunition.be) The raising of the Maypole is a folkloric event held annually on 9 August. It will be impossible to know for sure the number of people who died.30pm Wed-Sat) This bar/information centre is the newest kid on the block for gays. Fuse (p111) becomes a huge gay rave that attracts men from all over Belgium and from neighbouring countries. La Démence (Map pp76-7.lebelgica.be) Three days of free. piano and song).be in French. Starts and ends at Parc du Cinquantenaire (p86). The procession starts at the Place du Grand Sablon and ends in a dance at the illuminated Grand Place. Brussels’ landmarks – such as the Arcade du Cinquantenaire (p86) – were built on these proceeds.be/memorial vandamme) This meet attracts a good serving of international athletes and is held in late August or early September at the Roi Baudouin stadium (p111) at Heysel. the furnaces in the Congo offices in Brussels burnt for over a week. prémetro Bourse. Petite Boxeur (Map p74.and Flemish-speaking communities meet. Tels Quels Magazine. It’s home to a popular café and information centre.be) Annual competition held in the streets of the capital on the last Sunday in May. hdinner Tue-Sat) Tiny candlelit restaurant that’s great for a meal before a night out – the kitchen stays open ’til 12. Telégal (%02 502 07 00. %02 503 59 90.zinneke. Ommegang (www. Huge marquees are set up at the newly revamped Tour & Taxis complex (p89). also doesn’t acknowledge what happened. Tapis des Fleurs (www. Rue du Marché au Charbon 32. an area rich with accommodation to suit all budgets. Tels Quels (Map p74. www. %02 512 32 34.bifff. User-friendly opening hours mean it’s one of the capital’s most popular bars – relatively quiet during the day but crammed at night.org) The most popular get-together for European fans of cult fantasy. But two years before its completion in 1910. Belgian Gay & Lesbian Pride (www.000 runners. this one has only been going since 2000 and is thoroughly contemporary.be) Annual four-day contemporary art fair held in mid-April. annual funfair is almost as old Belgian Beer Weekend (www.com) St Gilles town hall (Map pp76–7) is the venue for this annual industry shindig held over a weekend in early October. Rue du Midi 9) Tiny gay bookshop. Congo army manuals from that time describe women and children kept hostage to force men to fulfil rubber quotas.com/beer as Belgium itself – its 125th anniversary was celebrated in 2005. MAY & JUNE Zinneke Parade (www. an area almost 100 times the size of his homeland.artbrussels. Rue des Grands Carmes 12. dance. He died the following year. this is one of the city’s oldest gay pubs. Check the website for dates. Outspoken foreign minister Louis Michel retaliated.30am and the cuisine is modern Belgian.fglb. Unlike many of the capital’s traditional events.botanique. By the 16th century the procession was presided over by royalty and was held to honour Charles V. Rue Blaes 208) Once a month.be in French.B R U S S E L S • • Fe s t i v a l s & E v e n t s lonelyplanet. KunstenFESTIVALdesArts (www. which opened in 2005 to celebrate 175 years since independence. %02 502 86 96. Runs for two weeks mid-March.65). h6. For gay-friendly accommodation in the heart of town. see Downtown-BXL (p98). Big names sit alongside local newcomers. lesbians and bisexuals. 97 JULY & AUGUST SEPTEMBER–DECEMBER Foire du Midi This huge.lademence. theatre and opera are showcased over the last three weeks in May.kunstenfestivaldesarts .meyboom. Ivo Van Damme Memorial (www. from 4pm Sat & Sun) You’ll easily recognise this place as soon as you see the evolution of man from ape graphically depicted on the front window. Le Belgica (Map p74. the Congo archives were destroyed. It also runs a telephone helpline. overwork or murder carried out in Léopold’s quest for rubber (tyres were developed in the mid-1890s). Young talent from around the world is drawn to a month-long competition in May in three rotating categories (violin. electro and pop in Le Botanique (p88) from late April. Rue des Pierres and Rue de la Fourche (all on Map p74).

Note that some midrange and top-end establishments also drop their rates during the summer holiday months (roughly from mid-July to mid-September). fun crew. avid traveller and master of many languages. So leave behind the bright red-brick façade of this 17th-century merchant house to enter a calm and elegant B&B. with view €113/133/156) Choice real estate this – the only hotel smack bang on Brussels’ famous square.be. Rooms are clean but basic (some doubles have private bathrooms for no extra cost – ask when you book). s/d/tr/f €75/85/100/120. r €95-125) Corinne De Coninck is one of those B&B owners who loves what she does. ISIC cardholders get a 10% discount.com. s/d/f €86/99/114) There’s little to recommend its ordinary façade on a poky backstreet just metres away from the EU’s gleaming quarter. Rue du Béguinage 38. Some rooms have double beds. This one’s old and presentable. adult/tent/car €3/2/1. but throw in great buffet spreads on weekends. laundry. Note.bnb-brussels.50/28/42/66. it’s not a passing fad. Hotels catering to these visitors have boomed in recent decades. a garden courtyard. low futon bed. %02 513 50 93. %02 218 01 87. lighter and larger. and blends modern with touches of the old (the original staircase is a hoot with luggage). The Blue Room. dm/s/d €17. www. each different in shape. outside your window is the Grand Place! Keep in mind that rooms at the front. r €60) Brussels’ most central B&B oc- if you’ve succumbed to middle-age spread – Brussels’ most groovy hostel is strictly for 17-to35ers. The rooms are crisp and well cared for. It’s a fabulous address. metro Rogier. bright. Most of Brussels’ B&B accommodation is organised via Bed & Brussels (%02 646 07 37. hJul & Aug) This summer-only camp site is for campers with tents (no caravans or campervans) who want to be relatively central. Blvd pandora.down 58. when all the EU visitors and business people have evacuated.hotel-rembrandt.com otherwise stated. metro Madou. This well-equipped little hotel started in 1958 and mixes modern and old décors in a selfassured feast for the eyes. %02 502 42 43. especially on summer nights when the square comes alive. ni) Brussels’ newest hostel occupies a Brussels region in Beersel. and is superbly located for those wanting to dance the night away. campingbeersel@ tels in Brussels.com. www. but hey. The hotel section has rooms with private bathroom facilities and no daytime lockout. www . Steenweg op Ukkel 75. And judging by her new B&B. if you need to be close for travel reasons. Centre Vincent van Gogh (Map pp72-3. The rooms are spacious. %02 512 71 39. Chambres en Ville (Map pp76-7.com.50. then step outside onto a newly revamped street on the edge of bustling Ste Catherine. but you won’t leave hungry. www. each individually named and subtly decorated. others are twins. metro Madou. resulting in an ongoing price war among hotels and some good deals for tourists. many hotels around the city drop their rates dramatically. with plenty of statues and paintings. WEEKEND DEALS By and large. www. It’s located 1. s €45-65. (%02 513 64 79. metro Botanique. In July and August. s/d/tr €60/65/70.com. ste from €75) Fantastic-value hotel. d €70-90. Weekend discounts often available. The extended continental breakfast is not a feast. %02 218 44 40. Run by quietly spoken graphic designer Philippe Guilmin. it’s well worth searching the internet and inquiring about possible discounts at this time. off-set bathroom and tiny terrace overlooking the garden. done out in the sober house-style of a Swedish king.2km uphill from Gare Centrale. dm/s/d/q excl breakfast €21/43/59/99.noga hotel. reception closes at 9pm. hotel s/d/tr €39/57/80. Tram 55 (direction Uccle) stops 3km away.phileasfogg.com BRUSSELS •• Sleeping 99 THE AUTHOR’S CHOICE Hooy Kaye Lodge (Map pp72-3. metro St Catherine. Congo or Japan. brussels . All in all it’s excellent value. Babies and dogs are welcome. with a pale-pink façade and flower boxes. size and layout. %02 218 50 50. %02 219 95 46. www.BRUSSELS •• Sleeping Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet. Quai aux Pierres de Taille 22. n) The only frills in this well-maintained little place are the comicstrip embellishments. the Gare du Midi area but.hooykayelodge. kitchen and internet (€1 for 15 minutes). Rue du Damier 23. www. www. Rue Traversière 8.2GO4. bus 34 or 80. Grand Place 11. an exuberant mother. ni) Big. The common thread is tone – chocolate colours. dm/s/d/q €13.george5. The busy décor is a bit ugly but the concept’s good. metro Gare Centrale. Hôtel Rembrandt (Map pp76-7. the ceilings are high. Rue de la Concorde 42. Breakfast at a common table downstairs. bed sheets €4. incongruously located near Ave Louise. You’ll find details of weekday and weekend rates in the hotel listings in this chapter. bar and adjoining conservatory. %0475 29 07 21. It’s all very polished but a tad sterile. is a favourite. to name a few. It’s lovely. s/d/ste €85/95/140. Blvd Jamar 11. At the weekend. www. ni) Forget this place townbxl.brel@laj. Run by a young. 640 79 67. The royal entrance downgrades to ordinary rooms that are overpriced. metro Gare du Midi. Outside it’s just as twee. Rue ’t Kint 23.be. s/d/tr/q €85/105/130/155. and some all three. Rue Van Bemmel 6.be. s/d €60/80.be. (%02 217 83 38. hyear-round) Small ground south of the Émile Jacqmain 99. n) Exotic B&B in St Josse run by Karin Dhadamus. Good biceps are needed to open the Fort Knox–style security gate. there are guided bike tours (€12.be. albeit a tad small. 2Go4 (Map pp72-3. Overlooking Brussels’ well-known bric-a-brac market square. and ancient garments from Myanmar have been used throughout to adorn. %02 217 01 Midrange Downtown-BXL (Map p74. www Hôtel Welcome (Map p74. metro Louise. 1 Rue du Peuplier. Brussels’ main shopping thoroughfare.com/chambreenville in French. Rich colour schemes and a nautical theme are used throughout. Hôtel Agenda Midi (Map pp76-7. you’ll arrive at this B&B and wonder what you’re in for. www .com. i) Another Ste Catherine gem.be. s/d/tr €65/100/125. The zany ground-floor furnishings calm down by the time you get upstairs. although two share a toilet.be. though nicer. decorated with artworks she’s picked up on worldly travels. . or Le Levant. Once inside. The breakfast room (originally a horse stable) features a delightful wall mosaic. others Saturday and Sunday. antique and kitsch. n) Incredibly friendly little theme of St Géry has prices that are a snip for this funky part of town. %02 218 67 63. and a small kitchen. Beersel. Some top-end hotels charge extra for breakfast on weekdays. bathroom facilities are shared and the rooms can’t be accessed between 11am and 3pm. . The four rooms are all different. prémetro Anneessens. galia. In the hostel section. metro Porte de Hal. There’s no hard and fast rule regarding days discounts are offered – some hotels go for Friday and Saturday nights.hotel welcome.sleep cupies the last house on the capital’s gay drag. Rue de Londres 19. Rooms range in size from ‘eco’ singles to the Egyptian suite with a king-size bed and view over tree-lined Marché aux Poissons. Hôtel George V (Map pp72-3. and overall it offers excellent facilities for a hotel of BRUSSELS BRUSSELS 98 .be). metro Trône. All rooms have private bathrooms. modern place one block from Rue Neuve. The rooms are ordinary but clean and presentable. antique furnishings. Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet. Hôtel Saint Michel (Map p74. 3½ hours). s/d/t/q €64/75/86/97) This family-run hotel on the edge www. Jacques Brel (Map pp72-3. it has well-sized clean rooms (tiny bathrooms) and is handy to nightlife. Unpolished steps and banisters lead up two or three flights to four rooms. Rue du Marché au Charbon 118-120.com. Chaussée de Wavre 203.hotel-agenda. All sorts of old ornaments. %02 bright-red terrace house at the slightly sleazy end of town. it’s obvious. Two features to note include a chunk of old Atomium sheeting hanging above reception. www. 1-night supplement per rm €15) With www. It’s a 1km uphill walk from Gare Centrale.chab. Place du Jeu-de-Balle 15. where original authenticity is paramount. Rooms reflect Brussels’ cosmopolitan nature – overnight in Bora Bora. as well as local touches including a feather lamp designed in Antwerp. Rue de la Sablonnière 30.com. %02 219 30 19. n) One of three HI-affiliated hos- Budget Beersel Camping (%02 331 05 61. www hotel in Ste Catherine that’s been around for years. metro Ste Catherine. oil paintings and polished wooden furnishings adorn every available place. metro St Catherine or Yser. prémetro Lemonnier. B&B Phileas Fogg (Map pp72-3. hostel dm/s/d/tr €19/28/50/66. are also much noisier. %02 520 00 10. from where you take bus UB (direction Halle) to Beersel. Again.hotel well.be. The wooden floors are scrubbed. %02 512 92 90. Hôtel Galia (Map pp76-7. Bruxelles Europe à Ciel Ouvert (Map pp76-7.hotelsaintmichel. Brussels’ accommodation scene is aimed squarely at Eurocrats and business travellers. this is the pick of the crop. with its kooky hand basin. bathed in cinnamon and milk chocolate. Gay-friendly owner Theo Linder has decked the rooms in simple but interesting décor (choose the ‘Marilyn’ room for a round bed). Choose from La Gustavienne. it has laid-back vibes. The modern rooms have rich earthy tones and kids are welcome. prémetro Anneessens.60/33/50. the town house has four large guest rooms. Sleep Well (Map pp72-3. Hôtel Noga (Map p74.chez.

com.warwickhotels.metropolehotel. n) Well sited just two blocks from the Grand Place. the Astoria harks back to the exuberant era of Léopold II. Place Charles Rogier 1. www. metro Rogier. weekend s & d €110. s/d/ste €330/360/500. dinner Mon-Sat) Little slice of Italy on one of the capital’s busiest boulevards. owned by the Wielemans family since it opened in 1895. prémetro Bourse. h9am-8pm) Supermarket. weekend incl breakfast from €120/140. but it’s well worth wandering further afield. EATING As the capital of a nation of foodies. %02 217 56 39.be.hotelducongres. www . Rue du Vieux Marché aux Grains 30. Chez Léon (Map p74.hotel amigo. You’ll find branches all over Belgium.comforthotelsiru. The essential Brussels experience. while Ixelles’ Rue St Boniface offers a treat of cuisines.monty-hotel . One room is fitted for travellers with disabilities. Why not take it a step further and really get to know some Belgian designers by sleeping with them – so to speak. brusque service and succulent skewered lamb kebabs. s/d weekday from €400/500. www . ste €560. %02 502 60 06. %02 514 06 27. %02 506 91 11.com celebrities. mains €13-20. metro Gare Centrale. The older (and cheaper) rooms are a tad small. prémetro Bourse. Rue du Congrès 42. www . Rue des Bouchers 18. Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet. The Breughel and Jordaens rooms are the most opulent in the hotel’s ancient section. A word of warning: don’t be seduced by weekend discounts if you need to sleep before 3am – the basement party space goes boom boom until the small hours. Brussels is overly endowed with quality eateries. Built in the 1950s on the site of a former prison just behind the Grand Place.com. Turkish or Japanese. The public rooms feature antique furnishings.be. GB Express (Map p74. hnoon-11pm) Longtime tourist favourite in the heart of Brussels’ famous dining street. %02 513 04 26. prémetro Bourse.ledixseptieme. It looks like nothing from the outside. Top End Hôtel Le Dixseptième (Map p74. But don’t make the mistake of thinking the scene’s all yesteryear. www . involves old-world restaurants where aproned waiters bustle across tiled floors and diners tuck into hearty Belgian cuisine in woodpanelled surroundings. metro Gare Centrale). %02 513 14 43. Hôtel Astoria (Map pp72-3. The result is a splendid mix of old and contemporary. Other recommendations: Pita Pick from the swarm of places along Rue du Marché aux Fromages (Map p74. Choose Nicolas Woit. %02 502 57 44.sofitel. niw) This English-style hotel offers excellent value close to the EU quarter. Inquire about weekend rates. hdinner MonSat) Hidden on a quiet backstreet. This rambling place occupies several gabled houses and offers fast service at any time of the day or night. Eat in or take away. Great for late-night dining. %02 513 08 34. Breakfast costs €25. others more nightmarish.arlequin. h8am-10pm) Little supermarket near the Grand Place. The cobbled streets around the Grand Place are the natural starting point. bringing exciting restaurants offering world cuisines and a certain snob value that was missing not long ago. And now. i) Close to the Gare du Nord railway station. Blvd Anspach 184. metro Trône.be. 18th-century tapestries and centuries’ old paving stones. It’s also child and baby friendly. Little more than a doorbell gives its location away. Rue des Éperonniers 67. The Royal Windsor has 12 so-called ‘Fashion Rooms’. In deliberate contrast to many of Brussels’ topenders. Breakfast costs €25. tram 93 or 94. www . and regular prices are grossly inflated. Hôtel du Congrès (Map pp72-3. mains €8-16. late-19th-century showpiece. Rue du Marché aux Herbes 85. Minimalism has swept Brussels. s/d €100/115. hnoon12. Rue Royale 103. Packed at both lunch and dinner. ste from €700. %02 514 16 15. on an old street leading from the historic core to Gare Centrale. prémetro Anneessens. For dining outside the normal times. the elegant rooms are soberly furnished. The hotel itself is a bland. ranging in décor from conventional to extreme or something in between. Hôtel Amigo (Map p74. ni) Elegant hotel occupying four renovated town houses in the Upper Town towards Place Madou. it was purchased by Rocco Forte Hotels a few years back and totally refurbished. Rue de la Fourche 17. %02 217 18 90. s/d €120/200. Rugantino (Map p74. prémetro Bourse. this 18th-century-style hotel rates amongst Brussels’ best. s/d weekday from €195/245. hclosed Sun lunch & Tue) Japanese restaurant tucked away inside a gallery on a busy downtown street. Spanish. go to the streets around Place St Géry for a small line-up of Asian eateries. for example. substantial helpings of mussels and chips.stanhope. and ensconce yourself in a room fitted out by these well-known designers.com. Breakfast costs €28. Ring the bell and wait for the door to open into this former 17th-century residence of the Spanish ambassador. s/d/tr/f €110/125/155/175.this price. The city’s cosmopolitan nature means there’s no shortage of cuisines.com. a brochette (kebab) for €7. weekend incl breakfast €125/135) Gearing up for its centennial celebration in 2009. equipped. Loups 28. split-level duplex apartments good for families. prémetro Bourse. metro Gare Centrale. AD Delhaize (Map p74. %02 514 25 54. weekend from €115. and free meals for kids under 12. Other recommendations: Hôtel La Légende (Map p74. this hotel is for those into modern Belgian art. metro Madou. after more than three decades of faithful service to uncompromisingly authentic Lebanese food. closed Jul) The décor pays homage to the city’s surrealist artists and the food is traditional and excellent – it’s got locals well and truly hooked. Rue Duquesnoy 5.50. Each is named after a Belgian artist.com. Rue du Lombard 35. Off-the-beaten-track location. www . Atlas (Map p74. h11am-1am) Thirty years old and still the downtown place for a cone of chips. Hôtel Métropole (Map p74. metro Madou. ste €250-390. weekend deals are better value. Great for vegetarians too. with a bar. Place de Brouckère 31. %02 227 05 05. mains €18-28. Unlike the lavish entrance. metro Gare Centrale) Chain bakery and sandwich shop doing belegd broodje/sandwich garni (half a filled baguette). weekend €85. metro Ste Catherine.com to describe this exclusive hotel. If you’re into designers and atypical décor. Rue du Fossé aux Fritland (Map p74. Good for fish and seafood is Ste Catherine’s fish-market area. s/d €110/130. but they’re all modern and comfortable. %02 511 21 95. s/d/tr from €110/130/210) Well hidden on a backstreet not far from the Grand Place. reservations 02 214 24 24. however. mains €25-38. Hôtel Arlequin (Map p74. Rue au Beurre 25. i) Bills itself as a ‘small design hotel’ but feels more like a bordello. %02 512 82 90. Built in 1932 but done over in the 1990s. it’ll do. Many of the rooms are small. metro Gare Centrale. s/d weekday €240/340. Grand Place TOP END BUDGET Samourai (Map p74. www. The rooms are whitewashed and presentable. www.atlas. %02 203 35 80. hlunch Mon-Fri.hotellalegende. Al Barmaki (Map p74. mains €15-28. s/d/tr/f from €80/90/130/140.50. lounge and even bike hire (€10/13 half-/fullday). Magritte and Permeke are arguably the most special in the modern part (the studio rooms here come with kitchenette). BRUSSELS BRUSSELS 100 B R U S S E L S • • S l e e p i n g . slices of quiche and pizza. MIDRANGE Brasserie de la Roue d’Or (Map p74. %02 217 23 00. i) Central hotel with kitchen. Rue de l’Amigo 1-3. s/d €200/225. nai) So fashion’s your thing and you’re here to shop. discreetly located on a quiet backstreet just a steeple’s fall from the Grand Place. metro Gare Centrale. Expect cool Moorish décor. Super GB (Map pp72-3. %02 505 55 55. Other recommendations: Hôtel Stanhope (Map pp76-7. brasseries and bistros await. s/d weekend incl breakfast €215/280.be. ste from €900. r €345-440. www. Al Barmarki has long been considered one of Brussels’ best Middle Eastern eateries. Rue de la Madeleine 25. Must be something to do with the blood-red décor. this hotel’s 7th-floor breakfast room – with lovely rooftop views – is its outstanding feature. Monty (Map pp70-1. metro Montgomery. Rue Neuve. An opulent French Renaissance-style foyer with marble walls and coffered ceiling leads to an imperial reception hall backed by beautifully etched stained-glass windows. www. separate billiard room.50 and vegetarian pitas. and worldwide. Most are open from lunchtime until 6am and serve basic pitas from €3. Blvd Brand Whitlock 101. na) Brussels’ sumptuous. metro De Brouckère. metro Gare Centrale. be it Italian.be. Rue Henri Maus 49. these places offer no-nonsense service where good food is the raison d’être. Head upstairs to find smooth rooms. great food and loud voices emanating from the kitchen. ai) Discreet doesn’t begin Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet. The 24 rooms are sumptuously decorated and all unique. Art Hotel Siru (Map pp72-3. Square du Meeûs 4. Le Dixseptième does not drop its rates on weekends. each of the 102 rooms features work by a contemporary Belgian artist – some pieces are mundane. The Marolles shelters the intimate and trendy. Breakfast costs €25. though décorwise blasé. Simple menu. and want to be out of the centre (EU vicinity). B R U S S E L S • • E a t i n g 101 Panos (Map p74. Marina Yee or Kaat Tilley. %02 734 56 36. Rue des Chapeliers 26. red-brick building. naiw) Full of history and THE AUTHOR’S CHOICE Royal Windsor Hôtel (Map p74. www. it’s made the Michelin guide. Rue des Bouchers. ‘We’re keeping it exclusive’ is the motto.30am. metro Gare Centrale. metro De Brouckère. %02 547 47 47.com. cnr Rue du Marché aux Poulets & Blvd Anspach.be. metro Rogier) Big supermarket in the basement of the City 2 shopping centre.

topping pizzas with marinated aubergine.and worldwide. sandwiches. Shamrock (Map p74. Comocomo (Map p74.50-8. Rue Van Artevelde 14. The French/Belgian cuisine changes with the season and is top-notch – the pigeon will even be carved at your table. This one’s firmly Flemish. prémetro Bourse. this could be the place to try filet américain (raw minced beef ). mains €17-25. mostly organic and.30pm) Little supermarket in Ste Catherine. Au Stekerlapatte (Map pp76-7. mains €15-25. and a mixed clientele in the evenings. Choose from a huge assortment of authentic dishes including the house speciality. It’s as unpretentious as they come. hlunch & dinner. h11. and is highly regarded by the busloads of Japanese who turn up here. %02 502 40 26. Quai aux Briques 86. mains €15-25. Looks a bit like a butcher’s shop when you first enter – all white tiles. With some daring. a vaudeville-style dinner show. prémetro Lemonnier. Rue des Prêtres 4. La Maison du Cygne (Map p74. The red. Rue Antoine Dansaert Picnik (Map p74. a) This sophisticated restaurant occupies the 2nd-floor of an elaborate guildhall and offers a few tables with much-cherished views of the square. h7am-8. is a feast for the senses. It’s popular with businessmen at lunchtime. PS. hlunch & dinner. An out-of-the-way location that’s worth finding. and so on. metro Hôtel des Monnaies. For something less formal there’s also the cheaper 1st-floor Ommegang brasserie. a) Local diner on a shabby backstreet that’s become an institution with the locals. Rue Charles Buls 2. Galerie de la Reine 30. you might rightly say. Rue de Flandre 109. daily special €8. Place Ste Catherine 11a. %02 502 23 61. a) Ste Catherine. %02 512 37 31. including the cones. Rue Antoine Dansaert 18. metro Louise. this dark and intimate Moroccan restaurant. %02 513 27 62. all at excellent prices.50. mussels €22. %02 511 97 62. Place du Jeu-de-Balle 1. hlunch & dinner. tables line up in the gallery outside. mains €12-18. %02 223 43 66. closed Mon) Flashy neon lights and mediocre Asian cuisine is the trademark of this street. salads. hlunch MonFri. Choose blue for fish. Located in the sublime Galeries St Hubert. bright lights and big plates of spare ribs – but it’s very infectious. snacks €3. soon come across this local success story. Easy Tempo (Map pp76-7. yellow and green curries are superb. TOP END La Belle Maraîchère (Map p74. dinner Tue-Sat) Suave pizza joint in an old bou- langerie (bakery) with a gorgeous ceramictiled wall that’s now a protected monument. closed Wed & Thu Jun & Jul) Consistently keen service and faithful Belgian meals are the pivotal points of this Brussels institution. din- 17. The unusual opening hours reflect the needs of the clientele. metro Ste Catherine. sandwiches €6-8. closed mid-Jun–mid-Jul. hnoon-midnight. lamb brochettes and tajines (spicy meat-based stews). hlunch Mon-Fri. metro Porte de Hal. Jacques (Map p74. with its telltale oranges in the window. particularly Mediterranean flavours. largely local crowd for lunch and a younger. mains €7-15. Pataya (Map p74. mains €15-20. salads €10-13. You may need a booking to join them in Wonderland. closed Sun) It’s rare to see Jacques anything BUDGET bar stool and watch colour-coded pintxos (the Basque version of tapas) snake past on an 80m-long conveyor belt at this relatively new arrival to Happening Street. red for pork. Rue Jules Van Praet 27. Dine outside in summer. Bonsoir Clara (Map p74. prémetro Bourse. No matter how busy it gets.30pm). h7. the blokes are unfailingly friendly. pizza €7-11. Pré Salé (Map p74. green for veggies. Le Pain Quotidien/Het Dagelijks Brood (Map p74. hlunch & dinner Mon-Fri. Reserve in advance for weekend dinners. mains around €16. Viva M’Boma (Map p74. Gourmet d’Asie (Map p74. So what? The same as many other eateries.com B R U S S E L S • • E a t i n g 103 THE AUTHOR’S CHOICE THE AUTHOR’S CHOICE Taverne du Passage (Map p74. An all-male middle-aged crew strut their stuff in slightly crumpled penguin uniforms. particularly on Friday nights when you’ll need to book a few weeks in advance to partake in the soirée spectacle. prémetro Bourse. Quai aux Briques 44. The twin salons boast bold colours. BRUSSELS BRUSSELS 102 B R U S S E L S • • E a t i n g . nostalgic décor and crisp service. It attracts an older. bus 27. %02 217 34 84. h11am-6pm Mon-Fri. %02 513 30 57. %02 513 54 40. In summer. Le Pain Quotidien’s communal table is as popular as ever. Rue Antoine GB Express (Map p74. Other recommendations: Comus & Gasterea (Map p74. Rue Antoine Dansaert 16.30am-7pm. metro Gare Centrale. The exception is this oddly-named Indian restaurant (reincarnated from an Irish pub) where tandoori specialities are the go. 3/6/9 pintxos €8. hlunch & dinner Fri-Tue) This intimate family-run restaurant overlooking the church in Ste Catherine is well known for classic seafood dishes. It struck a chord with locals years ago and continues to serve generous portions of modern European food. prémetro Bourse. hlunch & dinner Wed-Sun. white-tiled Bruxellois bistro (an old butcher’s shop) that has hit the spot with the food-crazy locals – must be the hand-cut frites (chips). %02 502 09 90. metro Ste Catherine. Squeeze past the line-up ordering baguette sandwiches in the deli-style takeaway out front.30am-4pm Mon-Fri) One of the new breed Next door to Bonsoir Clara. mains €16-18. %02 513 43 23. dinner daily) An enduring success story. metro Ste Catherine. Quai au Bois à Brûler 4. 4-course menu €33. soup €2-3. It’s not all wholesome – chocoholics should be warned that the bombe au chocolat (chocolate bomb) is a chocolate-mousse cake like no other. Kasbah (Map p74. more cosmopolitan set at night. mains €37-65. it has been around since 1928 and stepping through the draped doorway is like zapping away a century. %02 512 61 22. This down-to-earth restaurant. metro Gare Centrale. %02 503 03 30. subtle lighting and lots of metal and geometry. %02 511 86 95. hlunch & dinner. metro Ste Catherine. mains €12-18. and vegetarians will find plenty to choose from. Quai aux Briques 60. pig’s ear.com lonelyplanet. prémetro Bourse. It’s all very hip. And it was that table that defined its success. and kids are always welcome. Now with branches nation. sweet and savoury pies. sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes. hlunch & dinner Mon-Sat) Another cool. mains €7-13. Dansaert 19. hlunch Tue-Sun. But Le Pain Quotidien had one fundamental difference – a big wooden table sitting smack in the middle of its smoke-free surroundings. understandably so for this part of town. mains €15-28. Rue de Flandre 20. dinner Mon-Sat. Rue Antoine Dansaert 49. Reservations for Friday and Saturday nights are necessary. for its size. 3-course menu €9. mains €11-14. In ’t Spinnekopke (Map pp72-3. %02 512 15 93. %02 503 13 57. and peer like Alice through the looking glass at a room full of foodies devouring hefty Belgian classics (including plenty of tripe). breakfast and lunch were (and still are) the staples. Wholesome bread. Rue Haute 146. hlunch & dinner Mon-Sat) A longtime seafood favourite with a no-fuss interior and newly revamped bluetiled façade. %02 511 49 89. 2-6pm Sun) Modern ice-cream parlour where everything’s homemade. prémetro Bourse. hlunch Tue-Fri. metro 20. hlunch & dinner) Park your backside on a black MIDRANGE metro Ste Catherine. Real Brussels experience. closed Tue) One of two tiny Vietnamese take-away restaurants sitting side-by-side on a busy St Géry street. serving ample portions of Belgian classics such as moules-frites (mussels and chips) and waterzooi (cream-based chicken or fish stew). Marolles Brasserie La Clef d’Or (Map pp76-7.50/14/19. but full. Expect horrible décor and deliciously authentic food. one of the city’s oldest seafood establishments.lonelyplanet. metro Ste Catherine. or cosy up inside in winter and enjoy Brussels’ specialities (in particular the cod or the assortment of meats cooked in beer-based sauces). prémetro Bourse. Rue de Flandre St Géry & St Catherine of snack bars gathering steam in Brussels. %02 512 86 81. prémetro Bourse. h5am-5pm Tue-Sun) Unassuming café that’s been serving soupe de la maison (house soup) and a good croque-monsieur (grilled ham and cheese sandwich) to fleamarket vendors for years. mains €26-48. Baker Alain Coumont started his first bakery and tearoom here on Rue Antoine Dansaert in 1990. incredibly baby friendly. For lobster ring a day in advance. %02 511 82 44. to 6pm Sun) Spend any time in Belgium and you’ll The food’s as authentic as it gets. dinner Sat) This long-time favourite with its odd name (In the Spider’s Head) occupies a 17th-century whitewashed cottage on a newly revamped square. has been around well over 60 years. %02 512 97 59. ner Tue-Sun) Absolutely nondescript little Thai restaurant that fills up early and keeps diners rolling in until late (closes 11. totally vegetarian. Place du Jardin aux Fleurs 1. metro Ste Catherine. An ultrafriendly crew skim along the counter. Bij den Boer (Map p74. The friendly and flamboyant owner does couscous.

L’Idiot du Village (Map pp76-7. Rue Notre Seigneur 19. La Tsampa (Map pp76-7. light meals €8-10. 2-course lunch menu €14. is crammed with indoor/outdoor eateries of all persuasions. tram 93 or 94. Ave Louise 190. Rue de Li- Maison Antoine (Map p86. duck and Puy lentils) are the norm. h9am-2am) metro Porte de Namur. until very recently. Immediately opposite is Le IIème Élément (Map pp76-7. Rue Longue Vie 20. hlunch & dinner. An eclectic crowd keeps this brasserie buzzing day and night (the kitchen is open nonstop from noon until midnight) and there’s a wide range on offer including vegetarian fare and an inspiring beer menu. Lola (Map pp76-7. they fry and refry the frites. pide €4-7. is arguably Brussels’ most authentic family friterie-restaurant. as all good américain should be. and dish up steaming cauldrons of mussels and other Belgian specialities to an appreciative local audience. tram 92. noon-midnight Sat & Sun. tram 81. %02 647 68 03. about 15 years after the BRUSSELS BRUSSELS 104 B R U S S E L S • • E a t i n g . It woos with seafood specialities. Hearty dishes served on paper tablecloths in family-style surroundings with Italian meals made by Mama. closed Tue) One of many little Turkish restaurants strung along this street. tram 93 or 94. They started in the mid ’70s. and not a tourist in sight. metro Schuman.com Wynants’ son-in-law. oil lamps and authentic dishes from France’s Périgord region (ie foie gras. The décor’s big but not busy. friendly service and. lonelyplanet. mains €11-20. Place Ste Croix 4. %02 513 13 67. metro Porte de Namur. %02 523 28 76. Contact GB (Map pp76-7. Combines classic French and Italian cuisine with a modern minimalist interior and an atmosphere that simply pops and buzzes. Other recommendations: Le Framboisier (Map pp76-7. %02 511 53 66. Rouge Tomate (Map pp76-7. For 27 straight years. lorded over by the local church. %02 647 03 67. due largely to the innovative cuisine by master chef Pierre Wynants. the menu extensive and the portions large. hlunch & dinner) One of the trendiest restaurants in Brussels. rock stars and locals alike for what used to be Brussels’ best chips. %02 512 37 42. Terrace tables fan out towards the square in summer. hlunch Mon-Fri. EU Quarter Matonge. metro Porte de Namur. until 2am Fri & Sat) For decades. tram 92. Rue de Livourne 154. Les Petits Oignons (Map pp76-7. One of the originals and still an all-round favourite for a casual meal is L’Ultime Atome (Map pp76-7. 93 or 94. Wittamer (Map pp76-7. Join diners at one of just four tables on the pedestrianised street. blon 33. h11am-midnight). %02 512 47 38. Rue Notre Seigneur 13. tram 93 or 94. A good bite out of your weekly wage can be sunk here on a main course alone. sit in the garden. this Brussels institution received three Michelin stars in the famed food guide. 93 or 94. Lionel Rigolet. hlunch Tue-Fri. metro St Guidon/tram 56. bus 65. or head inside to meet Archy himself. and relaxed young staff keep it humming. 3-course lunch menu €18. in summer. Step down from street level to enter a slightly surreal world designed to feed all the senses. hnoon-1am) lonelyplanet. and Brussels’ designer set still loves it. not just the stomach. a) Ask any Bruxellois to name the city’s finest restaurant and the answer. and you’ll find it’s full house – only the rickety green metal tables decorating the footpath are unoccupied. are the mainstay. Rue du Page 45. hnoon-11pm Tue-Sun) Imaginatively flavoured ice cream and sorbets made from Cantillon beers are the house specialities. hlunch & dinner Mon-Sat) Firm Marolles favourite. Rue de la Longue Haie 51. h9am-7pm) Supermarket. cakes €11. mains €10-20. Meat. ‘The Little Onions’ has been wooing all manner of diners for years with an outdated ’70s ambience. fish and fowl – cooked in traditional Belgian ways – are the staples.hdinner Tue-Sun. Well hidden but definitely known. bus 27. The recent transition to new chef. St Josse Metin (Map pp72-3. It’s the Dirk and Dorine Piolon show. In our opinion it’s THE AUTHOR’S CHOICE Can’t choose where or what to eat? Then head straight to Ixelles’ Rue St Boniface. h9am-6pm Wed-Sun) Watching the Sablon’s pa- Archimède 43. finished at the table). h11am-11pm. a) Lola’s done its L’Amour Fou (Map pp76-7.30am-1am. and reservations are still needed. hnoon-2pm & 7-9. closed Sat & lunch Sun). dinner Sun) Tiny Latin-American restaurant in vourne 109. bus 54 or 71. This intimate little street. Place du Grand Sa- of restaurants on this street catering squarely to Eurocrats. Bookings are essential. felt hats and well-fed poodles is best undertaken at this exclusive pâtisserie and tearoom. was invariably CCS. hlunch & dinner Mon-Fri. Specialises in spit-roasts but there’s plenty of other modern European fare and vegetarians have innovative choices. daily special €12. prepare a succulent filet américain (ground at the last minute and. a terrace shaded by old trees draws diners from afar. Comme Chez Soi (Map pp72-3. Too trendy? Then try Saint Boniface (Map pp76-7. %02 514 24 60. hlunch & dinner Tue-Sat. 3-/4-course dinner menu €21/35. Notos (Map pp76-7. Place Jourdan. %02 511 50 52. Rue Watteeu 31. h11. De la Vigne à l’Assiette (Map pp76-7. that’s been serving up specialities from California to Peru for more than 15 years. Turn up here at lunchtime on Saturday. In summer. Chaussée de Haecht 94. tram 91 or 92. %02 734 92 36. dinner MonSat) Modern Mediterranean cuisine (with plenty for vegos) is served in two huge rooms on the ground floor of a 19th-century townhouse. metro Louise. Sablon Le Perroquet (Map pp76-7. other mains €14-18. as the market vendors on the facing square pack up their wares. Instead the refined ambience is backed up by superb nouvelle Greek cuisine. mains €40-60.30pm Mon-Fri. prémetro Anneessens. this is a good spot for a bite after visiting nearby Maison Autrique (p93). including vegetarian options. this fabulous little restaurant (not signposted) is hidden away behind a graffiticovered shutter on a side street off Rue Blaes. Turn off your phone to enter this old-world restaurant where checked tablecloths. 4-course menu from €67. Place du Grand no longer No 1. tram 93 or 94. hlunch & dinner Tue-Fri. a tranquil garden setting outback or a blazing log fire inside. B R U S S E L S • • E a t i n g 105 Ixelles d’Ixelles 185. La Quincaillerie (Map pp76-7. mains €10-12. Lovely Art Nouveau café that stands out as a cheap eatery in this affluent part of town. tram 93 or 94. Rue St Boniface 14. mains €15-20. hlunch & dinner MonFri. mains €15-22. depending on the weather. mains €17-27. It occupies part of the restored Flagey building and is a great place for dinner premovie at Studio 5. Pl Rouppe 23. mains €18-26. a) The grungy façade hides a cavernous bistro where the approach is casual. metro Louise/bus 27. hlunch & dinner Mon-Fri) An address for those in the know. %02 502 55 82. Stained glass. %02 514 27 09. 4-course dinner menu €28. Rue du Bailli 63. hlunch & dinner Mon-Fri). Rue St Boniface 7. she’s the Mum and together with their offspring and in-laws. hlunch & dinner. The limited menu remembers vegetarians. pasta €9. Head deep into Ixelles to find this simple bistro and long-time favoured late-night bite stop. salads €9. Archy’s (Map pp76-7. Rue du Bailli 35. metro Schuman. this little friture (chip shop) has attracted politicians. a modern minimalist Thai restaurant with a straightforward menu including soups. Rue Sablon 12-13. mains €16-28. mains €17-24. light meals €15-17. %02 647 04 36. mains €12-20. overlooking a tree-lined square and the local gemeentehuis (town hall). but still very much worth a detour if you’re hungry and in the district. %02 217 68 63. Enter via the organic delicatessen. No plate-smashing or faded posters of sun-soaked isles at this subtle little place. mains €1722. reservations are essential most evenings. %02 512 99 22. hlunch Mon-Fri. pasta from €7. Take away or. this is as good as it gets. Salads and stuffed pitas. in winter warm yourself in the 1st-floor tearoom. the overall tone’s mellow but not insipid. metro Porte de Namur. %02 647 70 44. closed Sat) One of a handful rade of fur coats. mains €19-28. He’s the Dad. %02 647 51 44. Chaussée apprenticeship. Rosticeria Fiorentina (Map p86. tram 93 or 94. For that quintessential Belgian experience. It’s open until midnight. Le Variété (Map pp76-7. The cuisine is eclectic. mains €18-25. %02 502 00 28. metro Porte de Namur. closed Aug) Brussels’ oldest and least compromising vegetarian restaurant. hefty servings of Belgian and French cuisine. %02 533 98 33. dinner Sat) Sommelier Eddy Dandrimont matches good French cuisine and wine at this little corner restaurant on a quiet backstreet uphill from Ave Louise. and the kitchen stays open ’til 1am.com THE AUTHOR’S CHOICE René (Map pp70-1.50. dinner daily) The gleaming brass interior gives a clue to this brasserie’s former life as an ironmonger’s shop. %02 512 29 21. hlunch & dinner Wed-Sun) Deep in the heart of Anderlecht. %02 513 29 59. and the atmosphere intimate. marbletopped tables and dark wood panelling lend it a smooth atmosphere. Rue St Boniface 9. Brussels’ African quarter. dinner Tue-Sat) Certainly Belgium’s best Greek restau- rant and arguably the best in Europe outside Greece. saw the restaurant loose one star in 2006. Place de la Résistance 14.

reflecting its odd location in an unloved part of town. A jazz quartet play here on the last Tuesday of the month (from 9pm). The best known is Toone (Map p74. This sumptuous grand café dates from 1886 and its opulent interior and aproned waiters attract coiffured mesdames with small dogs. Two great brasseries for a drink in Ixelles are L’Ultime Atome (p104) and L’Amour Fou (p105). a rich assortment of characters and Brussels dialect. metro Ste Catherine) Contemporary-meets-oldbrown-café in this 17th-century gabled house just metres from Place St Catherine. And. pull up a chair at one of its tables on the tree-lined square across the road. You’ll only hear the likes of Barbra Streisand.com Piaf and Brussels’ own Jacques Brel in this kooky little bar that’s been around for years. and the food is a pleasing world mix. De Ultieme Hallucinatie (Map pp72-3. followed by a boat-shaped pide (Turkish pizza). Fontainas Bar (Map p74. metro Maelbeek) Within staggering distance of Maelbeek metro station. dance. Édith lonelyplanet. metro Gare Centrale). One of the country’s many brews is named after it (the name means ‘instant death’ but the beer itself is not that strong). metro Ste Catherine) Spacious modern café that’s a popular Flemish pit stop for shoppers trawling the nearby Rue Dansaert boutiques. Rue de l’Enseignement 89. Rue de Tabora 11. Goupil le Fol (Map p74. a champagne/white wine mix (€2. Place Flagey „ Falstaff (opposite) – fin-de-siècle „ Le Greenwich (opposite) – chess mate „ De Ultieme Hallucinatie (right) – Art Nouveau „ Beermania (p113) – beer paradise 1 „ Moeder Lambic (right) – beer paradise 2 All three share the same traits – uncomfortable wooden garden chairs. The house speciality is a half-and-half. Start with an iskembe corba (tripe soup). Go for a jug of draught lambic. Ripped black vinyl seats. This big. split-level. metro Anneessens) Another favourite of Magritte and his surrealist pals – the nicotine-stained walls of this tiny café are covered with their writings and scribbles. and tourists galore. %02 514 28 84. 6pm-midnight daily) Serious beer buffs should make this one of their first ports o’ call. Molenbeek. Dark. its painted. metro Madou. %02 512 13 95. Grandmasters such as Gary Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov have entered this hall. %02 427 74 27. %02 511 41 67. ignore the noise from the nearby interminable roadworks. %02 539 14 19. 93 or 94. metro Gare Centrale. metro Louise. %02 503 31 12. metro Gare Centrale. café or bar. this one has very limited opening hours. The two big rooms sport tiled floors. mirrored walls and brown tables and attract a hip clientele. This bar is the local of old folk from the Marolles and has plenty of working-class kudos. Rue du Marché au Charbon 91. Rue des Chartreux 7. These days it draws a cross section of customers. Molenbeek & Anderlecht Tasso (Map pp70-1. ancient café with wood panelling and mirrored walls is another Brussels must.30pm MonFri. but that’s the beer’s job anyway. Built in 1904 by Brussels architect Paul Hamesse. The atmosphere is always thick with smoke and concentration. tram 81. hnoon-2. The coolest bars in Brussels have been established by local legend Fred Nicolay. metro Yser. bus 27) An endangered species. St Géry & Ste Catherine Le Greenwich (Map p74. Chunky handhewn tables. Mappa Mundo and Roi des Belges) were his first. The owners don’t mind if you demolish a cone of frites while downing a beer or two. h4pm-4am) Home to the A to Z of Belgian beers. dull or animated. and continue to draw plenty of local diners. prémetro Anneessens) The grooviest kid on the nightlife block. Grand Place 1. St Géry is the Lower Town’s hip hub. Several hundred brews and staff who know their stuff make it an excellent place to start investigations. %02 513 13 18. and for a slice of beer heaven go to St Gilles. then settle back. prémetro Bourse) Stalwart sentinel of days gone by. from showy Art Nouveau places to old brown cafés that have contentedly buzzed for decades. Nearly every street in the city centre has at least one atmospheric pub. Art Deco–style interior and ample outdoor area. the city’s most famous friture. is an exotic world of mirrors. Thirty seconds from the Grand Place – at the end of easily missed alleys – are four old cafés. As Belgian pubs go. prémetro Horta. %02 511 16 59. and Zebra (Map p74. mirrored walls and brusque service. metro Schuman) Old-timers’ bar opposite Maison Antoine (p104). The EU quarter is big on English and Irish pubs. It’s one of only a couple of remaining family-owned pubs on this street and is generally full of smoke.com B R U S S E L S • • E n t e r t a i n m e n t 107 BRUSSELS’ TOP PUBS James Joyce (Map p86. green façade hides a rich wroughtiron interior. %02 511 13 96. „ L’Archiduc (p109) – jazz heaven „ Goupil le Fol (opposite) – most eccentric Ixelles & St Gilles „ Café Belga (right) – trend city Café Belga (Map pp76-7. %02 514 66 04. %02 513 08 07. Moeder Lambic (Map pp76-7. Falstaff (Map p74. Monk (Map p74. glass and fluidity. The setting is awesome. tram 92. it’s at the top of every serious beer lover’s crawl. Rue de la Violette 22. theatre. Spacious. h8am-midnight Mon-Fri. Rue Haute 148. Nonsmokers can breathe relatively easily in the tiny nonsmoking section. Rue du Vieux Marché aux Grains 5. and wash it down with a glass of ayran (buttermilk). In fine weather. Rue Royale 31. mains from €17. „ À la Mort Subite (opposite) – brown café Sometimes rowdy. 86c Ave du Port. although to really nudge this scene head into Ixelles. but it does have quieter moments and there’s occasional live music. and is deserted on weekends. young and old. Rue Ste Catherine 42. The décor’s hardly fuel for the imagination. ENTERTAINMENT The English-language magazine Bulletin has a ‘What’s On’ guide with excellent coverage of cinema. For a memorable dining experience in Anderlecht. the lack of music makes it a pleasant spot to read the newspaper. Brussels’ biggest Irish pub heaves with Eurocrats and their underlings on weekdays. see boxed text. metro Schuman) The first Irish pub in Brussels. Upper Town Le Bier Circus (Map pp72-3. Brasserie Ploegmans (Map pp76-7. prémetro Bourse) is the original of the originals. Place Jourdan. 8am-3am Fri & Sat) Hippest of hip brasserie in a corner of the renovated Flagey liner. %02 503 08 80. Another favourite of the four. lonelyplanet. %02 640 35 08. and even Magritte used to get thrashed here. and the beers are cheap. Ave Livingstone 2. The three on Place St Géry (Zebra. prémetro Bourse) A den for chess-players or anyone who just likes hearing the pieces fall. from intellectuals to Eurocrats. p105. designed by Horta-disciple Houbion. 18. h8am-2am Sun-Thu. %02 230 63 16. 4pm-2am Sat) Famous Art Nouveau bar and restaurant to the north of town. Rue des Alexiens 53. To be sure. À la Bécasse (Map p74. prémetro Bourse) A century old and still popular with the fashionable young and eccentric old. those are inflated dried pigs’ bladders above your head. yes.first Turkish immigrants moved in. Rue Henri Maus 17. Rue de Savoie 68. from 10am Sat & Sun) Tasso opened in 2006 as one of the first attractions in the new Tour & Taxis complex (p89). Also check Wednesday’s MAD supplement in Le Soir. ’70s décor and cool sounds. (%02 218 00 34. Place St Géry 33. On Sunday it’s a breather for vendors from the Place Jourdan food market. contemporary and classical live music. DRINKING It’s seductively easy to drink until you drop in Brussels. Grab a terrace table fronting the ponds. but also intimate. Marolles La Fleur en Papier Doré (Map pp72-3. metro Gare Centrale) Sit and sip (pricey beers) the splendour of the Grand Place in this former guildhouse. Rue Archimède 34. and there’s dancing from 11pm Thursday to Saturday. %02 230 98 94. Grand Place Le Roy d’Espagne (Map p74. tattered comic books and windows adorned with pink elephants and pissed monks make the décor. %02 511 87 89. %02 217 06 14. %02 511 09 01. smoky brown café on a residential street and the place to sample every brew in the book. lax service and the hippest of clientele. Long café with wood panelling. the French-language monthly BRUSSELS BRUSSELS 106 B R U S S E L S • • D r i n k i n g . hnoonmidnight) at the Théâtre Royal de Toone (p111). this Art Nouveau grand café. The Wild Geese (Map p86. Rue de la Bourse 18. De Markten (Map p74. hnoon2am Mon-Fri.75). has one hall with long rows of tables and good-hearted revelry reminiscent of the days of Breugel. EU Quarter Schaerbeek Café de l’Autobus (Map p86. n) A must. h9pm-5am) Bastion of French chanteuse and other crooners. metro Botanique. %02 511 00 06. The Grand Place area is thick with options. Ignore the location – this street has been screaming for attention for years. À la Mort Subite (Map p74. opera and the visual arts. Rue Montagne aux Herbes Potagères 7. Le Cirio (Map p74. %02 230 19 90.

BRUSSELS BRUSSELS 108 B R U S S E L S • • E n t e r t a i n m e n t . hfrom 7. Passage St Honoré 20. Brussels International (p69) will know if it’s up and running.30pm.be. The loss of the residency is expected to hit Rosas hard financially. metro Gare Centrale. admission €5) The façade forewarns that it’s seen better days but this tiny twoscreen Ixelles cinema is still a fab spot to catch repeats. adult/child €7. The Music Village (Map p74. De Caluwé said he wanted to break with the tradition of maintaining a house dance company. %02 512 57 45. The queen of Brussels’ scene is Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. prémetro Bourse. to 8pm Fri) Tickets for classical and contemporary events can be booked and bought here. Ticket agencies: Brussels on Stage (Map p74.30pm (July) and 10pm (August) on Friday. with midnight sessions on Friday and Saturday in summer. Tickets are cheap – €15 per car or €1 for pedestrians. Rue de l’Arbre Bénit 72. La Monnaie will retain some ties with Rosas. Rue des Pierres 50. for those without wheels. www . one in two concerts here is Belgian. but also at its second home. Musée du Cinéma (Map pp72-3. %02 512 06 52. hfrom 5pm) One to make cinema buffs swoon. You can grab a meal preconcert. metro Heysel.arsene50. adult/concession/child €8/7/6. bus 54. metro Gare Centrale) Remodelled Art Deco cinema lo- cated inside Galeries St Hubert. Bizon (Map p74. a tiny. lonelyplanet.be in Flemish & French. and it’s worth arriving early to browse the museum’s old projectors and cinema memorabilia.forestnational. Live Music ROCK Ancienne Belgique (AB. h12. Rue de Manchester 21). metro De Brouckère. %02 502 46 99. Forest National (Map pp70-1. Theoretically it’s members-only (annual membership €10). but nonmembers can enter by adding €2 to the nightly cover charge (€7.be in Flemish & French. and it will continue to subsidise PARTS.be/parts).50. lonelyplanet.30-5. Ave du Globe 36. h8pm-4am Mon-Sat) Unassuming but immensely popular Ixelles venue with a small podium out back where local or visiting musicians play modern. pull up a chair and don headphones (included in entry price). Some films are dubbed so to avoid watching your favourite actor lip-synching in French. Rue Baron Horta 9. and online at www. Foreign and MOVIES UNDER THE ARCADE With drive-in theatres a thing of the past. Saturday and Sunday nights. and Michèle Noiret. Wine and dine from 7. tiny bar and mixed programme of art-house flicks and mainstream reruns. Rue de la Tulipe 28. Bozar (p110) and Théâtre Les Tanneurs (p112). %02 641 10 20. Saturday’s concerts feature local line-ups (admission free) and Sundays bring in international talent (admission around €10). Cinemas Film buffs will find Brussels a big draw. You can be lucky to score a hit although a lot are art-house films that will never see the light of day. tram 81) The city’s temple for large international gigs and local favourites. but she’s ruled out a move abroad.30pm Wed-Sat) Brussels’ most polished jazz venue is housed in two 17th-century buildings a few streets back from the Grand Place. Blvd du Centenaire 1. Performances are held at the company’s home town of Charleroi. De Keersmaeker also launched PARTS (Performing Arts Research & Training Studios.abconcerts. admission €2.90/6) This 12-screen multiplex opposite the swish Hôtel Métropole is the capital’s grande dame – sip on a beer and relax in armchairs while watching the latest Hollywood offerings. w) The multiplex that started the multiplexes rolling around the world. Oddly enough. a company directed by controversial Wim Vandekeybus and big on stark. FNAC (Map pp72-3. with concerts beginning at 8. Rue Antoine Dansaert 6. Part of the restored Flagey building near the Ixelles ponds. with everything from small art-house cinemas to multiplexes and even a Cinema Museum and drive-in (see below).30pm) and a bimonthly programme based either on theme or director. JAZZ & BLUES L’Archiduc (Map p74. The other big name in the world of Belgian dance is Charleroi/Danses (p226). %02 548 24 00. admission free-€15. www .agenda.com art films are the staples. prémetro Bourse) Music shop and ticket agency for contemporary live gigs. check the Bulletin for nightly screenings. Place Ste Croix. adult/child €6/5) Threescreen cinema with a handy location near the Grand Place. check the coding on publicity boards or newspaper listings: ‘VO’ (original version). %02 340 22 11. These highly successful summer-only drivein screenings (all films in their original versions. www . ondertiteld in Flemish).30pm Tue-Sat) Lastminute discounted tickets for big shows are sold at this ticket service inside Galeries St Hubert. there’s no classical ballet here – for that you’ll have to go to Antwerp (p195). %02 512 92 50. Actor’s Studio (Map p74. ‘V angl’ (English version) and ‘st’ (subtitles. Bookings are wise. Sounds Jazz Club (Map pp76-7. resident choreographer at Théâtre Les Tanneurs (p112). %02 513 82 90. director of Rosas (www. confrontational images.Kiosque. %02 512 80 63. such as La Monnaie (p110). prémetro Bourse. On reopening. It showcases a diverse mix of contemporary music including rock. metro Gare Centrale. the other is devoted to classic talkies shown in their original language. metro Rogier. Rue Neuve. De Keersmaeker has said Rosas’ permanent dancers may have to be cut in number almost by half. metro Bourse) Belgium’s best-known movie directors. it has one auditorium with three screenings per night (last at 10. h4pm-late) Exclusive Art Deco bar built in the 1930s and located on one of the city’s hippest streets.20/3) Relatively new cinema and a hit with Brussels’ movie-loving public. h10am-7pm Mon-Sat. tram 81. much-loved theatre in the Marolles. %02 507 83 70. admission free. Others on the dance scene include the raw Ultima Vez (www. Map p74. Petite Rue des Bouchers 16. Up to seven films per night are screened. This all happens in a side wing of Bozar. Some 24 screens (plus an IMAX theatre) with a capacity to seat 7000. UGC De Brouckère (Map p74. Brussels has re-invented the genre in the magnificent setting of Arcade du Cinquantenaire (p86) at Parc du Cinquantenaire. Galerie de la Reine. big band or salsa six nights a week.rosas . including the Kaaitheater (p112).be in Flemish & French. with French and Flemish subtitles) are at 10. Three auditoriums have wheelchair access. Intimate vibes. www. This Flemish dance company strikes a winning balance between the traditional and the avantgarde.30pm. called sous-titrés in French. %02 512 16 96. Rue Auguste Orts 22. Rosas’ future was uncertain at the time of writing following its ousting from La Monnaie. Kinepolis (Map pp70-1.ultimavez. the Dardenne brothers (see p38). %0900 10 440. Raffinerie (%02 410 33 41. Styx (Map pp76-7. and with foreign co-productions.be in Flemish & French. City 2 shopping centre. an internationally acclaimed contemporary dance school set up in conjunction with La Monnaie. Galerie de la Reine 26. prémetro Bourse) This essential part of Brus- sels’ live music scene is back after a few years of renovations.com). Tune your car’s radio to 97. %02 513 13 45. adult/under 26/child €6/4. www . bus 54 or 71. and once a month there’s a sneak preview. jazz. ‘V fr’ (French version). The musos are squeezed onto a small podium that’s visible from everywhere. Place de Brouckère 38.com B R U S S E L S • • E n t e r t a i n m e n t 109 DANCE Brussels boasts an impressive array of innovative dance companies and wonderful venues.rosas. %02 512 21 02. La Monnaie’s new director Peter De Caluwé announced Rosas’ residency would not be renewed at the end of 2007. plan to reopen this old downtown cinema as a new art-house venue. in Molenbeek. www . prémetro Bourse) AB is an excellent venue in the heart of the city.be). Caroline Music (Map p74. however it’s expected to be closed until late 2007 for extensive renovations. Pathé Palace (Map p74. Also see Le Botanique (p88) and Halles de Schaerbeek (p88). Two auditoria: silent movies with live piano accompaniment are screened in one every night of the year.beursschouwburg. Beursschouwburg (Map p74. Blvd Anspach 85. Tickets range from €1 to €8. %02 275 11 15. In 2006.arenberg. rap and disco. Blvd Anspach 110. Studio 5 (Map pp76-7. Rue du Pont de la Carpe 7. coproducing at least one show per year until 2010.7 Mhz or. its home for the past 15 years. Rosas now works in conjunction with other venues in Brussels. Its two auditoriums accommodate international and home-grown bands. festivals and club nights. The latter is designed to gauge the audience’s reaction to new films – viewers have no idea what’s on offer and must rate it at the end. Arenberg Galeries (Map p74. h6pm-late) Happening little grunge bar in St Géry where home-grown blues are belted out. Once for those in- the-know but now well and truly known. %02 474 26 00. prémetro Bourse.be (in Flemish and French). instead favouring one-off collaborations with Belgian and other choreographers. %02 217 07 31.50 to €24). acts start around 10pm.

electro. features large crowd scenes and dramatic effects. Theatre Brussels’ bilingual status means theatre gets divided along language lines.recy clart. metro Louise) The city’s other major classical music venue.be. %02 641 10 10. in bold Flemish style.be. The season runs from September to June. edge-of-yourseat theatre and dance.30pm Thu-Sat) Whether you understand Bruxellois dialect or not. and the line-up is invariably inventive. Fuse crams up to 2000 movers onto its two dance floors for house and deep-house mixes. Brussels’ most famous football team. Antwerp. pick up the free quarterly La Monnaie/De Munt Magazine. Online there’s www. €10. www.be in French. Patriotic cries such as ‘Far better to die than to live a wretched life in slavery and shame!’ and ‘Away with the yoke before which we tremble. which organises much of the capital’s classical-music programme. metro Porte de Hal. bus 27) Baroque church below the Palais de Justice is an immensely popular venue with a sizable programme.netevents. www. The Henri Le Bœuf salle (hall) is considered to be one of the five best in the world for acoustic quality. Club nights are listed on the website. and you can be sure what you’ll hear is cutting edge. away with the foreigner who laughs at our torment!’ incited an instant rebellion. metro De Brouckère) Brussels’ premier venue. better known as La Monnaie to French-speakers or De Munt to the Flemish. Rue de Flandre 46. operetta and classical and contemporary music. with the mainly bourgeois audience pouring into the streets to join workers already demonstrating outside the theatre against their Dutch rulers. Ave de Marathon 135. funk. recently given this snappy name after years as the Palais des Beaux Arts. The theatre’s original façade has been retained. The story. Petite Rue des Bouchers 21. Recyclart is an urban regeneration project based around club nights. metro Gare Centrale) This venue. La Mouette de Portici (The Dumb Girl of Portici).30pm-late Thu-Sun) Brussels’ Flemish youth love the big bold bar at their newly renovated theatre/concert hall.beursschouwburg. www .fuse. The revolution of 1830 was sparked during an opera performance here (see boxed text. noon-8pm Wed & Thu) or Caroline International attention rarely focuses on Brussels with its limited number of quality sporting venues. nightlife information).toone. Contemporary dance (see p109) and opera are the draws. by the wee small hours when everyone’s moving it serves the same purpose. including the large Studio 4. bookings 02 507 82 00. Rue des Capucins Brussels boasts that it invented European techno. Fri & Sat. %02 479 36 54. see p32. Eight generations of the Toone family have been staging puppet productions of works such as The Three Musketeers. %02 511 04 27.30pm-late Thu-Sat) p74. metro Porte de Hal. admission free. by French composer Daniel-François-Esprit Auber. and it’s all largely thanks to one DJ and his Marolles club. %02 203 41 55. metro Rogier) The French-speaking community’s flashy new showpiece is a modern glass affair. Once a month it also hosts La Démence (p97). It has been attracting international DJs for well over a decade and is still going strong. Rue Ravenstein 23. www. Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg (Map pp72-3. Galerie de la Reine 13-15. Rue de la Régence 30. But the opera was nothing compared with the encore that followed on Brussels’ streets. metro Gare Centrale) Celebrated classical-music venue. Place de la Monnaie. hnoon-7pm Mon.be. %02 507 82 15. Dress up to gain entry to the Mirano Continental and get set for a night of almost anything – pop. but inside it’s completely custom-made and. Designed by Horta. Nightclubs lonelyplanet. While not strictly speaking a club. metro Yser) The Royal Flemish Theatre is better known by its acronym. Place Flagey. h8.flagey . Théâtre du Vaudeville (Map p74. plays at Van den Stock Stadium (Map pp70-1. tram 81) Ixelles’ flagship has several concerts halls. Bazaar (Map pp76-7. Stade Roi Baudouin (Map pp70-1. The national stadium.cirque-royal. see p30.be in French. metro St Guidon) in Anderlecht. %02 218 20 15. %02 512 57 45. The Concours Musical International Reine Élisabeth de Belgique is one of the year’s musical highlights – see p96 for details. house and even live rock at midnight. is the main host. The music won’t necessarily set your feet or your imagination on fire. %02 512 73 44.be (in Flemish and French. Pick up the monthly Bozar Magazine to find out what’s on. before midnight €5. www. soul and a little disco fever. metro Heysel) in Heysel.30pm-6am Sat) Brussels’ hottest new club has captured the hearts of many. Ave Théo Verbeeck 2. %02 210 11 12. Église de St Jean et St Étienne aux Minimes (Map pp76-7. RSC Anderlecht.org in Flemish & French. KVS. but you’ll bump into plenty of other foreigners. Belgian independence was recognised at the Conference of London in January 1831 and Léopold of Saxe-Coburg Gotha became Belgium’s first king. electro. %02 513 82 90. Rue de l’Enseignement 81. h10.be. %02 511 97 89. The plays are mainly staged for adults. Blvd Émile Jacqmain 111-115. so clubbing does not mean holing up in the capital. prémetro Bourse. Rue des Minimes 62. Beursschouwburg Café (Map p74.kvs. To find out what’s on. Liège and even little Lier are all within reach. Once you’ve eaten your fill in the extravagant upstairs restaurant. which centres on a 1647 Naples uprising against the Spanish. The man. although it’s smaller than Bozar and hosts a more modest programme. Rue Blaes 208.dirtydancing. admission €3-12. h7. Rue de Laeken 146. Théâtre Royal de Toone (Map p74.com Fuse (Map pp76-7. the latter having an eclectic programme of classic remakes and modern productions. Bozar (Map pp72-3.noctis. Map pp76-7. www. Most local productions are in French or Flemish. www. www . The season runs from September to June. %02 511 93 84. Look out for flyers posted around town or check out what’s on at music shops like Dr Vinyl (Map 63. For details about cycling events. house and clubs) or www.bellone. metro Madou) Converted indoor circus is now a venue for dance. www. above). The KVS’ new programming promises challenging. Rue Auguste Orts 20-28. metro Ste Catherine) The glass-vaulted courtyard of this 18th-century stunner is used for occasional concerts. For details on sporting activities. h7. www. Faust and Hamlet here for well over a century. For the last couple of years. This is where Brussels’ newest DJ talent is born. attracting cycling races. But club culture also goes way beyond the capital’s leafy borders. Both the Flemish and French theatrical communities have operated somewhat in limbo in recent times.be. %02 229 13 72. %02 227 39 48. it’s captivating and confident. Ghent. although children BRUSSELS BRUSSELS 110 B R U S S E L S • • E n t e r t a i n m e n t . %02 522 15 39. The 2006 season saw it back in business in its beautifully restored neoRenaissance building after five years in an old bottle factory. %02 511 71 37. however. Fuse (opposite). Théâtre National (Map pp72-3. Sport B R U S S E L S • • E n t e r t a i n m e n t 111 and football matches. a daytime café and workshops for unemployed youth. Tue.be (in French. with the possibility of occasional English-language productions. Gare de la Chapelle. Recyclart (Map pp76-7. Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie/Koninklijke Muntschouwburg (Map p74. the company played in a converted downtown cinema complex but it has wooed its loyal audience to its new home here at the northern end of town. awaiting the opening of sparkling new venues that promise to boost the local scene. still spins here. %02 502 57 34. inside Galeries St Hubert. midnight-4am €10. touring international productions supplement the scene for English-speaking audiences. it opened in 1928 and is home not only to the National Orchestra but also to the Philharmonic Society. athletics meetings Music (p108).lonelyplanet. funk. Dirty Dancing@Mirano (Map pp72-3. Many smaller venues worth noting: Cathédrale des Sts Michel & Gudule (p81) Cirque Royal (Map pp72-3. chased out the Dutch troops and in a glorious crowning moment raised the flag of Brabant over Brussels’ Hôtel de Ville (City Hall).be.be. Maison La Bellone (Map p74. OPERA & CLASSICAL Classical music buffs will find Brussels offers high quality and ample choice – check the Bulletin’s ‘What’s On’ supplement. don’t miss a performance at this famous marionette theatre. Together they stormed the Palais de Justice. h11pm7am Sat) The Marolles club that put Brussels firmly on the international circuit. admission €8. Rue des Ursulines 25. The Ivo Van Damme Memorial (p97) and Brussels 20km Run (see p96) are two of the capital’s biggest athletic events. Chaussée de Louvain. is used for everything from cabarets to concerts. metro Madou. see the Activities section (p90). admission free-€8) Located in the Marolles’ disused Chapelle train station. prémetro Anneessens. Rue de la Grande Île 1. and is handily located smack in the centre of town. For more information on football. %02 513 33 33. head to the basement club to catch rock.com REVOLUTIONARY PERFORMANCE An opera performance at the La Monnaie in Brussels on 25 August 1830 started a revolution. On any given Saturday night. Conservatoire Royal de Musique (Royal Music Conservatory.theatrenational. metro Gare Centrale. That night marked the Brussels premiere of a new opera. %02 511 26 00. DJ Pierre. Flagey (Map pp76-7.

It wasn’t long before galeries reached the Upper Town. though this ended abruptly in 1870 when the river was covered over. prémetro Bourse. De Biertempel (Map p74. SHOPPING Brussels is home to Europe’s first shopping arcade. Beer Beermania (Map pp76-7. these two galleries are culturally a world away. metro Gare Centrale). This gorgeous arcade was a European first. Markets are a great way to discover the city and shop at the same time.com The capital has long been a centre for commerce and trade. head along Chaussée de Wavre where shops such as Exotic Food (Map pp76-7. Rue Neuve. Rue du Marché aux Herbes 56. The shop also holds occasional beer-appreciation sessions. is a great first or last stop. fishing boats moored in the heart of Ste Catherine and a daily fish market took over what is now the concrete area around the Ste Catherine metro station. The tearoom. to Place de Brouckère. There’s no menu or price list – just wander around and point to the one(s) you want. metro Porte de Namur) and its continuation. Rue Ravenstein. %02 511 03 26. a local produce store where Primus. metro Gare Centrale. metro Yser) Bastion of Flemish avant-garde theatre. h10am-8pm) First chocolate shop en route from Gare Central to the Grand Place and recommended if you can’t hang out a minute longer. metro Gare Centrale). www. it follows a similar style and is well worth a look. metro Porte de Hal) Marolles theatre known for its dynamic dance and drama. premetro Bourse) Frank Duval is the force behind this innovative chocolate shop and tearoom where both the moulds and the chocolates are made on site. Ave de la Toison d’Or. stop off at Gambela (Map pp76-7. metro Porte de Namur. To explore this scene further. %02 512 63 59. arrange a door-to-door delivery of your favourite brews to your home address. Place du Grand Sablon 39. as well as a cinema. two doors along. went to work on Galerie Bortier (Map p74. 93 or 94. lonelyplanet. Chanel. %02 502 00 14. and immediately a draw for the fashionable elite. statues and gleaming ironwork add the embellishments. Pierre Marcolini (Map pp76-7. Chausée d’Ixelles.com centre of design and urban cool – most of the city’s avant-garde fashion shops are located here. the grand Galeries St Hubert (see boxed text. Supplies Belgium’s royals. but also cafés. Square Sainctelette 20.be in French. The medieval guilds set up shop in their elaborate houses on the Grand Place from where they controlled the trades and crafts. though architectural splendour is nonexistent in these two networks. %02 201 59 59. Kinshasa’s latest CD imports and hairdressing salons with names like ‘Dream Hair’ or ‘The New Image of Black Men’. Westvleteren (p47) – if it’s in stock. we’ve highlighted the best.be. The Grand Place and streets shooting off from it are lined with tourist shops hawking chocolate. followed by the Marolles. home to Brussels’ Congolese community. metro Louise) and Galeries de la Toison d’Or (Map pp76-7. They’re all wrapped up in a fine neoclassical setting – the vaulted glass roof allows the light to pour in while marble columns. Antiques The Sablon (Map pp76–7) is the area for antiques. Biscuits Dandoy (Map p74. Rue du Lombard 24. does wicked hot chocolate drinks as well as a praline-making demonstration at 4pm each Saturday. opened in 1847 in a gala event by King Léopold I. once brought trade to the city. %02 514 12 06. If you’re into trying an African beer. bus 95 or 96. Rue Longue Vie 7. head here. national chain.30am-6pm Mon-Sat) In some chocolate circles. Galerie de la Reine and the smaller Galerie des Princes at the side. Go to Galeries St Hubert if you’re after the same sort of items but sold in a setting of complete grandeur. This gallery ensured the locals’ early indoctrination into the art of shopping. now complete with a tasting café. Friendly service. Rue de la Madeleine 9. Neuhaus (Map p74. Planète Chocolat (Map p74. The Place St Géry quarter. With some 400 brews to behold. Rue de la Madeleine.be. lonelyplanet. Most 330/250mL bottles cost €3/2. %02 512 17 84. JP Cluysenaer. Brussels’ river. %02 512 43 14. In the past few years Marcolini has taken the country. and George W has indulged here too. An antique bargain or two may also be possible among the jumble of stalls on Place du Jeu-de-Balle (see p115). Meanwhile. Sister establishment to the nearby posh pâtisserie. located in the Matonge quarter. where Galeries Louise (Map pp76-7. Scrumptious pralines (filled chocolates) are sold from one exclusive boutique in the royal quarter of town. Chaussée de Wavre 174. the Upper Town is home to Gucci. it’s an ideal place to get acquainted with key players and rare nectars. Chaussée de Wavre 27. metro Bourse) Belgium’s spicy speculaas biscuits are B R U S S E L S • • S h o p p i n g 113 sold en masse from this exquisite little shop close to the Grand Place. Ave Louise. h11am-9pm Mon-Sat Jan-Nov. instead using low. tram 92. %02 217 45 00. 93 or 94) Another fabulous Sablon address. and major cities worldwide.50. Passage du Nord (Map p74. chocolate. restaurants and entertainment venues – much the same as today.beermania .30am-7pm) Handy location and stocks 550 Belgian brews plus matching glasses and all manner of beer paraphernalia. although much smaller and less flamboyant than the original. with ancient artefacts from around the world as well as contemporary art. h9. Théâtre Les Tanneurs (Map pp76-7. Mainstays here include pint-sized shops selling African cloth. %02 512 37 42. long loaves loaded with sugar nuggets. Such was the success that other galleries soon followed. is the nerve GREAT GALERIES The Galeries St Hubert (Map p74. and their love affair with browsing arm-inarm past boutiques and tailored stores has not waned. then follow your nose along Rue des Minimes and surrounding streets like Rue Charles Hanssens and Rue Watteeu before descending (price tags drop accordingly) to the Marolles and the mix of retro/antiques/clothing shops that line Rue Haute and Rue Blaes. by storm. theatre. The exception is. Wittamer (Map pp76-7. Before leaving Brussels. Established in 1857 and is now a reasonably priced. Galler (Map p74. beer. h9. tram 92. restaurants and cafés. The Sablon’s many private galleries resemble miniature museums. %02 512 17 88. flat chocolate boxes designed by Delvaux (of national handbag fame). metro Porte de Namur) still beckon with clothing and jewellery shops. just one block from the Grand Place. book and music shops. He also broke the ballotin (praline box) mould. and long-time maker of excellent pralines. St Hubert’s designer. Rue du Marché aux Herbes. the Senne. Although not far from Ave Louise. Chocolate Corné Port Royal (Map p74. metro Gare Centrale) connects Gare Centrale with the Upper Town. you’ll be looking at a way overpriced €12. Start with the chic shops on Place du Grand Sablon (site of a weekly antique market – see p115).enjoy the puppets and sets. metro Porte de Namur) specialise in produce like Ngolo catfish from Guinea. below).kaaitheater. It’s worth a look for the window display alone. Galerie de la Reine 25. Some 30 operate. Brussels divides quite neatly into shopping districts. are another house speciality. The Sablon and the Marolles are for antiques and flea markets. is the grande dame of Brussels’ many shopping galleries. %02 502 02 66. Place du Grand Sablon 6. Pain à la grecque. well priced (€35 per kg) and higher quality than bulk handlers such as Leonidas. It comprises three connecting sections: Galerie du Roi. connecting the Lower Town’s brash shopping thoroughfare. www . %02 502 19 06. BRUSSELS BRUSSELS 112 B R U S S E L S • • S h o p p i n g . of course. h11am-8pm Mon-Sat). Tembo and Doppel beers line the shelves. Mary’s (Map pp72-3. At the time it housed not only fancy shops and glistening window displays. Until then. little packages of leaf-wrapped cassava from Cameroon and even dried caterpillars.30pm) A step up from chain shops such as Godiva and Neuhaus and the one to choose if orange livery is your thing. lace and EU merchandise. Rue Neuve. Louis Vuitton and home-grown designers. all lined up along either Ave Louise or Blvd de Waterloo.lestanneurs. metro De Brouckère) is another glass-vaulted affair. www. or buy a few bottles to plug up gaps in your suitcase. The cavernous but rundown Galerie Ravenstein (Map pp72-3. h10am-9. in particular Rue Antoine Dansaert. Other theatres: Kaaitheater (Map pp72-3. 93 or 04) Belgium’s most expensive pralines (€58 per kg) are made by this relative newcomer to the chocolate scene. A reputation for innovative flavours and a handy location just off the Grand Place. Rue au Beurre 31. Rue au Beurre 44. Programmes are available from the café at the theatre. Galerie de la Porte de Namur (Map pp76-7). %02 511 07 55. it gets no better than this. The arcades contain an eclectic mix of fashion. daily Dec) Belgium’s first special- ist beer shop. It opened in 1848 and. Rue Royale 73. Rue des Tanneurs 75. particularly if you’re into secondhand books. metro Gare Centrale) Stunning shop with stainedglass windows and sumptuous displays. tram 92. The most interesting of the Upper Town arcades is the tiny Galerie d’Ixelles (Map pp76-7. If you’re after unusual shapes.

%02 512 56 07. His trademark is handmade women’s clothes using new and secondhand materials – retro fabrics and contemporary accessories. metro Porte de Hal. ring the doorbell to gain entry. For details on getting to/from the airport. premetro Bourse) Home to top Belgian designers. Galerie du Roi 4. the city is determined to come out of the big A’s shadow. lonelyplanet. Les Enfants d’Édouard (Map pp76-7. Collections include men’s and women’s clothes and accessories. see p314. %02 646 51 30. %02 762 60 27. Place du Jeu-de-Balle. 5¼ hours. and Gare du Nord (Map pp72-3. Rue du Progrès 80. premetro Bourse) Cavernous store specialising in retro. open early morning to late evening. h7am-2pm) The Marolles’ famous secondhand market has been running almost every day since 1919.com DoD (Map pp72-3. Ave Louise 72. Rue Antoine Dansaert 74. metro Gare du Midi. in times past referred to as Zaventem airport. Rue Antoine Dansaert 44. The compact terminal’s Promenade floor (Level 4) includes shops and a cafeteria with a view of the runways. B R U S S E L S • • G e t t i n g T h e re & A w a y 115 where you’ll find an information desk and free airport maps. For airlines servicing Brussels. noon-6. metro Gare Centrale) Delvaux is a household name in leather handbags and accessories in Belgium. hats and sequins. %02 512 71 98. Rue Antoine Dansaert 64. London (€38/60. Marché aux Porcs 3. metro Gare du Nord) has its office at Gare du Nord. tram 92. Rue Neuve 111. La Cambre. Central Station). Kaat Tilley (Map p74. strings of sausages and vendors announcing their wares are all part of it. and some also stop at Gare Centrale. nine daily). Blvd Anspach 100. Lower Town (Map p74. La Maison de la BD (Map p74. and it has established Modo Bruxellae (www . Galerie de la Reine 31. Paris-based Margiela opened this whitewashed corner shop in Ste Catherine a few years ago. Ave Louise 12. The little building is unmarked but easily recognised. %02 511 21 71.brusselsairport. Strelli is Belgium’s most successful fashion label. has his own label – his designs are available at Stijl (above). The Ave Louise boutique is his headquarters. including some of the Antwerp Six.be. %02 513 28 86. Place Jourdan (Map p86. For more information on Eurolines services. Chaussée de Louvain 16. 9am-2pm Sun. premetro Bourse) Known throughout the world for his men’s and women’s collections. h10. and with an unbeatable assortment of shoes. All the most up-to-the-minute designers are represented here including Xavier Delcour and Olivier Theyskens. Former La Cambre student. Galerie de la Reine 6-8. but Brussels is closing the gap.be.com Martin Margiela (Map p74.Comic Books Boutique Tintin (Map p74. %02 512 10 32. Modo is behind the Designers’ Trail. ATM. Map pp76–7). with women. Zaventem).modobruxellae. metro Louise). Laetitia Crahay (Chanel and Delvaux) and José Enrique Ona Selfa (Loewe). www. Brussels nominated 2006 as its Year of Fashion and Design. A rich and colourful affair. Stijl (Map p74. Olivier Strelli Upper Town (Map pp76-7.30pm Sun) Chic comic-book shop named after a book by one of Belgium’s best-known contemporary comic artists. Frankfurt (€34/55. Born in the Congo. %02 502 35 52. %02 640 42 45. Place du Jeu-de-Balle flea market (Map pp76-7. Ave Louise 175. Marina Yee (Map p74. Ave Louise 327b) Hertz (Map p74. is 14km northeast of Brussels. 3¾ hours. %02 211 21 11. Rentals from both the airport and Gare du Midi cost considerably more due to additional taxes. %02 514 07 63. Rue de la Colline 13. Rue Américaine 145) Baele & Schmitz (Map pp70-1. It’s best at weekends (although prices are higher then). Chaussée de Louvain) Rents 600cc motorbikes (€75/450 per day/week). The train station is on the lowest floor (Level -1). Upper Town (Map pp76-7. %0496 33 58 70. h9am-6pm Sat. François Schuiten. Blvd de l’Impératrice 1.30am-6. %02 502 94 68. and is sold throughout Europe and in the US and Japan. metro Ste Catherine) Belgian fashion icon and the unofficial seventh member of the Antwerp Six. For all international and national inquiries call %02 555 25 55. Budget (Map pp76-7. Rue de Flandre 114. he’s a Jewish Belgian of Italian and Turkish roots who has been in the business for more than three decades. making it big in the last decade. premetro Bourse) Ypres-born designer with no formal training who has managed to juggle motherhood with a highly successful career designing women’s clothing. There are information offices at all three stations. %02 511 44 77. Other recommendations: Boutique 114 (Map pp76-7. Gare Centrale (Map p74. boutiques and animations taking over the capital’s designer heartland. tram 92. with a flagship store in Paris. Idiz Bogam (Map p74. BRUSSELS BRUSSELS 114 B R U S S E L S • • S h o p p i n g . %02 514 51 52. Place du Grand Sablon (Map pp76-7. and most buses depart from here (though some also stop at Ave Fonsny near Gare du Midi. flight information 0900 70 000. Xavier Delcour. the capital’s fashion champion. Genuine antiques are few but there’s some great junk. metro Louise) Just off Ave Louise. 11am-5pm Sun) Stocks every Tintin comic you’ve ever wanted and more. handles designer cast-offs. see p317. metro Gare Centrale) Brussels’ oldest lace shop – now located inside Galeries St Hubert but in existence since 1810. car-rental agencies and tourist information counters. junior. On the next floor down is the bus terminus (Level 0) and luggage storage lockers. Bus Eurolines (Map pp72-3. Inno Lower Town (Map p74. For information on train services between Belgium and neighbouring countries. six daily) and Paris (€25/40. metro Madou) Designer fashions (mainly French) at dirt cheap prices is the motto of this series of warehouse-like stores that occupy much of this street – Dod Men is here at No 16. Also recommended: Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée (p80) Comic specialist. %02 753 42 21. shoes etc just down the road. South Station).be). h7am-2pm Sun) Food and clothes at this little suburban market. metro Gare Centrale. formal and bridal – and children’s communion outfits are the staples of this Mechelenborn designer. Located in Galeries St Hubert. Fashion Annemie Verbeke (Map p74. 8½ hours. %02 223 75 20. Also see boxed text.eurolines . Rue de Stassart 114. h10am-7pm Tue-Sun) Comic specialist. 3¾ hours. see p116. Big on furs. metro Schuman. Look for wisteria cladding at the revamped northern end of Ste Catherine. p138. tram 93 or 94) Swish boutique for men’s and women’s designer hand-me-downs and end-of-line stocks. North Station). Located in Galeries St Hubert. Nicolas Woit (Map p74. for a weekend in late October. it was this boutique that lead the pack into Rue Dansaert back in the mid ’80s when the area was forlorn and forgotten. h10am-6pm Mon-Sat. metro Gare Centrale) Women’s wear – everyday. 93 or 94. %02 513 84 94. %02 503 48 32. www. Brüsel (Map p74. the Rue Antoine Dansaert quarter. Lace Manufacture Belge de Dentelles (Map p74. prémetro Lemonnier. Rue Antoine Dansaert 76. %02 512 09 42. Rue Antoine Dansaert 80. Hefty deposits are required. metro Louise) Belgium’s only homegrown department store. one daily). Bulbous cheeses. metro Rogier). %02 512 40 27. Most other international trains stop at both Gare du Nord and Gare du Midi. Delvaux (Map p74. Gare du Midi is the main station for international connections: the Eurostar and Thalys fast trains stop here only. h6am1pm Sun) Brussels’ biggest general market is held next to the railway lines and has a distinctly North African and Mediterranean feel. a biennial fashion event (even years) which sees fashion shows. Comics with English translations available. including Eurostar and Thalys trains. six daily). see p316. lonelyplanet. An excellent stock of antique lace and a staff with a love affair for true lace. %02 274 13 50.30pm Mon-Sat. Blvd Maurice Lemonnier 8) Train Brussels’ three main train stations are Gare du Midi (Map pp76-7. %02 219 80 42. Facilities here include a post office. Recently opened a new store in Antwerp. With boutiques popping up everywhere and young designers from Brussels’ fashion school. premetro Bourse) Woit opened here a decade ago and has flourished ever since. hmornings Mon. Level 3 is the departures hall. metro Ste Catherine) New shop by the least known of the Antwerp Six (p197p197). Markets Gare du Midi (Map pp76-7. Other recommendations: Grand Place (Map p74. 93 or 94) Weekly antique market. %02 537 12 80. The arrivals hall is on Level 2. Haggling is expected. %02 512 03 13. as well as offices at Gare du Midi and Brussels National Airport. Avis (Map pp76-7. vintage and global secondhand gear. Car & Motorcycle Major car-rental companies have downtown premises. GETTING THERE & AWAY Air Brussels National Airport (Map pp70-1. Destinations from Brussels include Amsterdam (one-way/return €18/30. New names to look out for amongst the city’s creative talent are Olivier Theyskens (who designs for Rochas). Wed & Fri) Small flower market. FASHION RIVAL Antwerp may be the Belgian capital of avant-garde.

Taxis wait outside the airport arrivals hall. it’s possible to be on the right-numbered bus (or tram) but travelling in the wrong direction. a 14thcentury abbey. Two central car parks: Inno Parking (Map p74.30am-12. Gare du Midi. A series of good playgrounds (Map pp70–1) are located near the latter. Metro. Premetro trams run mainly between Gare du Nord and Gare du Midi. MIVB in Flemish) Main kiosk (Map p74.60 7. Meise.40 10. Rue du Damier) Parking 58 (Map p74.provelo.20am) train runs between Brussels National Airport and the city’s three main train stations (Gare du Nord. make sure you know in which direction you’re heading. the busy EU thoroughfare Rue de la Loi now has a dedicated cycle lane. after her castle at Tervuren burnt down in 1879.60 Duration Frequency (min) (per hr) 35 60 15 60 40 75 100 60 20 65 180 15 45 60 40 75 60 60 90 2 2 4 2 2 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 2 2 1 1 2 1 2 GETTING AROUND To/From the Airport The Airport City Express (%02 528 28 28. Gare Centrale and Gare du Midi).40 4. h9.30pm Apr-Oct. premetro (trams that go underground for part of their journey) and buses make up the network. 8. METRO Brussels’ metro system opened in 1965. Porte de Hal (Map pp76-7) Comic-strip artist François Schuiten’s wall compositions entitled Le Passage Inconnu (The Unknown Passage) merge old trams and futuristic vehicles in scenes mirrored in his best cartoons. TRAM. www. For bike hire contact ProVélo’s La Maison des Cyclistes (Map pp76-7. planted in the 18th century under the Austrian rulers.70 14. The waiting rate is €22 per hour. Pick up the STIB/ MIVB’s free transport map to help find your way around. It runs every 15 minutes and the trip takes 15 to 25 minutes (depending on your station). The following are highlights: Bourse (Map p74) Paul Delvaux’ Nos vieux trams bruxellois depicts old trams in the capital. and Friday afternoons are notoriously congested. Many bus (and tram) routes start at one side of the city and finish on the other. You’ll A R O U N D B R U S S E L S • • F o r ê t d e S o i g n e s 117 find taxis near all three central train stations as well as outside Hôtel Amigo (Map p74). depending on which part you wish to access. Rue de l’Évêque 2. Public transport runs from about 6am to midnight. NATIONALE PLANTENTUIN VAN BELGIË Belgium’s National Botanic Garden (%02 260 09 20. 9. travelling underneath the ruler-straight boulevard known consecutively as Adolphe Max/Anspach/Maurice Lemonnier. h10am-6pm Mon-Sat). plus €1. If you just want to get to any patch of green.40 28. Line 1B runs from Erasme to Stockel. There’s a train roughly every 10 or 15 minutes. Domein van Boechout. which Léopold II gave to his sister. Tickets without validation (random checks are made) incur fines of €55. There are various public transport options to the forest. and cabbies have a reputation for aggressive driving and argumentative behaviour.70 5 14. see p322. Alternatively. It is popular throughout the year but particularly so in summer when the old trams operated by Brussels’ Musée du Transport Urbain trundle through. Brussels International (p69).be. AROUND BRUSSELS Just out of Brussels in the province of BrabantWallon are Waterloo (see p224). but these are mostly on the outskirts of town where there’s a bit more room.com on a blue background. all ideal day-trip destinations. Children’s bikes and child seats are available. Public Transport Brussels’ efficient public transport system is operated by Société des Transports Intercommunaux de Bruxelles (STIB in French.10 10. Stockel (Map pp70-1) Walls adorned with life-sized paintings of Tintin and pals. adult/concession €4/3.50. Brussels’ nightbus network expanded in 2007. FORÊT DE SOIGNES This forest (Map pp70–1) southeast of Brussels is the largest patch of green in the capital’s vicinity. 12km north of downtown Brussels. The park is one of Belgium’s most important state-owned forests and is home to wild boar and deer.com Brussels is well connected with other Belgian cities and Luxembourg City. Rue de l’Évêque) Check out the great view from the 10th floor. Rue de Londres 15. h10am-6pm Tue-Fri. Taxi Taxis are metered.80 7. That said. h7.50 and a one-day pass for unlimited travel is €4. BRUSSELS BRUSSELS 116 B R U S S E L S • • G e t t i n g A r o u n d . after which a nightbus network operates.80. with 20 nightbus lines now operating around the capital on Friday and Saturday nights until 3am. and single tickets cost €3. %02 502 73 55. and they also run guided bike tours (April to October). There are three lines: Line 1A goes from Roi Baudouin station to Herrmann-Debroux. Keep an eye out for artworks while in the metro and premetro stations. trams. one-way €2.60 3.30 per kilometre within/outside the Brussels region.30. %02 515 20 00. Examples of connections include the following (prices are one-way second-class fares): Destination Fare (€) Antwerp Bruges Brussels National Airport Charleroi Ghent Hasselt Jemelle Kortrijk Leuven Liège Luxembourg City Mechelen Mons Namur Nivelles Ostend Tournai Villers-la-Ville Ypres 6 11. It was originally part of a much greater oak forest that was progressively cut down during the 16th and 17th centuries. Official taxis have a yellow and blue plaque near the numberplate. see p94. Tram and bus stops have red-and-white signs.30am5pm Nov-Mar) is a 93-hectare park located in the village of Meise. For information on road rules. also Sat Apr-Oct). Nivelles (see p223) and Villers-la-Ville (see p225).lonelyplanet. Parking poses the usual problems. newsagents and on buses and trams. per hr/half-day/full day/weekend/week €4/11/13/24/72. there are some bike lanes (usually painted red and marked with white lines) and paths (separated from the traffic). Branch kiosk (Map pp76-7. Also. Fares are calculated starting with a basic day/night rate of €2. Signs saying betalend parkeren/stationnement payant mean that it’s paid street parking (usually 9am to 7pm Monday to Saturday).40/4. basically following the Petit Ring. Taxes and tips are officially included in the meter price so you should ignore requests for extra service charges. p323. www. Closer to town. metro Porte de Namur.80 7. STIB/MIVB kiosks.70 7. Most lines depart from Place de Brouckère.50/10. five-/10-journey tickets cost €6. Horta (Map pp76-7) Relics from Horta’s Maison du Peuple have been integrated into the station’s foyer. Metro stations are marked by signs with a white ‘M’ lonelyplanet. Children under six travel for free.15/1. and Line 2 is a loop that joins Simonis with Delacroix. Bicycle Cycling in central Brussels is not for the faint-hearted: intolerant drivers. Car & Motorcycle Driving in Brussels has its thrills – see boxed text. sells one-day passes as well as the Brussels Card.30am-6. The slightest hiccup on either ring road brings traffic to a halt. The pricing system is simple – a single-journey ticket costs €1.30 Mon-Sat.be. The oldest trees here today are beech. It’s based around two lakes and the Kasteel van Boechout (Boechout Castle).30 12. Tickets must be validated before travel in machines located at the entrance to metro platforms or inside buses and trams.80 2.70 14. The park includes two arboreta – Tervuren and Groenendaal – as well as the Jean Massart Experimental Garden (Map pp70–1) and the Rouge Cloître (Map pp70–1). near the Grand Place (Map p74) and at Place Stéphanie (Map pp76–7) on Ave Louise. slippery cobblestones and tram tracks are all potential hazards.70 4. h5. TICKETS & PASSES Tickets are valid for one hour and are sold at metro stations.30am-2pm Sun). take bus 95 from the Bourse (Map p74) in central Brussels. call Taxis Bleus (%02 268 00 00) or Taxis Verts (%02 349 49 49).10 10. The city tourist office. PREMETRO & BUS There’s no central transport hub for buses or trams which means working out where to jump on is akin to finding a needle in a haystack. Princess Charlotte. A taxi between the airport and central Brussels costs around €30. For information on the Koninklijk Museum voor Midden-Afrika at Tervuren.30-5.botanicgarden.

we think it’s fair to ask you to use it for personal. mass email it to everyone you know. In other words. or resell it. nearby. Other highlights are the outdoor medicinal garden and.‘Do the right thing with our content. By bus.’ . take the A12 (direction Antwerp) to the Meise exit and follow the signs. take De Lijn bus 250 or 251 from Gare du Nord (Map pp72–3) to the Nationale Plantentuin van België stop. The 18th-century orangery has been converted into a café and shop.000 plant species including orchids. In return. © Lonely Planet Publications.com © Lonely Planet Publications was built in 1864 by Balat (Horta’s teacher and the architect responsible for the Serres Royales.BRUSSELS 118 A R O U N D B R U S S E L S • • N a t i o n a l e P l a n t e n t u i n v a n B e l g i ë The park boasts 18. They are housed in the spectacular Plantenpaleis (Plant Palace). a small but stunning greenhouse shaped like a king’s crown that lonelyplanet. please don’t upload this chapter to a peer-to-peer site. non-commercial purposes only. p89). access to this chapter is not digitally restricted. a series of 13 connecting greenhouses built in 1966. See the terms and conditions on our site for a longer way of saying the above . carnivorous plants and the famous giant Amazonian water lilies. To make it easier for you to use. To get to the park by car.

albeit tourist-packed. He sang about his reluctant love for all that it stood for. OOST-VLAANDEREN (EAST FLANDERS: CAPITAL GHENT) „ LANGUAGE: FLEMISH WESTERN FLANDERS Belgian chansonnier Jacques Brel famously referred to this part of Belgium as le plat pays – the flat country. Choose charming De Haan or bustling Ostend as your base. and Veurne. The frontline town of Ypres draws visitors young and old from around the globe. Flanders’ far western corner is where some of WWI’s most dreadful battles were fought. passing rows of candy-coloured beach huts. Ghent. Indeed. or stroll arm-in-arm along broad promenades. Winds howl across flat fields and whip through villages. Nowadays Western Flanders is still full of atmospheric. and about its bleakness. Relive the age-old tradition of shrimp fishing on horseback at Oostduinkerke. Ypres and Kortrijk rose in medieval times on the wealth of cloth and international trade. wrapping around church steeples and belfries – monuments that have survived the centuries to become resounding symbols of the region’s rich historic past. famed for its 15th-century tapestries. flat beaches. The great cities of Bruges. towns. both are engaging towns snuggled into the few remaining coastal dunes. with its macabre medieval procession – followed. on cold winter days the scene here can be downright dismal.119 © Lonely Planet Publications Western Flanders Although the term ‘Flanders’ now covers all of northern Belgium. . p145) reveals all „ PROVINCES: WEST-VLAANDEREN (WEST FLANDERS: CAPITAL BRUGES). it was once associated with this western portion only. HIGHLIGHTS „ Full-on Festivities De Gentse Feesten (p165) in Ghent „ Primitive Passions Art at Bruges’ Groeningemuseum (p125) „ Salient Reminder Flanders’ WWI battle- Kusttram Bruges St Idesbald Ghent Diksmuide fields near Ypres (p153) „ Cycle City On ya bike in and around Bruges (p130) or Kortrijk (p160) Ypres Salient Kortrijk „ Art Heaven The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb in Ghent’s cathedral (p161) „ Beaut Brewery De Dolle Brouwers (p50) near Diksmuide „ Sublime Surrealism Paul Delvaux’s surprising St Idesbald home (p148) „ Coastal Cruise The Kusttram (Coast Tram. Many are now World Heritage–listed. Belgians adore their 66km coastline. Other towns – Oudenaarde. Look past the unsightly coast-hugging high-rises to find wide.

000. Bruges grew fat and by 1500 the population had ballooned to 200. a small lake to the city’s south. and gradually a town grew up. carving out channels and waterways. and ships laden with exotic goods from all over Europe and further afield docked at the Minnewater. When Philip the Fair. Bruges in French). a former hub of Europe.000 lonelyplanet. Suspended in time centuries ago. Flemish art blossomed and the city’s artists – known as the Flemish Primitives (see boxed text. leaving abandoned houses. Trade came via the nearby village of Damme and its waterway. This revolt sparked a widespread rebellion and led to the Flemish victory against the French six weeks later at the Battle of the Golden Spurs near Kortrijk (see boxed text. This Flemish city is Belgium’s most popular destination and. the army was sent in to garrison the town.A8 HAINAUT Ronse Oudenaarde Mater N60 Tournai E403 Roubaix Mouscron E17 Menen Lille N19 Park Bellewaerde Dranouter FRANCE N38 Poperinge Watou Abdij St Sixtus Westvleteren N8 Beauvoorde Ypres Langemark WEST-VLAANDEREN Esen Veurne Plopsaland Nieuwpoort Oostduinkerke St Idesbald Koksijde De Panne De Westhoek E40 Diksmuide N35 A10 Ostend SEA NORTH Kortrijk ie Le Roeselare Torhout E403 N31 N9 De Haan Lissewege Zeebrugge Blankenberge Nivelles RO RO VLAAMS BRABANT N55 Aalst OOST-VLAANDEREN Bruges eV ms Da Damme rt aa Oostkerke N49 Sluis Het Zwin Zwin-Polder Vlindertuin N48 Leop N9 St MartensLatem al oldkana Ath R4 Sc he ldt Lokeren R4 Ghent elde ersch West BRABANT WALLON BRUSSELS E40 Buggenhout E17 NETHERLANDS N49 St-Niklaas Breendonk ANTWERPEN ANTWERP R2 20 km 12 miles KnokkeHeist WESTERN FLANDERS 0 0 WESTERN FLANDERS r In medieval times the sea flooded the area around present-day Bruges. Florence and Venice built trade houses here. the waterway linking Bruges to the sea. jump on a bike and cycle off for the day. but I see that I have 600 rivals here’. p159). Italian cities such as Genoa. a powerful association of northern European trading cities. King of France. To enjoy Bruges. But not Bruges (Brugge in Flemish. especially Philip the Good (r 1419– 67). The city slowly emerged from its slumber in the early 19th century as tourists passed through en route to the Waterloo battlefield near Brussels. the guildsmen crept into town and murdered anyone who could not correctly pronounce the Flemish phrase ‘schild en vriend’ (shield and friend). Early in the morning on 18 May. timing is essential. many merchants followed. Pieter De Coninck. the source of the finest grade of wool. During the 15th century the Zwin. who arrived in 1430 to marry Isabella of Portugal. it’s not to be missed. Bruges has been renovated time and again to retain its medieval appearance. the first count of Flanders. dreamy canals and old whitewashed almshouses all evoke a world long since gone. built a castle as protection from Viking raids. Picturesque market squares. Preface any other city with these descriptions and it would be struck off the list. Baldwin the Iron Arm. and by the late 13th century Bruges was a major clothtrading centre. But the city’s increased wealth brought political tension and. overcrowded and a tad fake. after guildsmen refused to pay a new round of taxes in 1302. Alternatively. ze History kanaal Boudewijn WESTERN FLANDERS Touristy.com Scheldt BRUGES lonelyplanet. wealthy visitors brought W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S 121 IJ pop 117. much of the architecture dates only from the 19th and 20th centuries. Joanna of Navarre. when the carillon chimes seep through the cobbled streets. silted up. the Zwin. Bruges is now one of Western Europe’s most-visited medieval cities. Curious. most of the day-trippers will be well on their way. Despite attempts to build another canal. doubling that of London. though. When the headquarters of the Hanseatic League moved from Bruges to Antwerp at the end of the 15th century. Bruges. and local boys (illegally) cast fishing rods into willow-lined canals. and the French soon regained control. and the city reached its economic peak. despite being overrun much of the year. p125) – perfected paintings that are still vivid today. textiles were Bruges’ ticket to prosperity. Much trade was connected to England’s wool industry. Bruges readily reveals its age-old beauty. At these times. his wife. Dean of the Guild of Weavers. deserted streets and empty canals. Stay overnight or late on a midsummer evening. As in other Flemish cities. By the time you return. was so surprised by the inhabitants’ wealth and luxurious clothes that she purportedly claimed: ‘I thought I alone was queen. and Jan Breydel. visited Bruges in 1301. Dean of the Guild of Butchers. Independence was short-lived. led a revolt against the 2000-strong army that would go down in Flanders’ history books as the Brugse Metten (Bruges Matins). In the 14th century Bruges became a key member of the Hanseatic League of Seventeen Cities. But its reputation as one of the most perfectly preserved cities is in part fabrication.com Sc heldt 120 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • B r u g e s . In 1892 Belgian writer and poet Georges Rodenbach published Brugesla-Morte (Bruges the Dead). slept for 400 years. Whereas what you see reflects that of centuries ago. the city’s economic lifeline was gone. a novel that beguilingly described the town’s forlorn air and alerted the well-heeled to its preserved charm. Prosperity continued under the dukes of Burgundy. or in winter when you can sometimes skate on the canals and have the town almost to yourself. Visit in spring when daffodils carpet the tranquil begijnhof (a walled community once housing a Catholic order of women).

............30-4. h11am-6pm Thu & Sat-Tue.be.. Although Zeebrugge suffered extensive damage during both world wars.. Openbare Bibliotheek Biekorf (Map p126....brugge...... %050 33 34 03. The train station is about 1.......12 Bauhaus. per 15min/1hr €1............ St Jakobsstraat 30) All-round travel agent.5km). Vlamingstraat 13) Goffin Change (Map p126.. Damme (5km). h9am-6pm Mon-Sat. Kortrijk (48km)....8 C3 Playground......10 D3 str Karel Van Manders Akademisch Ziekenhuis St Jan (%050 45 21 11. %050 34 99 73. %050 34 10 93... %050 33 64 74.25 A6 WESTERN FLANDERS v ruis n K Vlamin o St Jak str stock R30 eef e Buit str lie Langerei str Z elievedr rse te Pe str Baliestr am ge ut oe n B le gda Ma 23 To Boudewijn Seapark (2km).. er Antwerp (95km) s s oms 18 21 14 er t tr sst r r str Ra de Beursplein rstr we Hau e Buit Bruges’ nerve centre is the historic Markt... its sights sprinkled within leisurely walking distance of its compact centre. ost e.30am12........ Markt 5).. although it also has a manufacturing centre outside the city that produces glass.O Ostend (24km) rugg luw MONEY TOURIST INFORMATION Ambulance/Fire (%100) Police (%101) SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES Bike Rental... with a 24-hour emergency unit.. Mariastraat 38........... buses shuttle regularly between the two...... Kuipersstraat 3. Ostend (22km)........... Dweersstraat 2) Offers cheap charter flights.22 D3 t lij n ev es Minnewater Ka Ko tr Boev eries r n Guido Ge zellelaa H oo ni ng St C lara W an lies la Guld olk erk s est wg str rg rie be an er fst r in KoEliz m ab ve et st hla al ina rd Ka str laan oede Go r De G Filips Keize en-V te Ka n ite laan t zette Baron Ru n ite bertlaan R30 ev elijn Kat Bu egstr orw Spo Koning Al erb er g str Bu nves r e Sulf n aan ne oortst an nsl gij re ijn str cela tio Sta Be upu ge Ka 12 Stationsplein 3 1 Train Station Co enin G we eu Ni Oude Gentweg tr st Albertlaa Koning eve scien Con veri 25 Damp d i r tst Gro rias Ma Oostmeers Westmeers g e e ntw See Bruges (Brugge) Centre Map (p126) est 17 tr tel nenv ke ks Bil nre ou tr 9 t R30 11 str kh Ee Paals rik Walplein Begij nze e er ikh str an le ol rla W jze thu En raa lst ge Koningin Astridpark ses R30 st isve St Kruis Ga efi ude O 't Zand str zand Zuid 5 g lwe Ro St Anna ed Pr Ho rd Kru 4 estr l Vu tr gstr b ss og Ho Burg o No est rm Ca 8 plac To Ghent (54km). The city is an ambler’s ultimate dream..(see 13) In&Uit Brugge Branch Office. Oude Burg 22a) For sending and receiving faxes... A daring red concert hall..5km).....2 miles St God MEDICAL SERVICES 0 0 INFORMATION Bauhaus Cybercafé.. Apotheek Dryepondt (Map p126.17 De Karmeliet..... Doctors on weekend duty (%050 36 40 10) Pharmacists on weekend duty (%050 40 61 62) ὈὈ ὈὈ ὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ Ὀ Ὀ ὈὈὈὈ Ὀ Ὀ Ὀ Ὀ ὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ Ὀ Ὀ Ὀ Ὀ Ὀ ὈὈ Ὀ Ὀ Ὀ Ὀ Ὀ Ὀ ὈὈ ὈὈὈ ὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ Ὀ Ὀ ὈὈ ὈὈ ὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ ὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ ὈὈὈ ὈὈὈὈ B Guido Gezellemuseum. Steenstraat 2....... A 300 m 0.. W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • B r u g e s 123 BRUGES sd Bruges is neatly encased by an oval-shaped moat that follows the city’s medieval fortifications....14 Ter Duinen Hotel... h10am-midnight) Town’s hippest internet café........ electrical goods and chemicals..... Simon Stevinplein 3)...... 9am-noon Sat) Handles cash..... the Markt and the Burg....3 B6 Engels Klooster........... In&Uit Brugge branch (Map p123......... 21 D4 C4 C2 C3 D4 nt Ge es t DRINKING De Windmolen.......... Biekorf Bldg. a canal linking Bruges to the new port of Zeebrugge.16 Gentpoort D4 C5 D3 C4 C2 A2 EATING Bistrot De Schaar.. 11am-3pm Fri) Atmospheric café with coffee. Jan den Sme Breydel Stadium (3km) Smedenpoort 5 22 d str West Gistelhof dp Sights 4 R30 Oliebaan tr Stou telaa n Ma Bourgria Van ondië laan Be vri jdi ngs laa n 7 15 els l De Ez Kare in Sasple nstr be Sab 3 tr r erst Klav st J en M wers m Vlamingda tr mberts N Go listr Elf Ju en ud Komve t iatenstr nun Bid An St de rst Gilliskerk rL an ge Raamstr kstr m bo o Lau reef Train station lockers (per 24hr €2...... ai lenka D To Boat to Damme (100m)...... the Concertgebouw. St Janshospitaal building.... it now lives largely off tourism... Wollestraat 7) Modern pharmacy housed in an antique façade. four of the nine gates built around 1300 still stand...... Fortis Bank (Map C i Vlotkom aa sk To Akademisch ter Ziekenhuis St Jan (2km). %050 33 65 31....1 B6 Ipsomat.... %070 23 31 88..18 Du Phare..... Ghent (54km).. travellers cheques and credit card cash advances. lonelyplanet.. cakes and a bank of terminals. %050 34 04 71......20 Smatch.... Markt 12) INTERNET ACCESS Gent naal str en ATM Post office (Map p126. Connections (Map p126........ h9am-12...... LAUNDRY str rdin uja -D cke M oe Bl 92..........11 B&B Den Vijfhouck.... Brussels (102km) ENTERTAINMENT Cactus Muziekcentrum..... and contemporary came to the historic centre in the form of the Toyo Ito pavilion (p124)........ Markt 5) Varicopy (Map p126.... 11am-6pm Sun) ING Bank (Map p126. a large open square flanked by medieval-style buildings and bustling with horse-drawn carriages..... was built to celebrate the event..13 Relais Ravestein... AROUND MARKT & BURG LEFT LUGGAGE Vin evest ing TRAVEL AGENCIES Ipsomat (Map p123..Ko erst r Pott Wulpenst eriere r i and nM d an Ko nfij tstr Nij nG est ite Bu k ne v gs tu ver ent po or he ids tvest str ist r Ho o zer jve Di Sch aars tr rg Bu uu l Va ers me len Mo ns St ee Kare lva Ka str tr str nd za Gr es t tv or po SLEEPING B&B Degraeve......60-3........... and sealed its fate as a town frozen in time. Bruges’ stint as European City of Culture in 2002 proved that it’s more than just a medieval showpiece..... Standing tall at its centre is a monument (Map p126) to Pieter De Coninck Snaggaar 24 Spie ak Ou To Hertog Jan str (2...... Markt 19......50/5...... %050 44 86 86. De Reyghere (Map p126.. fax 050 34 61 Good all-round bookshop with a separate travel section next door.. Ezelstraat 51) N9 Lang ...30pm & 1-5pm Tue-Sat) Near the ticket counters.60) Ezelpoort St-Jansd Airstop (Map p126. h10am-6pm Fri-Wed.5km south of the Markt.... ’t Zand 34. at the Bauhaus hostel. Het Zwin (20km) 's G B Ka laa p126... %050 33 14 11.... %050 ep Orientation LIBRARY lonelyplanet...7 C2 Museum voor Volkskunde.. Reizen Wasteels (Map p126.6 C3 Kantcentrum. Ko n POST & FAX In&Uit Brugge (Map p126. hclosed Sun) Main public library.. 4 D3 2 BOOKSHOPS EMERGENCY 1 a Zw Ruddershove 10) The city’s main hospital...23 A5 SHOPPING 't Apostelientje. Langestraat 137..19 Sint Barbe............. rk Di reef St Clarad r rst cie er r sst ut Bo 16 Handelskom t ar Va e ai ms Ka a e D uid gs tZ ee r w aa or ev No ms Da 19 an Leo Fort Lapin R30 rave I-la I pold Blo Post office (Map p126.. Langestraat 151) Wassalon (Map p126.....15 Tine's Guesthouse.(see 6) Koeleweimolen.. %050 44 45 40.. As the capital of West-Vlaanderen province.. e Zeebrugge (15km). per 15min €1. 2 D3 ale Information 47 24 00..... Brussels (102km) lrei Philip Markt d Hen tr nas 6 tr s ers Dela 10 6 13 2 Kruispoort Peperstr St Annakerk Ro d De est 20 r r Damhouderstr st ge wl anB ieu KL als To Camping e dN n w a rbr Ve ek mbo Memling (1.....5 D3 Jeruzalemkerk... At its heart are two squares... Pie t S Lissewege (11km).... Diks muidestr end De Haan (15km).... was constructed.. Europabank (Map p126... 10am8pm Thu) Modern new tourist office and events booking service located in the Concertgebouw....com he much-needed money into Bruges... %050 34 10 11.. Knokke (18km).30pm & 1.......24 C3 TRANSPORT De Lijn Bus Stop....com Sc WESTERN FLANDERS 122 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • B r u g e s ... www Bauhaus Cybercafé (Map p123...15pm Mon-Fri. open-air restaurants and cameraclicking tourists.9 C4 St Janshuismolen.. h9.. Bruges escaped unscathed....... %050 033 59 43. Geldmuntstraat 30a) Eurolines agent........ Ypres (60km)... In 1907 the Boudewijnkanaal... Coffee Link (Map p126..30....

the leaders of the Brugse Metten (see p120). or the belfry). but a few are on display in Bruges’ Groeningemuseum (above). lonelyplanet. cannot be visited using these tickets. Burg 5.com DISCOUNT CARDS Two museum combination tickets (€15 each) are available. still astonish viewers. Wijnzakstraat 2. Van Eyck’s masterpiece Madonna with Canon George Van der Paele (1436) is a radiant portrayal of the Madonna and the infant Jesus surrounded by THE FLEMISH PRIMITIVES The period of the Flemish Primitives was one of Belgium’s most glorious artistic times. h9. WESTERN FLANDERS WESTERN FLANDERS 124 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • B r u g e s . Built between 1376 and 1420. a geometric bunker that sits in a pool of stagnant water opposite the city hall. adult/child/ concession €5/free/3. It’s filled with fire and mayhem.30-11. progress. less-resilient tempera (an egg-based substance). h9. blending religious emotion with sharp realism. Map p126. The 366 steps to the top are an exhausting and usually squeezy climb but are well worth it.50.50pm Thu-Tue. Artists were commissioned to record the lifestyles of the ruling class as well as religious works. sometime between 1150 and 1200. Smaller but arguably more impressive than the Markt is the adjoining Burg. Bruges is the place to see his works. Map p126.15-3pm Sun mid-Jun–Sep. These artists and artworks greatly influenced the course of European art and. Most of the gabled guildhalls edging the Markt are not original. a 13thcentury (but frequently restored) former marketplace with a massive central courtyard.be. These days the Burg contains the city’s most appealing cluster of buildings. One of his masterpieces. He carefully composed paintings and expertly used colour to faithfully recreate God’s material world. the other gives access to three municipal museums plus a day’s bike hire and a free drink (at the café inside the Museum Voor Volkskunde). Rogier Van der Weyden (c 1400–64) Succeeded Van Eyck as court painter to Philip the Good. For more details see www.50/free) next door to see the jewel-coated reliquary that holds the phial during the procession. Their work was characterised by the use of radiant colours and intricate detail. even without the men’s overblown medieval codpieces.and Jan Breydel. plus the contemporary Toyo Ito pavilion (Map p126). was innovative in its use of true perspective and is displayed in the Groeningemuseum. De Kruisafneming (The Descent of the Cross). the chimney’s upper section is a detailed oak carving depicting Emperor Charles V alongside an entourage of relatives. Note that only municipal museums are included in this deal – privately run sights. and the much-renovated and lavishly embellished upper chapel. black marble and an alabaster frieze adorn the lower part. Free English-language booklets and audio-guides are available at the entrance. SOUTH OF MARKT Groeningemuseum sombre 12th-century lower chapel. When Maximilian later became emperor. the Diamantmuseum and the De Halve Maan brewery. Bruges’ mayor. particularly in the afternoon when the view reveals the town’s rustic roofs and warm tones. 10-11. On Ascension Day it is paraded through the city in Bruges’ biggest annual event. when religious zealots tore it down. The St Donatian Cathedral also stood here until 1799. a fantastically nightmarish work by Hieronymus Bosch. It’s one of the world’s greatest art treasures and a must-see. the clock and. its exquisite turreted Gothic stone façade is decorated with replica statues of the counts and countesses of Flanders (the originals were torn down in 1792 by French soldiers). he took revenge by directing trade to Antwerp. If sequence is your thing. and murals depicting the town’s history add to the room’s magnificence. Hans Memling (c 1440–94) Frankfurt-born Memling was one of the most acclaimed artists of his day.be. His most celebrated artwork is The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (1426–32). who is generally considered to be the first great master of this period (see boxed text.50am & 2-3. transience and evolution. Choco-Story (Map p126. His famous Moreel Triptych (1484). h9. Rising 83m above the Markt is Belgium’s most famous Belfort (Belfry. Either is worth buying.30pm & 1. For more than five centuries the former palace on this majestic site was the seat of the counts of Flanders.30-5pm). www. The church has two distinct and highly contrasting sections: the lonelyplanet. and arguably most beautiful. concentrates on works from the 15th and 16th centuries. many of which were commissioned by the city of Bruges. The Heilig-Bloedbasiliek (Basilica of the Holy Blood. built along pure Romanesque lines and almost devoid of decoration. and followed the style of his predecessor. The grand building from which the Belfort soars is the Hallen (Halls). below).30am-5pm Tue-Sun). A handful of other works can be seen at Bruges’ Museum St Janshospitaal (p128).50am & 2-5. Burg 11a. particularly if you intend visiting the most expensive attractions (such as the Groeninge. Sat & Sun Oct–mid-Jun).com €2. a few rooms are open to the public but the chief attraction is the 1st-floor Gotische Zaal (Gothic Hall. This hall was the alderman’s room of the palace of the Liberty of Bruges. it’s now on Unesco’s World Heritage List (one of 32 Belgian belfries to be listed). admission includes entry to nearby stadhuis. adult/child €6/4. One gives entry to five municipal museums and monuments. Dijver 12. like Choco-Story. centuries later. All in all it’s pretty impressive. Following a radical and quite controversial re- W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • B r u g e s 125 vamp a few years ago. before sampling pralines made as you watch. St Janshospitaal and Gruuthuse museums. Map p126.choco -story. h9. This relic is still venerated in onehour services at 10am and 3pm every Friday. Room 1. 2. painted for Ghent’s cathedral (p161). Here too is The Last Judgement. adult/child/concession €2. named after Willem Moreel. The gruesome Judgement of Cambyses (1498) by Gerard David depicts the Persian king being led from his throne and flayed alive. This isn’t strictly true – what Van Eyck did was use oil as a medium for mixing colours instead of using the traditional. though many were destroyed during 1695’s French bombardment. Discount tickets can be bought at the tourist office or at the sights. and lording over everything is the fabulous belfry (see below).15-3pm Wed.brugge. On the way up there’s a barred treasury. last tickets sold 4. Completed in 1531. The hall’s polychromatic ceiling almost drips with medieval carvings.50. stadhuis (city hall. Wander past exhibits detailing everything from cocoa-growing to the virtues of hot chocolate. The Markt’s eastern side is dominated by the Provinciaal Hof (Map p126). Room 2 presents the Flemish Primitives.50/free/1.30am-12. Devoted to all things dark and delicious. He lived in Bruges but worked both there and in Ghent. a triumphal bell. Burg 12). admission includes entry to nearby Brugse Vrije. Gerard David (c 1460–1523) Arrived in Bruges from the Netherlands in the 1480s and succeeded Memling as Bruges’ premier painter. Built in the 13th century when Bruges was a bustling centre of trade. a neogothic building home to the post office and a handy ATM. now hangs in Madrid’s Museo del Prado. Most notable are works by Jan Van Eyck. h10am-5pm) is definitely Belgium’s best chocolate museum.30am-5pm. in this building the Hapsburg heir Maximilian of Austria was imprisoned by the leaders of the city in 1488 after attempting to restrict their privileges. 10-11. the Flemish Primitives no longer hold pride of place and the artworks are now not presented in strict chronological order. Notable at Markt 16 is Craenenburg café (Map p126). the great port city to the northeast. Bruges boasts Belgium’s oldest. Map p126. 2. h9.30am-5pm).15pm). Its 47 bells are still played manually by Aimé Lombaert (h9-10pm Mon. men and nuns being boiled alive and strange creatures devouring everything in sight. Just one exhibit – an immense 16th-century chimneypiece – draws visitors to the Renaissancezaal (Renaissance Hall) of the Brugse Vrije (Liberty of Bruges. Van der Weyden became the town painter for Brussels and executed works for the Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall) there. the HeiligBloedprocessie (see p132). Wed & Sat. Map p126. the 18th-century beiaard (carillon). accessed by wide stairs near the lower chapel’s entrance. adult/child/concession €8/free/5. Duck into the pintsized Museum of the Holy Blood (adult/child €1. adult/child/concession Bruges’ prized collection of art dating from the 14th to the 20th century is housed in the small Groeningemuseum (Map p126. As events would have it. start in Room 2. a medieval administrative body. Jan Van Eyck (c 1390–1441) Widely credited as the artist who invented oil painting. Pick up an audio-guide before setting off. entitled Municipal Patronage. Inside.50am Wed Oct-Mar) takes its name from the relic of Christ’s blood brought here after the Crusades. he became the last great artist of this era because Bruges’ fortunes waned and Antwerp. became the focus of Belgium’s next artistic period. further up. to others it’s simply a form that gets the cold shoulder. To some it creates an image of lightness.50pm Apr-Sep. %050 61 22 37.50/free/1. In the upper chapel is the silver tabernacle containing the phial that holds a few drops of the holy blood. then backtrack to Room 1 and from there proceed through the rest of the museum. which brought texture and subjects to life.

........86 B2 Cinema Lumière..................................................com ....................................34 C3 Museum of the Holy Blood.........95 C3 Secondo................................................ 98 A4 TRANSPORT Taxi Rank..............................................................46 Hotel Adornes....................(see 40) Groeningemuseum................ 66 Lokkedize.. with several works by Jan Provoost and Pieter Pourbus....... Dijver 16.65 Kaffee Pergola..................................31 C6 Gotische Zaal.......................................8 B3 In&Uit Brugge................... 85 C3 Cinema Liberty......................... 87 A5 SHOPPING B..59 Den Dyver......62 GB Express......92 A3 Mille-Fleurs.......83 Top.........tr s e G 29 plein use th ee sts tr He St S 67 49 5 estr Lend Hoogste van Brugge r er sst 39 tr rias Ma teeg 63 't Zand Korte w eu Zilvers 72 tr ers Ni ersstr Dwe dstr zan Zuid Wouters. 13 B4 Wassalon.. 2 C3 ATM Europabank...................................54 D3 D2 D3 C3 D1 C4 A5 D3 D3 D4 D3 A1 EATING Bhavani........................ 99 C3 WESTERN FLANDERS sstr Carmer 47 drei Han Gouden tr Ja Ooster...............6 B3 De Reyghere................................................ 71 Produce Market.................................................................. 74 Tom's Diner............... Other Sights Occupying a stately 18th-century patrician house formerly owned by the Arents family...................................47 Hotel De Orangerie.............. 67 Lotus...............1 miles lonelyplanet.................89 C3 Delvaux............... 63 Het Dagelijks Brood.............15 B5 Arentshuis......................Krom G erss i Blek lingenplein nre 81 str Hans jne i e t f s d 14 o r Memling gu Sle nth ost Au Statue Str Ge el 54 nk Woensdagwi e t r markt tr Ko erss ei gelr Jan Van pie ei Oud Eyckplein S lar p i K ino e Tolhuis e p d o S k R str ks n Jan a a a H Z Eyck Statue r iest Poortersloge dem wer Biskajersplein Aca kers St str B Ostenstr k MaartensWijnzakstr Za e plein 26 r ud nsst Ja O r st rt St JakobsKandelaarstr St A Willae plein is Kraanplein St Janplein hu ter 44 oststr Bo 86 O n J Va 79 tr as ss espar tr 6 alburg 10 St W 46 68 sD str aa Ja l ijn 53 ko Nik Tw 74 64 bs 3 Ma 96 89 r str lle 95 gst ckstr 51 sto oo 85 ber Eiermarkt Geernaartstr H Philip r gp st r rge le Burgst in tsbe 45 Muntplein Her 94 61 42 rei Madonna & r 66 65 ne Markt Child Statue 37 tst oe 9 11 un Gr 12 tr m d ns l 27 k Burg Pr ere 99 90 Breidelstr Ge dij ins kh Amandsstr i s St 62 r d 78 20 en e e r w P ho 73 57 7 ou f 50 2 He 71 St nh 8 Am lm str 40 ee 18 88 34 str an StVismarkt berg 59 43 92 97 ds m str 21 76 aa 80 70 Br r t St s 93 Ni Huidenlse kla tr aa vettersplein 22 as ans W i str Ha aa k Gi d 23 sts oe rk tr nh str Pa ze Loppem 69 48 52 Koningin Ro 4 83 Astridpark 13 r Simon de fst Stevinplein 55 Ou ol r 1 e 60 Gevangenisstr Ge 91 98 rt 58 oo 82 tr utp ns 84 o e e kh St 24 Ee str nin 1 C 75 os L Achjel H Van Ackerplein 200 m 0........................... René Magritte.......... while a richly clothed St Donatian looks on......(see 11) St Bonifaciusbrug................. Surrealism also gets a look in..............................................................9 B3 Openbare Bibliotheek Biekorf........... with Pierre Alechinsky’s The Three Days (1959) a highlight........................... 48 Hotel Lybeer.............. 44 B&B Huyze Hertsberge..... as well as several dark pieces by Constant Permeke........................... Margaret....................... 32 C5 Gruuthuse................................................................. and includes works by Henry Van de Velde................................................................................. 33 C5 Heilig-Bloedbasiliek............ as well as sculpture..........................................18 C3 Brouwerij De Halve Maan......... Also in this room is Van Eyck’s very honest portrait of his wife......................... 30 C6 Godshuis St Jozef & De Meulenaere............... The latter is noted for his stern portraits. 45 B&B Setola................................................................ 20 C3 Canal Cruises................ 49 Huyze De Blokfluit................58 De Stove............39 B5 Stadhuis....... one of the expressionists who set up at St Martens-Latem near Ghent early in the 20th century...................................................36 B5 Pieter De Coninck & Jan Breydel Monument.... 93 C4 Olivier Strelli........ Dominating the whole scene is the Last Supper (1929) by Gustave Van de Woestyne................... the Arentshuis (Map p126............... 68 Louis Delhaize............. 76 C4 C3 A5 B3 D3 C1 D4 DRINKING Bolero.....88 C3 Chocolatier Van Oost .............................64 Huyze Die Maene......81 Joey's Café... 24 C4 Canal Cruises................(see 88) De Biertempel........... 22 C4 Canal Cruises................ Room 9 is given over to Belgian modern art from early last century......... 96 C3 Tintin Shop...................(see 97) L'Héroïne................ 1932).........(see 79) Concertgebouw....... 50 Number 11..............35 B5 Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk.............................................. 23 C4 Canal Cruises........ Rooms 10 and 11 focus on more-recent modern art...........................94 B3 Rombaux. 91 C4 Galler................................................................................ 40 C3 't Begijnhuisje.37 C3 Provinciaal Hof........... The ground floor is reserved for temporary exhibitions while upstairs is given over to the powerful paintings and n rde ijn tr lks Pee Ke w er Ge Pa l r sst er dd Wa St gstr Vlamin tr ws eu erstr Ri Lep Le tr s ard ga om l Bo da erss Kraan rei Kuip en ers tr ijk rsd rve rei na ite vi ns An Po St Ve Kon uw sestr a Gr Engel str ng str mi am Vla Ra z Ro WESTERN FLANDERS r Az ijn str t els Ez ὈὈ ὈὈὈ ὈὈὈὈ ὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ ὈὈὈ ὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ ὈὈὈ ὈὈὈὈ ὈὈ 2 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • B r u g e s 127 INFORMATION Airstop................................. 26 C2 Craenenburg Café....................84 D5 C3 B2 A4 D1 A4 B4 B4 ENTERTAINMENT Celtic Ireland........... Here too is Hans Memling’s Moreel Triptych......... 53 Snuffel.......................................................................... 1 A4 Apotheek Dryepondt...............(see 87) ING Bank....................................................12 B3 Varicopy...........30am-5pm Tue-Sun) divides into two..78 De Republiek....................................................................................................(see 34) Museum St Janshospitaal.......................................61 Frietkotjes................ Room 3 moves on to the Renaissance in Bruges....................10 B3 Post Office.......126 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • B r u g e s C e n t re lonelyplanet................. next to him....90 C3 Dijver Antique Market..75 Vismarket........................5 B5 Connections................... 52 Ridderspoor.....79 Est Wijnbar............................................... 80 Herberg Vlissinghe.................... 38 C5 St Salvatorskathedraal.. 77 De Garre...... The textures and detail are almost photographic – to viewers in the 15th century the portrait must have appeared incredible...........com BRUGES CENTRE B ae sch telh t Gis Wes A 0 0 tr rts D Jan Mira St Jorisstr Gouden-Handstr elstr o nB of of th en three figures: the kneeling canon and.......50... 3 C3 ATM Fortis Bank..........................................14 A1 SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES Apotheek.27 B3 Diamantmuseum... h9.......... Rooms 4 to 8 explore baroque................................... 60 Food & Flower Market....11 C3 Reizen Wasteels.........................................55 Christophe.......................................... 21 C4 Canal Cruises. 51 Pand Hotel.............................. 16 C5 Begijnhof..4 B4 ATM.17 B6 Belfort.......................... 56 De Belegde Boterham........25 B5 Choco-Story................................. 82 't Brugs Beertje................................................. There’s also Paul Delvaux’s strange Sérénité........73 Ryad................................. represented by L’Attentat (The Assault...............(see 11) Coffee Link.................................... adult/child/ concession €2.......................97 B3 Zilverpand .... 28 C6 Fietsen Popelier........................19 B6 Brugse Vrije.41 B6 Toyo Ito Pavilion....... Jean Brusselmans and Rik Spanjaardstr str str ak PouPiete rbu r sstr Ho orn str tr nm tte Po ing tr Naal denstr Cordoeaniersstr st r m str kers ma pen str Mo str M t O or po t un 3 Me nt en er tr nte lstr Fo Eze lles tr Fr de Ha ins No or tr Ka les tr ol dza W r rstr pst nds estr e Blin Garr Kle in e ilve Ko r rsst te Z tr ss uw e er Kor ng nho va Bee str str er St ee ns tr rg eit dr Bu kh je Ee tr str Zi lv tr es an n- ne P 't rin vé Su ize J rtu els age m Ke lfh Wu 4 r lijz tst Sta ou r jve Di str k hof Zuid uu Gr St Janshospitaal 35 5 Ker V O r st oom tweg jeb tan Kas tr Sto 31 tr Walplein Wals eers kem Zon ne Oude Gentweg 28 str Kate lijn e rd a ga Westmeers ijn str W plein 19 30 ds or tr 41 No 17 Wijn gaard 6 we eu Ni tr ofs r 77 56 rias 25 Koolbrandersst L Ma St Jan in de Meers Bakkersstr 15 Gen markt putstr Goeze Hof Arents 38 ge enin Gro 36 32 16 33 Garen a to rsk erk h Oostmeers Geeststr ilig of alv 87 Vuld Guido Gezelle........7 B3 Goffin Change..................... neoclassicism and symbolism.. 43 B&B Gheeraert................... with the movement’s pivotal figure......................(see 93) Bottle Shop.......... in which the serious central scene of brown-garbed saints is offset by fine detail such as the cheeky grin on a nearby child or the priest petting a deer..... 72 Proxy/Delhaize....69 B4 D5 B3 B4 B3 C4 B3 C3 A5 C3 B3 D3 A5 C3 B4 Mezzogiorno.................. 70 Opus Latino.......................50/free/1.................................... St George (his patron saint).............29 B5 Godshuis De Vos.. 42 C3 SLEEPING B&B Dieltiens....57 De Koetse..............................

Inside. and works by lesserknown painters of that time. complete with imitation corpse. it takes a sizable imagination to pick the resemblance. He was born in 1830 in this house. www. Katelijnestraat 43. and the exhibition is well worth visiting if you’re into sombre paintings of dockyards and the like. it remains a tranquil haven and a ‘must see’. and Straffe Hendrik Blonde. Of these. Shaped like a miniature wooden Gothic church.30am-5. a tranquil respite from the busy Dijver. and to work such as making lace.halvemaan. All this quaintness makes it one of Bruges’ top attractions – in summer loads of people wander around but.50/1. Dijver 17.30am-5pm Mon-Sat. east of St Annarei canal. The order was established largely due to the gender imbalance caused by the Holy Land Crusades – large numbers of men embarked on these adventures but many never returned. ST ANNA QUARTER Most of the following sights are located in the St Anna quarter. windmills and small museums. h9. Crowded guided tours (45 minutes. The dark. despite the numbers. and can include as many as 50 people. Mariastraat. Bruges (opposite) and Kortrijk (p157). Even with a magnifying glass. The museum contains books and documents recalling his life and WESTERN FLANDERS WESTERN FLANDERS 128 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • B r u g e s . In 1998 Unesco added 14 of the country’s 22 begijnhoven to its World Heritage List. built by the Adornes family in the 15th century as a replica of Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre.000 virgins lonelyplanet. onion-domed Jeruzalemkerk is more intriguing. founded by Henri Maes in 1856. The tree-lined square at the rear of the Arentshuis is Hof Arents. Rolweg 64. h9. it’s well worth spending some time here for the superb local tapestries. The museum takes its name from the flower and herb mixture – the gruut – traditionally used for brewing beer. the church’s unusual 99m-high tower – incorporating turrets and spires with neo-Romanesque flair – is once again distinctly visible. Sit and contemplate four sculptures by Rik Poot entitled De Ruiters van de Apocalyps (Riders of the Apocalypse) before exiting the square to discover a tranquil canal lined with timber houses – one of the most picturesque nooks in Bruges. the Treasury (adult/child €2. 9am-noon & 2-5.be.30am-5pm Tue-Sun) is housed in a restored chapel of a 12th-century hospital. One room has been converted into a café – De Zwarte Kat – serving drinks and snacks. The centre’s lace museum displays a very modest collection of traditional lace. 9am-noon & 2-3. in Flemish. Map p123. whose heart was buried here after he was murdered in Scotland in 1483. Perhaps more enchanting is the reliquary of St Ursula. After years covered in scaffolding. Feel free to wander in after visiting the museum. It’s home to six masterpieces by Hans Memling (see boxed text. The 13th-century St Salvatorskathedraal (St Saviour’s Cathedral. adult/concession €2/1. The Kantcentrum (Lace Centre.50. The modest but dignified whitewashed houses are these days home to some 50 single women of all ages. adult/child/ concession €8/free/5. The prestigious Museum St Janshospitaal (St John’s Hospital Museum. %050 34 20 56. to finish with a beer. to 5pm Sat) is best known for its bobbin lace-making demonstrations – informal gatherings of 20 or so women who congregate (afternoons only) in a small room at the rear of the complex. the Minnewater (south of Walplein) harks back to Bruges’ medieval heyday. h9.50/free/1.30-5pm Sun) is a dark. Map p126. The latter even offers overnight accommodation – see p159. Still. This area is somewhat off the beaten track. It’s home to the world’s two smallest diamond sculptures – tiny profiles of the former King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola. Map p126. Exhibits include an old Flemish kitchen.30pm Sat. With little prospect of marriage. h11am-4pm Apr-Sep. The serene begijnhof (Map p126. a Catholic order of unmarried or widowed women. The Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk (Church of Our Lady. Lier (p200). 9-10am & 2-5pm Sun) is Bruges’ oldest parish church.30am-12. a mediumstrong (7%) ale. Known in English as the Lake of Love. In spring a carpet of daffodils covers the grass. Applied and decorative arts are the themes of the Gruuthuse (Map p126. when he left to study at Roeselare (between Bruges and Kortrijk). admission free. some single women joined forces and set up religious communities that adhered to vows of obedience and chastity but not.50. h9. the statue has always been returned. split-level church is dominated by a gruesome altarpiece (note the skulls and ladders) and the black-marble tomb of Anselm Adornes. still exist and are still lived in. h9. wine. The best-preserved and most beautiful begijnhoven to visit are those in Diest (see St Katharinabegijnhof. Mariastraat 38. 11am-noon & 2-5pm Sun).30pm) dates from the 13th century and was traditionally the home of Beguines (see boxed text. and a credit that these women are determinedly keeping the art form alive. Memling is noted for the fine quality of the figures in his religious paintings. %050 33 26 97. or Verloren Hoek (Forgotten Corner) as it’s nicknamed. French and English all at once) wind their way up and down the brewing hall and through a museum. It’s also possible to visit the tombs of Charles the Bold (Karel de Stoute) and his daughter. The Museum voor Volkskunde (Folklore Museum. The adjacent.45pm Tue-Fri. p125). It’s a macabre monument. Walplein 26. Industrial themes are his strong point. It’s largely a tranquil. 1. The quarter’s biggest attractions are the lace centre and adjacent church. adult/child/ concession €6/free/4. the Madonna and Child by Michelangelo is the undisputed gem. The canal is backed by humped St Bonifaciusbrug (Map p126). Map p126.50.50. At the start of the 20th century there were about 1500 Beguines in Belgium but the order has now virtually died out. residential quarter. Map p123. Although pilfered several times by occupying forces. which belonged to a noble family – his father was the gardener and Gezelle lived here until age 16. h2-5pm Sun-Fri) displays works by Dirk Bouts and Pourbus. however. This small marble statue (1504) was bought in Italy by a Bruges merchant and was the only work of art by Michelangelo to leave Italy in his lifetime. Mary of Burgundy. The large convent at the rear of the tree-lined square is inhabited by Benedictine nuns. h10am-noon & 2-5pm Mon-Sat. across the humped bridge. Family brewery Brouwerij De Halve Maan (Map p126. opposite). h2-5. h10am-noon & 2-6pm Mon-Fri. 11am-3pm Oct-Mar). inside the main entrance is ’t Begijnhuisje (Map p126. Their communities were independent and the women earned their living from making textiles and from benefactors who would pay the Beguines to pray for them. a hatter’s shop and a 1930s-style snoepwinkel (sweet shop). Next to the museum is a restored 17thcentury apotheek (pharmacy. admission €6. It’s fascinating to watch. Map p126). The begijnhof is a 10minute walk south of the Markt – head down Steenstraat. a typical house that is now a tiny museum.30-5pm Tue-Sun). The women were often from wealthy families and devoted their time to caring for the elderly and sick. and cost an extra €3.etchings of Frank Brangwyn (1867–1956).50. They were built in the Low Countries in the 12th century by Begijnen (Beguines). poverty. and you’ll soon see the main entrance.30am5pm Tue-Sun) occupies a row of restored godshui- zen (see boxed text. sober building that dates from the 13th century and is most noted for its art treasures. such as the central panel of the Mystic Marriage of St Catherine triptych (1479) that’s presented here. occupying almshouses in St Anna’s heart.15pm. adult/child €2. crossing Simon Stevin-plein and walking down Mariastraat before turning into Wijngaardstraat. adult/student/senior €2/1/1. p130). the reliquary’s six painted panels depict the medieval tale of the beautiful St Ursula and the 11. h9am-6.30am-5pm Tue-Sun).50/1. dotted with churches. they’re a town within a town. These beers took their names from the family’s tradition of baptising the first-born son from each generation ‘Henri’. This waterway was a dock from where ships as far afield as Russia came laden with cargoes of wool.30pm & 1. In a nutshell. To top it all off there’s a replica of Christ’s tomb. Peperstraat 3a. Map p126. p209). spices and silks and left loaded with Flemish cloth. each no more than 3mm in diameter. which originally belonged to the hospital.45pm Mon. unlike nuns. produces Straffe Hendrik (Strong Henry). these days by ordinary townsfolk.com. furniture and sculptures. Cross the bridge to find a tiny window at the back of the Gruuthuse museum – according to local belief. Gezelle became a cult figure among Flemish freethinkers in the early 20th century. Balstraat 43. The slick Diamantmuseum (Diamond Museum. Just lonelyplanet. a Bruges-born artist of British parentage. Flanders’ best-known poet is celebrated at the Guido Gezellemuseum (Map p123. Steenstraat. The attention to detail is stunning. it’s Europe’s smallest Gothic window.com W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • B r u g e s 129 BEGIJNEN & BEGIJNHOVEN Begijnhoven (béguinage in French) are clusters of small houses surrounded by a protective wall and built around a central garden and church. Tours depart on the hour. admission €4.30pm) reveals Bruges’ medieval role as the first diamond-polishing centre. a golden ale. Most of the exhibits are labelled in Flemish only. Flanders’ many begijnhoven.kantcentrum.com who were massacred by the Huns in Germany while returning from a pilgrimage to Rome. adult/concession €3/2. www. Diamond-polishing demonstrations are held at 12. adult/child/concession €2. h10. and spreads out northeast of the Markt.

10 f ho nt Ge 11 g En mersstraat 85. The city’s wealthiest merchants once met in this slender-towered building. Continue north to reach the Noorweegse Kaai. and Fietsen Popelier (Map p126.com zen lonelyplanet. to arrive at the confluence of two canals. Instead. Some regional cycling maps. One of the town’s cutest and most central godshuizen is Godshuis De Vos (Map p126. 9 An 15th-century Poortersloge (Burghers’ Lodge). Just enter the courtyard. Car- the Damme to Oostkerke route (23km) is picturesque. tolls were levied on goods being brought into the city. are sold. Ὀ ὈὈὈ ὈὈ Woensdagmarkt rv str Activities Walking Tour St Ve ng nity of canonesses (women who belong to a religious order but have not taken a vow) who fled England and. Stop for a drink at Bruges’ oldest café (pub). str ers rm Ca ni motion. the town centre is not the best place to safely cycle. h9. After craning your neck here. over/under 12yr €21/18. until the 18th century.30-5pm Tue-Sun Jul & Aug). past the smell of warm chocolate emanating from Choco-Story (13. Herberg Vlissinghe (10. p135). a shopping favourite. p125). never more than six months old.30pm & 1. One sister is on duty each day to give tours of the sumptuous baroque church. The Flemish Primitive artist is buried in St Gilliskerk. Kids generally enjoy taking a canal trip (p132) or horse-drawn carriage ride (p132). A Debaeckestraat 12. 10am-5pm Wed. Bike-rental outfits are abundant. clocking up 44km and taking in Damme and Knokke at the coast. There are still 46 godshuizen in Bruges – the oldest date from the 14th century. Two godshuizen have even been turned into museums – the Museum voor Volkskunde (p129) and the museum at the Kantcentrum (p129). h2-3. Opposite the Poortersloge is the Oud Tolhuis. cross the bridge. head to nearby Jan Van Eyckplein (12). h10am-5pm Thu-Tue Apr-Jun. St Michiels. take the first right into Verversdijk and follow it to the first pedestrian bridge. The Engels Klooster (English Convent. and there are too many cobbles. This quay offers the city’s best belfry shot – make a mental note to return later when it’s stunningly illuminated against a dark evening sky. This square marks the end of a canal that was once crammed with boats en route to the Markt. Nieuwe Gentweg 8-32). Sat & Sun Apr-Sep). Alternatively. The Markt (1.ijk Bo Sp om ga ar Ri dd er tr Langestr r 8 str tr ijn gs Tw oe er de ns str tr W aa 4 Vismarkt Huiden3 vettersplein Pe lse Ste en h tr els Breid 7 ou Burg Blinde Market Ezelstr 14 6 Gr 5 ijk str Ph we rsd ck sto ilip ne H rei oo alb W St ds sst as tr urg Markt 1 i oll ho Koningin Astridpark 2 Oude Burg tr edk es tr ens Ste aai W WALK FACTS Start Markt Finish Markt Distance 2. Continue on Groenerei (6). p124). sidestep the many horse-drawn carriages and jostle down Wollestraat. Noordstraat 2-8).30-5pm Tue-Sun May-Aug. The sails are occasionally set in 0 0 str One of the delights of wandering around Bruges is the chance of coming across a complex of godshuizen (almshouses).30am-12. No deposit required for bikes. Boudewijn Seapark (%050 40 84 08. which marks the junction of two canals and offers a great view to the southwest of the Bruges for Children Bruges is a great place to hang out with little kids. Here there’s a superb view (8) – at its best in the afternoon – of the city’s turreted skyline. join a QuasiMundo tour (p132) – staff provide baby seats or ‘third-wheels’ (p304). there’s a popular playground (Map p123) at the southern end of Koningin Astridpark. per half-/full day €6. with moulded seats. Children’s bikes (same prices as adults’) are available. The Bruges tourist office has produced an English-language brochure for visiting cyclists entitled 5x on the Bike Around Bruges (€1. although this one is unusual for its modern features. including the Riante Polder Route.1 miles Ko adult/concession €2/1. Four still stand on the eastern rampart and two can be visited: the 18th-century St Janshuismolen (Map p123. Follow Steenhouwersdijk to the next bridge. In the 13th century. a WESTERN FLANDERS Jan Van 12 Eyckplein 13 Poort. From here. Taste-testing at Choco-Story (p125) or feeding the resident swans at the Begijnhof (p128) are also popular. for many years. Another is Godshuis St Jozef & De Meulenaere (Map p126. and each houses a tiny museum. Cross the canal to see St Annakerk (9). or join a group (see p132). erected in 1874. children under 1m free.15-5. which can be entered through large black doors. Mariastraat 26. Kruisvest. to 8pm Jul & Aug) is recommended.boudewijn seapark. or climbing the 366 steps up the belfry (p124). ring the bell and wait inside. The cycles here are in excellent condition. At the corner of Groenerei and Peerdenstraat is a street-corner statue (7) of the Madonna and Child. turn left and follow St Annarei to the next bridge. are sold at reception.50/7/10. which runs from Bruges to Damme (6km) and is flanked by a great cycling path. It dates from 1713 but was restored in 1995.50/9. To let off steam. the Riante Polder Route is a full-day excursion. Alternatively.15pm Mon-Sat) was founded in 1629 by a commu- tr rss ke Ble normal bike per hr/half-/full day €3.30am-12. and the nearby Koeleweimolen (Map p123. p137). the start of the Damse Vaart canal. It gives a map and good explanations of five possible routes ranging from 18km to 29km. and children under eight years go for free. and baby/toddler seats and baskets are provided for free. Map p123. W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • B r u g e s 131 Raam r gst min Vla WESTERN FLANDERS GODSHUIZEN OF BRUGES lonelyplanet. p137). and bikes can easily be hired (opposite). such elevated statues are common in Flanders. The complexes are usually surrounded by a protective wall that encloses a central garden and chapel. a big playground. navigate through the tourists swarming along Breidelstraat and you’re back at the Markt. such as The Evening and the Rose. 6km one way). this 15th-century church lends its name to the St Anna quarter that fans out east of here. deposit €12. It’s also possible to rent bikes from the train station (Map p123. offered shelter to other Catholic exiles. Sat & Sun Sep) is a theme park with rides. where romantics might want to make a dinner booking at Kaffee Pergola (5. h7am-8pm). Join Langestraat. Kruisvest. Note that strong North Sea winds can make cycling impossible along the polders and the coast on windy days.50. a charming square (lined with popular restaurants) that leads to the Vismarkt (4. Stay around town – there’s no better way to see a sizable swath of the city in a relatively short time – or head out along the Damse Vaart canal to Damme (30 minutes. 200 m 0. %050 34 32 62. www. h10am-6pm. These groups of terraced houses were built by merchant guilds for their members and by wealthy philanthropists for the poor and elderly.8km Duration About two hours Groenerei peters out into a pedestrian walkway and curves sharply to a bridge. The next part of the tour takes you off the beaten track to Bruges’ less touristy quarters. to eventually join the Burg (14. tandem €8/15/22. Either rent one and head off by yourself.be.50). a short but delightful promenade along a particularly pretty part of the city’s canal system. as is the boat ride to Damme (p140). 10am-6pm Thu-Tue Jul & Aug.Biskajersplein ersloge sstr Jan St re sd lar in o ieg Sp Oud Tolhuis na er ei i e elr r est els Saddle up – Bruges is ideal for cyclists. Cycling is fabulous for kids of various ages. Once across the canal. admission free. though you’ll have to watch out for the open canals. make for the Minnewater. before crossing the canal to Rozenhoedkaai (2). Follow the canal to Huidenvettersplein (3). Cross the bridge and turn left. or wander along Genthof to Woensdagmarkt to see a statue of Hans Memling (11). Head northeast on this path and you’ll pass the windmills at Kruisvest. six gears and good suspension.com Ro 130 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • B r u g e s .30pm & 4. Bruges’ morning fish market. p122) is the natural starting point. Helmets can also be hired. h9.30pm & 1. works. Bruges’ great walls were dotted with molens (windmills) where cereals were ground into flour. If your kids are young.50. For a statue of the most famous artist of this genre. zigzagging your way past Predikherenrei’s many terrace tables. Head due south now through quiet residential backstreets. where. from where you can access the raised cycle path that circles the town. a few blocks further north.

Bookings are necessary.hotellybeer. St Walburgastraat 12. www . Bruges’ streets take on a semitranquil air at this time of day. 10am-5pm Mar. The cost is €30 (for five people). h10am-8pm Jul-Sep. Reservations are necessary. camping ground. www . look out over the garden.be) Ten-day festival in mid-March that highlights Asian. If you choose the latter. Breakfast is taken in the family’s dining room. unpretentious place that’s been around for years and is the most ‘alternative’ hostel in Bruges. Cactus Festival (www. hotel s/d €28/44.com) Week-long music festival in early February.5km east of town. and the gold-topped buildings shimmer in the late sun rays. ni) The three lofty rooms at this B&B are lovely.snuffel.skynet. %050 34 57 11. located above the new reception W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • B r u g e s 133 and internet café. Expect queues in summer. is as helpful and hospitable as they come. i) Half a step up from your average hostel. and most tourists are taking a shower. The tourist office will book accommodation for free. Marjan. Take bus 6 or 16 from the train station. self-contained guesthouses and holiday flats are booming in Bruges. you may even catch paardevissers (horseback fishermen) at Oostduinkerke (p147).com. and tours last 30 minutes.50. Inquire about discounted rates in winter. Tours don’t run between mid-December and mid-February. www . hmid-Mar–mid-Oct) is highly recommended. Snuffel (Map p126. The tourist office’s brochure Logies details many. just dirty enough to be happy’. The Gezinsbond (%0479 76 22 10. remember there’s a 1km walk from the train station to Ostend beach (p141). The relic is paraded through town in an elaborate. who has filled the two spacious rooms with wayout décor.users. camp sites per adult/child/ tent/car €5/3/4/5.bedandbreakfastbruges. It’s run-down in parts – peeling paintwork.80. elsewhere there are communal bathrooms. flats per person €25. or 15 minutes by train to Ostend. www. locals are stirring dinner at home. €10 extra for 1-night stay. hyear-round) The quietest local 50-minute minibus City Tour. or simply jump on the Kusttram (Coast Tram. the rooms are spacious. Children and babies (cot and highchair available) are genuinely welcome. Cinema Novo Film Festival (www. The Flanders Fields tour takes in Ypres and its famous WWI battlefields. It started life as a bustling hostel and over the years has added a hotel section and.be. and a Flander’s Field tour on Tuesday. BUDGET Camping Memling (%050 35 58 45. and there’s a kitchen. www. 1 May 2008 and 21 May 2009) and celebrates the drops of Christ’s blood that are kept in the town’s basilica. B&B Degraeve (Map p123. The spacious apartments. Located in a typical Bruges terrace house that’s ‘just clean enough to be healthy.cinemanovo. don’t go past this vibrant B&B. African and Latin American films. Festivals & Events Langestraat 135. s/d without bathroom €25/45. From the train station take bus 3 or 13 and get off at the first stop after the Markt. %050 33 56 27. MINIBUS TOURS Quasimodo (%0800 975 25. It’s about 2km south of Bruges. at the rear.be. %050 33 42 94. s/d/tr/f €50/60/80/100. medieval-style procession. Thursday and Sunday. aim to jump on board between 6pm and 7pm – by this time day-trippers have lonelyplanet. n) If you want to stay right under the belfry. hostel dm/d/tr per person €15/17/19. www. Nov & Dec. Yep. www.70/2. untouristed part of town and owned by a good-humoured woman. and several companies offer three. about 2.com/bedbreakfast.com. growing.be. Expect religious trinkets.star dekk. located in St Kruis.com) The Holy Blood Procession is Bruges’ most famous annual event. Heilig-Bloedprocessie (www. and there’s also a small salon for guests to use.quasimodo. s/d/tr/q with bathroom €38/55/72/90. s/d/tr €55/60/80. bar and occasional live music. www.gezinsbond . All the carriages depart from the Markt. ni) Funky. or thereabouts.citytour. including Rozenhoedkaai and Dijver.campingmem ling. it occupies a mansion dating from 1740 and has three spacious 2nd-floor guestrooms with cool. Located on a quiet backstreet a few minutes’ walk from the Markt. The guy who runs this company has been involved in cycle tourism for more than a decade. Korte Vuldersstraat 31.be. see boxed text. 10am-4pm Jan & Feb) runs a don-your-multilingual-headphone.com left the city. or tours of Bruges by night.50/6. but what isn’t in Bruges? Viewing the city from the water gives it a totally different feel than by foot.cactusmusic. which starts soon after Easter and lasts until October (sometimes longer). %050 33 49 77. www. It’s held at 3pm on Ascension Day (17 May 2007. Other regional theme parks are Plopsaland (p148) and Earth Explorer (p142). i) This place just keeps adult/child €11.bauhaus. beer and chocolate at various establishments around Bruges. The price includes all admission charges and a picnic lunch. %050 34 10 93. Three tours with English commentary are offered: a 2½-hour (8km) tour of Bruges. Bauhaus has a bar and adjoining café that are lively and loud. In summer. h10am6pm Mar–mid-Nov) is a must. and the bathroom facilities are shared. self-contained flats. Waalsestraat 40. It celebrates the marriage of Charles the Bold (Karel de Stoute) to Margaret of York in 1468. Both trips (9am to 5pm) operate Tuesday to Sunday from April to October. www. p145). CANAL TOURS Taking a canal tour (adult/child €5. THE AUTHOR’S CHOICE B&B Setola (Map p126. the staff is friendly. stuffed swans and a delicious homemade sweet apple wine.be/brugge-gheeraert. It’s one of the most popular hang-outs for young travellers. Wednesday and Friday. s/d/tr €55/65/85. Tours BIKE TOURS Cycle tours are big business in Bruges. B&B Dieltiens (Map p126. dm/d per person €14/18. Breakfast is taken in your room.to four-hour tours of the town and/or the surrounding countryside. WESTERN FLANDERS WESTERN FLANDERS 132 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • B r u g e s . The rooms are basic but original. MIDRANGE B&B Gheeraert (Map p126. There’s a bar and kitchen. and can be reached on bus 7 or 17 from ’t Zand or Biekorf. Ezelstraat 47-49. Tickets for a grandstand/bench seat on the Markt cost €11/4. €10 extra for 1 night stay. s/d/tr €33/45/58) In a quiet.com Sleeping Bruges has a wealth of accommodation. %050 33 43 55. The two nicest rooms.be. All options are oppressively overbooked during the high season. Take bus 11 from the train station to the Vossensteert stop and walk 400m back in the direction of Bruges.be) has baby-sitters. With luck. hclosed last fortnight Jun. QuasiMundo (%050 33 07 75. and for stays of more than three nights. Kids love the Belgian coast and it’s within spitting distance of Bruges – 20 minutes by car to De Haan (p145). but it’s not as easy as just phoning and delivering (see p304). Veltemweg 109. Occupying the top floor (up a steep spiral staircase) of a listed historic mansion just 300m from the Burg.be. under/ over 26yr €40/50) is a small company that’s been offering two excellent day trips for years. %050 33 31 33. Praalstoet van de Gouden Boom The Pageant of the Golden Tree has been held roughly every five years since 1958 (the next is 4pm on 25 and 26 August 2007).75 and are sold at In&Uit Brugge (see p122). One room can even accommodate a family with two older kids (they’ll need to climb a steep ladder to a mezzanine bed). Boats depart roughly every 20 minutes from jetties south of the Burg. a four-hour (25km) cycle to the Dutch border and back via Damme. Bauhaus (Map p123.mini-train. Riddersstraat 9. the woman who runs this B&B. Children and babies (cot and highchair available) are welcome. leaving the Markt hourly. The rest of the year there’s a Triple Treat tour on Monday. Cruise down Spiegelrei towards Jan Van Eyckplein and it’s possible to imagine Venetian merchants entering the city centuries ago and meeting under the slender turret of the Poortersloge building up ahead.musica-anti qua. www. Kazernevest 32. and their well-trodden route takes 35 minutes (including a pit stop at the Begijnhof). and good cheap meals are available.holyblood. clean vibes. with own bike €14. Like B&Bs. 10am-6pm Apr-Jun & Oct. Sightseeing Line (%050 35 80 24. Bruges Festival Musica Antiqua (www. and have white décor and polished timber floors.bedandbreakfast-bruges. according to a sign at reception. A fabulous buffet breakfast tops it all off and Lut. The double rooms in the hotel section have private shower cubicles. The Triple Treat tour explores Damme plus nearby castles and promises a waffle. HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGE RIDES The clip-clop of hooves hitting cobblestones resounds constantly in the streets of Bruges.be in Flemish) Twoday festival of world music held on the second weekend of July at the Minnewater.com. www. St Kruis. under/ over 26yr €18/20.quasimundo. Hotel Lybeer (Map p126. are good value but have simple (almost makeshift) furnishings. though the blue rooms hardly fuel the imagination. more recently. scruffy carpet and cracked walls – but the rooms have colourful décor and a hotchpotch of furnishings. it’s touristy. Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet. Most places don’t charge more in the high season. ice-skating in winter and a controversial dolphinarium (a US dolphin psychologist recently found the animals living under constant stress).

nai) Boutique hotel. The cuisine is vegetarian and the menu consists of two choices: a kleine maaltijd (small meal. %050 44 76 50. Guests have a salon for their exclusive use. Antique furnishings sit alongside Pavel’s philosophical artworks. n) If you don’t want the carillon within cooee. Choose from the attic loft (two people) with its wonderful belfry view. this THE AUTHOR’S CHOICE Eating Kaffee Pergola (Map p126. ’t Pandreitje 16. hlunch & dinner. The cuisine is modern. Riddersstraat 9. De Damhouderstraat 29.denvijfhouck.5km north of the Markt. per extra guest per night €10. Wollestraat 25/3. %050 34 90 11.be. mains €10-14. or one of three larger apartments (four to six people). and there’s free street parking. mains €14-17. all with private facilities and TV. hlunch Thu-Tue. most romantic of outdoor addresses. %050 34 50 18. www. d €120-145) One of the city’s newest B&B addresses. Mezzogiorno (Map p126. mains €10-17. www . www .be. The four spacious rooms THE AUTHOR’S CHOICE Number 11 (Map p126.huyzehertsberge. From cosy estaminets (taverns) to first-class restaurants – Bruges has all bases covered. studio for 2 people €75. and a child’s bed costs €15. Sulferbergstraat 1. and prices refreshingly low for this part of town. hclosed Jan-15 Feb) Pleasant hotel with a rustic feel that occupies three old gabled houses in the oftenoverlooked St Anna quarter. hnoon-6pm. located across the canal. hfrom 6pm Tue-Sun) Good spot for a late-night bite. An open fire and moody music ensure return patronage. in) This cute 17th-century terrace house is divided into a small ground-floor studio and a slightly larger 1st-floor duplex apartment. Peerdenstraat 16.com. Known also for its monthly live blues/jazz session (check the website for dates). closed Wed) Contemporary Italian café that’s proves Bruges is not all old hat. mains €11-18. www. is) Refined but friendly 20- room hotel that started out as a 15th-century convent and boasts a canalside position (close to the Markt) that’s impossible to beat. www. such as meze or moussaka.30am until late. d from €248. The ground-floor suite (a small self-contained apartment) opens onto the home’s trim terrace garden. Peerdenstraat 11.be. per extra guest per night €10. If you’re travelling with kids. and a must for antique aficionados. B&B Den Vijfhouck (Map p123. Run by charming Caroline Van Langeraert. dinner Thu-Mon) Hidden away opposite St Anna church. this mochatoned townhouse on a quiet back lane in the city heart has been in Caroline’s family for four generations. This place is owned and operated by the discreet top-end Hotel Die Swaene. Hotel Adornes (Map p126. Oh. studio for 2 people €65. closed Wed) Hidden down a narrow cobbled alley on the busy link between the Markt and Burg. The three rooms – ‘Vanilla’. The hotel’s façade is one of the prettiest scenes in Bruges. apt €85. %050 33 10 78. The generous servings. Breakfast is served in a virginal white dining room. Local demand is high for the few canalside tables. free bikes and a crackling open fire in the breakfast room. subtle warm tones and modern furnishings are the theme throughout.20).be. hidden among greenery beside a quiet and very picturesque stretch of canal right in the centre of Bruges.pand tree-lined backstreet just a few minutes’ walk from the Markt and very much for lovers of luxury. who’ve welcomed visitors for well over a decade – and their hospitality still shines. Lovingly restored. The neat rooms have a refined. W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • B r u g e s 135 Du Phare (Map p123. Markt 17.45am-2pm Mon-Sat) Quaint lunchtime restaurant catering to those who love colourful healthy meals. the house has three polished guestrooms. hclosed dinner Tue & Wed) Follow the fairy lights to this CAFÉS & BRASSERIES Huyze Die Maene (Map p126. situated on the top (2nd) floor. €9. Meals are typically Mediterranean. Bus 4 stops out the front. there’s also a free packed lunch to follow the awesome breakfast. All the rooms are fully equipped with kitchen.duphare. RESTAURANTS Lotus (Map p126. Ridderspoor (Map p126. this place is ideal.be. €10 extra for 1-night stay) One block south of the Begijnhof. i) Hip new canalside hotel that offers a beautiful marriage between classic grandeur and contemporary chic. www . WESTERN FLANDERS WESTERN FLANDERS €10 extra for 1-night stay) This place is run by a very Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet. %050 33 97 46. Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet. B&B Huyze Hertsberge (Map p126. and settle back to the sound of birdsong and the glow of fading light as evening mellows. Molenmeers 11. each individual and loaded with antiques and objets d’art (the family who owns the hotel also runs an antique shop). Head up the cement steps near design shop B and enter a world where modern décor and fresh food are paramount. which is overseen by the most kooky chandelier you’ll ever see. A limited range of delicious Belgian specialities is offered. dishes €10-14.number11. mains €20-23. consider heading here. Sint Barbe (Map p123.be. St Annarei 26. www. Steenhouwersdijk. with its communal dining table. Wooden floors. published in the 16th century.relais ravestein. but neither are the prices. The breakfast room. Wapenmakerstraat 5.be. Great for a casual lunch or dinner. Annie and artist husband. www hotel. as the B&B is located 1. Rates as one of the friendliest and most helpful midrange hotels in Bruges. Neither place is huge. %050 33 39 59. h11.be. Limited Flemish cuisine is backed by friendly service. d €115-140. mains €14-16. Avoid room No 103 – it’s something of an afterthought. closed Tue) Off-the-beaten-track tavern serving everything from kangaroo steaks to ostrich or carpaccio. %050 33 42 94. and Janien. %050 34 13 36. This B&B is run by the wonderfully effervescent Tine. s/d €70/75. Kartuizerinnenstraat 10. a) A little hotel facing a canal. The 20 rooms are all modern and there’s a good buffet breakfast. Baby cots are available (€10). Huyze De Blokfluit (Map p126. %050 34 44 02. just over 1km north of the Markt. Relais Ravestein (Map p123. a claw-foot tub (the Vanilla room) reclines next to a modern vanity unit. Langerei 52. The two rooms – plus kitchen. %050 34 35 90. she provides free bikes. great atmosphere and reasonable prices ensure its popularity in this unvisited quarter. www are each elegantly different from the next. %050 33 06 75. Pavel. you’ll find no better.bedandbreakfastbruges. lounge room and small patio – have fresh décor and are situated on the 1st floor of the house next door to Tine’s. complimentary parking. Ter Duinen Hotel (Map p123. www. is a joy. attention to detail is paramount.ter duinenhotel. or a good-value grote (large) version (€10). Prices depend on room size and location – front rooms with a canal view are dearer. Breakfast’s available for €19. in) This is a superb TOP END address in a neoclassical mansion in the heart of town. and though relatively new is highly popular. Book one of the four tables perched along the canal. as it’s owned by the couple who operate B&B Dieltiens. The couple who run it. and the pristine breakfast room has views to a tranquil canalside garden where guests are free to while away spare moments. www. Rooms are pristine and service is immaculate. Korte Vuldersstraat 33.com. %050 34 16 49.be. most tourists miss this funky brasserie – don’t make the same mistake. It’s housed in a charcoal-coloured terrace house in the historic centre. . a sunken bath (Chocolate) looks out over exposed attic beams. s/d/t €170/195/250. Breidelstraat 24. %050 34 06 66. sometimes later. The long breakfast room looks out onto a pretty paved courtyard. %050 33 09 99. offer travellers the intimacy of a boutique hotel combined with the personal charm of a B&B. A former 18th-century carriage house. shares this view. Hertsbergestraat 8. %050 33 35 42. ste €215) There’s no mincing words – this is a stunner. %050 33 04 37. and the suites are draped in rich Ralph Lauren fabrics. %050 33 42 29. s/d from €98/105. % 050 33 44 50.tinesguesthouse. Tine’s Guesthouse (Map p123. Furnishings are simple but authentic and. Zwaluwenstraat 11. s/d/f €55/65/124. The more expensive rooms have Jacuzzis. Their classicalstyle home occupies a mansion that featured on the first map of Bruges. hidden away on a .ridderspoor. h11. s/d/f from €95/110/140. Annemie and Koen.com.com . Sasplein 2.adornes.134 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • B r u g e s friendly couple. washing machine and spacious living areas. Exposed beams in the bedrooms vie for attention with bubble baths and so-called ‘tropical rain’ showers (ie blast yourself with 36L of water per minute – lucky Belgium’s not suffering from drought. s/d/ste from €125/150/225. %050 47 69 47. www. Pand Hotel (Map p126.hotelorangerie. and the kitchen stays open ’til midnight. the woman who runs this place.com this beautiful little grey corner cottage is almost like a mini boutique hotel. apt €75. it sports 26 rooms. For service. Hotel De Orangerie (Map p126. whose mission in life is to spoil visitors – she’ll happily pick you up from the train station and. and the service is attentive. romantic air and the staff is efficient and friendly. ‘Grey’ and ‘Chocolate’ – bathe in individual charm but harmonise as a whole. Opus Latino (Map p126. yet). Lokkedize (Map p126. hlunch & dinner Wed-Mon) A classic brasserie in a prime position on the Markt.

Steenhouwersdijk. content yourself with the busy fresh produce market (Map p126. closed Tue) Bruges’ oldest café. Drinking De Republiek (Map p126. the newest building on the city’s skyline. hfrom 11am. %050 33 38 39. also features. organise live gigs. the service is intimate and personable. really. boterhammen (sandwiches) or savoury pies. mains around €17. hlunch & dinner. With modern décor. Snacks are available. As you’d expect. boogie or folk – every Sunday from 7. Torhoutsesteenweg 479. its minimal design incorporates the city’s three famous towers and its colour perfectly melds with the city’s rosy hues. by the way. Zilversteeg 4. Opened in 2002 to celebrate Bruges’ year-long stint as the European City of Culture. SELF-CATERING Recommended supermarkets: GB Express (Map p126. which is also a general goods market. closed Thu) An out-of-the-way. Carmersstraat 135. De Garre (Map p126. h8am-1pm Tue-Sat). mains €18-28. or sample the works with the degustation menu. h7am-1pm Wed) on the Markt is the most picturesque. The décor’s cool. closed Thu) Restaurants on the Markt dish up the ubiquitous mussels and frites (fries). snacks €5-11. young couples doing their weekly shop and gents politely inspecting antiques. Burg 8) Offers pints of draught Guinness and live music (rock. Zuidzandstraat 5) Louis Delhaize (Map p126. a little way out of the tourist centre and all the better for it. %050 33 96 16. Firm local favourite. De Belegde Boterham (Map p126. menu with/without wine €58/42. Langestraat 55. it’s little wonder the locals have taken it to heart. On weekends. Markt. Belgians love comparing produce at fruit and vegie stalls. %050 47 69 99. Entertainment Concertgebouw (Map p126. Langestraat 19. mains €17-36. Hertog Jan (%050 67 34 46. h4pm-1am. Hooistraat 2. Bistrot De Schaar (Map p123. Blekerstraat 2. Dijver 5. Garre 1. closed Tue & Wed) Bruges’ only gay and lesbian bar. and with a big. head to this large.000 per year to be able to use this prime spot. including meat. Joey’s Café (Map p126. h11am-11pm) Takeaway frites (from €2. menu degustation €145.lonelyplanet. menus from €70. hlunch & dinner. dinner Fri-Tue) A charming little restaurant tucked away on a pedestrianised lane close to the Markt. Kemelstraat 5. hlunch & dinner. De Stove (Map p126. Garenmarkt 32. %050 33 76 80.be. If you want both good mussels and attentive service. www.com confident little restaurant offers a small selection of Belgian dishes. Kleine St Amandsstraat 4. QUICK EATS Part of a national bakery-tearoom chain (see p103). it refuses to flaunt itself. It’s a tiny place situated on a poky backstreet. strangely located inside the Zilverpand shopping centre. hlunch Sat-Tue. are a gold mine for the local city council. mains €13-20. WESTERN FLANDERS WESTERN FLANDERS 136 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • B r u g e s . and the food – largely fish specialities – is excellent.com W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • B r u g e s 137 TO MARKET. hnoon-1am) Hidden in a narrow cul-de-sac between the Markt and the Burg. with just one big table where you can eat breakfast or feast on lunch staples such as salads. %050 33 78 35. This intimate Moroccan haunt is one of note. and the food is authentic and moreish. TO MARKET Soaking up Bruges at one of its weekly markets is a great way to do as locals do. DJs take over on Friday and Saturday nights. West Gistelhof eight tables are arranged around an old stove. Local legend has it that Rubens painted an imitation coin on the table here and then did a runner. Kristel and Stevie. hfrom 11am. fishmongers have been selling their North Sea produce for centuries. %050 33 60 69. St Salvatorskerkhof 5. %050 34 48 92. About 3. %050 34 10 29. Kleine St Amandsstraat 5. Hoogstraat 32. %050 33 81 11. another Belgian speciality. This whitewashed gabled corner house has a rustic interior and serves stylish modern-Belgian food at very affordable prices. vegetarians and nonvegetarians are well catered for. Philip- To the north of town. Bhavani (Map p126. fish and vegetarian options. hnoon-4pm. hfrom 9pm TueSat. Den Dyver (Map p126. These little vans.5km west of the centre. hfrom 11am) Local favourite and one of Bruges’ most congenial pubs. The cuisine is traditional Belgian. % 050 34 37 37. Meals are available (€9 to €13) and the kitchen is open ’til midnight. %050 34 02 29. hdinner. Despite the perennial rave reviews. De Windmolen (Map p123. Also serves salads (€10). wellestablished restaurant located on the treelined Dijver. Couscous and tagines are its forte. €20). h8am-1pm Sat) on ’t Zand. %050 34 12 64. h6. ’t Zand 34) Contemporary comes to Bruges in the form of this concert hall. %050 34 91 31. %050 33 60 50.50) are delicious. mains €14-20. Est Wijnbar (Map p126. this suburban restaurant is the current talk of gourmet circles. closed Sat) Quaint corner café overlooking St Janshuismolen in St Anna. and the décor’s deliciously dark. Noordzandstraat 34. paying €250. %050 33 33 82. and offers around 200 national brews. Oude Burg 31.30am-7. lunch menu €60. Someone has been pouring beer here since 1515 – mind-blowing. closed Tue & Wed) Probably Belgium’s most famous beer pub. ’t Brugs Beertje (Map p126. blues. Celtic Ireland (Map p126. but quality and ambience can be trite and lacking. hlunch & dinner Tue-Sat) Hail a taxi to experience Hertog Jan.cactusmusic. from 10pm Sun) A cool little bar that opens late and moves until morning.con certgebouw. %050 33 13 55. Once in a blue moon the affable owners. then this is Bruges’ top address. h10am-6pm Sat & Sun mid-Mar–mid-Nov) are taken over by antique and bric-a-brac stalls. At the colonnaded Vismarkt (Fish Market. Christophe (Map p126. h7am-6pm. It regularly stages theatre. Cactus Muziekcentrum (Map p123. Oude Burg 22) Proxy/Delhaize (Map p126. daily Jun-Sep) Lose the tourists at this muso’s haunt. www. complementing flower-sellers on their latest array or browsing bric-a-brac. Garenmarkt 34.30pm Mon-Sat) lonelyplanet. hfrom 11. h10pm-4am. closed Tue & Wed) Het Dagelijks Brood (Map p126. %050 33 59 79.30am Mon-Sat Oct-May. mains €20-30. hlunch & dinner. Ryad (Map p126. hfrom 5pm Thu-Mon) Tidy wine bar with a pleasant summer terrace and live music – jazz. and the filled baguette sandwiches (€6. %050 33 97 39. closed Tue) €18-27. and small as live music venues go. %050 33 82 59. The cuisine is a MediterraneanBelgian mix and the char-grilled specialities are excellent. The mains €48-50. this tiny old estaminet is a beer-specialist pub – browse through the umpteen-page menu while trying to decide. In fine weather there’s also a large terrace across the road next to the canal lock. Tom’s Diner (Map p126. Paling in ’t groen (eel in spinach sauce. %050 34 45 02. located under the same roof as Cinema Lumière. For weekends you’ll need to book a week ahead. Join locals buying snacks such as maatjes (herring fillets). closed Sun) Nofuss tearoom tucked away in a pedestrianised alley close to the Markt. follow the locals here. Frietkotjes (Map p126. closed Tue) For an evening of Burgundian-style revelry and indulgence. mains €15-21. A fitting port o’ call for a drink after visiting the windmills or nearby Guido Gezellemuseum. good-value restaurant located just below street level. dishes stockstraat 21. ultrafriendly staff and excellent prices. but it’s still worth a wander. Expect French cuisine such as Limousin lamb and Bresse dove. 3-course menu incl beers €46. De Koetse (Map p126. 23. Top (Map p126. %050 33 90 25. THE AUTHOR’S CHOICE Herberg Vlissinghe (Map p126. hdinner) Bruges’ dining scene has been boosted by the influx of many new cuisines in recent times. Not one but three twinkles means it has long been a firm favourite of food lovers throughout Belgium. Excellent late-nighter. classical music and dance.30pm-1am. %050 33 20 14. inventively spiced with beer-based sauces and marinades. Magdalenastraat 27) The city’s premier venue for contemporary and world music – either live or DJ.50) and hot dogs (from €3) can be bought from the two green vans on the Markt. Geldmuntstraat) Smatch (Map p123. stark and bland. the Vismarkt and nearby Dijver (Map p126. The candle-lit atmosphere is dark and relaxing. h8. It’s a little way out of the town centre. Bolero (Map p126. A modern affair. St Jakobsstraat 36. Simon Stevinplein 5. out-back terrace in summer. If you’re here on a weekend. jazz or blues) on Friday and/or Saturday evenings from 10pm (every night in summer). listed by brewery.30pm. a) If Michelin stars are your quality assurance. h7pm-1am Thu-Mon) A cool late-night bistro with marble table-tops and a decent range of Flemish staples such as fresh Zeebrugge shrimps. The food and flower market (Map p126. De Karmeliet (Map p123. You’ll find little old ladies assessing the state of the charcuterie. Map p126. closed Wed) A simple Indian restaurant on a bustling treelined square off Bruges’ main shopping street. These days only a few vendors set up on the cold stone slabs. Chef Geert Van Hecke’s French haute cuisine is responsible for all the fuss.be in Flemish.

Balstraat 11. adult/family €2. hThu-Mon) This small classical restaurant presents seasonal French cuisine using a creative market kitchen. a waterway connected to the sea. 4. Cinema Lumière (Map p126. Damme nestled on the edge of the Zwin. accustom yourself to the rich displays.95). Information & Sights Central to everything is the Gothic stadhuis.vvvdamme. Jacob Van Maerlantstraat 3. The rustic rooms have farmyard views and are close to a huge open kitchen where sizable dinners (€28) are prepared. which stayed in the family and were handed down through generations.delijn.be/arrangementen. Bottle Shop (Map p126. Ostend (€3.be in Flemish) covers destinations in and around Bruges. Kuipersstraat 23) Mainstream movie offerings. For details on the city’s markets. This ticket costs €11. and is easily overlooked – allow the scent of warm chocolate to lead the way. Chocolatier Van Oost (Map p126. 3-course lunch menu €29. A canal was built between it and Bruges and. %050 33 78 60. Other recommendations: Delvaux (Map p126. This shop is well away from all of these and stocks about 70% antique lace. De Biertempel (Map p126. Wollestraat and Biekorf on Kuipersstraat. On Friday and Saturday.com Lace (kant in Flemish. TAXI TRAIN Bruges’ train station (%information office 050 30 24 24) is about 1.50 on the bus). who gives half-day private lessons (€60) in her Bruges home.60. where Charles the Bold. limited nightbus services run from the centre to the suburbs (and to Damme) until 2am. one hour. A tweerittenkaart (two rides) costs €2 and can be used either for one journey by two people.10. Naaldkant (needlepoint lace). Rombaux (Map p126. 3.30am until about 11pm. and Margaret of York wed in lavish style in 1468. 20 minutes).40 and includes a return train fare. mains €19-26. B (Map p126. 14 and 16 head for the centre – take any bus marked ‘Centrum’. climb the robust tower for good views. St Jakobsstraat 36) Features two auditoriums. Wollestraat 13. The best place is the covered car park next to the train station. Opposite the stadhuis.900 Day-trippers prize the former fishing village of Damme. %050 33 25 75. www . 9am-noon & 2-5pm Mon-Fri. The bulk of lace sold in shops throughout Belgium these days is either handmade in Asia or machine-made in France. Mille-Fleurs (Map p126. Getting There & Away BUS Busabout buses pass through Bruges (for more information. many tucked away in nooks and crannies or concentrated along Wollestraat and Breidelstraat. one of the nation’s 15th-century rulers. Mallebergplein 3) Sells pre-loved Delvaux handbags. by the 13th century. Each lace-maker had her own patterns. They pick up and drop off at Snuffel (p133).htm in Flemish. and you get a free return bus ticket to the centre for the car’s driver and all passengers. 10 minutes). Noordzandstraat 32. (above).40. change at Lichtervelde). 15 minutes) and Zeebrugge (€2. or for two rides by one person. the main shopping thoroughfare.50 per hour or just €2. %050 61 20 62. from 10am Sat & Sun) and the Uilenspiegel Museum (%050 28 86 10. CAR A medieval city enmeshed by waterways is hardly an ideal place for four wheels. %050 34 34 65. 15 minutes). and more. a 13th-century Flemish poet who lived and died in Damme. In the mood for a movie? Grab your partner and head for either of these cinemas: Cinema Liberty (Map p126.40. hWed-Mon) Rustic split-level eatery next to the tourist office that serves snacks and typical Flemish fare. %050 34 37 30. is lined with a small collection of international chain stores. 70 minutes). Buy a B-Dagtrip ticket (see boxed text. €10. h9am-noon & 2-5pm Mon-Fri. %050 33 14 54. a dagpas (day ticket) is €5 (or €6 on the bus) and a 10-journey lijnkaart (network card) is €8 (€10 on the bus).vvvdamme.30am-5pm Mon-Sat. hMon-Sat) Some of Belgium’s top designers are represented in this discreet boutique on one of Bruges’ main shopping streets. It’s on a hectic shopping street. Philipstockstraat 7) Beer specialist shop where you can even pick up a well-priced bottle of Westvleteren (€4. 11. For more on lace. www. Zilverpand (Map p126) Shopping gallery between Steenstraat and Noordzandstraat. Otherwise phone %050 33 44 44 or %050 38 46 60. The nearby Geldmuntstraat and Noordzandstraat are home to boutiques. From the train station.be in Flemish. %050 33 56 57. buses 1. Once inside. Here you’ll pay €0. r €95) Enter this rural retreat to timewarp centuries. Getting Around A small network of buses operated by De Lijn (%070 22 02 00. Most depart from De Lijn’s information office (Map p123) on the square in front of the train station. Even reputable shops generally do not advertise which of their stock is made outside Belgium.40. p324) if you’re planning a day trip. Shopping Steenstraat. Olivier Strelli (Map p126. take the train to Kortrijk. Directly in front of the stadhuis is a statue of Jacob Van Maerlant.telenet.40. He’s buried in Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk (Our Lady’s Church. Galler (Map p126. It’s WESTERN FLANDERS WESTERN FLANDERS LACED UP Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet. admission to four museums and a drink in a café. h10am-7pm) Not your typical offlicence – this shop goes to town with copious quantities of beer.138 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • B r u g e s lonelyplanet. %050 33 07 88. W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • D a m m e 139 DAMME pop 10. Wollestraat 33) Specialises in Flemish tapestries. %050 34 99 80.5km south of the city centre. 10am-1pm Sun) It’s not finding lace that’s the problem in Bruges – it’s avoiding it. A single ticket bought at De Lijn’s information office costs €1. Damse Vaart Zuid 4. About 80 lace shops operate in the city. two hours). Wollestraat 31a) An outlet for all manner of Belgian designs – everything from clothes to household products and toys. To get to Ypres (Ieper in Flemish. most in pretty good nick.30.be/brugesprivatelacelessons).50 for 24 hours. www. %050 33 20 11. from 10am Sat & Sun mid-Apr–mid-Oct. its fate was sealed when the Zwin silted. Hourly trains go to Antwerp (€12. ’t Apostelientje (Map p123. h9am-noon & 2-6pm Mon-Fri. which developed in Italy. Jacob Van Maerlantstraat 3. Damme was the region’s bustling port. %050 34 54 54. Breidelstraat 2) Home-grown handbags and other leather goods. Jacob van Maerlantstraat 10. see boxed text. Kerkstraat). Sleeping & Eating B&B De Stamper (%/fax 050 50 01 97. A long time ago. was predominantly made in Brussels while kloskant (bobbin lace) is believed to have originated in Bruges. Eiermarkt 3) Prominent corner boutique given over to Belgium’s best-known designer. In summer. %050 33 42 92. Zuiddijk 12. h9. The latter requires thousands of painstaking and meticulous movements of bobbins and pins. one hour) and Ghent (€5. If you want handmade lace from Belgium you’re going to have to hunt for it and state what you want. Tintin Shop (Map p126. Secondo (Map p126.20 (or €1. hdaily) Stocks everything any Tintin buff could ever want. then note the vats of molten chocolate being stirred out back. jenever (gin) and mineral waters. this old farmhouse dates from 1647 – and the worn-down stairs to the bedrooms prove it. 2-5pm Sat & Sun mid-Oct–mid-Apr). Knokke (€3. De Panne (€7. Steenstraat 3. Mallebergplein 13) Fabulous music shop in an antique setting. all displayed in slick surroundings. or take a stab at it yourself with Caroline Flokman (%050 67 87 61.40. Taxis wait on the Markt and at Stationsplein (in front of the train station). and shows foreign and mainstream films and an occasional classic. %050 49 01 31. Markt. Watch lace-makers at work at the Kantcentrum (p129). There are trains every half-hour to Brussels (one way €11. 13. see p137. tapas €2-5. http://users. %050 49 09 32. The latter recounts the stories of Uilenspiegel.com . There are several big car parks in town but it’s considerably cheaper to leave your car at the periphery. L’Héroïne (Map p126. Wollestraat 11) A small establishment with an excellent reputation for handmade pralines.50/5. a villain in German folklore but a jester and freedom fighter in Flemish literature. But along with Bruges. here you must wait 30 minutes for the hourly connection. a restored patrician’s house is home to the tourist office (%050 28 86 10. 6km northeast of Bruges. Steenstraat 5) One of Belgium’s better chocolate chain shops. only to be abandoned and partially torn down when things started to wane. mains around €18. Located 2km from Damme. 40 minutes). Kortrijk (€6. Eetcafé De Spieghel (%050 37 11 30. and many stop at central locations such as ’t Zand. This church dates back to the 12th century and was vastly expanded in the village’s heyday. see p318). Napoleon (%050 35 32 99. dentelle in French) blossomed in Flanders in the 16th century. Buses run from 5. %050 34 38 37.

70/4.(see 24) ATM...... 10am-12. the nation’s first queen......25km from the train station (the ‘Centrumbus’ from the station stops nearby). 10am-noon & 2-5pm Apr-May......23 C2 OK....5 Koningsgalerijen.. To Bruges Eduard II (800m)..... If you’re coming to Ostend for the day by public transport........ some which have been recently spruced up...be.. and hope of sun.... The cheapest way to get to Damme....... 2-7pm Mon) was the last Ostend trawler to fish around Iceland...........2 miles                          A INFORMATION OK............31 C2 Den Artiest........ h10am-7pm Tue-Sun..... ijk OSTEND Orientation & Information Albert I promenade.30pm Oct-Mar)............ For information on cycling to Damme... adult/child €4/2..................... During the Revolt of the Netherlands...... instead it has set its sights on youth and fun..200 Ostend’s relatively compact centre is crisscrossed by a grid of ruler-straight streets. 13 ge str 11 2 esteenweg Marking the entrance to the harbour is the pier – don’t miss a walk along it but be rugged up against the wind........ From here it’s a short walk to the old harbour........... De Zuidkant (%050 37 16 76. adult/child €3/1. The city suffered heavily during the two world wars and much of the original town was demolished by air strikes........... A one-way trip takes around 35 minutes. This church NORTH Ka sse From humble beginnings as an 11th-century fishing village.. Walk there via the seafront 0 0 OSTEND 1 B SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES Amandine.80........ plein 19. Old Harbour..... Royalty and the upper crust favoured this cosmopolitan retreat and Léopolds I and II both frequently spent time here.................. is by bus 43 (€1........ D DRINKING Brasserie du Parc.. which converts into the Koningsgalerijen (Royal Galleries).. Jacob van Maerlantstraat 6... h9am-7pm Mon-Sat & 10am-7pm Sun Jun-Aug.. a position it Ho en ad e Sc hip 18 pe 10 rss Mijnpl tr pu 5 25 20 26 cij Lo 31 ne 23 27 uis ns Visserspl tr as tr Groenten 22 Vl Wapenpl aa markt nd 21 er 19 en 28 Ke str Train rk str str Station 35 us Monacopl ul 2 Pa 1 34 Stationspl t S Ka 33 9 pe 24 Ch lle 4 14 ris str St Petrus & tin 37 Pauluskerk aS 36 He tr nd 29 Marie rik S err r t S Joséplein Old uy II s la zef Harbour an Jo Le op n old laa e II L iv Ernest aa ict Feys Pl n nd 3 Vi r Leopold sst 17 r 8 Park t ier rts aa Le dr rae on n j e i e L Sp Leopold I EB illa Pl er n S tst to aa Ro ck r tr rsl s e s ho gi r et er lm aie Pi laa str ra ns n Iep nd To Earth Explorer (3km)..... But the town does have plenty of attractions.......... the townsfolk bravely held out against the Spanish for three years.29 B3 Vi Sights & Activities 400 m 0. %059 50 08 76....... Ostend’s broad promenade has its fair share of wheeled (%059 70 56 54............ h11am-11pm) Free internet (when you dine) at this funky café....... lonelyplanet. h10am-12.. h10am-5..... Alternatively..35 B3 St Ostend is primarily a seaside resort – it’s the sea.......17 B4 B3 fstr La n tr ar ss IP rom Dw laa n ert r tst O os A Bu Ni yl eu ws str itt tr en on ne ns tr ng es tr La Alb Iseg hem Van i aa SEA rsk W 3 n La an ns laa old III an sse lJ op re Le str am rd ste Am an tri d la As Verenigde Natieslaan str gs Ko nin e ad rom en IP ai ert ka 6 16 ris 7 t me an e S rla f D ye aa ae Gr e N D 4 da an Br housed in former seafood auction rooms............34 B3 Rialto Cinema.... 12 C4 SLEEPING De Ploate........... www.25 C2 Seafood Stalls.. Thankfully...8 Museum voor Schone Kunsten.. At the harbour’s opposite end is the Mercator Ze Getting There & Away lost only in the 19th century when Zeebrugge developed.............. De Panne (33km) ng ni (A10.. His attention to detail is obvious by the thoughtfully presented meals........20/3.......11 C2 Provinciaal Museum voor Moderne Kunst. It departs Bruges’ train station and picks up at the Markt... p145) to find a more secluded spot on the outskirts of town or in the dunes further afield......28 B3 Windavès.30pm & 2-6pm Sat & Sun Oct-Mar)....... str Knokke (33km) 12 Ro To m Atlantic Wall es tr To B&B 't Atelier Museum (6km)...30am to 3...... While posters around town still hark back to its belle époque. a hip image and shops that open every day.. The result is an ugly line of buildings that cast long shadows over the beach and provide ocean views for a select few.....18 C2 Di Vino... is nearby.... Belgium’s best-known 19th-century artist..........22 C2 Mosselbeurs ........ Visserskaai (Fishermen’s Quay).....32 C2 Le Dome Beach Club... enticing visitors with new museums and attractions......... Its post-war development favoured high-rise buildings draped along the beachfront – a trend mirrored in most of Belgium’s coastal towns.... about 1..70............30pm & 2-4.5km)...... www.......... St Petrus & Paulus- a 1932 sailing ship formerly used for Belgian navy training purposes. hclosed Wed & Thu) Tucked behind the town hall...... fo Lij er Al Fort Napoleon (3...... a covered walkway built for Léopold II and marked by a first-rate colonial relic – an enormous statue of the monarch astride a horse amid fawning peasantry and Congolese....... jump straight off the train and onto the nearby Kusttram (see boxed text.(see 14) Café Botteltje.. ATM (Marie Joséplein 11) Goffin Exchange (%059 50 68 28. Sexual Healing.. only to be taken in 1604 at the cost of thousands of lives... 10am-12.The best beach is west of town near the Thermae Palace hotel... Ostend was home to Ensor.......... adjacent to the casino.... Follow Visserskaai to the end and you’ll see St Petrus & Pauluskerk (Sint Pietersstraat).. Monacoplein...50. the latter leaving some typically grandiose monuments. Vindictivelaan 35-Z.......... OSTEND BEACH Alb pop 68......30am-6pm) Currency exchange bureau handy to the train station........ take bus 4 from the Markt in the direction of ‘St Jozef–Koolkerke’. April to mid-October).. As in all Belgian coastal resorts..... Visserskaai.(see 34) David Dewaele......... From Bruges it leaves from Noorweegse Kaai......26 C2 Spar...........30pm & 2-4....................... No longer does it vainly proclaim itself the ‘Queen of Belgian Beaches’.. there’s the wonderful promenade...... Ostend grew to be Belgium’s most important Channel port.....14 B3 Studio-Hotel Avenue.27 B2 Taverne James. 16 A4 D3 B2 A4 A4 C4 EATING Bottarga........... 25km) Ostend Airport (4km) 15 Ko 30 32 sstr ter History Sea Aquarium...... 20 minutes.... as is the tiny Noordzeeaquarium (North TRANSPORT De Lijn Bus/Tram Station..........15 B4 Thermae Palace.. and it was during a prolonged stay here that US singer Marvin Gaye wrote one of the greatest soul songs of all time...30pm & 2-6pm Jun-Sep.. Alternatively..20 C2 Market....... plies the Damse Vaart between Bruges and Damme.37 B3 Pie VISSERSKAAI QUARTER ENTERTAINMENT Kursaal.....30 C2 Café Jazz Kelder. (500m)....30pm... 10am-12.......... Guesthouse in Nieuwpoort (18km).. These days Ostend is a down-to-earth fishing port waking from years of nostalgia and decline..3 D4 Torhouts Bustling Ostend (Oostende in Flemish............. The main shopping thoroughfare is the pedestrianised Kapellestraat...... and has a small outdoor terrace plus an intimate interior..... W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • O s t e n d 141 holds the tomb of Queen Louise-Marie...... the aristocratic lustre has long gone...(see 34) Primeurs Achiel.... h9......10 C2 Pier. 4 Ensorhuis... SW Lamme Goedzak......... lonelyplanet. The superbly preserved Amandine (%059 23 43 01... Lijndraaiersstraat 60) Inconveniently located away from the town centre..... Monacoplein 2....21 C3 Market.....9 C Noordzeeaquarium. mains €20-25. this designer restaurant is run by a young chef who blends Belgian...com WESTERN FLANDERS WESTERN FLANDERS situated next to the road....... Ostende in French) was once one of Europe’s most stylish seaside resorts.7 Mercator.... a 45-minute walk from the Markt....6 Leopold II Statue... adult/child €2/1... that brings droves of Belgians......... return €6.1 D3 In&Uit Oostende...................13 C2 Hostellerie' & Vistrapje. 10am-6pm Mon-Sat & 10am5pm Sun Sep-May) Revamped tourist office. Life centres on the recently renovated Kursaal casino on Monacoplein........... Post office (%059 56 47 20..70........... 36 D3 De Lijn Office. the town’s famed seafood quay-side.30pm Apr-Jun & Sep..be.. where two ships have been turned into small museums......zeilschip-mercator... see p131 and p132. French and Mediterranean cuisines...... hdepartures every 2hrs from 10am to 6pm Apr–mid-Oct)..19 C3 Market.(see 9) Goffin Exchange.. immediately across from the canal...... OK (%059 29 50 53.24 B3 Ostend Queen.. ed A barge (one way adult/child €5.....com Ka 140 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • O s t e n d ..........(see 18) Hôtel du Parc... it’ll take about 15 minutes to walk from Ostend train station to the nearest beach at the northern end of Albert I promenade........inenuit oostende............................ other than walking......30pm Jul & Aug.33 B3 Coffeehouse.. every two hours from 9.. In&Uit Oostende (%059 70 11 99..........2 B3 Post Office....

h10am-noon & 2-5pm.com . in 1888. h11am11pm) Finger food. s/d/t/q €45/70/87/109. ste from €220. bowls of steaming hot wollekes (sea snails). with artistic flourishes. exhibits an enjoyable selection of modern Belgian paintings and sculptures.be in is Europe’s only intact Napoleonic fortress. burgers and sandwiches are the staples at this hip new café attached to the casino.50. Ostend also made much ado about this anniversary. Unless indicated otherwise. Located above a brasserie of the same name. Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet. Located in a small covered shopping gallery in the heart of town. s/d/tr/f from €57/87/94/100) An Art Deco gem. better known as PMMK. s/d €60/76) This is an Art Deco house dating from 1933 that’s been beautifully restored.pmmk. Its chequered history includes becoming a German headquarters in WWII and later a rendezvous point for ‘bad boys and naughty girls’. request a 1st-floor room at the front of the hotel. contraptions for kids – everything from mini ice-cream vans to flying horses are available for rental. better still. Studio-Hotel Avenue (%059 80 55 44. A plate of two croquettes will set you back €9. Fortstraat 128b. Nieuwpoortsesteenweg 636. www. h2-5pm Mon-Fri.60) Uninspiring hostel but well located in the heart of town. adult/child €5/free. it drones with homespun and international visitors. and prices are considerably reduced outside summer holidays. The restoration of the Ensorhuis in 2001 went a little way to silence critics. Every day – summer and winter from early morning to evening – colourful kraampjes (stalls) set up along the quay. The permanent collection features works by local lads such as James Ensor (see boxed text. WESTERN FLANDERS WESTERN FLANDERS The Ensorhuis (Ensor’s House. Marie Joséplein 11) should be open again by the time you read this. h10am-8pm Fri-Wed) This Ostend institution is one of those experiences that’s available nowhere else.30am-6pm Sat & Sun Apr–mid-Nov) tells the chilling tale of wartime occupation via kilometres of underground passageways and artillery – artillery that still menacingly faces to sea. adult/child/concession €4/free/3. as the audio-guide says. best of all. hEaster-Dec.com ATLANTIC WALL MUSEUM EERIE ENSOR 1916. Rates don’t include breakfast. this openair museum (%059 70 22 85. Vuurtorenweg. This hotel is a classified monument and it has loads to recommend it. Vlaanderenstraat 27.fortnapoleon. the woman who runs it. It’s a good place to catch a work by recently retired Antwerp sculptor Panamarenko. adult/concession €5/4. Wittenonnenstraat 2.vjh. minimal décor. Babies and children are welcome. closed Tue) is where expressionist pioneer James Ensor lived and painted from 1875 to The Museum of Fine Arts (%059 80 53 35. 10.hotel avenue. A good book to pick up to explore the artist’s life is Ensor by Ulrike Becks-Malorny. When Ensor inherited it. Sleeping Ostend groans under the weight of hotels (some close from December to March).be.5km north of town. two minutes’ walk away. The piano. The ground floor was a souvenir shop owned by his aunt. Thermae Palace (%059 80 66 44. His Vliegende sigaar – Vliegende tijger (Flying cigar – Flying tiger) stays true to his flights of fancy. hlunch Thu-Sat. FORT NAPOLEON MUSEUM VOOR SCHONE KUNSTEN Flemish. the impenetrable pentagon of Fort Napoleon (%059 32 00 48. h10am-6pm Tue-Sun). The tavern’s been around since 1954 and. Galerie James Ensor 34. d with/without sea view €195/170. Festivals & Events Ostend’s biggest annual event. snacks €4-9. following relocation to an old post office building in the heart of town. The Kusttram stop ‘Duin en Zee’ is about 500m away. Also known as Domein Raversijde. Eating Visserskaai is the place for seafood snacks. If a little balcony matters. An old-world atmosphere pervades until you reach the rooms. entirely renovated a few years back and still fresh and modern. www. Hostellerie ’t Vistrapje (%059 80 23 82. Resting atop secluded dunes some 3. evidence of the low esteem in which Ensor was held by the Belgian state. phantoms and garish masks. The rooms are stock-standard but the breakfast is worth writing about. niw) The city’s top address. www.oostende -bedandbreakfast. it’s smack bang in the middle of town and only 100m from the beach. Probably the most interesting object is the ground-floor cabinet filled with garish old masks that Ensor used as inspiration in many of his paintings. and vendors sell prepared plates of cooked fish. adult/concession €2/1. The Entry of Christ into Brussels.earthexplorer. The Kusttram stop ‘Duin en Zee’ is out the front. Only in the last decade has effort been made to show national appreciation – a comprehensive retrospective was held in Brussels in 1999. 2-5pm Sat & Sun Nov-Mar) PROVINCIAAL MUSEUM VOOR MODERNE KUNST (PMMK) The Provincial Museum of Modern Art (%059 50 81 18. he abandoned the traditional for clashing colours and carnivalesque scenes that often have a whiff of death and a distinctly unnerving effect. Di Vino (%0473 87 12 97. Take the Kusttram southwest to the stop ‘Domein Raversijde’. h10am-6pm Feb–mid-Nov. the 50th anniversary of Ensor’s death. one block from the beach.50-16. h11am-1pm & 2-6pm Apr-Oct. He’s best known for his macabre and sometimes quite savage images of skeletons. Eduard Decuyperstraat 11. s/d €55/70. Other recommendations: De Ploate (%059 80 52 97. apt €100) A long-established little hotel-restaurant recommended for both its food and its 2ndfloor apartment (sleeps four adults) with Visserskaai views. depicting a brilliantly colourful parade of sins.be. The Entry of Christ into Brussels. and Leon Spilliaert. www. and none of his original works are displayed – for those you’ll need to head to Ostend’s Museum voor Schone Kunsten (below) or. www. the excellent collection at Antwerp’s Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten (see p182).5mthick walls. The Kusttram stops at Koninginnelaan. but it has still been criticised for allowing his birthplace on Langestraat to be demolished. Velodroomstraat 43. OK (%059 29 50 53. self-contained rooms ideal for families. Visserskaai 37. with two 2nd-floor guestrooms plus a selfcontained penthouse (with private terrace) and a ‘loft’ (odd name for a basement family apartment but the space works well). Guesthouse Eduard II (%059 43 03 08. seafood cocktails and. Prices given are for the peak summer period (July and August) – it’s well worth inquiring about discounts at other times of the year.be. The mochacoloured rooms are functional and sober. penthouse per week/weekend €300/200. adult/child €12. mains €12.50/10. although twee. that offers comfortable. After a brief stint doing seascapes and portraits. a huge buffet strewn along a room that almost communes with the sea. table and seat located in the salon are also original furnishings. Koninginnelaan 27. This palatial Art Deco building affords wonderful sea views. but the Brits never obliged. The Kusttram stops at Koninginnelaan. dm €16. A small THE AUTHOR’S CHOICE Taverne James (%059 70 52 45. a science-based theme park 3km north of town. or the high-style restaurant tacked onto the side. is an exuberant costumed event held on the first Saturday in March.be in Flemish. A spiral staircase leads up to two 2nd-floor tasteful guestrooms with modern. was shamefully sold off to the USA half a century ago. B&B ’t Atelier (%059 43 61 01. life-size reproductions of many of his most famous pieces adorn the walls here. he installed a studio upstairs and it was here that he painted his most riotous piece.be. Cross the 2. www. www. Hôtel du Parc (%059 70 16 80. Started in 1812.be. tour the dry moat and take in the rooftop before beating a retreat to the well-priced bistro located within the fort. on the beachfront west of the centre. Langestraat 82.atelier-oostende . %059 80 53 35. dinner Tue-Sun) Intimate wine bistro that’s big with the locals.be.duparcoostende . all of our recommendations are open year-round. EARTH EXPLORER Let the kids loose at Earth Explorer (%059 70 59 59. Thu-Sun mid-Nov–Feb). and was captivated by the seascapes around him. Spilliaert was born in Ostend in 1881.thermaepalace . s/d/t/q €70/85/90/97) A W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • O s t e n d 143 nondescript sort of place. n) A stone sculptor’s home just a few minutes walk from the beach. the Bal des Rats Morts (Dead Rats Ball). Ensor (1860–1949) was in part rejected by the art world due to his coastal seclusion. Romestraat 11. There’s not a great deal to see inside. www. above). www. The Kusttram (direction De Panne) stops at the hotel. it was built to fight off seafaring attackers.com. Monacoplein. Marie Joséplein 3. weekend €75/90. Instead.50. Greet. is vibrant. loft per week/weekend €325/200. 50m away. this small wood-panelled café basks in its international reputation for excellent garnaalkroketten (deep-fried prawn croquettes). Koningin Astridlaan 7.142 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • O s t e n d lonelyplanet.

old leather chairs and cigarette smoke. s/d €50/60) is a nondescript 19thcentury brick house. The trams are a superb means of getting around the area and also make enjoyable day trips from one coastal resort to another. Kapucijnenstraat 13.20. hlunch & dinner Tue-Sun) This inconspicuous little restaurant is nestled among the throng on Visserskaai. David Dewaele (%059 70 42 26. For all train details contact Ostend train station (%059 70 15 17).20/2. www . The whitewashed villa. www. Ostend’s landmark beachfront casino is back in action. Splashy purple and orange décor. The crowd ranges from tourists to fur-clad madammekes – elderly bourgeois women who order in French. Groentenmarkt and Mijnplein.kursaaloostende. Koningsstraat 2. De Lijn (%070 22 02 20) operates regional buses and trams. the port of Zeebrugge and the wealthy resort of Knokke. Spar (Van Iseghemlaan 49) Supermarket. situated on one of the highest dunes in De Haan. convivial brown café). Langestraat 39) Eight-screen cinema. nightclubs and pubs. Rialto Cinema (%059 70 61 58.com werp (€15. Just 4km further is Zeebrugge (population 4000). ste from €160. just metres from the tram station. Two of the three rooms share a bathroom. B&B Stella Maris (%059 23 56 69. without bathroom €50/60/82.latourelle. turreted mansion not far from the tram station. an unremarkable seaside town full of high-rise apartments and summer crowds. There are 70 stops en route and it takes just over two hours to traverse the whole strip. If OQ doesn’t fit the bill. 45 minutes).30pm Wed-Mon) Supermarket. the modest interior borders on boring.be in Flemish. www. 50 minutes) and Ant- Trams that trundle almost the length of Belgium’s 66km coastline are known as De Kusttram (The Coast Tram. the Kusttram (see boxed text. Drinking & Entertainment More than ever before. Handier is the branch tourist office (%059 24 21 35. Thu-Sun winter) Draws a young clubbing crowd. A single ticket for a short/long journey costs €1. nightlife in Ostend centres on Monacoplein. h10am-noon & 2-5pm Apr-Oct. lonelyplanet. and ultrafriendly staff make it stand out from the promenade pack. obvious attractions are the Paul Delvaux Museum (p148) and.3kg jumbo pots go for €17 to €19. Le Dome Beach Club (%059 80 32 15. Kids and babies welcome. there were no ferry connections between here and the UK. or you can purchase a one-/three-day ticket for €5/10. and De Panne in the southwest.000). This Art Deco showpiece dates from 1932 and is full of stained-glass windows. as well as small villages. It turns into a woodcutter’s dream upon entering – timber panelling. €2. %070 22 02 20). wooden floors and heavy furnishings throughout. Langestraat 15. with its distinct semicircular entrance. s/d/t with bathroom €65/75/92. and admission is free. romantic tones.be in Flemish & French. WESTERN FLANDERS WESTERN FLANDERS 144 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • O s t e n d . hlunch & dinner) Fishy business at its best. a former fishing village that has been dwarfed by the enormous artificial harbour that’s been under construction here since 1895. Other recommendations: Windavès (%059 80 89 29. particularly Langestraat and Van Iseghemlaan. but they’re only for those travelling by car. hlunch & dinner. take a train to Roeselare (via Bruges). Dewaele worked at De Karmeliet (p136). and is one of Ostend’s best seafood haunts.80.com. Even if you’re not into gaming (pass- lonelyplanet. Sat & Sun only Nov-Mar) inside the town’s tram station. mains €27-43. port needed to play). Dwarsstraat 10. from the discreet village of De Haan to the Zwin nature reserves on the Dutch border. W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • N o r t h e a s t C o a s t 145 The main tourist office (%059 24 21 34. www. To get from the train station into the town centre.10. a few hundred metres from the beach. h8am-10pm) Ostend’s most snooty café (pub/bar). for those travelling with kids. as was done in the olden days.manoircarpediem. En route is the bland town of Blankenberge. Prins Karellaan 12.30am-1pm & 2. Buses are used on inland routes. s/d/f from €120/125/240. hfrom 10pm daily summer. who lived here for a while after fleeing Hitler’s Germany in 1933. De Haan (above). Den Artiest (%059 80 88 89. De Haan pop 11. h3pm3am Tue-Sun) Bills itself as a ‘delightful brown café with the biggest selection of beers and gins on the Belgian coast’. mains from €26. Monacoplein. hlunch Fri-Wed. %059 34 02 60).transeuropaferries. below) runs along the coastline. Plopsaland (see p148). Albert I Promenade 64c. early 20th-century villas and a pretty Art Nouveau tram station. it’s worth a wander – take a look at the statue of Marvin Gaye. with all its early ’50s features intact. In the streets leading off from it. h9am-noon & 2-5pm) is in the gemeentehuis (town hall). and his cuisine is nothing short of inventive. Live music most Tuesdays from 9pm – expect local bands doing jazz or covers. Marie Joséplein 3. Visserskaai 39. Kursaal (%059 70 51 11. Ostend Queen (%059 29 50 55. you’ll find a cinema. Brussels (€14. below). move onto the Liquid Healing nightclub. Leopoldlaan 24. to the northeast.com THE AUTHOR’S CHOICE Brasserie du Parc (%059 51 13 05. There is now one sea link – TransEuropa Ferries (www. for a few years.chalked-up menu offers staples like goatcheese salad. motorcycle or mobile home (no foot passengers). For more details see p319. the Channel Tunnel impacted sharply on Ostend. mains €14-20. or check out who’s performing in the concert hall. 1¼ hours) and Diksmuide (bus 53. All of the towns are easily reached by the Kusttram (see boxed text. which allows unlimited travel on the tram and also on local De Lijn buses. dinner Fri-Tue) Colourful and spacious restaurant offering world cuisines plus plenty of imaginative vegetarian fare. De Haan’s most famous visitor was Albert Einstein.30-7. Hourly trains run from Ostend to Bruges (€3. total journey 1¾ hours). hclosed Mon Sep-Jun) This bistro brings modern to Ostend’s beachfront. The initial project was based around a Getting There & Around DE KUSTTRAM Like other port towns in this part of the world. hence its name. mains from €17. tables have since been in high demand. home to the revamped casino. Bottarga (%059 80 86 88. Food markets (h7am-2pm Thu) Vendors set up on Wapenplein. While it’s more like a rambling English pub than a gezellige bruine kroeg (cosy. De Lijn has a ticket/information office inside the bus/tram terminal next to the train station. 1¼ hours). Trams depart every 15 minutes from 5. Langestraat 71. Bruges’ top restaurant. stay downstairs for a steak or salad on the long seaside terrace at the casino’s Coffeehouse (%059 29 50 52). s) is a connoisseur’s hotel. plus a small kiosk in the town centre at Marie Joséplein. 1½ hours).dehaan. Heading southwest. closed Mon) The place in Ostend to eat well-priced mussels – 1. It’s Belgium’s most enchanting beach resort – a belle-époque gem made up of winding avenues. They pass along the dunes and through the heart of Ostend – you can glimpse the landmark Kursaal casino and the harbour – and stop at the coast’s most picturesque village. €3 extra for 1-night stay) occupies a pale. This relatively new seafood brasserie on the 1st floor of Kursaal casino received Michelin Guide accolades before even opening. Kursaal. Memlinglaan 11. Don’t be put off by the building’s tacky façade (plastered with fake mussels) – this place packs in diners thanks to fresh produce and efficient service. They’re operated by De Lijn and call in at all the seaside towns and villages between Knokke. Koninklijk Plein. hfrom 5pm) Trendy split-level brasserie serving everything from fruit jenevers to house beer.90.700 Prim and proper De Haan (The Cock) nestles among dunes 12km north of Ostend. To Ypres (€12.be. However. then the local bus to Ypres.30am to 11pm. 15 minutes). and is packed most summer evenings. h8. Blankenberge & Zeebrugge Nine kilometres northeast of De Haan is Blankenberge (population 18. Hoverspeed services came to an end and. Thanks to the subsequent controversy. Vondellaan 4. it does have an excellent variety of beers (280 varieties). Romantik Manoir Carpe Diem (%059 23 32 20.stellamaris . mains €15-20. a choice of Belgian or Thai cuisines.30. Other recommendations: Café Jazz Kelder (%0475 41 18 20. room No 9 occupies the corner tower and is particularly lovely. It’s decorated in soft. Mosselbeurs (%059 80 73 10. h8pm Thu-Sun) Little cellar venue with live jazz. Monacoplein) Following a lengthy overhaul. Legend has it that a group of fishermen were saved from shipwreck by the crow of a rooster. go for a drink at the beachfront Coffeehouse (left). Ghent (€7. take a Kusttram (direction De Panne). Primeurs Achiel (Nieuwstraat 19.be.com. NORTHEAST COAST The Belgian coast northeast of Ostend stretches for just 33km. Café Botteltje (%059 70 09 28. www. €2. Louisastraat 19. lasagne and vegetarian dishes. Some useful bus services include those to Veurne (bus 69. offers tranquillity and English-style charm – open log fires in the public areas and immaculate rooms. La Tourelle (%059 23 34 54.

closed Wed Nov-Mar). A statue of King Oostduinkerke. Just east of the town. ducks and geese – some 20. about 500m from the train and neighbouring tram station.700 Welcome to northern Europe’s St Tropez. fish based. a creamy-brick rotunda erected in 1938 and situated 300m from Nieuwpoort’s port. Knokke is easily reached by train from Bruges (€3. It’s a tranquil region of polders and mud flats. killing nearly 200 people on board. w).cosmopolite . A third of the reserve is open to the public. Continue along this road and you’ll arrive at Nieuwpoort-Bad. and there are paths for hikers (rubber boots are essential for much of the year). Like Ostend. 9am-5pm Oct-Easter. Until the start of the 20th century. the last of the WWI blocking ships. adult/child €4. Zwin Nature Reserves The area northeast of Knokke is home to a couple of nature reserves that have served as bird refuges for millennia. was removed. as well as in parts of the Netherlands. of course. built out from the shore to safeguard incoming and outgoing ships. and that for a selftaught chef. together with a series of memorials to the hundreds who died here in WWI. see p319. offers five tidy pastel-toned rooms in a separate building next to the owner’s whitewashed cottage. Albert I marks the centre of the largest monument.be in Flemish & French. h10. www.casinoknokke.crescent-shaped mole.40/5. where it remained for the rest of the war. that ends at the border with France. but there’s no bus connection.30pm & 2-5pm) and a cache of hotels. It feels like a minihotel. The tower. Zeedijk. and NieuwpoortBad (also called Nieuwpoort-aan-Zee). s/d/t from €72/107/132. d/tr €54/84). Zeedijk 267. %058 53 21 21. head straight down Lippenslaan. Guided walks (€2 and usually in Flemish or French) are conducted at 10am every Thursday and Sunday.30pm Easter-Oct).30am-5.15pm Fri). Knokke-Heist pop 33. home to a 72m-long mural entitled Le Domaine Enchanté. www.20. Like some other coastal towns. a village dotted with palatial white mansions. This welcoming 1st-floor bistro is located in a semi-industrial area with views over the old fishing harbour. 15 minutes).30am-12. p145) shuttles the full length of this coastline and is ideal for getting around. or by tram (€2. The cuisine is. in a little beachfront kiosk. A Verweeplein 1. SOUTHWEST COAST Head southwest along the coast from Ostend and you enter the Westkust. its seaweed-green décor’s a delight.newlargo. except in Oostduinkerke. Hotel Villa Verdi (%050 62 35 72. it’s at the base of the reconstructed mole.be in Flemish. Services are limited outside school holidays. painted by René Magritte in 1953.900 It’s 6km from Nieuwpoort-Bad to Oostduinkerke. the harbour was bombed by the Germans. Zeedijk-Albertstrand 509). as the complex is expected to close for some time while a new 98m-high tower is built on top of the existing 1930s casino.hotelvilla verdi.30pm & 1.zwin. mains €18-40. Zoute. One of the town’s few sights is the St George Memorial. Entertainment rests largely on Casino Knokke (%050 63 05 05. Elizabetlaan 8. It’s at the latter you’ll find the tourist office (%050 54 50 42.30-6pm) occupies a room in the stadhuis. as do storks. Here is the beachfront tourist office (%058 23 39 23. Knokke maintains its lead in the coastal resort stakes by offering a diverse calendar of annual events including a celebrity ball in March. dragging triangular nets as they trawl for shrimp. Hendrikaplein 11. www. located in the old WESTERN FLANDERS WESTERN FLANDERS 146 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • N o r t h e a s t C o a s t . The best known is Het Zwin (%050 60 70 86. mains from €25. Aug & school hols). The ferry terminal is 3km from Zeebrugge train station. Half an hour before and an hour after low tide. with monotonous high-rise apartments blocking views of the beach and sea. erected in honour of the sailors who died in this operation. due for completion by 2009. Nieuwpoort is a favoured seafood hunting ground for Belgian day-trippers. Fish shops. www. The tourist office (%050 63 03 80. It was here that the German advance during WWI was halted when local partisans opened the sluicegates on the Noordvaart canal. h10am-1pm & 1. the Kusttram (see boxed text. adult/child €5. halfway between Knokke and Het Zwin. allowing the sea to flood the fields between the IJzer River and the train line and forcing the retreat of three German divisions. Ask for the season’s schedule at the Oostduinkerke Dienst Toerisme (Tourist Office. The Vlindertuin (Butterfly Garden. If you should happen to be in the area at lunchtime. The ferry’s bow doors had not been closed when the ferry set sail. horse fishing was still carried out along the Belgian coast. such as Vishandel Gaëtane (%058 23 70 68. Bartholomeus (%050 51 75 76. where a handful of local men have preserved an age-old tradition of shrimp fishing on horseback. Little known by outsiders is another official reserve.be. the paardevissers (horseback fishermen) ride on stocky Brabant horses into the sea. as a whole. It has perfectly placed rooms and is very reasonably priced for this affluent part of the coast. www.be in Flemish & French.knokke-heist . It died out after WWI. Victorlaan 6. combined ticket incl the Zwin €8. Graaf Leon Lippensdreef 8.15-5pm Mon-Thu. at the bridge over the IJzer. Despite all the wartime operations. www. Europe’s largest owl. to 4. Koksijde & St Idesbald pop 20. The salty landscape hides rare species of beetle and spider.90. Nieuwpoort was put squarely on the front line. the oehoe (eagle owl). Set back one block from the beach. hfrom 11am) near Zeebrugge-Centrum. head to the new Channel 16 (%050 60 16 16. is a popular side trip.com International Cartoon Festival (in June or July) that has been running since the early 1960s. one hour) from Ostend. France and Britain. Werfkaai 16. hlunch & dinner Fri-Mon) is considered one of Belgium’s best restaurants. h8am-noon & 1. the town’s main street.be. Knokke-Heist is the collective title for five villages that line the northeastern end of the Belgian coast. lives here. Oostduinkerke. line the main road opposite the port. It was secured by the Flemish Community’s nature division in 2002 following a lengthy legal battle with real-estate developers.20. it only reopened to sea traffic in 1957 after the mole was rebuilt and Thetis. h8. is now the largest salt marsh in Belgium. one of the world’s busiest waterways. Chances are you won’t see this famous piece. These days it’s done for tourists and tradition rather than to haul any great catch. St Idesbald and De Panne. Het Zwin covers 150 hectares (an additional 25 hectares stretch into the Netherlands) and is an important destination for migrating swans. Oostduinkerke. hourly) links Knokke train station with Het Zwin.000 reed geese lonelyplanet.com W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • S o u t h w e s t C o a s t 147 flock here annually. The Zwin silted long ago and the area.40/5.600 Nieuwpoort holds a special place in Belgian history.30am12. On first inspection it looks anything but elite. Koksijde. Knokke.be. and the tables have sea views (a rarity on the Belgian coast given either the rows of high-rises or candy-coloured beach cabins). In WWII. combined ticket incl the Vlindertuin €8. including Nieuwpoort. The main town. h9. Leopold II-laan 2. Once again. Its 222 hectares plays host to some of the most rare birds in Europe. Dig a bit deeper to find the choicest slice of this conglomeration. Kaai 35). immediately northeast of Knokke.60/2. you can see the sluicegates. For details on overnight ferries between here and England and Scotland. Bronlaan 14. h9am-7pm Easter-Sep. Nieuwpoort pop 10. connected Bruges with the sea. will include a hotel and apartments.20/3. Zwin-Polder. is the preferred summer destination for the nation’s bourgeoisie. as well as the zwinnebloem (sea lavender) that coats much of the area in purple in summer. The best address is the newly revamped hotel and restaurant Cosmopolite (%058 23 33 66. art galleries and swanky shops. The town itself is largely uninteresting. Zeebrugge is sadly best remembered for the Herald of Free Enterprise tragedy. and you’ll find it on the right. 5km northeast of Knokke. about 500m from the beach. Zeebrugge is divided into two: Zeebrugge-Centrum (Centre) and Zeebrugge-Bad (Beach). the result of a highly successful breeding program that started in 1956. B&B New Largo (%058 23 80 28. Flanked by the North Sea. another 33km stretch of coastal resorts. It was finished in 1907 and the harbour proved an economic success until WWI when Allied forces sunk blocking ships at its entrance in a bid to foil German submarine activity. the modern beachfront resort some 2km away. Albert I-laan 141. The restaurant has mains for €17 to €25 and does a generous three-course seafood lunch menu for just €20. situated on the IJzer and now also home to one of northern Europe’s biggest marinas. %050 61 04 72. As a result. It comprises two parts: the historic 12th-century fishing port of Nieuwpoort. s/d €100/130) occupies a typical whitewashed villa in Zoute. a vastly different landscape from that of medieval times when the Zwin. Bus 12 (€1.30-6pm Jul.20.50. Alternatively. In 1987 a car ferry en route to Dover from Zeebrugge sank immediately after departure. rather than a traditional B&B. and can be seen irregularly between April and June and again in September and October (when water temperatures are ideal for shrimps). When arriving in town. a photographic festival in April and an lonelyplanet. many of which can be seen during the bird-watching period from March to November.

h10-11. 10am-noon & 2-4pm Tue-Sun Oct-Mar) is in the town hall. Veurne’s St Walburgakerk was the recipient.25.30-5.delvauxmuseum. Back on the main road. only 50m from the beach. The tourist office (%058 33 55 31. Adinkerke-De Panne. %058 51 24 68. 10am-5. s/d €35/60. Thu-Sun Oct-Dec).info. or Stones & Things. detached tower affords good views. in its current form.plopsaland. De Panne’s tourist office (%058 42 18 18. Oostduinkerke has one of the coast’s few hostels. hclosed Wed). www. %058 31 38 97. cross the canal. better known in English as the Penitents’ Procession. www. Count Robert II of Flanders was returning from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem when his ship was lost in a storm. below). The museum occupies the house and studio of Paul Delvaux (1897–1994). letters. at the start of Ooststraat.45am & 2-5. Oostduinkerke. Onder den Toren (%058 31 65 66.30pm Sat & Sun Apr-Jun & Sep. Not the most visually appealing place but it’s a great option for families because it’s very child-friendly (there are rooms with kitchenettes.be. dm/d per person €16. dine at seductive Venue (%058 41 13 70. turn right. Veurne remained relatively unscathed throughout both world wars (it was the Belgian army’s headquarters in WWI). h10am-5. www. In WWII. The owners live in an annexe so there’s plenty of privacy. Duinparklaan 41. De Panne is best known for the role it played in both world wars. Climb to the top of Belgium’s highest dune. and then veer left into Oude Vestingstraat. It has bold colours. Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet. is family run and family friendly.30pm Sat & Sun Jul & Aug. Lie back among purple tassels and dine on a blend of Belgian.5km inland opposite a hard-to-miss horsefisher statue. Two good options for dining are ensconced in and around St Niklaas church. especially if you’re travelling with young kids or looking for a romantic hideaway. the retreating British army reached the sand dunes between De Panne and Dunkerque (Dunkirk in English) in France from where they were famously evacuated in 1940. adult/child €4/1. The museum is 1km from the Koksijde/St Idesbald tram stop. Accommodation is limited. Connected to the stadhuis is the Gerechtshof. Hoge Blekker (33m). 1-5. He vowed that if he were saved.148 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • S o u t h w e s t C o a s t town hall.vjh. Zeelaan 21. visit the newly renovated Nationaal Visserijmuseum (National Fishery Museum. For a walk in protected sand dunes along well-marked paths. It was part of a small patch of Belgian territory that remained unoccupied by the Germans during WWI. due to flooding around the IJzer (see Nieuwpoort. www. and even has a small playground. split-level bar/ PENITENTS’ PROCESSION Veurne holds one of Belgium’s most unusual gatherings – the Boetprocessie.900 Veurne (Furnes in French) is a charming little town with an absorbing cluster of medieval buildings. and on a summer’s evening you might even hear a nightingale. From the train station. The Flemish Renaissance-style stadhuis.30am-5. in the heart of town. Asian and Italian cuisines. Its most noted feature. Located on the main pop 9900 coastal road. on the Grote Markt’s southeast corner. adult/under 1m/concession €23/free/22. This busy resort started life as a fishing village set in a panne (hollow) among the dunes.30pm Mon-Thu Sep-Jun. adult/child €2/1. d €65. On the last Sunday in July. Italian and Asian dishes. but St Idesbald has a major attraction. and its attached belfort. originally built as a town hall but converted into a garrison for Spanish officers during the Hapsburg rule. p147). The beach and Plopsaland (see opposite) are also just a short drive away. those arriving by train are inconveniently deposited 2. Sat & Sun Sep & Oct). 1-5. Oude Vestingstraat 36. one of Belgium’s famous surrealist artists. all barely a five-minute drive from the coast. he would give the relic of the cross that he was carrying to the first church he saw. behind the tourist office. from 9am Sat & Sun Sep-Jun) is in the gemeentehuis. an imposing beachfront monument to Léopold I. Artevelde (%058 41 10 51. Riding the Kusttram west. and its picturepostcard central square is now a day-tripper magnet. Brooding behind the World W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • Ve u r n e 149 Heritage–listed belfry is the massive bulk of St Walburgakerk. a toy train and the like. Unlike nearby Ypres and Diksmuide. low-set De Peerdevisser (%058 main coastal road. commemorates the spot where the king first set foot on Belgian territory in 1831. Koninklijke Baan 289. s/d/tr/f €57/67/86/99. incl drinks €50. Déjà vu. Opposite is the former Vleeshuis. Sleeping & Eating De Loft (%058 31 59 49. Historically. Delvauxlaan 42. h10am-noon & 2-6pm Tue-Sun).be in Flemish. thoughtful décor. www . where they remained until 1918. There’s a plethora of rides. head 2km west of De Panne to De Westhoek Vlaams Natuurreservaat. h10am-noon & 1. This B&B occupies a whitewashed villa on a quiet backstreet about 200m from the main coastal road and not far from the Delvaux Museum. The Kusttram from De Panne stops nearby. The pretty whitewashed cottage and garden sitting smack in coastal suburbia come as a surprise considering Delvaux’s penchant for out-of-theordinary scenes. However. 1.be in Flemish. Hotels are abundant but all are old-fashioned and fussy. turn left into Statiestraat. from where the museum is signposted. menu €20. Oostduinkerke. www. The Kusttram ends its southwestward journey 4km past St Idesbald at De Panne.veurne. This church drew pilgrims from far and wide during the Middle Ages. On the opposite side of the Grote Markt.60/29.artevelde. For a breath of contemporary. www. In the 11th century. There’s nothing to see in Koksijde. It caters to families. n) Small hotel/tearoom/ art gallery situated halfway between the train station and the Grote Markt. 8am-noon & 1-5pm Mon-Fri. i) is 1km inland from the lonelyplanet.5km inland from the beachfront – to get to the heart of things just jump on the Kusttram or hire a bike (€9. moonlight. The roots of the parade go back much further.30pm Apr-Jun. Albert I-laan 2. to 1644.com . the Paul Delvaux Museum (%058 52 12 29. 9am-noon & 1-6pm Sat & Sun Jul & Aug. WESTERN FLANDERS WESTERN FLANDERS 51 26 49. Sloepenlaan 24. Pastoor Schmitzstraat 5. Delvaux covered canvases with haunting images such as dreamy and erotic sleepwalkers in trams and stations. and a secured play area). hdinner Wed-Mon) is a modern. a former court of justice. Nieuwpoortlaan 56. set back in a leafy residential street.30pm Tue-Sun Apr-Sep. is the 15th-century Spaans Paviljoen (Spanish Pavilion). for an as-far-as-the-eye-can-see beach vista. De Pannelaan 68.be. The church’s bulky. sketches and original paintings as well as memorabilia – family photos.50 per day. De Panne’s newest restaurant offers a slinky setting and (once again) a marriage of Belgian. erected between 1596 and 1612. From the stop. Rising from Appelmarkt. This theme park is based around Belgian TV characters Samson and Gert. you’ll be hardpressed to pinpoint where Oostduinkerke ends and Koksijde and adjoining St Idesbald begin.com De Panne mains €18-25.deloft.15pm mid-Jun–mid-Sep). a gabled butchers’ hall from 1615 that now houses a library. Plop the gnome and Wizzy and Woppy. hlunch Thu-Tue. is St Niklaaskerk (admission €1. In July it hosts the Penitents’ Procession (see boxed text. features a bluestone loggia extending from the original façade. hundreds of anonymous people clad in dark-brown cowls solemnly carry enormous wooden crosses through the streets in a parade that dates back. many of the penitents go barefoot. For more about fishing.certimomenti. here too is a bust of Paul Delvaux. a lovely mustard-toned affair complete with tiers and a balcony. h10am-5. to mention a few. a simple act that lends weight to this eerie evocation of long-past traditions. The Bakkerijmuseum (Bakery Museum. n). The bathroom and toilet are communal. head to Oh (%058 52 05 72. King Albert I moved his home and the government here. classical features and reclining nude women. For somewhere to stay there’s B&B Certi Momenti (%058 51 89 05.be. hEaster-Sep).30pm Apr-Sep. Grote Markt 29.50 deposit) from De Panne train station. VEURNE pop 11. The new. St Niklaaspleintje 1. The exhibition contains plenty of drawings. mains €17-25. St Idesbald. but it’s well worth an overnight trip.30pm Mon-Fri. 1km inland from the closest tram stop. 10am-7pm Jul & Aug. skeletons. admission €5. Rooms with a private bathroom are a tad more expensive. and individual (but small) rooms – choose from Nameste. In today’s procession. a nature reserve bordering the French frontier. 1. Myriamweg 16. h8am-6pm Mon-Fri. 10am-noon & 1-5. h10. Sights Make a beeline for the Grote Markt with its cluster of interesting buildings.de panne.30pm Wed. For kids young and old there’s Plopsaland (%058 42 02 02. walk along the main road (in the direction of De Panne) to the first main street on the left. www. all free once you’re inside. Snowdrops raise their heads in February in the small park behind the stadhuis. dinner Thu-Mon) to sample Bel- gium’s booming restaurant and lounge scene. While the Kusttram rattles along the main coastal road. This area is rich in migratory birds in winter. with a €12.be.30-5pm Sun Oct-Mar) is the only real highlight away from the Grote Markt. St Idesbald.com. and is one of the most visited attractions in the whole country.50.

there’s Le Petit Cabaret (%058 62 04 02.30pm) Bookshop specialising in all things WWI related. Alternatively............... hlunch & dinner.. the town of Diksmuide is best known for its speciality brewery............ Although painstakingly restored. and there’s a baby cot........Komen Getting There & Away Like Ypres..... British Grenadier (%057 21 46 57........kasteelenkoetshuys... a terrine made of chicken. potjesvlees.com ud lonelyplanet..... tr rons p J Ca Slachthuisstr Veemarkt Surmont de Vol eplein rk Wate D Hoge Wieltjesgracht 10 Minn 2 lstr astee 200 m 0.. Ypres.. The original version was completed in 0 0 an Veurne’s attractive little train station (%050 30 49 73).. The Grote Markt is lined with inexpensive cafés and brasseries.. In Belgium’s southwest corner....... small balconies and a caring welcome from the woman who runs it are the attractions.30amnoon & 1...23 B2 Ter Posterie......... mains €2527.... for that matter).... Lindendreef 5..... done out in pale blues.. browns and caramels – a deliciously romantic combination... Grote Markt 30..9 Ariane Hotel .(see 16) Post Office..... IJzerdijk 49..... closed Wed & lunch Sat)... mains €12-17.......5km from town is the IJzertoren Vaart Iepe shopping streets. and its postwar reconstruction holds true to its former prosperity....5 C2 Lakenhalle.8 C2 sob g Jac e St uww nie 9 ena 18 g Guido Gezellepl Ars s rpla Bote e INFORMATION w se 1 C2 British Grenadier.. Taverne Flandria (%058 31 11 74.... veal and rabbit and served cold with slices of bread. a protected monument..30-4... bathrobes....... without bathroom €70/80.... Ypres ranked alongside Bruges and Ghent as an important cloth town..... 65 minutes)...16 Market.... Meensestraat 5.50.......000 lum lk P arsc Ma laan 92 29.....17 18 Pacific Eiland. Internet (In het Klein Stadhuis... us eb k Commonwealth War Graves k Di Commission... Grote Markt 32. 14 D3 EATING De Stoove........... De Dolle Brouwers (p50)... hclosed Mon evening & Tue) for opening hours because they’re complicated.. Majoorgracht Pita Agadir.. is a good place to try some brews (sadly.com O 150 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A r o u n d Ve u r n e J Picanollaan ... s/d with bathroom €90/100... In medieval times..6 D2 Ramparts Cemetery......24 C2 O udstrij str rze Beu elgra cht Neerstr er at C1 C2 C2 B3 C2 C3 B2 B2 s str plein Minne St Niklaasstr lstr Tempe Hoornwerk tr bss aco R Hotel Regina...21 't Ganzeke......... Grote Markt Information Va whole corner of Flanders........ More than 300.... an intimate corner restaurant where sand or sawdust crunch under your feet... was obliterated during WWI due to its frontline position on the IJzer’s eastern bank..... was mysteriously blown up 16 years later. n) The most delightful place to stay in Veurne (or in this W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • Y p re s 151 e THE AUTHOR’S CHOICE lonelyplanet..............11 B&B Zonneweelde...... linen sheets. www.....be. halfway between Veurne and Ypres.. old marble fireplaces (not in use)............... In beer circles...... seven minutes) or inland to Diksmuide (€2... the region was a barrier to a German advance towards the French coastal ports around Calais.... www. the town and its surrounds..... Lakenhalle...15 In het Klein Stadhuis........ the main shopping street.. h8..... h9am-6pm Mon-Fri....ijzertoren.......... to boot.......... Convincingly rebuilt....19 Spar.. snacks €8.........22 tr ns re kla e ijk W C2 B1 B2 C1 den Gouortstr Po 20 r SLEEPING Albion Hotel .....7 C4 Stadhuis.. Maa restaurant hidden under the church’s tower (hence the name).. the nearby Westvleteren beers aren’t stocked). A ulaa Kasteel Beauvoorde Westvleteren ὈὈ ὈὈὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ ὈὈ ὈὈὈὈ ὈὈ ὈὈ ὈὈὈὈὈὈ ὈὈὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈὈὈὈὈ ὈὈὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ ὈὈὈὈὈὈ ὈὈὈὈ ὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ ὈὈὈὈὈὈ To Veurne (30km) Malo AROUND VEURNE long served as a Flemish nationalist symbol....10.3 C1 Visitors Centre.. Wulveringem.......13 C2 Jeugdstadion.20 Super GB..... Trains leave halfhourly for De Panne (€1............(see 4) Menenpoort...30am-1pm.. a colossal 84m-high cement tower that’s Sights YPRES r . adult/child/ family €6/3/15.. Post office (Diksmuidsestraat 33) Visitors centre (%057 23 92 20......... Market (Grote Markt.. The enormous Lakenhalle (cloth hall) with its 70m-high belfry dominates the Grote Markt.. known as the Ypres Salient...25 A2 7 Kaste ing DRINKING 't Leetvermaak. The red-brick mansion dates from 1907 and has a half-dozen or so rooms.ieper. Monks at this abbey brew one of the country’s famous Trappist beers (see Westvleteren.. About 1. its 20th-century gables just don’t have the authenticity needed to make it a big pull........... p47). the town of Diksmuide....... adult/child €4/free) YPRES 1 B an erla Foch The Renaissance-style Beauvoorde Castle (%058 29 Another pilgrimage point for beer lovers is the Abdij St Sixtus... www.. is 600m east of the Grote Markt – head straight up Ooststraat.... Audio-guides are handed out for English-speaking visitors – good for delving into the life and times of Arthur Merghelynck...... h10am-6pm Apr-Sep.. It’s best to ring in advance pop 35.. are dotted with cemeteries and memorials....... The original tower... who owned and restored the castle from 1875..(see 14) Bus Station... This 1950 replacement spans 22 floors and houses a new museum devoted to war-associated displays and Flemish emancipation...... www... Children are welcome........12 24 str alst SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES In Flanders Fields Museum.. WESTERN FLANDERS WESTERN FLANDERS ’t Kasteel en ’t Koetshuys (%058 31 53 72. 7......30pm Mon-Fri) Supplies detailed information on Commonwealth cemeteries and individual graves......... At Brasserie Excelsior (%058 31 10 86...30pm Wed) Weekly food market.....4 C2 str To Park Bellewaerde (5km) 6 1 estr Meens St J Tempelpoort ABC Merghelynck ntstr Esplanade 19 str o De M itg Vooru r else Rijs arkt Paterstr Vism r angst ardstr Boomga ersstr r Appelst 25 Train Station nsstr Statio R Colaertpl H Cartonst 3 Elverdingsestr Vandepeereboompl 16 23 Korte Meersstr St Maartenspl 8 17 21 5 4 Grote Markt 22 Neermarkt tr Stuersstr 13 Boters 11 To Devos & Dewanckel Car Hire (2km).2 A1 Internet........org... Elverdingsestraat 82.. 10am6pm Sat & Sun Apr-Sep...... 4km from the village of Westvleteren... Breakfast and light meals (mains €12 to €20) – bistro-style cuisine using organic produce – are taken in a restored stable at the garden’s rear (open 10am to 7pm)...... about 7km south of Veurne.....be... Ypres and its surrounding area was the last bastion of Belgian territory unoccupied by the Germans in WWI..cwgc.... 2-6pm........ And it’s also excellent value...000 Allied soldiers were killed here during four years of fighting that left the medieval town flattened... a down-to-earth pub with a drunken monk logo..... (%051 50 02 86..... Bruges (60km) Janseniusstr Lange Me kstr lui Be 4 de tave Gus To B&B Camalou (4km) 3 rdstr htstr Grac 2 15 sbergestr Boezinger poortst ar ts tr Minneplein To Poperinge (10km) n Only the hardest of hearts are unmoved by Ypres (Ieper in Flemish).. pop 15..60.500 aigla lk H taste the town speciality.. There’s no public transport from Veurne........... 10km southeast of Veurne.. Commonwealth War Graves Commission (%057 20 01 18. hclosed Wed evening & Thu)..... to 5pm Jan-Mar & OctDec).... 11 minutes) and Ghent (€10.. h11am-8pm......org.30-8... to 5pm Oct-Mar) Tourist office for Ypres and surrounds.....10 B&B Ter Thuyne. Appelmarkt 1.. It’s 300m from the town centre....... h9..... High ceilings....... Wulveringemstraat 10....1 miles C 12 Adjudant Masscheleinlaan ha Eigenhee is secreted away in the hamlet of Wulveringem. h8am-12...... Other recommendations: Spar (Zuidstraat 36) Supermarket on one of the main Diksmuide a rsch 31.. closed Sun in winter) There’s one terminal here (free use when you purchase something)..tr La nge Tor hou t s tr Diksmuidses Aalmoeze niersstr Leopoldl aan r sst str Rijs els e eg derslaan 14 Bolwerkstr ke r Buk Rijselsepoort Rijse lsew TRANSPORT Bike Hire. Grote Markt... built in 1930 as a war memorial......... As such... including war graves searches and tour bookings. This office covers all the cemeteries in northern Europe...

inflandersfields. Wartime memorabilia dots the common rooms. see Dranouter. hTue-Sun) Family-friendly. deposit €500).50. which were stored on the 1st floor and sold from the halls at street level. you’ll either need to take an organised tour or allow a full day to get around by car (see p154).albionhotel. Grote Markt 45. but that’s also part of the minimalist trend. Bruges (€10. The Ypres visitors centre sells bike maps (€2) but the explanations are in Flemish only. Wooden floors. including homemade garnaalkroketjes (shrimp croquettes). warm contemporary (but not trendy) décor. the closest military cemetery to town.be. and with the exception of WWII has continued ever since. tucked away in a quaint guildhall next to the stadhuis? The split-level design and unfailingly friendly staff? The delicious and really good-value meals (plus plenty for vegos and kids)? Or simply the fact that it rates just as highly among locals as it does tourists? Whatever. Set back from the street and has a garden terrace. Stories have long been told about the WWI battlefields of Flanders. 1½ hours). For Brussels (€14.com For details on the Salient as well as organised and self-guided tours of the area. unfussy (with not even a painting on the walls). mains €20-22. W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A r o u n d Y p re s 153 Ter Posterie (%057 20 05 80. Rijselsestraat 42. Antwerp (€16. standard s/d €65/75. Cats. the soldiers who disappeared forever in the quagmire of battle. above). and there is also a tidy restaurant. s/d €85/110) A friendly. Service can be standoffish. it was believed. know as Vestingroute. www. about 2km north of the Grote Markt. shop 11am-7pm Thu-Tue) Beer devotees head straight to this large cellar pub. Pick up the tourist office’s Ramparts Route brochure to explore these historic fortifications. closed Tue) Pitta joint that’s been around for years and serves couscous (€13. camp sites per adult/car €4. Note also that this region is not as flat as much of the rest of Flanders. Rijselsestraat 57. which is now underground. Korte Meersstraat 2. mains under €20. a parade of giant cats – the next is May 2009. This simple. i) There’s just something about this little café/ brasserie that makes it one of our perennial favourites. Grote Markt 34.50/4. executive s/d €90/100) Located on the Markt and overlooking the Lakenhalle. located just a few streets away from the Lakenhalle.hotelregina. h11. found right in the heart of town. it’s devoted to the promotion of peace as much as the remembrance of war. i) Good for those with a car.30am-2am Thu-Tue. Pita Agadir (%057 20 12 91. Super GB (Vandepeereboomplein 15) Supermarket. see boxed text.camalou. was their undoing. per day with unlimited kms €50. Getting There & Around From Ypres train station (%025 28 28 28) there are hourly trains direct to Kortrijk (€4. and even then you’d only be covering the tip of the iceberg. The three rooms are all comfortable and modern – the light blue room at the front is the pick. s/d €80/98) Functional. Last tickets are sold one hour before closing time.30pm-2am. there’s a two-night minimum. s/d €40/70.be. Cars can be rented from Devos & Dewanckel (%057 20 13 35. ’t Leetvermaak (%057 21 63 85. moving tradition was started in 1928. 1¼ hours). As Ypres’ wartime sights are spread over a wide area. dinner Tue-Sun) Smooth new bistro – hidden on a quiet backstreet well away from tourist tracks – that was instantly loved by the locals. modern hotel in a quiet residential area just north of the Grote Markt. The huge white gate is inscribed with the names of 54. you’d need several days to do the area justice by bike. In Flanders Fields Museum (%057 23 92 75. inside. Slachthuisstraat 58. s/d €55/70. B&B Ter Thuyne (%057 36 00 42. www. Hotel Regina (%057 21 88 88. hmid-Mar–Oct) Camping ground and youth centre 900m southeast of the town centre. The museum is named after the famous poem written in the spring of 1915 by Canadian medical officer John McCrae. h11. the year after the gate was built. Dranouter Folkfestival For information on this festival. see p156. lonelyplanet.be. hSat morning) Food and clothing market. Albion Hotel (%057 20 02 20. Surmont de Volsbergestraat 12. In those times. two hours).10. dinner Wed-Sun) Located on an island in the middle of the ramparts. i) Martine Eggermont runs this delightful B&B. The Salient’s wartime reminders are scattered over a large area – it would take weeks to tour it extensively. Eating & Drinking ’t Ganzeke (%057 20 00 09. The B&B even has its own beer. flat fields. this place is good for families (it includes a small playground and rowboats) and those discovering the Vestingroute (see opposite). p154. no-nonsense brasserie good for a snack or light meal.90. Bolwerkstraat 1. Sit at the counter or on a big comfy chair and enjoy the jazz sounds while awaiting excellent Belgian cuisine. Located 4km out of town with three lovely old rooms. discount per night for 2 nights or more €6. Vandepeereboomplein 5. www.25) and pitta or kebab (€4). two hours) and Ostend (€12. Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet. Grote Markt 32. mains €13-24. Ariane Hotel (%057 21 82 18.50/18. hclosed Sun winter.50/3. adult/child/family €7. www. www. There were the tall red poppies that rose over the flat.be.be. and the atmosphere is particularly animated. this is Ypres’ most atmospheric hotel. brewed in nearby Watou. personified evil spirits and this ritual. Industrielaan 2.be. and an excellent buffet breakfast (served on small tables downstairs) are key features. Bikes can be rented from Jeugdstadion (see opposite) for €5 per day. eight minutes). which stocks 170 national brews (and sells 250 types from the adjoining shop). traffic is halted while buglers from the local fire brigade sound the Last Post. The Renaissance-style stadhuis is attached to the eastern end of the Lakenhalle. De Stoove (%0479 22 92 33. as this memorial is known in English) stands at the end of Meensestraat. Adjudant Masscheleinlaan 18.terthuyne . The woman who runs it is a local tourist guide and will readily assist travellers. dinner ThuMon) There’s a relaxed ambience at this stylish fish restaurant. Is it the location. and the little town of Ypres that was wiped off the map. and west to nearby Poperinge (€1. Spar (Rijselsestraat 72) Supermarket.50. Touring by bike is also possible (see Getting There & Around. Although cat-lovers around the world may be enraged by the idea. Pacific Eiland (%057 20 05 28. p156). h10am-6pm AprSep. St Jacobsstraat 28. In summer. AROUND YPRES Ypres Salient The Ypres Salient was the site of some of WWI’s most fierce and bloody battles – for more information. www. the festival has its roots in the 12thcentury tradition of throwing live cats from the Lakenhalle’s belfry.5km) to the Menin Gate. It is perhaps the saddest reminder of the town’s past. info@jeugdstadion . which continued until 1817.60.ariane.90. hlunch Wed-Mon. change in Kortrijk. hlunch Thu-Tue. Located on the Lakenhalle’s 1st floor. it’s good for mussels. 10am-5pm Tue-Sun Oct-Mar) tells such stories and more. Room No 1 is the best. 30 minutes) and Ghent (€9. Eiland 2.30. Regional buses leave from the bus station to the left outside the train station. one hour). mains €14-19. ships could sail in to the Lakenhalle to unload their cargoes of wool. for a huge and impressive stained-glass window. In season. Other recommendations: Market (Grote Markt. mains €18-23. Festivals & Events Kattenfestival Ypres’ main folkloric event is the annual Festival of the Cats. THE AUTHOR’S CHOICE In het Klein Stadhuis (%057 21 55 42. B&B Camalou (%057 20 43 42.com. and is a moving testament to the wartime horrors experienced by ordinary people. s/d €25/48) Old-world and fastidiously clean. On Saturday it’s a favourite with stallholders from the nearby market. Between Leeuwentoren (Lion’s Tower) and Rijselpoort (Lille Gate) is the Ramparts Cemetery.30. Every evening at 8pm. with shared bathroom facilities and a hotchpotch of furniture and décor. Gustave de Stuersstraat 19. A complete makeover a few years back brought its 17 rooms into minimalist line.com B&B Zonneweelde (%057 20 27 23. The town’s southern half is flanked by a wide moat and steep stone ramparts that are topped by pleasant gardens and walking/ cycling paths. It’s noted for the lovely arcade gallery that runs along the front and. Today’s version – which sees (toy) cats hurled on the second Sunday in May – was revived in the 1930s. The décor’s unexceptional but the setting and classic Belgian cuisine are fine. The walk described in the brochure starts in the southeast at an old ammunition dump (accessible only with a city guide) and traces the entire ramparts (2. Other recommendations: Jeugdstadion (%057 21 72 82.30am-2pm & 5. modern hotel. who was posted near Ypres.896 British and Commonwealth troops who were lost in the quagmire of the trenches during WWI and who have no graves. The celebration has its climax every three years when the town hosts the Kattenstoet. it’s a must for a casual meal. about 300m from the visitors centre. Sleeping Ypres has a smattering of options in most price brackets. Those looking for specific graves should contact either the Commonwealth War Graves WESTERN FLANDERS WESTERN FLANDERS 152 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • Y p re s . The Menenpoort (or Menin Gate. Dikkebusseweg 351.1304 beside the Ieperslee River. To see the sights in Ypres itself plus just a handful of the outlying cemeteries and memorials. hlunch Wed-Sun.

. erected in 1921.. %057 46 84 46.............. p151.5 Tyne Cot Cemetery.85). noticing on your left en route the Carrefour des Roses (2). 9 Menin Gate..... in October and November 1914..... as it was incorporated into the white Cross of Sacrifice that stands as the cemetery’s focal point.. Most of what’s found is unearthed on farms. German Cemetery).. These days.. Algerian and Canadian soldiers took the brunt of the German onslaught and counterattack.. for details of both). They Called It Passchendaele by Lyn MacDonald (€16) is an excellent oral history of more than 600 people involved in one of Ypres’ major battles.. low ridges that ran for about 25km from Langemark north of Ypres to near Menen. and it had devastating effects not only on the advancing soldiers it targeted but also on the retreating army.. in a freshly ploughed field near the village of St Yvon.and four-hour itineraries plus plenty of historical information.2 Deutscher Soldatenfriedhof... date of birth......... At the rear of the cemetery is a huge semicircular wall inscribed with the names of 34.....com The Ypres Salient was formed by Allied attempts to push the invading German army away from its goal – the North Sea and its strategic French port towns. a solitary column dedicated to those who died in the Battle of Broodseinde in October 1917..... you’ll have less difficulty conjuring up the scene of almost a century ago... Salient Tours. adult/child €3/1. Allow two days by car for the whole itinerary. One was even identified..... It offers three....... WESTERN FLANDERS WESTERN FLANDERS AT THE CROSSROADS OF WAR lonelyplanet. DRIVING TOUR The following tour begins and ends in Ypres and winds through the Salient’s northern and central sectors..... is the Hooge Crater Museum (7..... also known as the Brooding Soldier.10 A2 A1 A1 B1 B1 B1 B2 B2 A2 A2 pristine white headstones...857 soldiers who have no known grave and whose names were unable to fit on Ypres’ Menin Gate....154 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A r o u n d Y p re s lonelyplanet. This guide is designed to be used with the Holt’s Battle Map of the Ypres Salient (€4............. Gas was a tactic employed for the first time in WWI........... The Belgian army still diffuses large quantities of unexploded munitions from this area.. many of them young students and cadets who fell in the first battle of Ypres. Another booklet is Major & Mrs Holt’s Concise Battlefield Guide to the Ypres Salient by Toni and Valmai Holt (€4... cross the canal and continue toward Langemark.com . This horrific episode was fought in shocking weather in fields already torn to bits by shells... basically set the lines of the Salient. From Tyne Cot head down through the village of Zonnebeke and join the road leading to Zillebeke....... The armies fought battle after battle at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives in a bid to hold the ridges. From Essex Farm Cemetery............. On 31 July 1917 British forces launched the third battle.. although the Allied gains of the previous year were lost. the road to Menen.. Much less common is the discovery of remains – in 2006... an essential extra if you want to track down some of the lesserknown sights......... Behind the cross is a cluster of graves of soldiers who were buried here during the last stage of the war – the random positioning of their graves stands in stark contrast to the orderly rows below.. By November...... It features a polished WWI display..25km to the turn-off to Tyne Cot Cemetery (6). In April 1918 the Germans made their final assault and....... with both sides digging in and gaining relatively little ground either way for the remainder of the war.......... as you pass through the gate.. It can be comfortably covered by car in a day and is outlined on the Salient Tour map (p155)... It cost the lives of thousands and thousands of soldiers. But the 170 cemeteries with row upon row of crosses soon hammer home the bloodshed.. The Roses of No Man’s Land (€17........ national emblem and...... the remains of three British soldiers were found.. The wounded from the battlefields across the canal at the rear of this cemetery were brought to a firstaid bunker here.. the remnants of which can be seen next to the cemetery..... 11... is the resting place of more than 44. or the ‘battle of the mud’........ it’s initially hard to imagine the destruction and loss of life that took place..3 St Juliaan Memorial... Should you be here on a cold day in winter when the lifeless fields are no more than muddy bogs and fog hangs inches from your face and drapes the graves of the dead.. the war was over. close to the border with France – provided good vantage points.. about 1.... describes it: ‘The years of deadlocked trench warfare created a barren landscape of mud and despair…local villages such as Passendaele slowly descended into a merciless hell on earth’. It was here... This cemetery..... In all. depicts a soldier with head bowed resting on the butt of his gun.... This soaring Canadian monument... on the right about 3km from town W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A r o u n d Y p re s 155 just past a motorway flyover. Commission or the British Grenadier (see Information. continue along the N369 for a couple of kilometres to a bridge across the canal near Boezinge.. four statues by German sculptor Emil Krieger are visible as silhouettes.. Retrace your path to the crossroad at Langemark and continue straight on for nearly 2km to the crossroad marked by the St Juliaan Memorial (4)....... In this case. if you have just one day.. One of these bunkers can partly still be seen. head north on the N369 (direction Diksmuide) to the Essex Farm Cemetery (1). Meenseweg 467... The first... 6 Hooge Crater Museum.. the tide was about to turn.. It’s ruler-straight and eventually joins the N8.. The following publications are available either at the Ypres visitors centre or the British Grenadier.. French....... it sits on a plateau with the towers of Ypres visible in the distance..000 German soldiers.. serial number... lined up at regular intervals and each bearing a name. The largest British Commonwealth war cemetery in the world..... Continue for about 4km to the village of Langemark. For something more concise there’s The Great War in Flanders (€1). which stretched over three months and is commonly remembered as the Battle of Passendaele... then turn left at the crossroad and follow the road for 750m to the Deutscher Soldatenfriedhof (3....5km along the Menen road (N8).956 soldiers are buried at Tyne Cot. Turn right....15). There were four key battles at Ypres.. an inscription chosen by a member of the family.... The second battle in spring of the next year was a gas attack launched by the Germans around Langemark immediately to the north of Ypres........ turn right and follow the road about 1. concentrate on areas north and east of Ypres....... Behind the stone entrance gate is a massive common grave. rank. too... 8 Hill 60.. take the main road (direction Zonnebeke) to the third turn-off on the left (about 2...4 New Zealand Memorial.. The geological formation of the Salient – a line of long.. all for a few kilometres of ground.... From central Ypres.......... As one local tour operator........ On the left. The Northumberland infantrymen who tried taking this ridge gave the cemetery its name – they fancied that the German bunkers positioned on the hillside here looked like Tyneside cottages. a simple but moving Breton stone calvary erected in memory of the French soldiers who died in 1915’s first gas attack.. Leaving the memorial behind you.... thanks to the metal name tag he wore.......50) is an 82km itinerary complete with map and sight information.... h10am-5pm MarNov Tue-Sun)...... sometimes....25km).. Turn left here to proceed to two small museums where you can browse around (and even buy) some wartime memorabilia or have a drink and a snack.. This leads to a crossroad marked by a New Zealand Memorial (5).. From the memorial.... particularly in summer when the weather is good and life in this rural corner of Belgium seems to go on as it always has..... 7 Sanctuary Hill Museum....50..80) by the same author tells the unsung story of the medical teams who struggled to save the soldiers. that Canadian doctor John McCrae wrote the famous poem In Flanders Fields.. Before the cross are row upon row of 0 0 SALIENT TOUR 2 km 1 mile ὈὈὈ ὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈὈὈὈ A B N313 3 Poelkapelle To Roeselare (10km) Langemark 1 2 4 Boezinge Passendaele 5 Sint-Juliaan 6 N313 N369 1 N38 Zonnebeke N8 10 2 7 Ypres To Poperinge (7km) 8 Zillebeke 9 3 N8 A19 Geluveld To Menen (12km) SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES Essex Farm Cemetery....... with its rows of black headstones interspersed with mossy stone crosses. In Flanders Fields Route booklet (€2..1 Carrefour des Roses.... so it’s unlikely you’ll come across anything while doing the rounds of the sights.

h9am-6pm Mon-Fri. Begijnhofpark. just centimetres long. bomb holes pocking the landscape. Orientation & Information Kortrijk train station is 400m from the town hub. The stadhuis (Grote Markt. and return to Ypres via the Menin Gate (10). Immediately north. Poperinge is one of the few places in the country where you can sample hopscheuten (hops shoots). bus 71 (30 minutes) runs three times daily. on the first weekend in August for its famous folk music festival. museum or memorabilia collection – conveys the essence of war. but modern soil-heating techniques and tunnelled greenhouses mean they’re now on menus from around New Year until April. located in De Stadsschaal. Bookings at least a day or two in advance are necessary. a newly renovated 19th-century hops storehouse two blocks west from the tourist office. Homelbier. To the Belgian mind.be.be /toerisme. KORTRIJK pop 74. The town was known for linen – its position on De Leie.poperinge. adult/ child €2.salienttours. and trenches that are obvious after all these years. Ticket 2 is the complete tour.5km to arrive at this enclosed grassy area on the left. Families are welcome to stay – there’s a kitchen for whipping up meals and even a baby cot and highchair. Some people find that this site – more than any cemetery. closed Mon). 10am-4pm Sat & Sun Oct-Mar) is newly housed in a purpose-built pavilion attached to the Groeningeabdij. This effervescent town. Free internet access is available at Centrale Bibliotheek (Central Library.30pm & 2-6. backtrack to the N8. Poperinge is associated with beer (plenty of small breweries operate in this area) and. 10am5pm Easter hols & Wed-Sun May) is 5km from Ypres 33 57 25. 9.com. Flemish countess Joan of Constantinople founded this charming cluster of houses in 1242. TOURS Two companies offer very good bus tours and they’re an excellent way to see well-known and some out-of-the-way sights. a chalk-free river. and others.400 During WWI the small town of Poperinge. turn left.be. antiques.30am-7pm Mon & Wed. h10am-6pm Tue-Sun Apr-Sep.30pm Tue. from the train station). p159). The Grote Markt was heavily bombed by the Allies in WWII. The town has been the heart of Belgium’s hops-growing region for centuries and even boasts a newly renovated hops museum. Hill 60 (9) at Zillebeke. right in the heart of town. The stone-walled death cell where they spent their last night is just metres from the original shooting post. It’s next to the tourist office. When exiting the tourist office. though what you see today THE AUTHOR’S CHOICE For those wanting to get a real feel of the Great War.com nostalgic colour combinations and king-sized four-poster beds. the other upstairs in the Raadszaal (Council Chamber). opposite. shoes. d/ste €150/325. which details other aspects of Kortrijk’s history. These days it offers simple accommodation (in either the original building or the garden house. Grote Markt 20) is good for the shoots. admission free. adult/child €6/2. The Coward. h10am-noon & 2-5pm Tue-Sun). previously home to a hops merchant. to 5pm Oct-Mar) uses interactive multimedia to revisit the famous Battle of the Golden Spurs (see boxed text. Houtmarkt. became an important Middle Ages cloth-trading centre. Hill 60 is nothing more than a few concrete bunkers.5-course menu €65.kortrijk. Kortrijk was founded as a Roman settlement known as Cortoriacum and. guns. At its core stands the turreted belfort. lo- along the road to Menen (by bus. admission free.50/1. From Ypres. adult/child €25/21. Poperinge also has the most unusual and finest accommodation option in this corner of Flanders (see boxed text.30am-noon Sat). Little imagination is needed to conjure up the scene of yesterday.folkdranouter. For the rest of the year. The region’s best overnighting and dining option is Hotel Recour/Restaurant Pegasus (%057 497. 12km west of Ypres. h10am-6pm Mon-Sat). Note that you don’t need to stay here to visit the exhibitions – Ticket 1 includes access to everything except the main house. hourly). admission Ticket 1/Ticket 2 €5.50. Gone is the hustle and bustle of modern life. the Grote Markt. www. Leiestraat 30. cated in an 18th-century grey-stone mansion. A war memorial now marks the belfry’s base. it’s well worth an overnight stay.5km from the N8). www. A photo board near the roadside memorial shows what the hill looked like during wartime. adult/ child €6/4. single/double per person €25/23. whose turn-off is about 500m before the Hooge Crater Museum.pegasusrecour. admission €2. Brochures available in the cell explain in some detail the injustices of that time. this town of entertainment and prostitutes. h9am-noon & 1-5pm Apr–mid-Nov. Grote Markt 1. Although often overlooked by visitors on the go between Flanders’ old cloth cities and the famous WWI battlefields. www. when soldiers used this house as a home away from home and to momentarily forget the realities of war. 10am-5pm Sat & Sun Apr-Sep. Backtrack to the N8.90. regardless of rank. a lonely remnant of the medieval cloth hall that was bombed irreparably. Thu & Fri. p159). grenades etc. Quasimodo (p132). www. Park Bellewaerde lonelyplanet. along with other regional towns. and for one of the region’s best-known beers. To find out all you ever wanted to know – and more – about hops there’s the Nationaal Hopmuseum (%057 34 66 76. Gasthuisstraat 43.30pm. Sun only May & Jun). they were available only in April.com POPERINGE pop 19. To the English. all collected by the present owner’s grandparents immediately after the war. more specifically. Book at the British Grenadier (see p151).50/8. 9am-5pm Mon-Fri. became a good-time destination known simply as ‘Pops’. Salient Tours (%057 21 46 57. Applied and decorative arts – including fine examples of locally produced silver and damask (linen with a woven pattern) – are the highlights. p129). h9. 2½-/4hr tour €20/25. This endearing name gave no clue to its more sinister side as a place of execution for wartime deserters. are a regional delicacy. Talbot House paints a different wartime picture – for details see boxed text. There’s a multitude of attractions including a 4-D cinema. and attached to the Groeningeabdij (Groeninge Abbey. has a strong sense of identity and is powering ahead with buoyant industries (textiles and steel) and an increasingly modern centre. www. hThu-Tue Mar-Nov) These highly personalised tours (just eight people) are run by an Englishman based in Ypres. rides and animals. then turn off to the last sight.000 The Texas of Flanders: that’s Kortrijk (Courtrai in French).30am-12. Dranouter Fiddlers three and more make their way to this village. acted as a posting station for soldiers heading to or from the Ypres Salient.be. Reverend Philip ‘Tubby’ Clayton set up the Everyman’s Club here in 1915 to offer a place of rest and retreat for anyone. WESTERN FLANDERS WESTERN FLANDERS 156 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • P o p e r i n g e . now brought to life in a new museum. h9. hops. an oft-renovated church with a sturdy but decorative tower. be content with the town’s ’t Folk Experience Museum (%057 44 69 33. ai). turn right and head 30m down the road to the town hall courtyard – step inside the courtyard to arrive at a most chilling sight. In 1302 Kortrijk was the scene of the famous Battle of the Golden Spurs (see boxed text. leaving few original buildings. 9. A block east of the Grote Markt is St Maartenskerk. h10am-6pm) at Hill 62.be. %056 27 75 00. eight minutes. h2-6pm Jul-Sep. From central Zillebeke (1. Dikkebusstraat 234. Sights The new Kortrijk 1302 (%056 27 78 50. Poperinge sits at the end of the train line from Ypres (€1.The other option is the Sanctuary Hill Museum (8. 12km southwest of Ypres. %056 27 77 80. Gasthuisstraat 71. a portal opens to Kortrijk’s enclosed Begijnhof (see boxed text.30am-5. out of the range of artillery fire. breakfast €6) plus two new permanent exhibitions about life behind the lines and at the house itself. W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • K o r t r i j k 157 The tourist office (%056 27 78 40. It’s rustic refinement: just eight individually themed rooms. for desertion. From Hill 60. some of the original trenches (and the relic of a bombarded tree) have been left to convey to visitors a little of the wartime scene.50. now softened somewhat by a backdrop engraved with Rudyard Kipling’s epitaph of war. Begijnhofpark. helmets. there’s nothing quite like Poperinge’s Talbot House (%057 33 32 28. take direction Menen. h10am-6pm Jun-Aug. Café de la Paix (%057 33 95 78. opposite). Guido Gezellestraat 7. lonelyplanet. You’ll find the tourist office (%057 34 66 76. closed Sun mid-Nov–Mar) in the stadhuis This kid’s theme park (%057 46 86 86. follow the signs for another 1. www.talbothouse. These shoots. h9am-5pm Mon-Fri) houses two 16thcentury chimneypieces: one in the ground-floor Schepenzaal (Aldermen’s Room). Up until recently. breakfast €14. Meenseweg basement. %05 746 63 73. At the back. allowed for good-quality flax production. replaced by a soundscape telling of the 1917 execution here of 17-year-old soldier Herbert Morris. Canadalaan 26. This hotchpotch of a place is stuffed full of old photos. just 7km from the French frontier.

.. closed Wed) Ignore the gaudy wall murals at this corner Moroccan restaurant and concentrate instead on the flavoursome lamsschenkel (leg of lamb) couscous... The museum has two sections – the modern lace and linen museum and an adjoining flax section (the latter housed in a restored farm shed). the twin-towered Broeltorens........ another is Babelutte and the third is Chocotoff.....30-6pm Tue-Fri... Originally a patrician’s house......... smoke-stained walls and also the city’s only riverside terrace.20 C2 Restaurant Messeyne... Groeningestraat 1a..... mains €17-26.. Kant en Linnenmuseum (3. The town’s only other sight is outside the city centre but is well worth finding....... with spacious rooms radiating from an impressive spiral staircase.be. this atmospheric hideaway has modern art... where the spurs from the French knights killed in the great battle were brought.. As part of their tactics..... Only modern intercom systems....30pm & 1..... Market (Grote Markt...... it’s Belgium’s answer to London’s Madame Tussaud’s...lonelyplanet... Fri & Sat €69/85/120/150) Veemarkt tr Zwevegemses eek ge Lan tr ass ns str Rom ein Vro u Lie ve Begijnhof str la Nik Ja Doorniksewijk Aalb in Ple St- Stationstr an tr ies nin r tr str n miste Bloe 4 str iers ven tr Sionst iss 23 Ho oe Sleeping /en/index. Bistro Aubergine (%056 25 79 80.. Hotel Groeninge... Hotel Groeninge (%056 22 60 00.. including Roeland Savery..... hlunch & dinner. ceramics and paintings by local artists.. Furnishings are a happy mix of modern and old... professional knights were defeated by an amateur infantry..... Rijselsestraat 42..... These days Flanders celebrates a holiday on 11 July..11 C2 B&B Full House.. Kortrijk 1302.. Beverlaai 27. Ghent and Kortrijk met outside Kortrijk to face the aristocratic army of Philip the Fair... dine on innovative Flemish cuisine spiked with local beers.............. the Flemish townsfolk disguised a boggy marsh with brushwood.. eg em GB Express.10 B2 Toekomststr INFORMATION Centrale Bibliotheek. Lace & Linen lace museum. and the event became a symbol of Flemish resistance and the subject of Flanders’ first great novel... Handboogstraat 12......13 C1 Hotel Messeyne.. Ypres.. h8am-noon Mon) Food and clothing market. particularly lunchtime businesspeople...... Narrow cobbled streets wind round the whitewashed cottages that feature dark green trim..... Etienne Sabbelaan 4..........2 C2 To Ghent (E17......... Grote Markt 3a...... Some famous Belgians. done in different colours and stunning in even the minutest detail.... B&B Full House (%056 21 00 59...t19 A2 Market............75. closed Mon) One of a line-up of pleasant cafés/restaurants on the Markt.. Begijnhof 23...12 B4 EATING Arte.....75/3. sculptures..... the owners have struck a winning chord by combining classic architectural features – beamed ceilings and original fire- places – with modern accents... written by Hendrik Conscience..... tla ine Kle ring te K Stee Wijnga Doornikselaan Train Station 22 nstr Stee Gr ors Vo t or npo ardstr yna Re or Stationspl tr erts -J Tolstr 17 n La St rg.. Broelkaai 6... 46km) SLEEPING B&B De Begijnhofkamers. s/d €65/72 Sun-Thu. take bus 3 (every 20 minutes) from the train station to the stop in front of the museum... De Leeuw van Vlaanderen (The Lion of Flanders)..... One house is a tiny museum..1 miles C D weg tr es nts Ge n Ple i sela an str ers Me teen ort ge se S po n St-Ja nslaa Vlamingenstr Tuinstr Nieuwstr SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES Begijnhof.......22 B3 Mobiel.......3 C2 Belfort.... including Eddy Merckx... with wax figures bringing to life dioramas that illustrate flax production and lace use throughout the cen0 0 A B 200 m 0. www............ This atmospheric hotel dates from 1895....... Doorniksestraat & Schouwburgplein.15 B2 16 C2 Bistro Aubergine. The latter’s a great place for a drink or snack in summer....... a 16th-century painter employed throughout Europe for his detailed landscapes............. squatting on either side of the Leie River. this modern bistro offers a large variety of cuisines and the town’s most inviting terrace tables... WESTERN FLANDERS WESTERN FLANDERS 158 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • K o r t r i j k .. The Nationaal Vlas. www..... King of France.. Philip had sent well-equipped knights to seek retribution for the massacre at the Brugse Metten (see p120)... Continue north to Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk (Our Lady’s Church)... s/d €115/130. are based on the same theme: Belgian sweets.. h9am-12.......5km)... Hotel Messeyne (%056 21 21 66.... were used as models....com The nearby Broelmuseum (%056 27 77 80...4 B2 Broelmuseum.14 C1 To Nationaal Vlas..... hfrom 11am Tue-Sun) Fabulously located on a tree-lined pedestrianised square between the Begijnhof and St Maartenskerk. Gro kt Bu enstr Schouwburgplein ar 11 e Ste m 3 9 ge r er rst tr Casinopl 20 laa rts be Ja r ze est iks Ha aa Gr 7 Houtmarkt Begijnhofpark 8 Kort str Al a nP Conservatoriumpl 3 rkt str lfijn Hav g ser n Co orn Do rsi jn nin or vat e 15 a nm Plein 2 Grote Markt Ko tr Zands l p ium w Onz J Pe stingsstr str str Papen str ststr str Rijs Oude Ve 14 Groeningestr 16 r est 1 18 4 elsestr 19 nsc Co H Gee old ce ien 10 tr eest op Le Bu teels Kas Verw n- No is Lou Ko tr lfs rg elstr Leie str r erstr Behe sst lei Be ste e Ka 13 elle ai Oud 6 Gaz Pa Pres Rooseveltpl tr rts e ya 2 Dolfijnka Belfaststr 5 aer str Kasteelkaai Dam i lkaa Broe aai etsk Verz r gst Han dboo 21 Reepkaai i kaa ucij ne Kap ns tr F De Leie ieb da r ab Nijverheidskaai Handel skaai nL a sk iek Bu To Ypres (28km) ai Mi Dam DRINKING 't Fonteintje..... Long since gone. On 11 July 1302 a lightly armed force of weavers..(see 14) St-Denijsestr ai erla 12 Bev Wandelweg The three rooms....6 C1 Kanonstr 7 C2 Groeningeabdij.full-house.... se 18 B2 sr La Casbah..... hclosed lunch Sat & dinner Sun) Split-level bistro in a tastefully restored townhouse.... h11am-9pm Wed-Mon Sep-Jun...com. mains €1419...... Eating & Drinking Arte (%056 25 99 88.... admission free... Baby cots are available.8 C2 St Maartenskerk..(see 2) Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk. La Casbah (%056 25 36 46..21 C2 TRANSPORT Bus Station.. h10am-noon & 2-5pm TueSun) occupies a classical mansion and houses is just 300 years old. detract from the old-world ambience....hotelgroeninge ... h11am-11pm.......php.. www.......5 C1 Broeltorens... The well-heeled clientele.....be Le St- Spoorweglaan Min Tack Laan In medieval times. The restaurant (open lunch and dinner Monday to Friday and dinner Saturday) offers excellent traditional French/Belgian cuisine (mains €21 to €25)....... One is called Napoleon.... Expecting little from their lowly foes. GB Express (Leiestraat 12) Supermarket... St Maartenskerkhof 6a. or both sections €4. Tournai (26km) turies.messeyne.. Two neat small rooms – pink Marcella and white Laura – are offered in this beautifully renovated cottage.com This is your chance to stay in a Flemish begijnhof...... s/d/t/q Sun-Thu €50/62/87/112.. wellpriced accommodation. mains €14-23..1 B2 Tourist Office.... %056 21 01 38.. the church’s principal treasure now is Van Dyck’s Kruisoprichting (Raising of the Cross).... mains under €20... s/d €60/75) Yet another unusual address.... i) Kortrijk’s newest hotel/restaurant is a dynamic duo.. to 11pm Jul-Aug) One of Kortrijk’s oldest cafés (dating from 1661)........ attached to each doorway..9 C2 Stadhuis. It’s about 3km south of the centre.... Café Rouge (%056 25 86 03. Kant en Linnenmuseum (National Flax. opposite)....... 2-6pm Sat & Sun Mar-Nov) is the country’s finest KORTRIJK 1 Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet.. Kortrijk offers a selection of innovative........... Groeningestraat 16...... Also recommended: Restaurant Messeyne (see Hotel Messeyne......... left).... peasants and guild members from Bruges.... adult/child €3/1. B&B De Begijnhofkamers (%056 22 83 74..... the folk of the Flemish cloth towns were known for their spirited opposition to French domination – the Battle of the Golden Spurs (Guldensporenslag in Flemish) is their most famous fight..... €72/78 Fri & Sat) Heaven for those with a sweet tooth........ A short walk will bring you to the only reminders of the town’s original stone walls... ’t Fonteintje (%056 22 20 88. In short. Zw ev 17 C2 Café Rouge.. For the first time.. the knights on horseback failed to notice the trap and were quickly snared and slaughtered... while another is a B&B (see B&B De Begijnhofkamers...23 B3 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • K o r t r i j k 159 BATTLE OF THE GOLDEN SPURS ὈὈὈ ὈὈ ὈὈὈ ὈὈ ὈὈὈ ὈὈ ὈὈὈ ὈὈ Ὀ Ὀ ὈὈὈ ὈὈ ὈὈ ὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈὈὈὈ ὈὈ ὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ ὈὈὈὈὈ Museum...... Groeningestraat 17.....

His actions gave the locals a nickname (see boxed text. Known as Gent in Flemish and Gand in French. 10 and 11.70. but is regularly connected by trams 1. which also happens to be one of Flanders’ most striking town halls. 50 minutes). TRAVEL AGENCIES Connections (%09 223 90 20.160 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • O u d e n a a r d e Getting There & Around .60. across from the stadhuis. especially if you intend visiting the Gravensteen and Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (SMAK).30pm Mon-Fri. It’s valid for three days and can be bought from the tourist office and the museums. De Lijn (%059 56 53 53) runs local buses that depart from in front of the train station. Markt 49) is an endearing café in a stand-alone gable house at the base of St Walburgakerk. crushing the rebellion and abolishing the town’s privileges. W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • G h e n t 161 Use-it (www.connections. Halfway between the city centre and the train station is the university quarter. Orientation The Korenmarkt. a trekking bike costs €12 per day but just €60 for a month. spread along St Pietersnieuwstraat. It’s worth buying. 9am-4pm Mon-Fri. and has 20 panels (originally the interior panels were displayed only on important religious occasions. the town drapes the Scheldt River (Oudenaarde means ‘old landing place’) and had firm access to the early cloth trade. Charles V. The lower tier centres on the lamb. city bike hire half-/full day €7/9. h8. POST Main post office (Lange Kruisstraat 55) In the town centre. MONEY ATM At the post office on Maria Hendrikaplein. Wine & Dine (%055 23 96 97. This lavish representation of medieval religious thinking is one of the earliest-known oil paintings.000 The little Flemish town of Oudenaarde (Audenarde in French) is known around the world for its magnificent wall tapestries…and in beer circles for its brewing prowess (although none of the local breweries. Should you decide to stay overnight.306pm Sat). 10. Not far off the Markt. close to the train station. Hoogpoort 28) All-round agency. h9. h9.30pm & 2-6.300 LAUNDRY Ghent is Flanders’ unsung city.30am3. Enormous wall tapestries filled with exquisite detail and luminous scenes of nature.30am-6pm Apr-Oct.30. Bruges and Antwerp.lapommedor. Botermarkt 17. In 1540. Europabank (%09 221 00 31.30pm Apr-Oct. Bruges and Antwerp are all less than 1½ hours away.oude naarde.30pm Sun Apr-Oct. Hoogstraat 34. Liefmans Kriek and Oudenaards Bruin). INTERNET ACCESS Coffeelounge (%09 329 39 11. MEDICAL SERVICES Apotheek Van Gansbeke (%09 223 27 08. Botermarkt 6. 30 minutes). De Carillon (%055 31 14 09.com pay taxes to fund Charles’ military forays into France. This outfit offers Belgium’s best range of rental bikes and accessories – everything from stock-standard stadsfiets (city bikes) to ligfiets (lying-down bikes) and even riksjahs (rickshaws). Korte Munt 6) Central pharmacy. www. 20 minutes). Time your trip to coincide with the fabulous Gentse Feesten (see Festivals & Events. civil liberties. Decent secondhand bikes are also for sale (€80 to €100). The best place to see a dozen of these works is the Clothmakers’ Hall in the stadhuis. 20 minutes) or Ghent (€3. Completed in 1432. h9am-5. Sights & Activities ST BAAFSKATHEDRAAL Although St Baaf’s Cathedral (%09 269 20 45. 2-5pm Sat Nov-Mar). h8. and also has aanhangfiets (‘third-wheels’. and Brussels. The work represents an allegorical glorification of Christ’s death: on the upper tier sits God the Father flanked by the Virgin and John the Baptist and on the outer panels are the nude Adam and Eve.com . funky Ghent’s definitely the go.30pm Mon-Sat & 1-3. mains €15-25). OUDENAARDE pop 28. and it’s a good spot to sample one of the regional brews (such as Ename Tripel.be. Felix and Liefmans. he came down swiftly and heavily on the city. Post office (Maria Hendrikaplein 69) Handy to the train station. Oudenaarde is well placed as a day-trip destination from almost anywhere in this part of Flanders. there’s a smattering of hotels and restaurants. Almost equidistant between Kortrijk and Ghent. St Pietersstation. importing wool from England and employing thousands of people. it was the seat of the counts of Flanders who built a fearsome castle. s/d €75/100. Dignified and stylish hotel/restaurant Hostellerie La Pomme d’Or (%055 31 19 00.be. Produces all manner of maps and guides aimed specifically at under 26ers. Ghent was medieval Europe’s largest city outside Paris. Het Gravensteen. the city’s most expensive sights. You’ll need to show your passport to rent a bike. are open to individual visitors).30-6. h10am-12. Ghent (€5. Ypres (€4. By the mid-14th century Ghent had become Europe’s largest cloth producer. plus a few cheaper attractions. and by the end of the 18th century the tapestry industry had all but disappeared. WESTERN FLANDERS WESTERN FLANDERS Trains depart Kortrijk station (%056 26 33 10) for Oudenaarde (€3. is the town’s best locale. These days. Bloemistenstraat 2b.be. The luminous colours and the rich. If you prefer something gratis.70. and protests against the heavy taxes imposed on them. Ghent is the capital of the province of Oost-Vlaanderen and is Flander’s biggest university town. But its fame was sealed when the local weavers switched to tapestry-making in the mid-16th century. This late-Gothic structure imperially occupies the northern end of the Markt. is the city’s centre. Tournai (€4.30pm Mon-Sat & 1-4. St Pietersstation. Mobiel keeps a full complement of kids’ bikes. For bikes there’s Mobiel (%056 24 99 10. Bruges (€6. per hr €2. Sandwiched between Brussels. St Baafsplein. Veldstraat 88) Department store with a strong bookshop. pop 229.use-it.50. when the townsfolk refused to Ipsowash (St Jacobsnieuwstraat 9) Self-service laundrette. the wars that swept this part of Europe in the next two centuries embroiled the small town. There are frequent trains from Kortrijk (€3. h1-6pm Mon-Fri) Tourist office for young travellers. 20 minutes). and the painting was marched off to Paris during the French Revolution and DISCOUNT CARDS Ghent’s Museum Pass (€12.30am-noon & 1. St Pietersnieuwstraat 21. formidable queues form to see De Aanbidding van het Lam Gods – The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (adult/child €3/1. It’s 2km from the main train station.30pm Sat & Sun Apr-Oct. www.30. and is home to the impressive collection of genuine tapestries. h10am-7pm Wed-Mon) Atmospheric café with four computers.30pm Nov-Mar) In the vaulted cellar underneath the belfry. Oudenaarde grew fat and famous. one of the most important rulers in European history. this attractive medieval canal city has long been overlooked by visitors on the traditional arttown hop between Belgium’s big three. Oudenaarde’s main square. 35 minutes).30pm Mon-Fri) Exchange agency located inside the train station.be.60.30pm Sun Nov-Mar).be in Flemish. Sitting on the junction of the Leie and Scheldt Rivers. GHENT lonelyplanet.visitgent.be. was born in Ghent in 1500. Terrace tables provide enjoyable views of the stadhuis. plus the tourist office (%055 31 72 51. to 4. Information BOOKSHOPS FNAC (%09 223 40 80. The townsfolk were well known for their armed battles. 10am-5. and the interior is trendy.mobiel. 5pm Nov-Mar) is unimpressive from the outside. but these days they’re always open to view). Austria’s Emperor Joseph II was horrified by the nude Adam and Eve and had the panels replaced with clothed versions (the originals are now back in place). such as Roman. detailed crowd scenes are stunning. But if you’re the type who prefers exploring away from the tourist hordes. mains €14-20. hclosed Sun dinner & Mon) serves fine food.70. p215).40.50) gives free entrance to the top museums and monuments. The painting has had an illustrious history – the Calvinists nearly destroyed it. However. one hour). p165) to see the city at its liveliest. www.30am-6. 50 minutes) and Brussels (€10. that’s visible today. Long-term bike rentals are particularly attractive – for example. see p304) and fietskar (enclosed trailers that two small kids can sit in). 10am-noon & 1. The train station is 1km from the Markt – turn right when leaving the station and head along Stationsstraat and Nederstraat.30pm Mon-Fri. it was painted as an altarpiece by Flemish Primitive artist Jan Van Eyck. ask for a ‘sponsored’ bike (free for a half-day). Markt 62. www. including all the sights listed below (except for canal cruises). the westernmost of Ghent’s three central squares. surrounded by all manner of religious figures and a landscape dotted with local church towers.30am-4. TOURIST INFORMATION Tourist office (%09 266 52 32. symbolising the sacrifice made by Christ. www lonelyplanet. nobility or religion were soon in demand by royalty in France and Spain.

......................................................32 Contact GB. Look out for works by Karel Appel.20..............17 C6 B Museumijlovoor ke Vormgeving.....46 2 C2 C1 C2 D2 C1 D2 C1 C1 D1 B2 C1 C2 C1 C1 C1 C1 DRINKING Café Trefpunt.................lonelyplanet...........mu seum...71 Tierenteijn-Verlent.........48 D1 Herberg De Dulle Griet........16 D5 Museum voor Schone Kunsten....44 Tasty.67 Home Linen... 7 D2 19 Geeststr 42 65 Post Office.......................61 C2 Studio Skoop...68 Kunstmarkt........ 19 D2 st Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst...................................................80..(see 34) Sphinx..35 Faim de Toi...74 Biker. h10am-6pm Tue-Sun)........................................30pm Easter–mid-Nov) rises from the STEDELIJK MUSEUM VOOR ACTUELE KUNST (SMAK) Ghent’s highly regarded Museum of Contemporary Art (%09 221 17 03.................. belonged to the counts of Flanders....60 B2 NT Gent Schouwburg.....................18 B1 ve St Baafskathedraal......57 D2 De Bijloke........................24 B1 Engelen aan de Waterkant.62 E3 Video.........14 C1 Huis van Alijn................design...52 D1 't Dreupelkot... the entrance is around the back of the tourist office....59 C3 Hotsy Totsy.......40 Organic Market........................... Botermarkt.................... turrets and arrow slits.........9 C2 Lim 29 bu Zwartezustersstr Use-It...49 C1 Het Waterhuis aan de Bierkant..............3 C1 KorenBoter..................... h9am-6pm Apr-Sep...................... adult/child/concession €6/1......36 La Malcontenta. better known by its acronym...6 D1 St 51 Heilige Michielsplein Main Post Office..........42 Panda.....10 D3 Voldersstr rg Hen egou wen SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES str 7 Ab m Ra 2 E D urg C 37 35 43 db 22 Prin 54 Ou B 21 Geldmunt A 1 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • G h e n t 163 A6 old Lakenhalle (cloth hall)...8 A6 Benn esteeg Tourist Office.........................27 C1 In's Inn.69 Prondelmarkt................ www......be.. adult/child/concession €2.........................................73 TRANSPORT Bike Hire.............31 Brooderie..............gent................. including the replacement panels of Adam and Eve.......................50 C1 Limonada................70 Stripwinkel Adhemar............ 78 was later stolen by the Germans who concealed it in an Austrian salt mine during WWII.......(see 48) 13 rt rts 69 63 26 lfo e 31 Coffeelounge.........................77 Eurolines Office & Bus Stop..... Camping Blaarmeersen (4km) Baliestr r sest Smid Leie str str elein Guinard Nede Lindelei nsst 58 a yk 6 Brab ta ids J Plateaustr yske tr os lgr Coupure Links f Klu Bo Be ure Coupure Rechts Joze tr ds ar ga om tio Bagattenstr Gent-Dampoort Train Station i w ieu sn ob ac Mag Recollettenlei tr tr Iepens ts ch Re Stop pels re pu u Co ks Lin Ketelvaart Coup Go 5 Oude Beestenmarkt ad Zonnestr 66 Kouter str Schouwburg 59 Ge ure 4 SLEEPING Atlas B&B.... 63 D2 Vooruit..28 C1 Monasterium PoortAckere...com 0 0 GHENT Vrouwebroersstr 24 tstr hof str Leie R a bo s en am rah 44 Zu 15 28 ive str 73 eM un Lan g el Korenlei Graslei ei Lange Kruisst r Predikherenl r Korte M eer Veld st Ajuin lei nieuw str St Pie ters n laa r mst lthe n aa gsl llin ste on an II la nto Van e ijk s rtr Ko g we en ste se rtr ijk Ko old gL eo p nin Citadellaan Ter Platenburg Bridge St Lievenslaan he ldt H Sc Eli K.................4 A6 markt 60 76 Ba 2 FNAC.....65 Bloemenmarkt....(see 50) 't Galgenhuisje......37 Marco Polo Trattoria........... with moat.30pm & 2-5...13 C2 Gravensteen...........................................29 B2 Verzameld Werk. GRAVENSTEEN 4 This fearsome 12th-century castle (%09 225 93 06........ Pierre Alechinsky and Panamarenko – three of Belgium’s best-known modern artists – as WESTERN FLANDERS ὈὈ ὈὈὈ ὈὈὈὈ ὈὈ ὈὈὈὈ ὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ ὈὈὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ ὈὈ ὈὈὈ ὈὈὈ 162 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • G h e n t . 10am-1pm Sun free....... located smack in the heart of the city...........com lonelyplanet.......................56 D1 Chocolat......22 C1 Brooderie..................................... to 5pm Oct-Mar)................................smak......... MUSEUM VOOR VORMGEVING 3 The Design Museum (%09 267 99 99......... one of Europe’s most famous museum curators............. Citadelpark.......21 A1 B&B Karavanserai..................................................................................................... St Veerleplein..................... 25 D6 Hotel Erasmus.. is still missing..75 De Lijn Kiosk.39 Market...........2 C2 33 B 36 57 Hoogstr Stadhuis Connections............50..... The panel De Rechtvaardige Rechters (The Fair Judges).......... adult/child €3/free................. It’s the quintessential castle................5 C3 shelling rre St 9 St Michiel 34 st Holebifederatie.......47 D1 Foyer Casa Rosa........43 Souplounge.. h10am-6pm Tue-Sun) is one of Ghent’s little-known gems......1 C1 48 t Ho r 1 23 6 11 str ATM... As is to be expected.................... Jan Breydelstraat 5...11 C1 De Gentenaer Rederij (Canal Cruises).30 C1 kaa J St Oude Houtlei veldestr nde up 3 Joris str ydel en 5 Va br Co Belfort... 6 is located south of the city centre............... it affords spectacular views of the city – use the lift or the stairs......66 Het Oorcussen........... It comprises two sections: furnishings from the Renaissance to the 19th century adorn the front part of the building............................................ and was built to protect the townsfolk as well as to intimidate them into law-abiding submission......... adult/child/ concession €5/free/3.. 5 C2 C3 C1 C1 C2 D1 D1 C1 C1 A6 D1 C2 A6 (%09 233 39 54.............. BELFORT aai nst ortsstr alpo rg P nle dk He bon er dv e E Clementinalaan ere eeg W be ns nl i aan aa Veerk and Dagst e int ize lstr Vla Korte Kw ie Le hu University Quarter St ai Maria Hendrikaplein 8 77 74 St Pietersstation 4 antd r ds are er K Keiz str str rkoute r To Flanders Expo (3km).........58 B4 De Vlaamse Opera..........26 B2 Hotel Harmony........... h10am12.......34 Eethuis Avalon.................12 C1 Gent Watertoerist (Canal Cruises)......23 C1 De Draecke ...2 miles 67 lbr 70 75 39 Steen dam lei Vrijdag an K Kra am markt 49 St Jacobskerk 12 50 St Veerlepl 38 mer Burgstr 71 Groenten str Nie 41 markt 30 O 56 uwpoort 32 53 47 52 INFORMATION nd 45 Vlasmarkt ers 18 68 Apotheek Van Gansbeke....................50/ free/1................................................ It opened in the 1990s under the direction of Jan Hoet.......................(see 8) Korte Munt 72 3 ogp Drab oo tr Casa Rosa Infowinkel.......(see 9) De Bootjes van Gent (Canal Cruises).........(see 32) Chambre Plus................... 10am-1pm Sun free..be...........41 Pakhuis...................................... 64 D3 SHOPPING Belgian Treasures............. SMAK....................55 markt Europabank (exchange)...54 C1 ENTERTAINMENT Café Den Turk............... The church houses many other paintings.............................33 De Foyer.51 C2 Pink Flamingo’s................... 20 C6 1 ortstr Dampo aai landk Hage St J Bre 46 F To Culture Club (2km) ug t 27 14 St Widostr 300 m 0.............. Lodewijk aa n laan Ko r allie Te tr or ts Po Hu an nië Gr an GC str an Kon WESTERN FLANDERS Po n laa fer Of Bri tt anla uw Lee Ter Platen 25 olstr rtla laa Scho lbe ing A Kon Nicholaas de Liemaerckeplein J F Willemsstr Stalhof n rtl i rb eO Frèr ert Hub n klaa par Zuid rk tpa lber n ltlaa eve A ing Kon oos i an 17 str ela Ledeganckstr This 14th-century World Heritage–listed belfry outkaa enstr tt Lange Viole R klin fstr ov uw Fo Voorh uizen an af v lein Graderenp an Vla Fran rch 20 tr ards Bern Kantien berg Ke Citadelpark Muinkkaa De t les erg ar 16 Hert Ch Kattenb n o ofb n laa eth sab 78 stelh Apo r W Wilsonplein Lammerstr 10 64 St Pieterspl Overpoortstr laa Eekhou tr qs ric de e Fr M 62 Zu Ho mandstr St A Ijz er str rs ee am St Annaplein r nst EATING Belga Queen..45 Tête à Tête............................. www................................ and Rubens’ 1624 St Bavo’s Entrance into the Monastery of Ghent.....................................15 C1 Kunsthal St Pietersabdij........................76 De Lijn Kiosk.............53 C1 't Velootje......... as well as beautiful stained-glass windows........................................72 Vogelmarkt.....................55 C2 Charlatan........................ whereas 20th-century art – everything from a Victor Horta–designed Art Nouveau wall cabinet to ’70s psychedelic sofas – takes centre stage in the glass-covered rear wing.....38 Market............... It’s a huge place and you’ll need the map handed out at reception to find any of the big names...(see 48) 61 Niklaaskerk 40 r St Baafsplein Ipsowash... stolen in 1934.......................50/2..........

hdaily Apr–mid-Oct. BUDGET Camping Blaarmeersen (%09 266 81 60.50) Pleasant ground located a long way west of the city. Boats depart every 15 minutes between 10am and 6pm. closer to hand.50. Holebifederatie also operates an information/help hotline called Holebifoon (%09 238 26 26. www .50.be. once the city’s forum for public meetings and executions.filmfestival. St Pietersplein 9. h10am-6pm Tue-Sun). then step down to the Korenlei (4). Begin at the westernmost square. it’s still characterised by lots of fun. Take bus 9 (direction Mariakerke) from St Pietersstation to the Europabrug stop. i) Globetrotters are the raison d’être of this delightful B&B. Filmfestival Gent (www. some of its collection is exhibited in St Baafskathedraal (p161) and at SMAK (p163). Ghent sprung up along this and nearby Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet. and an information shop.164 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • G h e n t well as artworks by international celebrities such as Christo. per 90min €9/4. mustards and beers are all offered – pull up a chair beneath a leg of ham that’s being hung and dried here as in earlier times. All budgets are catered for. www. the nearby bridge over the Leie River. and the breakfast is a self-serve buffet.1 miles urg 0 0 Zuivelbrug db 7 lei t Vrijdag 9 markt eM un K St Jacobskerk Ka mm ers tr l str yde 6 5 Groenten markt On de nt Mu Kort e 4 Ho rst r og po or 3 Graslei Korenlei La J Bre ng St Veerlepl tr t rts Stadhuis 11 lfo Be Botermarkt St Baafspl 12 tr s elein Mag Predikherenlei 1 2 Korenmarkt shelling St Michielelsbrug St Michi Tours Ghent lends itself to being viewed from the water. This much-photographed waterfront promenade is another cherished view but. depicting Christ surrounded by hideous mocking characters.casarosa . Well worth a look if something’s on at the time of your visit. In the meantime. It has a popular café.be).50. The thriving B&B scene is organised by Bed & Breakfast Ghent (www. This is the start of Patershol (7). adult/child per 40min €4. 4-7pm Sat). Belfortstraat 39). This attractive hostel occupies a renovated warehouse in the heart of town – the rooms are clean and modern. s/d/t €55/68/88. The view now is as good as it gets. Sat & Sun mid-Oct–Mar) Gent Watertoerist (%09 269 08 69. St Widostraat 11. The feesten include ‘10 Days Off…’ (www. take tram 1. cross the next bridge and turn left for the Groentenmarkt (5). which stop out the front. drinking. De Kruisdraging (Bearing of the Cross).50/4. The latter is the pick of the bunch. 2-10pm Wed).be/infowinkel in Flemish. then turn your back on the view until you’re right in the centre of St Michielsbrug (2). with tents set up for street-theatre performances and puppet buskers. Started over 30 years ago. lesbian and bisexual organisation is Holebifederatie (www. loud music and packed streets. h6-10pm Mon. Korenlei 4a. which meet in the city. where you can pick up a free guidebook (in Flemish) listing organisations. h11am-5pm Tue-Sun) occupies a set of beauti- WALK FACTS fully restored almshouses in the city’s heart. From here it’s downhill all the way to the belfort (12.50/2. camp sites per adult/car/tent €4.50. hMar–mid-Nov) De Gentenaer Rederij (%0473 48 10 36. n) Also recommended. even more so on Sundays when puppets (10am) take centre stage. then take bus 38 or 39.be). Graslei 7. including designer boutiques like Het Oorcussen (10. Jan Breydelstraat 8. 3-9pm Wed. hMar-Nov) De Gentse Feesten (Ghent Festivities.be). Head down Kammerstraat.be/spa. s/d/t €40/60/80. is lined with cafés and shops. puppet show €2. ie Fathers. the city’s former market square (organic produce is still sold here Friday morning). Brooderie (%09 225 06 23.be) Well-attended festival in mid-October that has grown from humble beginnings in ’74.be in Flemish. Zuiderlaan 12. and the relative serenity of being on a boat. www. Unpolished wooden floors.com . www. WESTERN FLANDERS WESTERN FLANDERS MUSEUM VOOR SCHONE KUNSTEN lonelyplanet. n) A great place to stay. per 90min €9/4. Foyer Casa Rosa (%09 269 28 16.huisvanalijn. passing the flower-festooned dock where canal boats moor. in Flemish. h6-10pm Mon & Thu. Atlas B&B (%09 233 49 91. see p169). a 5m-long red cannon designed to shoot 250kg balls (but that’s never put to the test).atlasbenb. The museum’s theme focuses on life as it was at the start of the 20th century. America or Europe. earthy furniture. This intimate square houses the Groot Vleeshuis (6. After years of neglect. Kammerstraat 22). From the train station.bluenotefestival.be. The nearby Vrijdagmarkt (9). dm/tw €16. Vleeshuisbrug. Canal-cruise companies: De Bootjes van Gent (%09 223 88 53. Also visible are the towers of the medieval Gravensteen castle and. last entry 4. see p163) – climb or ride to the top for a fabulous view of the city. Wedding entourages often leave the building – it’s a prime spot for marriages. attracting up to 50 of the world’s top DJs. adult/child per 40min €5/2. Sleeping Ghent offers innovative accommodation. Kraanlei 65. 10 or 11 to St Veerleplein. turn right into Belfortstraat. as did the religious order of the Carmelites (the Paters. W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • G h e n t 165 GAY & LESBIAN GHENT Flanders’ biggest gay. camping. bookshops and cafés throughout Flanders and Brussels.be. one of the Europe’s biggest techno parties. It has three simple rooms (shared bathroom facilities) located above a bakery and tearoom. In summer these two promenades hum with happy students. Most of the events (except the jazz and techno fests) are free.50.gent. The city’s many squares become venues in themselves. The gaggle of twisting cobbled lanes is very old-world – leather tradesmen once lived here. the area was renovated in the 1980s and is now home to many restaurants and B&Bs. the city’s only remaining fully preserved medieval quarter. it’s a medieval fake – the warehouses and townhouses were largely rebuilt for Ghent’s 1913 World Fair. www.blaar meersen@gent. and follow it uphill to the flamboyant Gothic/Renaissance stadhuis (11). www. KUNSTHAL ST PIETERSABDIJ The Art Centre of St Peter’s Abbey (%09 243 97 30. De Draecke (%09 233 70 50.be.com L feesten. It’s all very quaint. and a fabulous location are the salient features.30pm) is a venue for art and culture exhibitions in the setting of a former abbey. no dorm has more than six beds (each dorm has a private bathroom). and viewing it is the essential start. a Middle Ages meat market that is now a promotion and tasting hall for regional products. but book at least a month in advance for the Gentse Feesten (see left).60/42. The wide square is most animated each Friday when stallholders set up a large food and general goods market. en route passing Dulle Griet (8). Strong focus on music in film. Unless you’re into small rooms. Festivals & Events 10 Ou Leie Ghent’s celebrated medieval core contains not one but three central squares separated by two imposing churches and a belfry. Casa Rosa Infowinkel (www. h10am-6pm Tue-Sun Apr-Nov. The museum has a good collection of Flemish Primitives and a couple of typically nightmarish works by Hieronymus Bosch – including one of Bosch’s most famous pieces. Africa. adult/child per 55min €5/2.hole bifederatie. Follow the Korenlei north. gave the quarter its name).be waterways because the Leie and Scheldt rivers. Cheese. Start Korenmarkt Finish Belfort Distance 3km Duration About two hours Walking Tour 200 m 0.mskgent. HUIS VAN ALIJN The Alijn House (%09 269 23 50. provided easy access to the North Sea and trading. Continue north and cross the river once more to arrive at the Kraanlei. as well as the Blue Note jazz festival (www. the Graslei (3). lend the city a whole new persona. and the rooms succinctly reflect this – try Asia. Cross the bridge. adult/child €3/free. Rabotstraat 40. The aspects only seen from a canal cruise. www. Warhol and Hockney.gentse 8 n raa Get lost in the Patershol’s labyrinth of alleys before crossing Zuivelbrug back to the east bank. like in Bruges. Citadelpark) is expected to reopen in 2007 following restoration.50/2. admission free.be in Flemish) Annual 10-day festival in midJuly in which the heart of Ghent is transformed into a good-hearted party of music and street-theatre.be.brooderie. This trio of towers has long been the skyline’s trademark. Korenmarkt (1). with a warm-toned Tuscan feel that’s perfect on a cold grey day. Groentenmarkt 7. Ghent’s Museum of Fine Arts (%09 240 07 00.bedandbreakfast-gent.50. the riverside walkway on the opposite bank.vjh.10daysoff.

Poel 25. Don’t even think of visiting if you’re even slightly claustrophobic: the interior is crammed from floor to ceiling with all manner of junk and riches including. hnoon-midnight Mon-Sat) This huge brasserie/restaurant occupies a beautifully restored textile warehouse on a dogeared backstreet and. The Vrijdagmarkt is just one of the nightlife hubs. Monasterium PoortAckere (%09 269 22 10. fast meal. Zuivelbrugstraat 6. has drawn young and old alike. Kraanlei 37. h10am-7pm) One of the new breed of modern soup kitchens and great for a light. some with stained-glass windows and oak-beamed ceilings. Monday to Friday only) is great value. As you’d expect from this burgeoning breed of restaurants. n) Gorgeous B&B with a fab location on a pedestrianised street right in the city centre. mains €15-25. The cuisine is eclectic and the kitchen is open until 11.30am-1pm Fri) Food market. Jan Breydelstraat 32. THE AUTHOR’S CHOICE Pakhuis (%09 223 55 55. Book room No 31 to relax in a big bath with a view of the city’s historic towers. nisw) The Patershol’s newest address is Ghent’s only 4-star family-run hotel. www. it occupies two buildings. De Foyer (%09 225 32 75. The medieval ambience. or you can dine outside on a small terrace. Choose from Sultan. Serpentstraat 11. mains €16-30. www. St Baafsplein 17. h9am-6pm Mon-Sat) Supermarket. Pop in for a post-movie drink and end up supping on warm oysters at midnight – it’s that sort of place. mains €14-20. h11.be. www. Rooms in the hotel section are spacious.50. dinner daily) New and immensely popular designer restaurant/lounge bar serv- ing contemporary versions of classic cuisine spiced for world tastes. but the luxury room is done out as authentic 16th century. Interior designer Ann Willems started this B&B after falling in love with a statue of a little wooden angel that she found in an antique shop. quality-wise it’s superb. This hotel/guesthouse occupies a former convent near the historic centre. guesthouse s/d without bathroom €45/90. h9am-1pm Fri) Drinking The canalside Graslei is adorned with terrace cafés throughout summer. hlunch & dinner) A couple of years old but still wearing the crown around town.be. hlunch Tue-Fri. www. RESTAURANTS Eethuis Avalon (%09 224 37 24. www . hotel s/d/tr €60/90/125. Seafood lovers.5km from both the city centre (tram 40 from the Korenmarkt stops about 500m away at Ter Platenbrug) and the train station (take one of buses 70 to 79 to the stop Ter Platenbrug).50. Tasty (%09 225 74 07.verzameldwerk . SELF-CATERING Contact GB (Hoogpoort 42. Breakfast is taken in your room – just open the fridge to find it. resulting in two luxuriously spacious rooms that are beautifully thought out and magically understated. Geldmunt 32. but it’s close. not quite.30am-1pm Sun) Food market. 3-course menu €11. ‘Art&design and movements inbetween’ is the owner’s description of the place.proximedia. The cheaper rooms are twee rather than antique. mains €917. There are two free bikes.50.30am-9pm Mon-Sat) Good variety of light meals and delicious fresh juices are available at this little funky eat-in/takeaway joint. The three-course lunch menu (€11. Come without expectations (easy enough considering Ingrid’s and Frank’s website gives nothing away) and you may just enjoy it. 15% extra for 1-night stay) Spartan doesn’t begin to describe this avant-garde B&B located in what is now the shell of an old townhouse right in the centre. indeed. It has two spacious rooms. s/d/tr €50/65/90). luxury s/d €85/110) Renovated 16th-century house with In’s Inn (%0494 36 18 61. the tone is cool (and the seats are hard plastic). vegetarians and carnivores are all copiously catered for.be. This one specialises in high-quality cuisine from Spain and the Canary Islands. dine on an array of Flemish meals and snacks including wicked pancakes. near the tourist office. it’s a warren of little rooms. and young children and babies are welcome. QUICK EATS Souplounge (%09 223 62 03. Beers are available and there is a chessboard for those so inclined. there’s the excellent Panda. Hoogpoort 31. good for dingy student hang-outs that stay open into the wee hours. d/tr with bathroom €100/125) A night with the nuns…well. all once nuns’ quarters. Schuurkenstraat 4. The B&B is about 1. s/d/tr €110/120/150. Book a table in the enclosed terrace for canal views. mains €9-11. Kalversteeg 2. and enjoy a good selection of wellpresented. mains €13-18.hotel-harmony . mains €2227. lonelyplanet.be. Price-wise it’s hardly top-end material. h7. and a delight to boot. antique bikes (one of which is apparently of great historic value). Geldmunt 45. just a Westmalle hoarding attached to the wall. r €95. There’s no sign out the front.monasterium. Market (Vrijdagmarkt. Congo or Côte Sud – all exotic themed rooms complemented by convivial hosts and an unbelievably gastronomic breakfast. It started life as a bike-rental shop and.45pm. combining organic produce and candlelit surroundings. Faim de Toi (%09 223 63 93. including a riverfront mansion dating from 1859. Oude Houtlei 50-58. Step down to canalside for a cosy and peaceful location. dagschotel €8. Belfortstraat 10. s/d/f €75/95/150. hidden behind an organic food shop. La Malcontenta (%09 224 18 01. dinner Tue-Sun) Part of the Italian ‘slow food’ drive. Tête-à-Tête (%09 233 95 00.be.Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet. house) are small and sober with little neogothic windows. Panda (%09 225 07 86. From there the angels took flight. tasty dishes. but all in all it’s pretty bare. h7. hlunch & dinner Mon-Sat. In (the vibrant host) and her architect husband have managed to squeeze every conceivable appliance (including washing machine and clothes dryer) into the studio’s kitchen/laundry – and it still looks good. located in the charming Patershol quarter. Hoogpoort 11.com W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • G h e n t 167 THE AUTHOR’S CHOICE ’t Velootje (%09 223 28 34. hlunch Mon-Sat) Spacious. Also recommended is B&B Karavanserai (%09 233 62 11.chambreplus . Ter Platen 30. superb buffet breakfast (€10). Chambre Plus (%09 225 37 75. you’d be hard-pressed to find a more angelic or romantic B&B in Belgium. Oudburg 38. mains €17-24. and enjoy typical Belgian cuisine made with aplomb. small/ large soup €3/4. ste €125. Hotel Erasmus (%09 224 21 95. dinner Tue-Sun) Stars twinkle and candles shine in this refined little restaurant that manages to marry lace curtains and modern décor in a winning way. hlunch Thu-Sun. Verzameld Werk (%09 224 27 12.be. Inside. Haringsteeg 7. Another is St Pietersnieuwstraat. have been given the odd decoration. THE AUTHOR’S CHOICE Engelen aan de Waterkant (% 09 223 08 83. Marco Polo Trattoria (%09 225 04 20. Think 1001 Nights and you’re right on track. Eating CAFÉS & BRASSERIES Brooderie (%09 225 06 23. insinn@pandora. The rooms.html. well-priced vegetarian restaurant with modest décor located close to the Gravensteen. it morphed into a boozer. Organic market (Groentenmarkt. and. in reference to past-life experiences. It’s definitely out of the ordinary. hfrom 9pm but variable) Unique doesn’t begin to describe this extraordinary Patershol pub.engelenaandewaterkant. Hotel Harmony (%09 324 26 80. h10am-late Wed-Mon) Convivial brasserie on the 1st floor of the Publiekstheater. d from €75. h8am-6pm Tue-Sun) This rustic tearoom serves wholesome soups as well as sweet and savoury snacks and is a firm local favourite. Tram 1 from the train station stops outside the front door. ni) The name translates as ‘Angels on the Waterside’. Both the atmosphere and the well-priced meals are highly recommended. Corduwaniersstraat 11. light meals €3-7.com avoid Africa or America. Graslei 10. 3course menu €16. somewhere in its convoluted past. WESTERN FLANDERS WESTERN FLANDERS 166 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • G h e n t . hlunch Tue-Fri. Onderstraat 23a. all of which have been lavishly renovated. www. Jan Breydelstraat 8. friendly staff and central location make it an all-round good option. but those in the 1st-floor gastenverblijf (guest- a dozen rooms. walk north along Oudburg until you see a pile of junk leaning against the wall in one of the pedestrianised lanes on your left. Market (St Michielsplein. light meals €10. s/d from €110/125. hdinner Wed-Sat) One of many restaurants in the quaint Patershol quarter. This big brasserie/restaurant occupies a 13th-century warehouse with a prized canalside position. n) For a more formal vegetarian setting than that of Eethuis Avalon. Belga Queen (%09 280 01 00.com MIDRANGE /web/hotel-erasmus. r €75) There’s a self-contained groundfloor studio room in this little B&B. for years now. Named after the owner’s daughter. Overlooking St Baafskathedraal. To find the pub.

and performances The Eurolines office (%09 220 90 24. St Michielshelling 3) Cinema close to the Korenmarkt that majors in arthouse films. Ghent has two train stations. Inno and C&A. h10pm Mon-Sat) Go retro at this stylish ’70s lounge bar. Flanders Expo (%09 241 92 11. hfrom 7pm Wed-Sun) According to one British magazine. The string of little venues here includes Video (Oude Beestenmarkt 7. Onderstraat 55. but on Mondays there are DJs. h4pm2am Wed-Mon) Dates from 1228 and naturally prides itself on being Ghent’s oldest pub. 45 minutes). fortresslike affair about 2km south of the city centre. It’s pedestrianised (except for trams). is a distinct. 10. was built in 1912 as a cultural centre for the Socialist Party and is worth a look in itself. It’s roughly 2km to the northeast of the centre. as well as works by Ensor and many others.com . jam sessions or live concerts. a couple of kilometres southwest of the centre. admission free. Other recommendations: Belgian Treasures (%09 223 16 43. It’s tiny. it’s fairly small and can be covered easily in an hour or so. Groentenmarkt 5.30am on Friday and Saturday nights. and is where you’ll find department stores like FNAC. Bruges (€5. NT Gent Schouwburg (%09 225 01 01. The city’s public transport network is operated by De Lijn (%070 22 02 00). Shares the same enticing waterfront location as Het Waterhuis aan de Bierkant (see below). Café Den Turk (%09 233 01 97. CINEMAS Sphinx (%09 225 60 86. Maaltekouter 1) Although Brussels is the premier destination for international rock bands. Brussels (€7. From St Pietersstation there are trains every half-hour to Antwerp (€7. Delirium Tremens (9. Sep & Oct. Hotsy Totsy (%09 233 47 18. Museum Leon De Smet (%09 282 30 90. to 5pm Sat). many made nearby at St Niklaas. hnoon-1am) One of Ghent’s best-known beer pubs. 20 minutes). h9am-12. 2-5pm Wed-Sun Oct-Apr. with live gigs most Thursdays and Sundays. and Chocolat (Oude Beestenmarkt 4. 50 minutes). Local brews include Guillotine (9. St Baafsplein 6) © Lonely Planet Publications W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • S t M a r t e n s .30pm to 2. as well as hourly connections to Oudenaarde (€3. Veldstraat 88). each devoted to works by these expressionist brothers. a tiny boutique club that attracts a like-to-be-seen clientele. Botermarkt 3. Limonada (%09 233 78 85.70. See the terms and conditions on our site for a longer way of saying the above . This is Ghent’s biggest music bar. Groentenmarkt 3) Mustard makers who’ve been around since 1790. In return.museumdd. hnoon-midnight Sun-Thu. www. adult/child/concession €3/free/2. www. adult/concession €2. which leads off immediately south of Korenmarkt.30-6pm Sat & Sun Easter-Jun. or resell it. Koningin Elisabethlaan 73) is 100m from St Pietersstation. Heilige Geeststraat 7.50. please don’t upload this chapter to a peer-to-peer site. non-commercial purposes only. which is within the Bijloke complex. The main one. It dates back to the 17th century.be.80. Vrijdagmarkt 7) Unimposing shop that’s home to top Flemish fashion designers including Ann Demeulemeester and Dries Van Noten.50/9. Trams to the town centre (1. Free night buses operate from 11. Ghent does get a fair share. Jozef Kluyskensstraat 2) Classical music buffs will find a good selection of concerts held in this hall.be in Flemish. p317. Sunday morning is market time. Studio Skoop (%09 225 08 45. and you can rest assure it’ll be bad taste. PERFORMING ARTS Getting There & Around Vooruit (%09 267 28 28. Onderstraat 55. It was built in 1840 and boasts horseshoe-shaped tiered balconies and elegant salons. hfrom 7pm) Run by the organisers of the lonelyplanet. Museumlaan 14. Pink Flamingo’s (%09 233 47 18. For dancing in town. bloemenmarkt (flower market) on Kouter.5%). Many concerts and theatre performances can be booked through FNAC (%09 223 40 80. per day €9. © Lonely Planet Publications. Korenmarkt h7am-7pm Mon-Fri. Even if its aesthetics aren’t your thing. was home to symbolists and later to expressionist artists whose works are now displayed in a trio of museums. It’s definitely on the tourist circuit.debijloke. and prondelmarkt (flea market. and its name means ‘the gallows’ (that’s what went down on this square in times past). 12 and 13) depart from the tram station in the tunnel to the left as you exit the train station.30am-5. Offers a pleasant canalside terrace and a popular bar draped with dried hops. or take tram 41 to the stop ‘Zuid’ at Graaf van Vlaanderenplein. The tables are old kriek (cherry lambic beer) barrels and the beer list makes for solid reading. ’t Galgenhuisje (%09 233 42 51. This impressive building.‘Do the right thing with our content.30pm & 1. are even smaller. Kortrijk (€5. For details on services see boxed text.30-5pm Sat & Sun Nov-Easter. Culture Club (%09 267 64 41. As museums go.30pm Sat) sell bus and tram tickets and have free transport maps. Bikes can be rented either from the luggage room at the train station (%09 241 22 44. closed Jan) and the nearby Museum Gustave De Smet (%09 282 77 42. It’s one of the city’s most popular small venues for everything from jazz to poets. 35 or 36 from Ghent stop about 400m from the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens. ’t Dreupelkot (%09 224 21 20. 2. 2. Some trains also stop at Gent-Dampoort to the east of the city. St Annaplein 63) This is a five-screen cinema with a cosy old atmosphere. this is the ‘world’s hippest club’. we think it’s fair to ask you to use it for personal.cultureclub.70. head to Charlatan (Vlasmarkt 6). h11am-late) Another port o’ call for beer lovers.50. vogelmarkt (bird market) at the Vrijdagmarkt. h11am5pm Tue-Sun) is the principal attraction with a rich collection of paintings by Gustave De Smet and Constant Permeke. Gustaaf De Smetlaan 1. Vrijdagmarkt 50.be in Flemish. The other museums. 10. Museumlaan 18. LIVE MUSIC & NIGHTCLUBS lonelyplanet.3%). hfrom 3pm Tue-Sun) The city’s smallest pub.com (exclusively Flemish-language) can be seen here at the company’s home.L a t e m 169 utes) and Ostend (€7.168 W E S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • G h e n t Gentse Feesten (see p165). De Vlaamse Opera (%070 22 02 02. Its information kiosks (train station h7am-7pm Mon-Fri. Buses leave from this office. Groentenmarkt 9.50/free. 2pm-3am Fri & Sat) Barbie meets Princess Di at this knowingly kitsch café.vooruit.40. most of the week this is a laid-back pub.be. Luminous furniture – designed on-site – is one of the attractions. From the Korenmarkt it’s about 1km.30pm-5am Thu-Sat). St Martens-Latem. but occasionally there’s a night of live jazz or blues. The Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens (%09 282 51 23. De Bijloke (%09 269 92 92. Stripwinkel Adhemar (%09 224 32 39. h2-6pm Wed-Sun May-Sep. Both are big on everything from techno to drum‘n’bass. Buses 34. h2. leaders of that time. Groentenmarkt 12. one hour). Performances are usually staged at the Expo.vlaamse opera.’ WESTERN FLANDERS WESTERN FLANDERS Café Trefpunt (%09 233 58 48. In other words. Afrikalaan 174. Kammerstraat 25) Comic-strip shop. Het Waterhuis aan de Bierkant (%09 225 06 80. with the following markets operating from 7am to 1pm: kunstmarkt (art market) at Korte Munt. To make it easier for you to use. located in the town centre. hThu-Sat). Home Linen (%09 223 60 93. plus €12. 45 minutes). 8pm-3am Sat & Sun) The unassuming façade of this bar belies its local standing. and the city’s main venue for dance and performances by visiting theatre companies. Tierenteijn-Verlent (%09 225 83 36. 35 minutes) and Ypres (€9. 20 min- Shopping Local shoppers head for Veldstraat. hnoonmidnight Mon-Fri. also operates Friday and Saturday mornings) on Steendam. access to this chapter is not digitally restricted.be.40. Korenlei 3) Large collection of handmade Belgian linen. Bij St Jacobs 18. www. Herberg De Dulle Griet (%09 224 24 55.80. Entertainment Pick up free entertainment guides from the tourist office or in pubs.5% – watch out for pink elephants if you down too many of these) and the city’s strongest beer. www. Oude Beestenmarkt is where some of Ghent’s best DJs got their start. St Baafsplein 17) The Nederlands Toneel Gent is the city’s premier theatre company. Piraat (10.30-6pm Tue-Fri. 10km southwest of Ghent.30-6pm Sun Jul & Aug. 11. h7. Het Oorcussen (%09 233 07 65.50 deposit) – remember to bring your passport for identity – or from Biker (%09 224 29 03. Schouwburgstraat 3) Ghent’s main venue for opera performances. www. half-/full day €6. St Pietersstation (%02 528 28 28). h11am-1am Tue-Sun) An austere bar that majors in jenever and packs in the punters. Mageleinstraat (east of Veldstraat) and its offshoots are fashion hunting-grounds. mass email it to everyone you know. St Pietersnieuwstraat 23) Excellent arts centre. ST MARTENS-LATEM pop 8300 From 1904. on the edge of the student quarter and close to the revamped Zuid district. and inside it’s nothing special. Sells all manner of Flemish tapestries. The décor changes every three months. the funky background tunes will win you over. Steendam 16. closed Jan). It’s formidable how many people squeeze in here on Friday and Saturday nights.

antique shops. Antwerp rapidly came to the fore as Western Europe’s greatest economic centre. but they’ve got enough attractions to warrant an overnight halt. HIGHLIGHTS „ Master Class Rubens (p181) meets avant- garde fashionistas (p197) in Antwerp „ Sunday Shopper Antiques in Tongeren (p214) „ Gothic Excess Leuven’s ornate stadhuis (p205) „ In a Shot Hasselt’s Gin Museum (p211) „ Architectural Gem Diest’s charming begijnhof (p209) „ Pilgrim Pull Scherpenheuvel’s basilica (p210) Antwerp Mechelen Scherpenheuvel Leuven Diest Hasselt Tongeren „ Carillon Chimes Concerts in Mechelen (p201) „ Yesteryear Revisited Bokrijk Open-Air Museum (p212) „ PROVINCES: ANTWERPEN (CAPITAL ANTWERP). Club extravaganzas burst out in summer and the nightly scene in the regenerated docklands to the north and south of town beat to the coolest vibes. it’s home to one of Belgium’s finest town halls. By 1589 Antwerp’s population was more than halved to 42. art galleries.000. but destroyed by the Vikings in 836. But the times of prosperity were ruthlessly cut short. headed north to the relative safety of the United Provinces (ie today’s Netherlands). it boasts an astonishing number of world-acclaimed fashion designers and many have set up boutiques here. Of this trio. Move south into the province of Vlaams-Brabant and there’s Leuven. Although the Spanish were driven out after the massacre. No longer cut off from the rest of the world. Belgium’s capital of cool and the country’s second-biggest city once again revels in fame and fortune. By the end of the reign of Charles V in 1555. Antwerp’s club culture has expanded. LIMBURG (CAPITAL HASSELT). On the backbone of the fashion and growing gay scenes. The city runs on party time. historic and hip. Its immediate pull is Antwerp. Nearby. Its workaday capital is Hasselt.com ANTWERP Eastern Flanders pop 455. Antwerp has a rollcall of drawing cards. and sellers and buyers from neighbouring countries come here weekly to unearth treasures at its bustling antique market. Vlaams-Brabant and. A short drive from Hasselt is the Bokrijk Openluchtmuseum.000 and bustling docks and new mansions. For a city of its size. Ten years later the unpaid garrison mutinied. the city was a trading. and businessmen and upper-class Flemish hang out around Koning Albertpark. art lovers and diamond dealers. a pleasant if unexceptional town. Architecturally. Designerled stores buzz with shoppers looking for the latest in hip clothing and accessories. is as beautiful and intimate as it was centuries ago. cultural and intellectual headquarters with a population of 100. dating to Roman times. History Sailors from a north Germanic Frisian tribe are believed to have settled in Antwerp as far back as the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. Turkish. from the medieval riverside fortress to modern waterfront creations and the famous Cogels-Osylei. an open-air museum that re-creates old Flemish lifestyles and is a hit with families. exclusive chocolate outlets. Appreciated by mode moguls. built around the country’s most impressive cathedral.© Lonely Planet Publications 170 lonelyplanet. one of Flanders’ leading university towns. It doesn’t end there.000 Eastern Flanders takes in the Flemish-speaking provinces of Antwerpen. bars and cafés. where architects ran riot. Most distinctive is its Gothic and Flemish baroque architecture. bored women sit framed in red lights while itinerant Philippino. South of Hasselt. ultratrendy style victims have taken over the fashion district. Antwerp’s role as a celebrated fashion hub means it’s a magnet for shoppers. When Protestants smashed up the city’s cathedral in 1566 as part of the Iconoclastic Fury. Philip II demanded that Antwerp become a Catholic city. they besieged the city again in 1585. Sint Truiden and Tongeren. which was visited by such noted Christian missionaries as St Amand and St Bavo. after which you can track down some of his most acclaimed works in churches and museums dotted around the city. Sri Lankan and East European seaman wander the seedy streets. As part of the peace deal. away to the east. The world’s largest diamond-cutting industry operates behind discreet façades in the Jewish neighbourhood. confident and full of contrasts…Antwerp’s an essential stop on your Belgium itinerary. whose main claim to fame is jenever (gin). but was finally forced to surrender and was incorporated into the Spanish Netherlands. the flat landscape changes to the undulating hills of the fertile Haspengouw region based around the towns of Zoutleeuw. and these days it’s still alive with students. trade and the arts flourished with new industries such as diamonds and master EASTERN FLANDERS EASTERN FLANDERS Within easy striking distance of Antwerp are the towns of Mechelen and Lier. northern Europe’s greatest baroque artist. It’s Belgium’s oldest settlement. African and Chinese com- E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A n t w e r p 171 . forgotten little Diest has arguably the country’s best begijnhof. A second flush of prosperity came in 1609 with the Twelve Years’ Truce. The whole city is something of an architectural museum. Cosmopolitan. It later attracted the Franks. Tongeren is the obvious attraction. who were Roman mercenaries before gaining power following the Romans’ fall. club queens. In the sailors’ quarter just north of the city centre. Anvers in French) is Europe’s place to be. ransacking the city and massacring 8000 people in three nights in what has become known as the ‘Spanish fury’. including many skilled workers. The old city centre. Start with its manageable size and timeless quality. Antwerp held out for a year. Thousands of Protestants. Limburg. signed by the rulers of the United Provinces and the Spanish Netherlands. A visit to his home and studio in the city centre gives fabulous insight into the painter’s personal life. Even the New York Times agrees – Antwerp (Antwerpen in Flemish. designer boutiques and diamond shops where Antwerpenaars enjoy spending money. the fanatically Catholic Spanish ruler Philip II sent troops to take control. With a prime spot on the Scheldt River (Schelde in Flemish). and Mechelen bathes in history. Scholars have met here since the 15th century. East of Diest is the agricultural province of Limburg. Worldly and seedy. it was the home of Pieter Paul Rubens. Both are decidedly provincial. During Charlemagne’s time (768–814) a fort was built. the region’s largest centre and a dynamic and immediately likable city. Tucked away in cobbled lanes and backstreets are thousands of restaurants and bars. VLAAMS-BRABANT (CAPITAL LEUVEN) „ LANGUAGE: FLEMISH Bokrijk munities live northwest of Franklin Rooseveltplaats. Antwerp is currently basking in a third Golden Age that has made it one of Europe’s most fashionable getaways.

is 1km from the impressive Centraal Station. art galleries. the city’s brandnew Justitiepaleis (Justice Palace). a fab riverside spot for lunch or a drink. the Scheldt was closed to all non-Dutch ships. Immediately south of Centraal Station is the Jewish neighbourhood. before continuing through the intimate backstreets to Rubenshuis. based around the Grote Markt on the right E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A n t w e r p 173 bank of the river. North of the Grote Markt. Two Days Day two is devoted to ’t Zuid. Immigration in the 1960s saw many Moroccans settle in Antwerp. is the fashionista hub. including Rubens who had gained an international reputation. Antwerp flanks the Scheldt River and is bordered by the Ring. commonly abbreviated as ’t Zuid. But the final blow came in 1648 when. Many of the city’s major sights are concentrated between Centraal Station and the old city centre. Amsterdam rose as the region’s trade capital. Start with the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten (Royal Museum of Fine Arts). under the Treaty of Westphalia which concluded the Thirty Years’ War. For a late-afternoon drink there’s Oud Arsenaal. a motorway that skirts three-quarters of the city. Het Zuid (The South). now sports museums. followed by a movie at the FotoMuseum and some nightclubs and bars. a little further north. The old city centre. A small red-light district is based around St Paulusplaats. Soak up the old city centre’s ambience in an idle wander that finishes at Zuiderterras. These days the city is a tight package of cultural diversity. In the afternoon. first developed as a dockland in the latter half of the 19th century. The two are linked by the pedestrianised Meir (pronounced ‘mare’). between the city and the massive modern-day port. Further afield is the new Justitiepaleis (Justice Palace). but racial tensions have risen sharply in recent years. Focal points are the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten (Royal Museum of Fine Arts) and. way to the south. ’t Schipperskwartier. the regenerated 19th-century docklands known as ’t Eilandje (Little Island). The city hosted the Olympic Games in 1920 and.LIÈGE Tongeren Haspengouw Sint Truiden Zoutleeuw Tienen Orientation Hoegaarden BRABANTWALLON E40 Tervuren Fôret de Soignes/Zoniënwoud To Mons (50km) BRUSSELS To Charleroi (47km) ὈὈ Ὀ Meerdaalwoud Kessel-Lo Leuven E19 Meise E40 4 To Ghent (27km) 3 painters. in 1928. a bustling shopping thoroughfare. Antwerp’s vital link to the sea was lost and the city ruined. and it wasn’t until Napoleon arrived in 1797 and the French rebuilt the docks that Antwerp got back on its feet. with its diamond industry based around Hoveniersstraat. suss out a restaurant and return in the evening for dinner. and. Much of the sailors’ quarter has a seedy. although gentrification is becoming increasingly evident. ANTWERP IN… One Day Start with the Grote Markt – the city’s opulent central square – and then indulge in masterpieces by Rubens at Onze Lieve Vrouwekathedraal. The city’s printing houses also became known throughout Europe.com EASTERN FLANDERS EASTERN FLANDERS Leopoldsburg Bokrijk Openluchtmuseum Genk LIMBURG Bree E Achel 0 0 Maasmechelen Maaseik NETHERLANDS s aa M F ὈὈ ὈὈ lonelyplanet. popping into MoMu. then lunch at one of the many nearby eateries – Patine is highly recommended. By the second half of the 19th century Antwerp had become the world’s third-largest port after London and New York. weave your way through St Andries’ fashion quarter. This area. followed by a browse past some Art Nouveau buildings and a look at avant-garde fashions at Ann Demeulemeester’s boutique. is one of the nightlife zones. construction began on Europe’s first skyscraper. the 27-storey Torengebouw. In the afternoon there’s either the Museum Voor Hedendaagse Kunst Van Antwerpen (Museum for Contemporary Arts of Antwerp) or the excellent FotoMuseum. see p32. While in ‘t Zuid. an area easily covered on foot. St Andries. For more on the city’s multicultural make-up. a relatively down-at-heel quarter close to the old city centre. where the master lived and worked. is the sailors’ quarter.com 20 km 12 miles 172 E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S . dog-eared feel. Dendermonde To Ghent (33km) To Liège (5km) Maastricht Hasselt Hageland Technopolis VLAAMSBRABANT Diest Rillaar Scherpenheuvel Aarschot Werchter Nete Planckendael Willebroek Fort Mechelen Breendonk Boom ldt Rutten Nationaal Park Hoge Kempen E314 Hechtel nal rtkaa Albe E313 Sche E17 OOST-VLAANDEREN 1 2 A17 A Lier Boechout Antwerp Airport Antwerp Lillo Haven van Antwerpen Berendrechtsluis Geel Herentals Westmalle Oostmalle -Turn hout l Antwe rpen naa Ka E34 Turnhout ANTWERPEN Mol D C Hoogstraten E19 Kalmthoutse Heide Nature Reserve B To Breda (12km) NETHERLANDS EASTERN FLANDERS lonelyplanet. trendy restaurants and clubs. due largely to new rail links connecting other parts of Europe. although the attractions outside the old city centre should not be overlooked. Dine at one of the many restaurants in the old city centre before embarking on a seemingly never-ending pub crawl.

... Antwerp fans out into suburbs................ International Magazine Store (Map pp176-7..... 44 D5 't Zuid i ale str 0 0 34 gstr her laan Middelheim To Mechelen (25km)............3 miles Sport aa m Car Tunnel 0 0 41 5 aals To Bruges (95km) 23 38 Napelsstr Bordeauxstr ld st r Hanze Stedenplaats Linkeroever E Ve 1 D Tra nsv nd astra 39 St Laureiskaai To Metropolis Cinema (1..... 34 D6 Café Local. EMERGENCY Ambulance/Fire (%100) Police (%101) INTERNET ACCESS 2Zones (Map pp176-7.. 43 D5 Zuiderpershuis.. Verschansingstraat 13) In ’t Zuid........... 11am-5. including English-language novels.....................41 E1 Stereo Sushi. %03 231 66 27..................6 Help U Zelve.........500 and 1:10...................... %03 232 24 00.32 Mogador............31 Den Draak...36 B3 deSingel...... such as Berchem....... 35 D5 Crossroads Café.............50.......... Hoboken and Wilrijk. 15 't Bootje......................... h10am-6.. today considered one of the city’s finest neighbourhoods.(see 6) Kaaiman.24 A5 Patine.. 1 D6 Ri Pa rp St Ann Stuivenbergplein Walen St Kipdo 1 Schijnpoort Elisabeth Tram Tunnel F Schijnpoort str str Everaerts See Antwerp Centre Map (p176-7) 2 500 m 0........................ De Slegte (Map pp176-7...30am-7pm Sat.. Ghent (56km)..............10 Les Mouettes.5km) C 't Eilandje Noorderlaan B Kattendijkdok (Westkaai) An n 22 Jachthavenweg Westkaai St A To Het Pomphuis (600m)............ Stripwinkel Beo (Map pp176-7..... MAPS ng r Ha l rik me R10 Vlagstr tr ndels bsmak Gentplaats Handel str sst Italiële ulu St Jaco atunne 3 INFORMATION Wassalon.38 B1 Koninklijk Ballet van Vlaanderen. Wolstraat 15................30 Bar Tabac....... %03 232 94 16.... 6 per hr €4..........22 A1 Floatel Diamond Princess............... FNAC (Map pp176-7............................25 E5 Generaal Capiaumontstr eS ei e Vosl Jan D Vogelzangla R1 4 18 ot Gr i R1 Wilrijk ers ord i ele i 3 ardstr r manst nsle 37 No Natio ai ka se m aa Vl Kroonstr 17 Osylei Montignystr Bre de rod est r lei erto Pothoekstraat aen skaa i Jord nalest r Sch eld t lla e Lee mstr Boomga aal Le Silv EASTERN FLANDERS el ng Generaal van Merlenstr Gener ma Bos 24 To Hoboken (5km) 6 slei Cogels- La be str 5 40 Langstr Dageraadplaats Isa weg Lange Elzen el aan retu Berchem i seb 32 Koning Albertpark De Borgerhout o ut teen A -Mo str str lses i ale lon ng rsi de Le em che tr Ko or Me e tr Dyck ng Plantin 46 Van La lss tr Tu Provinciestr Plantin s 19 Brit str itie 21 t s Ju Mo len str inle jse rnh Leopold De Waelplaats Sc hil de rss sgu Gi tr Centraal Station Stadspark To Deurganckdok (10km). %03 234 23 47.................. Wapper 5) Secondhand books..........37 B5 FotoMuseum..47 C1 5 Copyright (Map pp176-7...... LAUNDRY Netezon (Map pp176-7....................5km) 30 Graf Van Egmontstr 42 Ring se an kla ijc jsw Ri n Karel 44 Geuzenstr Leuvenstr Va Inset Many maps of Antwerp are very poor quality and prove quite useless for navigating the maze of streets in the old city centre...... For exploring further afield................. %03 233 16 68.30am-7pm Mon-Fri. 27 Soeki..... From the Ring.. It also extends west to Linkeroever (Left Bank)....4 Flandria (Quay 14). h11am-6. 9 Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten.. Wassalon (Map pp174-5................... Groenplaats........ h11am-midnight) Cool internet bar with a dozen terminals........5km)..33 E5 D5 D4 E5 erik Am 200 m 0........30pm Mon-Sat...... located next to MoMu. The detailed maps in this book should stand you in good stead............... art and architecture... %03 233 25 36.......30pm Tue-Sat.. 10am-2pm Sun) City’s largest comic-strip shop..................30pm Sun) The place for foreign and local newspapers and top-selling magazines.................................5 FotoMuseum...7 Huize Zonnebloem. Information D5 eg nw Ja n ing tr lg iël e Be str ke be on ho Sc n flei Va tho pstr Pos Gitschotelei Berchem Train Station 13 Nachtegalenpark Park Den Brandt Zurenborg 2 E6 D4 B1 Deurne 2 15 To Antwerp Airport (1km) tee an 8 11 D4 D4 D4 B1 D6 E5 D4 A4 SLEEPING Aan de Leien B&B................................(see 27) Slapenenzo.......30pm Sun) Specialises in fashion....20 E5 Bed............. Under 26 year olds get a 50% discount.................. EASTERN FLANDERS ὄὄ ὄὄ Ὀ ὄὄ ὈὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ ὄὄ ὈὈ ὈὈ ὄὈὈὈ ὈὈὈ Ὀ Ὀ ὄὄ Ὀ ὈὈ ὈὈ ὄ ὈὈ Ὀ Ὀ ὄὄ Ὀ ὄὄ ὈὈὈ ὈὈ Ὀ Ὀ ὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈὈὈ ὈὈ ὈὈὈ ὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ Ὀ Ὀ ὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ ὈὈὈὈ ὈὈὈ ὈὈὈὈὈ ὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ ὈὈὈὈ ὈὈὈ ὈὈ ὈὈὈὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈὈὈ ὈὈὈ ὈὈ ὈὈὈὈὈ Ὀ Ὀ ὈὈὈὈ ὈὈὈ ὈὈ ὈὈὈὈὈ Ὀ Ὀ 174 E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A n t w e r p ........... %03 231 20 56..1 miles ENTERTAINMENT Café Hopper..................11 Museum aan de Stroom. 18 Further southeast is Zurenborg... 11am-6.......................... easily accessible via the pedestrianised St Annatunnel under the Scheldt................ Oude Vaartplaats 16.....................2 De Vier Seizoenen..... 42 D5 Studio Tokio....13 Openluchtmuseum voor Beeldhouwkunst Middelheim.. Boechout (6km)............... 17 Witte Paleizen......... Brussels (49km) 26 sin Verschan ard Edw ken Beu 14 7 33 Pec ὆὆὆ ὆὆὆ ὆὆὆ ὆὆὆ 6 Le o sstr Oom lela an Lu 35 iks Gedempte Ve tr Zuiderdokken rlats tr Mu seu 31 ms tr 45 43 To Mortsel (2..................................................com Bonapartedok 47 12 Willemdok Visé Fran krijk lei el ai Leopold De Waelplaats Sc r tr ae ls W De Vo lks tr ka lse W aa ka ai Vl Gijzelaarss tr n laa eim elh id d M ld po rel Le g rd Gera 28 25 10 tr giers l Ro 20 Kare hi ld er ss 1 tr 16 27 BOOKSHOPS C6 D4 E6 D4 D4 3 4 EATING L’Entrepot du Congo...........29 D6 D6 E5 A4 DRINKING Atthis .. All-round bookshop with a strong travel section.................30pm Tue-Sat...................lonelyplanet.28 Walrus................. based around a street called Cogels-Osylei........................... Geocart’s Super Plan No 69 (scales 1:17..................... St Jacobsmarkt 73....... 14 Quinten Matsys......16 Twaalf Duivels.. 10am-7pm Fri) On 1st floor of the Grand Bazar shopping centre.............................. Bruges (101km) kstr Ker nots See Inset Jan van Beersstr r tst str We tie titu ns Co Car 36 4 No i t Meir Bolivarplaats 9 29 SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES De Morgenster.. Deurne..............19 B3 B&B Charles Rogier XI...........................46 C3 Budget......... Mekanik Strip (Map pp176-7.........39 B1 Roma......... h10am-6..... 8 Justitiepaleis.. 3 Euterpia....... 45 D5 TRANSPORT Avis......... Nationalestraat 18) Near MoMu. Melkmarkt 17. Lillo (8km) Kattendijkdok ANTWERP E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A n t w e r p 175 SHOPPING Ann Demeulemeester. Lier (11..000) of Antwerp and its environs also lists streets and useful addresses........... h7..... Nationalestraat 28a... 26 Patine.......... The area is famed for its rich belle-époque quarter.......12 Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst van Antwerpen. Bad & Brood........... h10am-6pm Mon-Sat) Excellent comicstrip shop with a little art gallery upstairs.................................... 8......23 B1 Hostel Op Sinjoorke.......21 B3 Camping De Molen..com lonelyplanet........40 D3 Sportpaleis.......

com ae Van M ὄὄ ὄὄ ὄὄ 176 E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A n t w e r p .C 97 str an nberg uwe rg Grote Kau wenb e str r tralen Van S Van Wesenbekestr estr Van Arteveld Breidelstr ensstr Van Er tb Je ornstr Frank zu s st r rijkle i Celiebroedersst r Eikenstr Astrid Carnots tr Koningin Astridplein 24 Stati estr 108 nstr Fra n Appe krij klei Kip dor pv est Ot Veniusstr rlei kv est Quelli res ial ei 10 118 121 83 i kle be ns lei 39 Stadspark Diamant 139 15 Ve sti 19 18 5 Centraal Station ng str r fst Rij rij nk Korte Herentalsestr Ru Van Osyst r nastr St An Molen bergst es ins Pr bstr St Jaco Bo Van end ale str str gstr Konin 107 he Fra H Heurckstr Anne ess sstr Venu tr apels Gr K estr tr asthuiss Lange G 111 76 aT Ta ba str ieg Borz Wapper Su de rm str Kammenstr ale tion Na Bredestr r Natio nalest aren an sst r r pst Pom W Pe r nst uw e Lee str r rsst idde ge R Lan Kl Ka ap d Kl Ho tr sels Wis str lgr im str og Ho eR idd ers Ko rt n Rodestr t Hu iks tra a or p Dries Lange Koepoor fstr Do ijstr der Bra rsstr kame Gilde iete Gro te P Ern est r ve Oe eke eld tr sters Kloo Lange Kl eM Ou d tstr rte Nosestr rst r i Jord aen ska a or nikstr Noo ai tstr kka r Po Dijc Van ras erte r Go ras rde rter eldt Sch Zuid Sch aai tink Plan ai lska ichie St M Opera 20 eyse ari 64 nstr 112 M 89 Theaterplein 120 17 ove 129 4 130 De K Hopland 95 onh Teniersplaats Scho Leysstr Van 110 49 Meir 96 140 eente str Gem Schupstr 28 gstr Ploe 6 EASTERN FLANDERS str 66 Franklin Rooseveltplaats 6 str Graanmarkt gge 13 2 Kipdorpburg 43 bru kt 45 r st 4 Dam tr Lange Nieuw 30 16 52 nas De Coninckplein nstraat Pelikaa ld tr ve r t An St Jaco bsmar 124 31 lst te S 7 ms rda tte Kor 51 29 Ro tr Hollandstr ms 2 3 rsstr Rie str Hovenie Rosier ck ke r talsestr in 90 pe rstr Violie Lange Heren r Die tr en ierst rlants em str in tr 116 134 hofstr Ko Schutters 68 m 119 ed Kelderstr iep 102 laa 136 ts Orgelstr 33 W i oez enst Italiële Aalm 126 Vl oyte i Sch 135 Italiële tr str Katt Arenbergstr Happaerts tr 138 128 n Hobok Ossenmarkt enst Ko rte Meistr 113 Kleine Oudaan Markt 67 Pieter Va Keizers 53 Goudb els rstr r loemst ink 41 Keize eW ng Prinsstr 114 Kolveniersstr tr St Gummarusstr Vondelstr La EASTERN FLANDERS str str Oude Vaartplaats 69 den Pijpelincxstr str Blin tr Leopolds Prekers 74 iess erg instr Everdijstr 87 Sleutelstr St Antoniusstr St Andries.com 0 0 ANTWERP CENTRE 1 ὈὈ ὈὈ ὈὈὈὈ ὈὈ ὈὈὈὈ ὈὈὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈὈὈ ὈὈὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ ὈὈὈὈ ὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈὈὈ ὈὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈὈὈ ὈὈὈὈὈ lonelyplanet.1 miles sstr B Car Tunnel nnel E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A n t w e r p 177 lman A Tram Tu lonelyplanet.St een plaats b Fortu str Huidevettersstr tr 92 6 ndr 72 r ers lstr St A isst Vli naa tr u asth ens te G rK Arse erkersst St Andries str sstr Schrijnw tijn en ic hiel enstr Lombard gus mm Ka Au rkt Beddenstr a rkt St M Stadswaag St Katelijnevest Melkmarkt Koornm tr kerijs Druk ogstr 56 ke 1 Wols tr 61 Be arkt Ve dd L r rtst str as llebo e tsa 85 Jeruzalem str daert od 12 e ang rds Noo eders eG Ou tr erbro Mind t Gro Ka ersmidstr Zilv sstr r ui rsr de roe t erb aer ind odd G Kl er sstr Koepoortbrug ster Zirkst St Jansplein Paard enm Mu rtzu Stijfselrui 91 65 57 urs 94 Wijngaardbrug 103 47 22 Grote 75 Kipdo Suik 27 23 Kaasrui rp Markt 25 Hendrik erru 3 Wijngaardstr i 38 71 Conscience44 99 21 plein Ou 82 rL de Kort Blauwmoezelst ijnw141 eN Handschoenaa 77 Haa 78 106 ieuwstr dm markt rstr 37 ark 9 50 t Kl P 5 60 Lange Ni iete Vlem euwstr 86 rP inckst ots r 54 tr Vla 58 sma 63 rkt 73 117 Korte Rey Eie 8 Klarens nde Groenplaats rm tr rsst 93 a Stoofs r tr 42 70 He Groe ilig 48 n Groenplaats K erkh 133 eG 88 ofstr ee St Meirbrug Meir sts tr Jansvliet Meir 11 Schoenm a rkt 34 Vrijdag62 125 80 markt Steen 137 houw 55 ersvest 81 122 23 Lombardenvest 79 14 Groendalstr 127 115 132 Mu 32 84 nts tr 131 Jodenstr 123 Zand 5 Kr E i Falconrui 46 Zwa Stoelstr Kuip 105 98 rsu r rve 1 Stijfselst Ve M ersstr uw Vleesho chtgracht Bur Veemarkt Hessenpl 104 't Schipperskwartier r sst ulu Pa ier Hespens tr Re 35 g penst Pal ingb ur r 26 100 G Beliardstr erl ng 40 Vi St uc 59 3 nnel tr St Paulusplaats Keis tr Sa H r erdst Oude Leeuwenrui s ing 109 Steenplein natu G 101 Ankerrui Brouwersvliet Lange Schipperskapelstr 36 St An F Van A 2 4 E D 200 m 0.

30pm Mon-Fri) Handy pharmacy..............30am-5.... 69 De Kleine Zavel...... h10am-5pm MonFri..... it depicts the legend of Antwerp’s name (see boxed text...93 Den Engel....... 74 Façade.... 68 Dansing Chocola........ 82 Lamalo...............................museum.........com ..............................................................%03 213 99 51........38 B3 Playground...120 E6 B5 Diamondland...72 Eethuisje De Stoemppot......................... adult/concession €4/3.....47 Torengebouw...........60) St Elisabethgasthuis (Map pp176-7.................(see 88) B4 Het Modepaleis............................. 98 't Elfde Gebod... Map pp176-7........... 48 Van Dyck Statue................................................................. the stadhuis’ palatial façade is a blend of Flemish and Italian styles.21 B3 Brabo Fountain............17 E6 Tourist Office........................................ see boxed text (p197).........97 Popi Café...............4 E5 ATM KBC Bank...... main post Main post office (Map pp176-7. www........................ 5 C4 De Lijn....(see 12) Red-Light District............... 57 Den Heksenketel... 132 D5 D3 Rommelmarkt.. 116 D5 D5 De Vagant Slijterij......... Crafted in 1887 by Jef Lambeaux (who lived at Grote Markt 44)..........................................................................95 Oud Arsenaal. 19 H5 Aquatopia..momu....... emergency 03 234 40 50............. %03 220 86 00......visitantwerpen....(see 15) Connections..................... 14 C5 Post Office. From the centre of the seven-aisled nave......... Sticking firmly to avant-garde........ 10 H5 Main Post Office....... Choose a three-hour guided tour (€14..........49 Vlaeykensgang....... The voluptuous........ Opposite Centraal Station.....13 F4 Netezon...................... topped by a gilded statue of St George astride a rearing horse as he spears a dragon.. 11 C4 Main Tourist Office..................modenatie..........................27 B3 Het Steen........ Grote Markt 13...................... 118 G5 B4 Delvaux....... the Etnografisch Museum (Ethnographic Museum........................50)........89 D3 E4 C2 B3 D4 F4 B4 De Vagant........museum ..... 15 H5 St Elisabethgasthuis............. 61 Hotel Scheldezicht........(see 32) MoMu...58 Hotel Antigone..25 B3 Flandria................. 10am-3pm Sat.......... 78 Het Dagelijks Brood......................... 123 C5 D3 Goossens. Fortis Bank (Wapper) to the Grote Markt.... %03 233 01 86....... %03 232 01 03..94 Grand Café Horta........ Suikerrui 21.. the Iconoclastic Fury and plundering during the French occupation mean that little of what you see today inside the cathedral is original Gothic...................................... 99 Zuiderterras ........... 67 Bourla & Mares.......... pedestrianised......... 33 D6 Museum Plantin-Moretus...............................(see 141) Rockoxhuis... 12 C3 Mekanik Strip......................... Domien and Keldermans)................................. h9.. Designed by Cornelius Floris De Vriendt and completed in 1565................be...............................96 Pier 19........ Centraal Station.......................................... Het Ruihuis (Map pp176-7....79 Het Nieuwe Palinghuis.................... 111 G5 Vlaamse Opera........ The Grote Markt is lined on two sides by Renaissance-style guildhalls...... 75 Faites Simple. Grote ATMs (Map pp176-7) KBC Bank (Eiermarkt). 113 B6 Boekhandel 't Verschil.... the deathly grey Christ is lowered by mourners while the Virgin reaches to touch her son.................29 E5 Kruidtuin.......133 B4 B4 Temmerman....................................... The splendid Onze Lieve Vrouwekathedraal (Cathedral of Our Lady............ %03 470 27 70................. an adventure through the city’s underground sewer system..............................30am-4.... 18 H5 SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES Antwerp Zoo........91 E2 Chez Fred.................. De Keyser- Station.................117 B4 A6 Del Rey............. 140 G4 Rent A Bike...122 B5 A6 Fish & Chips.......................... adult/concession €2/1.... 6 G4 De Slegte........... St Jacobsmarkt 84) Connections (Map pp176-7... Melkmarkt 23) Sights OLD CITY CENTRE As in every great Flemish city.............. home also to both the Flanders Fashion Institute and the fashion department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.............................. 90 C6 Café Hessenhuis.................................. Although impossible to view up close.......... 84 Pottenbrug.........................60-3.......(see 36) Hoge Raad voor Diamant............................110 F4 UGC... TOURIST INFORMATION Main tourist office (Map pp176-7............................... 23 C5 Diamantmuseum.......... MoMu (Map pp176-7.....................104 C1 Cartoons. The most celebrated of Rubens’ four paintings is The Descent from the Cross (1612) immediately to the right of the central crossing.....55 Big Sleep........... The World Heritage–listed Museum PlantinMoretus (Map pp176-7.......... 106 C4 FNAC Ticket Service. %03 232 01 03.......................2 F4 Apotheek Lotry...........129 E5 C4 Pardaf............. Groenplaats 43) Handy Markt 56....... 112 G4 SHOPPING G4 Annemie Verbeke..... Post office (Map pp176-7..............................................................com) com- plex................................ 102 D5 Buster...........(see 48) ATM. 9 C4 Leo Stevens.. 119 D5 C3 Den Dorstvlegel.......................... office (Groenplaats).... Nationalestraat 28........... %070 23 33 13................ while the much smaller Resurrection (1612) hangs in a small chapel to the right of the high altar.. a vast..45 St Pauluskerk. 44 St Jacobskerk..... most of which were reconstructed in the 19th century..................... 1 C3 Airstop/Taxistop......101 F1 Bourlaschouwburg.... 52 B&B Emperor's 48.....................be/plantin_moretus........ post office (Pelikaanstraat)....... 50 SLEEPING Aandekeizer B&B................... Its graceful 123m-high spire was a mighty landmark in early times and is still visible from kilometres around today.22 B3 Centraal Station.... 138 B6 DRINKING Boekhandel 't Verschil...... 134 D5 C5 Veronique Branquinho....... %03 234 41 11.............. adult/ concession €5/3.......................................... Centraal INFORMATION 2Zones.... Pelikaanstraat 16) Opposite Centraal Station....................................... 39 G6 Prospekta........................ 76 Frituur No 1.. Map pp1767)................ 16 D6 Stripwinkel Beo.......................................................26 B3 Het Ruihuis.................7 E5 FNAC... h9............. life in Antwerp radiates out from the Grote Markt (Map pp176–7)........................... 88 Vogelmarkt....... p180)....(see 114) Bierhuis Kulminator.............................. baroque decorations – notably four early canvases by Rubens – adorn its light but imposing interior.............................. 31 D6 ModeNatie....... an innovative departure from the standard Gothic architecture prevalent at the time of construction...................... 141 C4 lei 64.......... Handschoenmarkt.... 92 A6 TRANSPORT Centraal Station.. www.....77 Gin Fish.......................................................... 103 C3 Café d'Anvers.......................................................... It was 169 years in the making (1352–521) and the work of several architects (Appelmans.................................................. €2....................................................53 B&B Le Patio. Map pp176-7............ Instead. or pop in for a visit zonder gids (without guide.. 24 H4 Etnographisch Museum......(see 32) Dagbladmuseum....................... Next to the stadhuis entrance.... h9am-12.(see 11) ATM...................... 20 H4 Bag Bearer Statue.................... 8 C4 International Magazine Store....... Fashion followers must start with Antwerp’s mode museum.. %03 221 14 50.............. 37 C4 Peerdentram......................................66 EATING Berlin.................. but then highly sanitised...................30pm & 2-7......................107 E6 Koningin Elisabethzaal. 100 B4 B3 E5 E5 C1 A5 C3 A4 E3 G3 E3 B4 B5 A5 D3 B4 B2 D4 C3 B5 B4 E6 D2 ENTERTAINMENT Boots.......... The commanding gable is topped by a fine gilded eagle and flanked by statues representing wisdom and justice............ 131 D5 C5 Pierre Marcolini................... LEFT LUGGAGE Centraal Station lockers (Map pp176-7........40 C1 Rent A Bike............. per 24hr €2................ 87 Super GB. %070 23 31 88........ Next door again is the city’s newest attraction......59 Hotel Julien........................................................ 83 Lombardia.......... MoMu changes its exhibits every six months..................................................... Expect things to be a bit pongy at the start.............. 115 D5 C6 Coccodrillo............ The combined effects of a fire in the Middle Ages... 130 G4 G5 Philip's Biscuits............. www.............. 3 C3 ATM Fortis Bank...........62 Hotel 't Sandt..... 30 D6 Maagdenhuis. The tallest and most impressive is No 7......105 B3 De Muze............................................126 B6 B5 Louis........... 125 C5 B4 Labels Inc.................. adult/concession €7/5............. 9am-5pm Sun) TRAVEL AGENCIES Airstop/Taxistop (Map pp176-7.(see 8) Het Paleis................................ 46 Stadhuis........ h10am-6pm Tue-Sun)................................................... %03 232 18 43..........50).........antwerpen............. MEDICAL SERVICES MONEY POST Apotheek Lotry (Map pp176-7............................ baroque Brabo Fountain (Map pp176–7) rises from a rough pile of rocks in the centre of the Grote Markt.................................... 108 H5 Red & Blue........ triangular market square presided over by the impressive Renaissance-style stadhuis (town hall.............................. 137 B5 Walter. 65 Vlaamse Jeugdherbergcentrale...... 85 Sir Anthony Van Dyck....................... In this sensitive triptych....51 B&B 2000.. 60 Hotel Rubens..36 B3 Onze Lieve Vrouwekathedraal. h9am6pm Mon-Sat.. 9am-5pm Sun) Tourist office (Map pp176-7................... 41 D3 Rubens Statue.................. 139 H5 Eurolines...........be/etnografisch _museum.... 128 D5 C5 Olivier Strelli.. It’s located in the muchcelebrated ModeNatie (www..... Vrijdagmarkt 22.32 B5 Museum Mayer Van den Bergh... www... 121 G5 B4 Episode........................ but handles cash only....................... h10am5pm Tue-Sun) contains a highly respected col- E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A n t w e r p 179 lection of traditional artefacts from around the world.............com Leo Stevens (Map pp176-7..................70 De Peerdestal............................... 28 H6 Koninklijk Paleis.(see 139) Copyright.............30pm Thu-Tue).............54 B&B Siddartha...............63 Ibis Antwerpen Centrum............................................... this painting’s radiance is profound....... 42 C4 Rubenshuis. h10am-5pm Tue-Sun) is home to the EASTERN FLANDERS EASTERN FLANDERS lonelyplanet........... 135 B6 C4 Verso.........178 E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A n t w e r p lonelyplanet.. 124 D5 G5 Grand Bazar Shopping Centre.........34 B5 Museum Vleeshuis/Kank van de Stad....... Leopoldstraat 26.be........ look straight down to the high altar and Rubens’ Assumption (1625)...............64 International Zeemanshuis.......... To the left of the central crossing is The Raising of the Cross (1610)....................................................................................... 114 D3 Burie..............................71 Delhaize........................ h9am-6pm Mon-Sat................... Suikerrui 19.........50... 136 D5 E6 Vrijdagmarkt........109 C1 Space.......................... 80 Hungry Henrietta.................................................................................................................43 E5 St Carolus-Borromeuskerk................ 56 De Witte Lelie..30pm Mon-Fri) Excellent exchange rates..... 10am-4pm Sun) is the largest and finest Gothic cathedral in Belgium............... h24hr) Central hospital.......... 127 C5 A5 Nico Taeymans....antwerpen.............. For more on Antwerp fashion..86 Soep & Soup.73 El Pintxo's.35 B3 Nationaal Scheepvaartmuseum............ 81 La Cuisine..........................

E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A n t w e r p 181 Just off the Meir. including works by Rubens. to the right you’ll see the master’s studio where he taught and worked. In the latter he combines a technical mastery of musculature with a deep sense of the spiritual. Keizerstraat 10-12. and these paintings may appeal to those who aren’t fans of his ample nudes. Model ships. a friend of Rubens. Van Dyck and Pieter Breughel the Younger.and 17th-century printing family headed by Christoffel Plantin. Eight years later he started a printing business that eventually became the Low Countries’ largest printing and publishing concern and a magnet for intellectuals. Due east of the Steen is the striking Vleeshuis. chopped off his hand and chucked it in the river. inside to the right of the entrance. pick up one of the three walking-tour booklets (€4) sold at the tourist office. Near the entrance is a baroque portico. %03 887 01 78. It’s built around a central courtyard. Flemish tapestries and. on a nondescript square known as Wapper. it was little more than a ruin when acquired by the city in 1937. The stunning Flemish baroque St CarolusBorromeuskerk (Map pp176-7. When his mother died in 1608. Built around a central courtyard. It tells of Druon Antigoon. Hendrik Conscienceplein 6.com . where Rubens started painting – by the age of 21 he was a master in the Antwerp Guild of St Lukas.be/rubenshuis. was the 14th-century headquarters of the butchers’ guild. Beneath the next-door raised promenade is the museum’s open-air collection of river barges. Map pp176-7. Rubens returned to Antwerp. whom he used as a model for some of his later.be. adult/ concession €3/2. of course. %03 233 64 04. Today the city uses Antwerpse handjes (Antwerp hands) to symbolise friendship. home to instruments specifically related to Antwerp. It was here that the world’s first newspaper. Wapper 9-11. With commissions pouring in. When his father died a decade later. a giant.museum vleeshuis. admission free. By the waterfront is the engaging Nationaal Scheepvaartmuseum (National Maritime Museum. Joined by contemporaries such as Antoon (Anthony in English) Van Dyck and Jacob Jordaens. of course.be in Flemish. splendid manuscripts. EASTERN FLANDERS EASTERN FLANDERS Two stories tell the origins of Antwerp’s name. This engaging work is no run-of-the-mill village scene – it depicts 108 Flemish proverbs. Pieter Paul Rubens (below). including a rare copy of the Gutenberg Bible. Time a visit with a concert given on one of the old instruments – the tourist office has the schedule. %03 201 93 40. His paintings fused Flemish and Italian influences and his enormous canvases. known as Klank van de Stad. adult/concession €5/3. It’s now a new music museum. who killed the giant. Some of the family portraits exhibited inside this museum are the master’s works. The home and studio James’ Church. The tomb of Rubens and his family is the reason most visitors come to St Jacobskerk (St (Rubens’ House. In the age of email. Steen. h10am-5pm Tue-Sun) is a 17th-century mansion that once belonged to Nicolaas Rockox.50. but he’s also noted for religious works. Nieuwe Tydinghen. despite the fact that only a handful of Rubens’ lesser works are exhibited the high altar. is furnished in classical Flemish style. is much more colourful. but more likely. The building is divided in two: on the left are the living quarters and an elaborate art gallery where Rubens displayed sculptures and paintings by artists he admired. but unfortunately it’s not in English. Rubens was born in Siegen (in Germany) in 1577 after his parents fled Antwerp due to religious turmoil. To discover the city in his footsteps. with their glowing colours and animated forms. The church was the place of worship for the MEIR AREA PIETER PAUL RUBENS Pieter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) was Belgium’s most influential early 17th-century artist. including Onze Lieve Vrouwekathedraal (p179). During his last decade he married Hélèna Fourment. Much of the furniture inside the house dates from Rubens’ era but was not part of the original décor. the business passed to his son-in-law. adult/concession €5/2. Steen. Hand werpen (hand throwing) subsequently evolved into Antwerpen. or Museum Vleeshuis/Klank van de Stad (Butchers’ Hall. Lombardenvest 6. On Plantin’s death. Our Lady Surrounded by Saints. his second wife. h10am-5pm Tue-Sun). and later to Jan’s son. www. Jordaens. the city’s cathedral. it’s now Antwerp’s chief attraction. In 1600 he journeyed to Italy and was soon appointed court painter to the Duke of Mantua. %03 201 15 55. Room after room is filled with ancient presses. explanation lies with archaeological remains found near the riverside castle. www. Baroque art at its prime can still be seen in the small Onze Lieve Vrouwekapel (Chapel of Our Lady).180 E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A n t w e r p lonelyplanet. Superbly restored along original lines. Rubens is best remembered for his sensuous women inspired by Greek mythology. 9am-noon Nov-Easter). The tomb. adult/concession €4/3. old globes. Rubens built this beautiful Flemish baroque mansion in 1611 when he was 34 years old. muscular soldiers and distraught women that earned him immediate success. Plantin moved from France to Antwerp where he set up as a bookbinder in 1548. Vleeshouwersstraat 38-40. copper plates. so call ahead. Map pp176-7. The museum sells a card (€1.dagbladmuseum . Find the man bashing his head against a brick wall (ie symbolising stupidity) or the guy peeing on the moon (ie trying to do the impossible). Jan Moretus. admission €5). the family returned to Antwerp.antwerpen . Those who refused lost a hand. including the façade and tower. Along came Silvius Brabo. and beyond this lies a formal garden. with the master as St George and his wives and father the other figures.com THE LEGEND LIVES ON world’s first industrial printing works. in a small chapel behind of the city’s most celebrated painter. a Roman warrior. including an 18th-century coracle or skin boat. the museum is worth visiting for the mansion alone. such as The Descent from the Cross. The museum doesn’t have standard opening hours. is adorned with a painting. most of the marble interior and 39 ceiling paintings by Rubens and his colleagues were destroyed by fire in 1718. Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten (p182). Unfortunately. For the next eight years he travelled extensively in Italy and Spain. it’s hard not to admire the painstaking effort and dedication that was once needed to produce a ‘simple’ book. which Rubens executed specifically for his tomb and which is a family portrait.museum. the studio’s output was staggering.30pm & 2-5pm Mon-Sat) was built in 1621 by the Jesuits on one of the city’s most beautiful public squares. The legend.antwerpen. including a visit to England where he was commissioned to paint part of the ceiling of the Banqueting House in London’s Whitehall Palace and was knighted by Charles I. Steenplein 1. h10am-5pm Tue-Sun). He worked on religious canvases. from butter biscuits to chocolates. h10am-5pm Tue-Sun). and are also superbly exhibited in Brussels’ Musées Royaux des Beaux Arts (p83). who lived at the bend of the Scheldt and forced passing shipmasters to pay a toll. h10am-12. Rockoxhuis (opposite) and St Jacobskerk (above). are baroque masterpieces. h2-5pm Mon-Sat Easter-Oct. adult/concession €4/3. but also for insight into old typesetting. was designed by Rubens. which was spared by the flames. he established a studio in his house in the city centre from where he proceeded to paint portraits of Europe’s royalty and a series of grand religious canvases. Seek out the latter’s Proverbs (De Spreekwoorden). he died here 29 years later. Map pp176-7. This building. Balthasar. a huge painting filled with saints. largely allegorical paintings. a 1950’s Belgian navy patrol ship. %03 201 92 50. In the 1620s Rubens broadened his painting repertoire and also took on diplomatic missions. All manner of gift items are made in the shape of little hands. Map pp176-7. www. proofreading and printing processes. was invented by Abraham Verhoeven in 1606. Lange Nieuwstraat 73. a former city mayor and friend and patron of Rubens. Highlights include an intriguing nautical totem shaped like a snake’s head and boats from around the world.be/scheepvaartmuseum. The not so popular. canal boats and De Schelde P905. The findings proved that a Gallo-Roman settlement existed on a mound (aanwerp) that partly vanished when the quays were straightened in the 1880s. and holds a small but esteemed collection of paintings. The Rockoxhuis (Rockox House. is the prestigious Rubenshuis here. maritime maps and instruments are exhibited in the gatehouse and front section (which is all that remains) of the 13th-century castle. This fascinating museum deals with a prosperous 16th.25) explaining each proverb. Those really into printing should consider visiting the nearby Dagbladmuseum (Newspaper Museum. Much of the church. lonelyplanet. Map pp176-7. http://museum . Today it’s displayed in Onze Lieve Vrouwekathedraal. Rubens’ works are dotted around Antwerp. Map pp176-7. all the while painting for the wealthy and soaking up the rich Renaissance art and architecture. with its red- and-white layered stonework reminiscent of rashers of bacon. scientists and humanists.

traders with briefcases handcuffed to their wrists hurry into diamond exchanges and armed guards keep watch over the little huddle of streets where multimillion-euro deals are going down. are also well represented. a hugely expressive and ani- mated work.000 skilled cutters and polishers were employed. The whole thing is very Antwerp – from the sultry fashions worn by the guides to the proud exhibits showing diamond-studded jeans.be/cultuur/kmska. last Wed of the month free.be. These cards were cut in half when girls were brought into the refuge – one piece was retained by the parent and the other kept with the child. www. however. in which senior citizens are shown setting a good example to the young. the Hoge Raad voor Diamant (Diamond High Council. as well as surrealists René Magritte and Paul Delvaux. Map pp176-7. built in 1904 by the mother of Fritz Mayer Van den Bergh. just wander along Pelikaanstraat. www. 10am-4. and which are used to fuel the arms trade and finance civil wars. 10am-6pm Tue-Sun May-Oct. founded the Antwerp school of painting and his works reflect a deep understanding of landscape perspective. But outside. Van Dyck was best known for his portraiture. To get a glimpse of the amount of diamonds (and gold) being traded. form the core of the museum. The station is also diamond central (see opposite). others of human madness. Map pp176-7. Started in 1491. %03 223 53 20. now only 2000 struggle on. There are several enormous canvases by Rubens. Leopoldstraat). Originally the herb garden of St Elisabethgasthuis. adult/concession €5/3.30pm Mar-Apr & Oct. These changes have come about partly to end the crisis of ‘blood diamonds’.be in Flemish & French. The collection’s most famous piece is Pieter Breugel the Elder’s Dulle Griet (Mad Meg). designed by Louis Delacenserie at the start of the 20th century in a harmonious blend of styles. 80% of the world’s rough diamonds are traded in the city’s diamond quarter. Leuvenstraat 23. Koningin Astridplein 26.antwerpen. start on the 3rd floor and let one of seven virtual guides assist in your quest for the perfect stone. Highlights include Van Eyck’s unusual. Tram 8 from Groenplaats or bus 23 (direction Zuid) from Franklin Rooseveltplaats both stop out the front. Moving on to modern art. façades and in the four beurzen voor diamanthandel (diamond exchanges) dotted along two pedestrianised streets – Hoveniersstraat and Rijfstraat. This is one of Breugel’s most Bosch-like paintings and interpretations of its meaning vary – some say it’s an allegory of misogyny. For hundreds of years the domain of Orthodox Jews. As the world’s uncut diamond capital. a prosperous art connoisseur who had died a few years earlier aged 41. Of the museum’s exhibits. To find the highlights you’ll need to pick up a museum plan and audio headset (both free) from reception. paintings by his followers detail the enchanting peasant scenes for which Breugel was famous. adult/concession/child €6/4/free. The size of the museum’s collection means that paintings are sometimes rotated. has been replaced by strict EU regulation and tight customs procedures. Vestingstraat or Hoveniersstraat at any time during the day (on Saturday many shops are closed for Sabbath.lonelyplanet. The first things most people see of this quarter are the gold and diamond shops newly located inside Centraal Station. spelt Matsys in English. h10am-5pm Tue-Sat. Dubai.zoo 232 42 37. h10am-5pm TueSun) is housed behind an Art Deco façade in a building that started life as a grain silo. Map pp174-5. The city’s role as a world diamond centre can be explored at the Diamantmuseum (Diamond Museum. 10am-5. Today it’s home to a small art collection.muhka. h10am5pm Tue-Sun) occupies a simulated 16th-century antwerpen. In the 16th and 17th centuries this building was an orphanage and refuge for girls of poor families. 10am-6pm Sun) is a monumen- lonelyplanet. as well as a selection of smaller. The other local players of that time. adult €3. 1-5pm Mon.antwerpen. is a great getaway from crowds and vehicles. Matsijs. Map pp174-5. Indians now account for 60% of the district’s trade and much of the manufacturing work has shifted to low-cost Asian countries. h1-6pm Mon.diamant . is actively trying to snare Antwerp’s trade. Jacob Jordaens and Antoon Van Dyck. Just down the road from Museum Mayer Van den Bergh is the Maagdenhuis (Maidens’ House. and the industry employs some 30. With an English- language audio guide in hand. adult/concession €4/3. the most nostalgic items are the playing cards. The 10-hectare park is home to an extremely diverse range of animals. an allegorical painting in which a demented woman roams a grotesque war-torn landscape marked by demons and monsters.45pm Jan-Feb & Nov-Dec) ranks among the world’s oldest. Watch out for Jordaens’ As the Old Sing. 10am-6pm May-Jun & Sep.provant. h10am-5pm Wed-Mon. Leopold De Waelplaats. h10am-7pm Jul-Aug. despite its diminutive size. townhouse. Hoveniersstraat 22). The museum’s best section is undoubtedly the 17th-century Flemish baroque masters display. Other Sights The Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst Van Antwerpen (MuHKA. Don’t expect fanfare or glitz – most of the trade goes on behind discreet. preparatory paintings and oil sketches.com E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A n t w e r p 183 DIAMONDS Diamonds have been changing hands in Antwerp for more than 500 years. tal neoclassical edifice built at the end of the 19th century. %03 202 45 40. this informal garden has 2000 plant species and. the Jewish holy day). almost monotone Saint Barbara (1437). Lange Gasthuisstraat 19. It contains a permanent collection of Belgian EASTERN FLANDERS EASTERN FLANDERS 182 E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A n t w e r p . These high-security streets are also home to important financing banks and the industry’s governing body.000 people. Koningin Astridplein 19-23. Sixteenth-century works to seek out include Quinten Matsijs’ profound triptych The Lamentation of Christ (also called the Triptych of the Joiners’ Guild). And the once laissez-faire attitude of the Belgian government. %03 238 78 09. Hans Memling. Antwerp Zoo (Map pp176-7. ’T ZUID Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten The Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten (Royal Museum of Fine Arts. an unassuming cluster of streets near the Centraal Station. Orthodox Jewish men clad in distinctive black coats and hats shuffle around the lacklustre quarter. the museum has a diverse collection of paintings by James Ensor that traces his conservative beginnings – such as the Woman Eating Oysters (1882) – to his disturbing later works. www. it’s a vastly different world. Time will tell whether such measures will end this trade.be in Flemish. even shabby. including works by Quinten Matsijs and Cornelius De Vos. the Middle Eastern business capital. adult/concession €16/11. Museum for Contemporary Arts of Antwerp. Immediately southwest of Centraal Station is the diamond district (see opposite). it took nearly 150 years to build and the result is a Gothic façade cloaking mainly baroque embellishments inside. exemplified here by Masks Fighting over a Hanged Man (1891).com aristocracy and is a showcase of their wealth. %03 trains. But insiders are wondering whether things are on the rocks? Where once 25. note the sandstone carvings of young girls above the archway. a fine example of which is Portrait of Maarten Pepijn (1632). The zoo is constantly upgrading accommodation and it also has a good reputation for its breeding programme. His highly prized collection of sculptures and paintings. Lange Gasthuisstraat 33. or identification tokens. Secret garden fans shouldn’t miss the city’s tiny Kruidtuin (botanical garden. CENTRAAL STATION QUARTER One of the city’s premier landmarks is the extraordinary Centraal Station (Map pp176–7). The Flemish Primitives are represented by Jan Van Eyck. Its stately rooms house an impressive collection of paintings dating from the 14th century to contemporary times and include works by Flemish masters. some (such as the penguins) live in state-of-the-art enclosures but others are still in shoddy cages. www. stones which have been smuggled across borders in conflict zones in Africa. Rogier Van der Weyden and Gerard David. 1-5pm Sat & Sun). The station and adjoining Koningin Astridplein have been undergoing massive works for years to accommodate the Eurostar and Thalys fast It opened in 1843 during Belgium’s colonial heyday – its age is immediately evident by the striking lion and tiger mosaic panels that greet visitors. adult/concession €4/3. a hospital that dates back to medieval times. Memling’s rich Christ among Angels Singing and Playing Instruments and Van der Weyden’s portrait of Filips Van Croy. 10am-5pm Tue-Sun Nov-Apr).be/mayervandenbergh. Map pp176-7.museum. a boon to traders. Steps lead from the main hall with its enormous dome up to the glass-covered train platforms. thus directly linking the city to London and the rest of Europe. www. %03 202 48 90. including plenty of newly engaged Brits (prices here average 30% lower than in UK High Sts) browsing the bright lights and gleaming displays. %03 238 59 60. Here you’ll find people from all over the world. As you enter. the Young Play Pipes (1638). Other Belgian artists of note whose works are exhibited include Constant Permeke and Rik Wouters. Museum Mayer Van den Bergh (Map pp176-7. There are no originals by Pieter Breugel the Elder. including his famous Adoration of the Magi (1624). All is due to be finished by the time you read this.

and the fanfare and crass consumerism that makes its counterpart in the Netherlands so famous is noticeably absent here. p193). built in the 1930s.184 E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A n t w e r p and international art dating from the 1970s onwards. 55 Cogels-Osylei) and Quinten Matsys (Map pp174-5. Wander the full length of the Zuiderterras then descend to St Jansvliet. 10am-8pm May & Aug. Volkstraat 40) is arguably the city’s most beautiful and harmonious Art Nouveau façade. the purpose-built multistorey Museum aan de Stroom (MAS. Het Steen (4). or Left Bank. is St Pauluskerk (St Paul’s Church. Architecturally it’s expected to be a big draw. p179) is the obvious starting point. At the waterfront is Steenplein (3). Most of the buildings were constructed between 1894 and 1914 and involved many architects. Map pp174-5. It suffered over the years due to fires. Continue north along Kammenstraat. and from Zuiderterras (5). which is flanked by the Witte Paleizen (White Palaces. www. The proud. bay windows. Walking Tour This walk takes in the Grote Markt to the socalled Quartier Latin. This 572m-long pedestrian tunnel. from where there’s an excellent waterfront panorama. The Steen is now home to the Nationaal Scheepvaartmuseum (4. Bolivarplaats). Built in 1901 by architects Van Asperen and Van Averbeke. which means some existing museums – like the Scheepvaartmuseum – will lose all or some of their content. built by Jules Hofman in 1900. Generaal Capiaumontstraat 2). one of the few 16th-century alleys that have survived in Antwerp. More nearby Art Nouveau swirls and mosaic façades include Les Mouettes (Waterloostraat 39). Ask the tourist office (p179) for upto-date details on both museums. a huddle of pedestrianised shopping streets close to the Meir. a tree-lined square home to the city’s oldest building. down the southern end of ’t Zuid. this museum has a huge collection of B&W photographs. Once again housed lonelyplanet. where an overpowering view of the cathedral spire awaits. a tall folkloric figure who is little more than a Peeping Tom. Temporary exhibitions are often staged.be. h10am-9pm Jun & Jul. Three exquisite Art Nouveau examples along Cogels-Osylei are the Huize Zonnebloem (Sunflower House. all dwarfed by the majestic Onze Lieve Vrouwekathedraal (13. This area has largely been left begging in recent decades. Back at St Jansvliet. The showcase is CogelsOsylei (Map pp174–5). motorised. two other fine examples can be seen in ’t Zuid and both are just short walks from the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten. Much of the quarter has a dog-eared feel. has been much restored. this street’s got it. The Euterpia (Map pp174-5. On both sides of Steenplein are raised promenades known as wandelterrassen. the heart of the St Andries (8) mode quarter. This castle. ’t Bootje (Map pp174-5. a (partly) ancient organ and marble embellishments. Mosaics are at their best at De Vier Seizoenen (The Four Seasons. De Morgenster (The Morning Star. as well as paintings by the 17th-century masters and lesser artists. In the 1960s the houses faced demolition but were saved thanks to protests by artists and hippies. paying tribute to the city’s dock workers. Antwerp’s red-light district (Map pp176–7) is Belgium’s largest. Bus 23 (direction Zuid) from Franklin Rooseveltplaats stops nearby. creating competing and highly contrasting façades ranging in style from Art Nouveau and Flemish baroque to lonelyplanet. h10am-5pm Tue-Sun). Map pp176-7. %03 828 13 50. Another museum in the pipeline for this district is the Red Star Line Museum. 80 Cogels-Osylei). follows Greek neoclassical lines – the door handle even resembles an Olympic torch. It’s lined with gabled houses and terrace cafés (pub/bar). closed Mon). a bazaar of all possible house styles. Map pp174-5. has a timber façade that gives way to 12 wooden devils that leer at passers-by. It will bring together exhibits of the city’s history from its earliest beginnings to recent times. Originally these tiny streets were the domain of the city’s most impoverished citizens (in this case cobblers). If you don’t linger too long or get sidetracked. a huge. It contains more than 300 works by sculptors. take bus 23 (direction Zuid) from Franklin Rooseveltplaats. today Vlaeykensgang is synonymous with one of the most expensive restaurants in town Sir Anthony Van Dyck (11. its gleaming sails can easily be seen rising at the end of Amerikalei. the latest in 1968 when locals rallied to save the art treasures inside. The Grote Markt (1. stained glass and mosaics…you name it. it is also a vestige of the 9th-century fortifications that once stood here. Help U Zelve (Map pp174-5. Just around the corner is the entrance to Vlaeykensgang (10). 10am-7pm Apr & Sep. slate tiles. p191). old portraits and ancient cameras. Map pp174-5.com neoclassical and neo-Renaissance. It will tell the story of the three-million Europeans who immigrated via Antwerp to the US and Canada. about 2km southeast of Centraal Station. which runs right along Cogels-Osylei. a small tree-lined square best known as the entrance to the St Annatunnel (7).com . to its terminus to get there. it’ll take one E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A n t w e r p 185 to 1½ hours (allow at least another 20 minutes if you cross under the river to the Linkeroever). built in 1905. %03 242 in a renovated warehouse. Waalsekaai 47. get off at Beukenlaan and walk 500m east. Take tram 12 (direction Bolivarplaats) from Gemeentestraat. The city’s new Justitiepaleis (law court. Zurenborg is easily reached by tram 11 (direction Eksterlaar). Map pp174-5). marked by a statue of the mischievous Lange Wapper. Although Zurenborg (right) has the city’s most dense concentration of Art Nouveau architecture. 10am-5pm OctMar.museumaandestroom. The work of renowned British architect Richard Rogers. Transvaalstraat 59 & 61). any street will deposit you at fashion outlets (p196). In a corner stands a well EASTERN FLANDERS EASTERN FLANDERS 93 00. GREATER ANTWERP Some 4km south of the city centre is a large. p180). Middelheimlaan 61. To get to the museum. h2-5pm May-Sep). During its construction in 2005. head down Suikerrui towards the river.fotomusuem. The baroque interior is resplendent with a stunning procession of wooden confessionals and carvings. www. cnr Schildersstraat & Plaats-nijdersstraat) has a little shipshaped balcony that is part of a 1901 townhouse called De Vijf Continenten (The Five Continents). Hanze Stedenplaats) is located between two docks – Bonapartedok and Willemdok – in the flourishing ’t Eilandje district. both built in 1904. designed in 1899 by the architect Bascourt. To get there take bus 17 (direction Wilrijk Universitair Ziekenhuis) from in front of Centraal Station. admission free. next to Koningin Astridplein. controversy reigned over its cost – quoted at €75 million but eventually coming in at around €250 million. the south promenade. dating from 1200. from 1906. In the evening you can take in a golden-oldie film in one of two auditoria. ’T SCHIPPERSKWARTIER Marking the start of the sailors’ quarter. white Gothic church was built for the Dominicans and dates from 1517. Map pp174-5. designed like a modern spiral tower with a panorama platform offering city views. The Twaalf Duivels (Map pp174-5. including notable nationals (Rik Wouters) and influential internationals (Auguste Rodin and Henry Moore). 50 Cogels-Osylei). although only a fraction is displayed at any one time. wrought-iron balconies. ’T EILANDJE Due to open in 2008. grand façades resembling chateaux in France’s Loire Valley. take Steenhouwersvest all the way to Nationalestraat. turn left into Reyndersstraat and then right into Pelgrimsstraat (9). but this flashy new addition has already sparked a realestate boom. The picturesque Handschoenmarkt (12) is a tiny square that takes its name from the glove market that once thrived here. It is based between St Paulusplaats and Verversrui and includes the appropriately named Oude Manstraat (Old Man St). Map pp174-5.be. Veemarkt. it features mosaics and strongly geometric wrought-iron work. p179). there is a great skyline view plus an essential café pitstop (6. slide-viewing contraption built in 1905 for Antwerp Zoo. The promenades are still immensely popular on weekends. %03 206 09 40. reminiscent of Sydney’s Opera House. One of the highlights is the Keizerspanorama. noting Constantin Meunier’s proud 19th-century bronze statue (2) entitled Bag Bearer. Five blocks south of MuHKA and with an excellent reputation is the newly renovated and expanded FotoMuseum (Map pp174-5. From this five-ways. will blow away any preconceptions that architecture in Antwerp is all old hat. ZURENBORG This area. From here. built three-quarters of a century ago alongside the city’s main dock so that townsfolk could view the exotic cargoes coming in from the Congo. adult/concession €6/4. Roofs and towers spiked with onion tops or witches’ hats. cnr Waterloostraat & Generaal Van Merlenstraat). links the city centre with the Linkeroever. built in 1896 by Jules Hofman. admission free. the man behind London’s Lloyd’s building and Paris’ Pompidou Centre. It’s now used as a Rudolph Steiner school. but it’s small fry compared with neighbouring Amsterdam. landscaped park known as the Openluchtmuseum voor Beeldhouwkunst Middelheim (Middelheim Open-Air Sculpture Museum. is famed for the eclectic architecture found in a handful of streets. or ’t Schipperskwartier. The area’s focal point is the small roundabout on Cogels-Osylei. altars. Here the city’s affluent citizens went wild a century ago. Map pp174-5.

inside the Astrid Park Plaza Hotel near Centraal Station.org in Flemish. So the story goes. If you’re here with a handful of friends. h10. %03 219 81 79. with an inner garden. rooftop terrace and much better location. %03 231 31 00. adult/concession/child €11/10/6. This square was the town’s graveyard until the 18th century.be). Thonetlaan. completed in 1932. is a watery hit. but the toilets are shared. Let multilingual Fibu the octopus guide the kids. p181) and nearby the Grand Café Horta (22. s/d/tr from €45/65/85. Continue around the base of the cathedral and follow Lijnwaadmarkt to ’t Elfde Gebod (16. Join Melkmarkt and follow it along to Eiermarkt.be/thebigsleep. too. Remember. p193). %03 227 54 33. Eric Sasselaan 2. Flandria (Map pp176-7. apt €130. The Torengebouw marks the western end of the pedestrianised Meir.jazzmiddelheim. Lijnwaadmarkt 6. This one is pleasantly sited on the Linkeroever (Left Bank) of the Scheldt River. built in 1840. Hotel Scheldezicht (Map pp176-7.lonelyplanet. Check out what’s on offer at Gilde der Antwerpse Gastenkamers (www. One of the city’s biggest shindigs. week-long jazz festival in the second week of August. BUDGET Camping De Molen (Map pp174-5. s/d from €39/61. Wander west now along Schuttershofstraat.aqua topia. which curves around at the base of the Meir sthu Start Grote Markt Finish Quartier Latin Distance 2km Duration About 1½ hours Meir Kolveniersstr 8 19 Ga rte Oe ve r a Huidevettersstr tink aai Eierm Groenplaats WALK FACTS EASTERN FLANDERS euwstr 15 Ko St Andries bsmar Lange Ni Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet. and many enjoy Flandria boat trips (opposite). Beerpassie Weekend (www. marriage between families of different guilds didn’t occur. Arguably the most handsome square in the city. Breakfast is taken in a quaint room loaded with old paintings and B&W photos. www. www . hclosed Dec. a huddle of small streets where shopping is on everyone’s list.be.intro04. held in Park Den Brandt (Map pp174–5) in Antwerp. %03 226 71 64. one of the city’s most vaunted shopping streets. %03 288 73 37. was Europe’s first skyscraper.50. in) Well-located B&B halfway between Centraal Station and the Grote Markt sporting two rooms plus a self-contained apartment. a palatial building used at various times by Napoleon and the Belgian royal family. tour €5. www.50/29/42. The 50-minute Scheldt excursion departs from Steenplein and affords great views of the city skyline. The playground (Map pp176–7) at the northern corner of Stadspark is good for littlies. see boxed text (p194). And hotels offering hefty weekend reductions E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A n t w e r p 187 mean great last-minute deals for visitors (book via the internet or tourist office). www . More commanding is the stunning façade of St Carolus-Borromeuskerk (18. p193).be. that Technopolis (p204) and Planckendael animal park (p205) are within easy striking distance just outside Mechelen.com) Late June sees Antwerp extol the virtues of Belgian beer. Big Sleep (Map pp176-7. tour €16. %03 205 07 40. book the whole place.be) This four-day worldmusic celebration is held in Boechout. Jazz Middelheim (www. cross the tram tracks and follow cobbled Wijngaardstraat to the secluded square Hendrik Conscienceplein (17). i) Large hotel originally built for visiting seamen. i) Old-style hotel. popular terrace cafés flank the northern side. jam sessions Thursday). adult/concession €7.30pm from May to September and 2. %03 231 66 02. it is named after the revered 19th-century Flemish writer Hendrik Conscience.com. departing hourly from the Grote Markt. a top-class chocolate boutique. In 2006. Den Heksenketel (Map pp176-7. Matsijs (from a blacksmith family) became an artist simply to marry the daughter of a painter as. Rooms with a view of the square are €5 dearer. at the end of July.50/6. www. p180).30pm Friday to Sunday in October. hfrom noon Apr-Oct) Old-fashioned coach drawn by two stocky Brabant horses. n) Run-of-the-mill HI-affiliated hostel nearly 3km south of the city centre. Falconrui 21. Pelgrimstraat 22. too. daily at 2.beerpassion.emperors48. ecofriendly HI hostel will open in 2009 in the city’s heart. and the owner’s a respected photographer. www . and with plenty of euros to spare stop at Belgium’s best shoe shop. hEasterOct) One for boaties.be) Biennial (in odd years).flandria boat.com estr 21 Jodenstr 23 Schuttershofstr 22 ss tr zu Je orp 20 ves t Leysstr Kip d 25 kt nkr ijkle i r str Na tion ale 24 isstr of the most interactive and realistic marine theme parks in Europe.zeemanshuis. Pass along the cobbled street on the southern side of the cathedral (named ’t Waaigat by locals) to view Groenplaats (14). Tours Diamond Bus (%0478 48 28 20. Coccodrillo (23. Aquatopia (Map pp176-7. Three simple but fresh dorms are situated above a small folk-music club (concerts Monday. Does a 40-minute tour of the old city centre. www. A new hostel. Designer B&Bs have taken off in recent times as locals convert homes into cutting-edge accommodation to keep abreast with the city’s image. The spacious rooms have private shower cubicles. in those days.com. and visitors could taste 156 beers – €2 for a 20mL proefglas (tasting glass). Kromme Elleboogstraat 4. %0474 84 95 65. h9am6pm) This bike-rental company also runs good two-hour guided tours around town. it’s better known by its nickname ‘Boerentoren’ (Farmers’ Tower). Look out for the Koninklijk Paleis (20). A new. allegorical statues top many of the classical and rococostyle buildings that line this thoroughfare. walking through St Annatunnel (p185) underneath the Scheldt or riding the Peerdentram (opposite).heksenketel.vjh. www .50. Sfinks Festival (www. Keizerstraat 48. is due to open on Bogaardeplein in early 2009. Torengebouw (19).com ὈὈ ὈὈ St Jaco sst 14 r Vrijdagmarkt nhou wersvest Stee rp Eikenstr rsst Kipdo rkt nde rkt rim Rey wa 13 adma Pelg 9 Lijn 12 rstr Borz Wis sels tr rras Oud e 10 11 Ern est Van D ijck kaa i Zuid erte i 7 Plan 17 16 erru 6 18 St Katelijnevest nnel 5 Suik Kaasrui Melkmarkt Tram Tu 2 300 m 0. 35 brewers set up. Steenplein. The 2½-hour harbour cruise (adult/concession €12/6) departs from kaai (quay) No 14 (Map pp174–5) in ’t Eilandje. s/d/t/q €45/65/85/100) Appropriately named B&B that EASTERN FLANDERS with wrought-iron work attributed to a 16thcentury painter Quinten Matsijs.30am-5pm Sat & Sun Sep-May) Hop-on hop-off double-decker bus that runs continuously around the city.antwerpbikes.2 miles Keize Wijngaardstr 1 Grote Markt Kammenstr eldt Sch 3 ui rsr de Steinplein 0 0 roe e rb ind 4 Fra M Jord aen ska ai 186 E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A n t w e r p . MIDRANGE Internationaal Zeemanshuis (Map pp176-7. Hostel Op Sinjoorke (Map pp174-5. an ivy-clad café that’s worth a peak for its astounding interior. Don’t miss the window display at discreet Burie (25. well sited on a tree-lined square close to the river in the old city centre. commands centre stage. Gilded. The furnishings are sober but stylish. However. near Antwerp. B&B Emperor’s 48 (Map pp176-7. 10. %03 238 02 73. Turn right along Kaasrui. h10am-6pm). www. 1km north of the Grote Markt.be. Peerdentram (Grote Markt. hAprSep) One of two camping grounds in the city. Newly revamped. camp sites per adult/car/tent €2/1/2. Take premetro (a tram that runs underground for part of its journey) tram 2 or 15 to Groenplaats. p196). dm €19) The only cheap accommodation in the city’s heart and located on a street with an unbeatable cathedral view. it’s now one Antwerp’s scene is on the up. adult/child €12/8.30am-5pm Jul-Aug. To get there take tram 2 (direction Hoboken). take bus 81 or 82 (direction Linkeroever).be. A much-photographed statue of Rubens (15). St Jansvliet 2. Just off the Meir is the prestigious Rubenshuis (21. Round the corner into Korte Gasthuisstraat and the start of the pedestrianised Quartier Latin (24). %03 290 49 62. Antwerp for Children Sleeping Kids love Antwerp Zoo (p182). a snide reference to its blunt appearance.sfinks. the city’s stately main artery and shopper’s hive.be.hotelscheldezicht. whose statue graces the square. Festivals & Events For details on summer music parties. Rent A Bike (Map pp176-7. This efficiently run complex with polished rooms welcomes women and landlubbers these days. p196).gastenkamersantwerpen. dm/s/d €14. This stocky Art Deco building. s/d €45/65.

Serves light meals (€9 to €14). the Netherlands and Luxembourg). just a stone’s throw from the Grote Markt. d €180. The grand Art Deco townhouse has an impressive entrance – wrought-iron door and marble staircase – but things become less imposing as you reach the 1st floor. Though hard to believe. Bed.be. Atthis (Map pp174-5.slap enenzo. Luc and Steven. Van Boendalestraat 8. red or yellow – all built around a small inner courtyard. an historic 16th-century warehouse that was rediscovered by a group of artists in the 1950s and given a total makeover. %03 226 08 04. The mellow-toned rooms have floral prints and classical furniture. right next to the new MAS museum. Step inside to a world of virginal white. Slapenenzo (Map pp174-5.be. The sugary-sweet baroque reception contrasts with ’70s rooms – pink fans and green bedspreads.30am to 10am after which coffee and croissants are offered until noon. apple green for the adjoining twin. The rooms are small and ordinary. breakfast (€10) goes from 6.diamondprincess. modern interior attracts a trendy mixed clientele during the day. %03 227 08 15. minimum 2 nights. r from €130. Handy to Rubenshuis and the fashion quarter. Zand 17. ai) New designer hotel that’s simply got the sexiest feel. True or not. www. Den Draak (Map pp174-5. www. Celebrates 30 years in 2008. Tram 8 from Groenplaats stops nearby.be.hotelrubensantwerp. mains €15) Little resto-bar with an outside terrace good for watching the brocante (bric-a-brac) shoppers. close to ‘t Schipperskwartier.30pm Fri & Sat) Meeting place and bar for Belgium’s longest-running lesbian group. Just one spacious 1st-floor room is available.be in Flemish. It occupies two adjoining century-old . It’s moored in a dock in ’t Eilandje.bazarbizar. This B&B offers two small rooms and a penthouse suite – it’s the latter you’re after. B&B 2000 (Map pp176-7.ibishotel.be. The friendly couple occupies part of a mustard-toned family home close to the river in the brocante (bric-a-brac) quarter. %03 222 48 48.hotel -sandt. Karel Rogierstraat 11. The immediately likeable owner. %03 238 15 30. n) This is one of the most sought-after addresses in Antwerp – take the lift to the 6th floor of an ugly apartment block and you’ll soon see why. www. Here creaking wooden floors. %03 232 97 44. also known as Het Roze Huis (the Pink House). a) Waterfront hotel. Minderbroedersrui 33. The café’s cool. Bonapartedok. s/d €55/62. %03 232 76 61. TOP END . s/d/ste €57/77/139. Meistraat 39. s/d €92/100. Popi Café (Map pp176-7. Boots (Map pp176-7. %03 213 05 55. and some on the top floor have charming beamed ceilings. penthouse €100. in) ‘Bed. above one of the quarter’s best-known eateries (see p192). Britselei 49 bte 6. %03 234 12 10. unusual for Belgium. s/d from €79/82. Oodles of private space ends with a panoramic terrace specially designed for sipping sundowners.vandepitte@telenet. reflecting the price. hfrom noon) Big stylish café-brasserie near the river and popular with a gay/mixed bunch. hfrom 8.be. http://guestrooms. for those with a car. Aandekeizer B&B (Map pp176-7. Another smaller room for guests is located upstairs. www. located at the epicentre of ’t Zuid.be.be. The friendly owners.happygays. i) A rainbow flag flying from the top floor announces B&B 2000 to those in search of this pokey backstreet.com. It’s conveniently located in the fashion quarter and. And it has all been done by one friendly couple with a flair for cutting-edge cool. s/d €30/42.%03 288 00 84. that’s popular with a clubbing crowd. r €90. By the time you read this 15 rooms should be up and running. Justitiestraat 43. Kloosterstraat 83. Hotel Rubens (Map pp176-7. www. www. s/d Mon-Fri €160/188. %03 232 93 90. Boekhandel ’t Verschil (Map pp176-7. and has decorated her B&B with wares from the shop. Floatel Diamond Princess (Map pp174-5. na) Old-fashioned hotel with 36 rooms. Keizerstraat 62. Lange Schipperskapelstraat 11. And. d/tr/f €122/ 162/212) There’s nothing understated about Sid- Hotel ’t Sandt (Map pp176-7. Located smack in the very heart of the city on a pedestrianised street brimming with restaurants and cafés. BB&B is a 25-minute walk to the Grote Markt or easily accessed by public transport. i) Step up to the door of Le Patio and swoon at the unbeatable cathedral view. Els Ongenae. it’s the city’s hottest gay (only) nightclub and certainly draws punters from kilometres around. h10. %03 216 37 37. Oude Beurs 29. www. has similar flair. h11pm7am Sat) Bills itself as ‘the biggest gay disco in Benelux’ (that is. %03 231 66 77. Also recommended: Hotel Antigone (Map pp176-7. %0475 29 99 89. all with monochrome colours – black. Belgium. Falconrui 53. there are 52 cabins on board: all pretty small but pleasantly decorated. a) Former 1952 Norwegian passenger ship that’s been transformed into a hotel complete with piano bar and disco. r front/back Sat & Sun €150/170. discreet and vibrant. and the city hosts one of the biggest gay nightclubs in this corner of Europe. Pelgrimstraat 8. na) EASTERN FLANDERS EASTERN FLANDERS 188 E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A n t w e r p .antigonehotel. cafés (pub/bar) and clubs are dotted around town. It’s located in the Zurenborg (take tram 11 direction Eksterlaar). On Friday night it draws a mixed crowd to the sounds of house. www. B&B Siddartha (Map pp176-7. Jordaenskaai 11-12.wijnbistro patine. Aan de Leien B&B (Map pp174-5.be in Flemish. Bad & Brood (Map pp176-7. Ask for the Victoria & Vicky room (with it’s quaint side shoot) if you’re travelling with kids or a baby. offering simple. A healthy buffet breakfast is served in a pleasant communal room. Bath & Bread’ is the city’s best B&B deal.be. s/d from €135/150.aandekeizer. plus a cellar spa and sauna. this friendly place has three modern rooms – blue. Geuzenstraat 27. located on the 1st floor. r €100) Fabulous B&B address.lepa tio. tony. s/d/tr €85/95/115. h3pm-midnight Tue-Fri. www.charlesrogierxI.bbantwerp. Plantinkaai 12.be in Flemish. %03 216 27 85. %03 257 09 19. She runs the Asian gift shop on the ground floor. hnoon-6pm Wed-Sun) Gay and lesbian bookshop plus a café. Patine (Map pp174-5.be. but evenings tend to be exclusively for gay men. %03 231 34 83. www. www townhouses on a quiet street near ’t Zuid’s Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten. %03 231 88 30. It’s particularly interesting for late risers or those into dancing until dawn – the buffet running it have offered midrange quality at bottom-end prices for years. www .atthis. www. techno. %03 257 1471. A grey-grill door opens to a huge ground-floor bedroom that stretches from a whitewashed breakfast salon and lounge area to a wood-decked courtyard. There are also some duplexes. and their big dog Jack have four rooms with shared bathroom in this whitewashed townhouse. B&B Charles Rogier XI (Map pp174-5. noon-midnight Sat & Sun) Café and community centre.com Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet. the only stairs you’ll climb are those to the old beamed breakfast room with its big communal table. Karel Rogierstraat 20. www. Steenhouwersvest 18. old-fashioned furnishings and spacious rooms are the salient features. To get there take tram 12 or 24 from Koningin Astridplein next to Centraal Station. rap and soul. there’s no focal point – bars. Chez Fred (Map pp176-7. %03 288 66 95. n) Old-world charm and fabulous hosts are the watchword at this central B&B located on a quiet backstreet. Van Aerdtstraat 22. Located just over 1km from Centraal Station – take tram 8 from Berchem train station or bus 23 from Centraal Station. Red & Blue (Map pp176-7. white or mocha – some with marble baths and open fires.be. h10am-late) Popular café in the old Hessenhuis building. Draakplaats 1. The rooms are a tasteful marriage of modern and old. Els provides a free parking card for the nearby car park.Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet. A great address for families (double bed plus sofa bed plus kitchenette) or those into a room with a view.redandblue. for Antwerp’s gay and lesbian community. www dartha. %03 248 15 39.be.hetrozehuis. with rooms devoted to fulfilling almost every imaginable sexual fantasy. white décor with a corner living area overlooking the heart of hip. Ibis Antwerpen Centrum (Map pp176-7. Café Hessenhuis (Map pp176-7.30pm-late Fri & Sat) Has the distinction of being the country’s most disreputable nightclub. B&B Le Patio (Map pp176-7.com E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A n t w e r p 189 GAY & LESBIAN ANTWERP THE AUTHOR’S CHOICE Antwerp’s gay and lesbian scene is small. Unlike Brussels. backed by walls decorated with suggestive art and faux-fur throws over the beds. %03 225 22 96. Awaken senses as you climb two flights to a world of colour and vitality – romantic fuchsia for the main room. s/d/f €50/60/85. i) Classy classified hotel down by the Scheldt that was once a customs house and later a soap factory. though the immediate area is nondescript and the view of Het Paleis theatre ghastly. Leopold de Waelstraat 1. The most unusual is the suite – it tries hard to be romantic but the bed would defeat even Simenon. %03 231 13 56.com. niw) Modern chain hotel (Accor group) that offers standard facilities and a central location.be.

Vlasmarkt 12. ’t Zuid L’Entrepot du Congo (Map pp174-5. %03 707 28 05. St Pieter & Paulusstraat 7. with innovative Flemish cuisine and a secretive location in the Vlaeykensgang. s/d €195/265. Lombardenvest 78. h7am-7pm MonFri.30am-4am Fri & Sat) The first bistro to open in ’t Zuid and it still pulls the locals. and if you’re not into stuffed foxes and pheasants. Occupying three renovated 16th-century mansions built around a central courtyard on a quiet backstreet not far from the Grote Markt. Kleine Markt 13. or take tram 10 (direction Melkmarkt) from Gemeentestraat next to Koningin Astridplein. Vegos can ask to hold the meatballs. Mouch has renovated two historic houses on a ragged unloved little street right in the city’s heart. www.190 E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A n t w e r p THE AUTHOR’S CHOICE Hotel Julien (Map pp176-7. for real seclusion. Hungry Henrietta (Map pp176-7. A filet van paard costs €21.com endowed with eateries in all price categories: Suikerrui is the street for mussels. ask for the French room (it’s also the only room that’s air-conditioned). Very kid friendly. %03 231 95 03. while a regular horse steak is a bit cheaper. %03 229 06 00. antique posters and a terrace in summer. %03 226 lonelyplanet. Scottish (2nd floor) and French (3rd floor) – all loaded with antiques.com. but there’s also a good range of soups and salads. h11am-1am Mon-Sat) Excellent bistro-restaurant on a pedestrianised backstreet in the shadow of the Bourlaschouwburg. it has just 10 luxurious rooms. The old city centre is well At this buzzing soup bar in trendy St Andries. Also recommended: Eethuisje De Stoemppot (Map pp176-7. h7. Also recommended: Frituur No 1 (Map pp176-7. Close to the Grote Markt. hlunch Sun-Fri. Parking is handy on the nearby quays. hlunch & dinner Mon-Sat) Named after a local ba- roque artist. Booking is necessary. ste from €275.30pm Sat & Sun) This bakery/tearoom. situated around a green courtyard. mains €9-18. Tram 8 from Groenplaats stops nearby. The strong stark décor – all black – contrasts with the light Flemish cuisine. 10am-3am Fri-Sun) Spacious brasserie underneath E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A n t w e r p 191 THE AUTHOR’S CHOICE Walrus (Map pp174-5. Bio milkshakes – either beastie or vegan – go for €6. mains €16-25. mains €25-32.50. nai) New and very discreet design hotel. Sunken baths. %03 232 16 32. a tiny. all made with fresh ingredients. Babies (cot €10) and children (prices vary depending on age) are welcome. %03 231 36 86. mains €24-32. In between all of these are quiet side streets and cobbled lanes where restaurants of all descriptions thrive. Comprises two rooms plus a tiny mezzanine and an outdoor terrace. Korte Nieuwstraat 24. light meals €5-9. Map pp176-7. Pop in any time – the kitchen is open from noon to midnight. Berlin (Map pp176-7. dinner daily) Gezellig (cosy. nai) Push the gold button and wait to be ushered into this gorgeous hotel. Ultramodern with a touch of antique and Art Nouveau. h7. mains €15-22. 7. Oude Koornmarkt 16. This one caters to tourists keen to sample the house speciality – horse (paard in Flemish). in an area ripe to take off. red wine. %03 226 76 13. hfrom noon) Modern atmospheric eetcafé (eating café) at the southern end of ’t Zuid. fresh juices are €4. phones didn’t exist and an afternoon snooze on a daybed was mandatory. with bold design features and black and tan décor. or dine inside on dishes any Belgian Mum would be proud to serve. Grote Pieter Potstraat has funky cafés and bistros. Pottenbrug (Map pp176-7. The French-Belgian cuisine is well priced and beautifully presented – the scampis in look (garlic prawns) are divine.be in Flemish) for the latest on dining. five pots of soup. r from €165. Attracts an eclectic crowd from jeans-minded teens to the old lady who lives round the corner.outinantwerp. Visit Out in Antwerp (www. Outside the old city centre there’s also plenty on offer: ’t Zuid has an ever-increasing line-up of trend-setting establishments. Occupies a renovated stone warehouse and is EASTERN FLANDERS EASTERN FLANDERS 89. resulting in a staggering number of restaurants. Mussels go for around €25. Het Nieuwe Palinghuis (Map pp176-7. %03 227 11 01. hdinner Thu-Mon) Granny would feel right at home in this place. and there’s a range of salads. %03 231 51 47. mains €12-17. The 11 contemporary rooms exude her love of understated elegance and subtle style. handmade linen. QUICK EATS Soep & Soup (Map pp176-7. snack or meal. Big portions of stoemp (mashed potatoes) are slapped onto plates and paired with a boerenworst (sausage) or a spiegelei (fried egg). mains €7. this is one of the city’s finest restaurants. 4-course menu €44. Jan van Beersstraat 2. Vlaamsekaai 42.50. Eating Foodies love Antwerp. Kelderstraat 3. polished wooden floors and exposed oak beams creates an atmosphere of peace and calm. For wine lovers there’s an extensive world list. mains €6-7. and a dream come true for former interior designer Mouch Van Hul. Love the modern touches around the bar.50. Sells a bit of everything. hnoon-2. snappy service and a few tables for diners (plus a huge summer terrace under a shady tree). located in the heart of St Andries. www. The approach is intimate and informal. Wijngaardstraat 8.30pm) Unpreten- tious little restaurant that occupies two quaint houses on one of the most delightful public squares in Antwerp. %0475 52 82 15. Fusion cooking with an accent on fish and Mediterranean flavours are the go. %03 231 96 91.50. individually furnished with an outstanding mix of modern and antique. La Cuisine (Map pp176-7. De Witte Lelie (The White Lily. De Kleine Zavel (Map pp176-7. The house speciality is boterhammen (slices of bread with exotic toppings). h11am-10. a Belgian chocolate before bed and a fine breakfast are other enticements. Sit on the terrace to see the sails of the controversial new Justitiepaleis. light meals €4-8. is part of a successful chain (see p103). 3-course menu €7. Het Dagelijks Brood (Map pp176-7. hlunch Mon-Fri. too. There’s no bar. including homemade shrimp croquettes. Choose an outback ‘Patio’ room. reservations wise. The dagschotel (dish of the day. hlunch & dinner MonFri) Three different locations in 35 years have done nothing to deter the fans. To get here take tram 12 (direction Bolivarplaats) from Gemeentestraat near Koningin Astridplein. Its out-of-the-way location means few tourists come here – this is local central. mains €11-16. and highly romantic. has English-language newspapers. mains €20-27. Sir Anthony Van Dyck (Map pp176-7.30am-1am Mon-Wed. Breakfast is taken in the big open kitchen on the ground floor.50-15. Stoofstraat 2. h8am-6pm Mon-Sat) A legendary health-food shop and café located at the heart of the pedestrianised Quartier Latin shopping district. Kammenstraat 19 66. The blend of white décor. vegetable pies and sandwiches. Lombardenvest 19. and the gorgeous lamps suspended from the old timber ceiling.30am-6. %03 226 42 71. dinner Mon-Sat) Old bistro that has changed little over the years and still gets rave reviews. Simple honest bistro fare is served. hlunch & dinner) One of many restaurants in this atmospheric cobblestone quarter. This ’t Zuid townhouse has three rooms – English (1st floor).hotel-julien. It’s run by a hip crew. %03 231 61 70. ’t Eilandje calls with monumental restaurants and St Andries allures with food alongside fashion. Steenhouwersvest 48. Closest metro is Meir. Bourla & Mares (Map pp176-7. Dining out is a favourite local pastime. cobbled 16th-century alley.25/5. 7. dagschotel €9. simmer away. The sign above the counter asks that customers ‘Do not spit’ – now that’s health conscious. %03 231 74 45.dewittelelie. THE AUTHOR’S CHOICE Lombardia (Map pp176-7.com . but that’s hardly a problem in Antwerp. heavy fabrics and floral designs. Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet. small/large bowl €4. convivial atmosphere) bistrostyle décor and an informal atmosphere belie this restaurant’s standing as one of the most sought-after and reliable eateries in the whole country. Great place to drop in for a drink. De Peerdestal (Map pp176-7. %03 238 39 93. h11am-6. Pelgrimstraat is popular with tourists and the cobbled streets around Hendrik Conscienceplein are dotted with intimate restaurants. mains €17-21. a) Seafood restaurant well known for its attentive service and seasonal food. and those into beer will find old wooden crates incorporated into the rustic décor.30am-2am Sun-Thu. hlunch Wed-Sun. €13) is well priced. snacks €3-5. mains €17-27. Oh. RESTAURANTS Old City Centre Façade (Map pp176-7. Inside the décor is modern but calm.30pm & 4-7pm Mon-Sat) The cheapest eatery in town is run by youth learning the trade. Hoogstraat 1) Makes the city’s finest frites (fries). St Jansvliet 14. Keizerstraat 16-18. %03 233 59 31.be. mains €8-12. %03 233 68 19. the police tower in St Andries.30pm Mon-Sat) Urked by modern minimalism? Then step into a world away from current reality…a place where beds were high. Tables close together. The cuisine is predominantly Italian with a seafood slant. Hendrik Conscienceplein 18. Minderbroedersrui 38. the décor’s way out and the food’s all bio (organic). %03 232 29 28.

h9am-late) Located in a guildhall and one of the city’s oldest watering holes. assortment of tapas plus glass of champagne €15-25. converted warehouses and grand cafés abound. %03 232 36 11. a saccharin-sweet. Tickets are discounted on Monday. same devotion to fish… only this time he’s doing it his way. Bierhuis Kulminator (Map pp176-7. %03 237 06 00. noon-11pm Sun) Monumental restaurant-brasserie-bar that occupies an old pump house located on a spit way to the north of the old city centre in the surreal world of Antwerp’s mammoth harbour. The house cocktail – a potent mix of white and lemon jenever plus a few other liqueurs and fruit juice (€4. pasta dishes. Don’t bother deciphering the beer list – just point. 4-course menu excl/incl wine €60/75. Siberiastraat. mains €2125. Waalsekaai 43. Tickets for concert. %03 257 09 19. Vogelmarkt (Map pp176-7. Each evening has three sittings – 6pm. Pijpelincxstraat 4. and there was no mandate to slavishly follow classic formulas. %03 237 19 05. bOb (sic) Van Reeth. it will be interesting to see if a pint-sized pub like this can hold out against the fashion nudge. but worth a look for its angel-adorned interior. Grote Markt 3. opera. Art-house movies and quality foreign films are screened in its three auditoriums. Kaasstraat 4-6) The place to get away from general release Hollywood pulp. Relocation and an image (and price) hike means it’s now well known outside this quarter. It has been around for years and boasts 700 types of beer. %03 232 45 38.30am) Another eetcafé (café serving food) but this time things are decidedly old fashioned. Kloosterstraat 159. %ticket office 0900 006 00. the city’s favourite ale. Beers are among the cheapest in town (just €2. A reasonable number of tourists dilute the locals – join them in downing a bolleke (little bowl) of De Koninck (The King). hdinner Wed-Sun) Tiny tapas and champagne bar that seduces passers-by with smooth velvet décor. theatre and dance performances can be bought from two locations: FNAC (Map pp176-7. So he took the gamble and opened Gin Fish. many of them stacked up behind the counter. The décor is warm and soothing. Soeki (Map pp174-5. Leopold de stylish (mainly) vegetarian restaurant. mains €7-11. This is one of the city’s most congenial brown cafés. It’s available from the tourist office and many cafés. and the service is friendly and attentive. In summer the garden terrace at the back makes a welcome respite in this busy part of town. Lamalo (Map pp176-7. The pintxos variados dinner menu (€20) includes five cold and four warm servings – great for satisfying those who want to test the lot. dinner Tue-Sat) Or- ganic vegetables. Reyndersstraat 21. Groenplaats. h7.com Drinking THE AUTHOR’S CHOICE noticeably less pretentious than other eateries in this area. Instead. h9am-9pm Tue-Sun) Much vaunted caférestaurant that incorporates iron girders salvaged from Victor Horta’s ill-fated Maison du Peuple (see boxed text. from 11am Tue-Fri.com . 49. quiche and pasta dishes. El Pintxo’s (Map pp176-7. It’s a good place to sip an Élixir d’Anvers. white and metal. Groenplaats. The plate of 10 assorted meze (€20 for two people) is excellent.bartabac. bright-yellow liqueur made in Antwerp since 1863 and reputed to aid digestion – Louis Pasteur even awarded it a diploma in 1887. Designed by the city’s eminent contemporary architect. Grand Café Horta (Map pp176-7.50 for a Duvel) and it’s one of the few everyday pubs in Belgium to stock Westvleteren Trappist beer (see p47). h10am-6. mains €10-15.50) – is worth trying. hnoon-late) A real tourist trap (ie…expensive beers). mains €20-30. Excellent spot for a simple Belgian bite before or after trawling the nearby brocante shops on Kloosterstraat and Oever. located on a pedestrianised street opposite the Grand Café Horta. h10am-midnight Mon-Sat. hfrom 8pm Mon. Several free entertainment guides list what’s happening. EASTERN FLANDERS EASTERN FLANDERS Gin Fish (Map pp176-7. %03 232 64 67. and the enormous plate-glass windows provide superb river views. only the freshest catch is cooked. %03 233 15 38. h6am-3pm Sat & Sun) Antwerp’s principal food market takes over the huge square behind Het Paleis theatre every weekend. Hopland 2. 9am-2am Sat & Sun) Give minimalism the flick in this bo- 21. and only one menu-of-the-day is offered: two entrées. multinational tapas and champagne by the glass. and the cuisine is light and healthy – salad. 8. hdinner Tue-Sat. Bar Tabac (Map pp174-5. h8. Bookings are essential. Theaterplein. And for pre.or post-dinner drinks. The kitchen closes at 10pm. the clientele’s a mix of everyone (including poodles). light and Art Nouveau. h6pm-3am Wed-Sun) It’s back to black in this champagne bar in ’t Zuid – a real gossip den for the bold and beautiful. Inside it’s one big glassy space. %03 238 75 05. The odd thing is it has been going for years and is always packed. Quellinstraat 30. from 5pm Sat) The place to sink a host of Belgian beers. Dansing Chocola (Map pp176-7. hemian little wine bar-restaurant-tearoom that also doubles as a B&B (see p189). Lebanon and Morocco. a main and dessert. a) Didier Garnich knew it was risky closing his seafood restaurant De Matelote and relinquishing its Michelin star. There’s no exhaustive seafood menu. hlunch Tue-Fri. ’t Elfde Gebod (The 11th Commandment. Volkstraat 21. But he longed for the pre-Michelin days. Enter and come face-to-face with a 7m deep pit where the pumps once turned. Excellent terrace cafés for soaking up the city’s atmosphere are scattered around Handschoenmarkt. %03 213 22 00. Hendrik Conscienceplein and Wapper. The interior is an arty blend of glass. sober interior lorded over by a big red bull. Riemstraat lonelyplanet. More than 200 jenever are served in this humble café. but the most concise for nonFlemish speakers is Week Up.30pm Fri-Wed) Catch it while it lasts. hit the cosy lounge next door. Groenplaats. De Vagant (Map pp176-7. Mogador (Map pp174-5. Small convivial pubs.30pm and 10pm. Centraal Station Quarter Faites Simple (Map pp176-7. Haarstraat 9.15pm) Inside the Grand Bazar shopping centre. The kitchen closes at 10. If you’re without a car. lunch/dinner menu €10/20. Drinks are reasonably priced and the bistro-style food – sandwiches. overseen by eclectic architectural features. %03 234 12 75. Prospekta (Map pp176-7. CINEMAS Cartoons (Map pp176-7.30am-8pm) Supermarket in the basement of the Grand Bazar shopping centre. hormone-free meat and artisanal products are the mainstay of this ’t Eilandje Het Pomphuis (%03 770 86 25. mains €11-15.30pm. h10am-6pm Tue-Fri. in winter everyone’s jammed inside. h8pm-7am Wed-Sun) Tiny bar that looks like it was plucked from a village in rural France and plonked in ’t Zuid. Super GB (Map pp176-7. %03 233 12 52. h8am-1am Mon-Fri. steaks and salads – is a cut above the average. Zuiderterras (Map pp176-7. a) For many years this kosher Mediterranean restaurant was one of the area’s best-kept secrets. Popular with stallholders from the weekend Vogelmarkt and elderly locals during the week. same attention to quality. it mixes black.192 E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A n t w e r p lonelyplanet. h10am-1. %03 232 28 15. % 03 232 97 54. %03 238 71 60. in an area that has undergone massive regeneration in recent times. Saturday is the big day. hnoon-late) Those into jenever (Belgian gin) THE AUTHOR’S CHOICE Oud Arsenaal (Map pp176-7. p88). Vleminckveld 32. noon-5pm Sat) Shares a guildhall with the tourist office. Graaf van Egmontstraat 57. The décor’s no more than a faded Michelin map and two old cigarette vending machines. when an open kitchen allowed him to laugh with the people whose meals he was preparing. E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A n t w e r p 193 should make a beeline here. Map pp1767. In summer a terrace fans out onto the walkway and it makes a superb place to while away an hour or two watching Antwerpenaars wandering the quayside. Entertainment Antwerp’s entertainment scene lacks nothing. Same address. Appelmansstraat Waelstraat 1. hlunch & dinner Mon-Sat) Antwerp’s first pintxo (the Basque version of tapas) bar has a cool. Nationalestraat 52) Supermarket in St Andries. Décor-wise it’s warm but suffers no nonsense.30am-7. Den Engel (Map pp176-7. The cuisine is from Israel. www. Ernest van Dijckkaai 37. as out-of-season fish is not an option. %03 203 95 86.be. Patine (Map pp174-5. The restaurant does Belgian and world cuisine. ‘Drunk Wednesdays’ see beers going for €1 and a DJ spinning tracks. The only thing better in Antwerp than eating is drinking. hlunch & dinner Mon-Thu & Sun. In summer there’s a terrace section for relaxing on crusty cinema seats. including Art Nouveau elements. Torfbrug 10. SELF-CATERING Delhaize (Map pp176-7. plus a hotchpotch of old metal tables and chairs. %03 232 96 32. %03 231 32 07. a taxi’s a must. h9am-midnight) Modern landmark café-restaurant located at the southern end of the riverside promenade. Grote Markt 13.

Both are now so degraded that Beerschot amalgamated with a suburban soccer club to become Germinal Beerschot and Antwerp kicks along on its own. Luikstraat 6) was leading the pack. founded in 1960. composers and writers. head to the small cluster of streets on either side of Huidevettersstraat. Map pp176-7. in ’t Zuid. It moved to ’t Eilandje in the late 1990s. Admission costs around €8 for established acts. Space (Map pp176-7. free dance nights featuring new. it’s in Flemish but it’s easy enough to get the gist of the party agenda.kaaiman. oneoff parties or festivals. international theatre and modern dance. Monday and Wednesday. pick up fliers at Fish & Chips (Map pp176-7. Hollywood hits and kids’ matinees. and more than 30 artists beat out hard dance. %03 226 01 26. h8pm-late) Little place. De Muze (Map pp176-7. SPORT PARTY ON Antwerp rocks. Built in the 1830s for the city’s French-speaking elite by architect Pierre E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A n t w e r p 195 Bourla. Waalsekaai 47) Golden oldies screened nightly. It’s about 1km from the Grote Markt. The ballet performs both here and at the Vlaamse Opera. disco and soul in a refurbished church in the city’s red-light district. %03 248 01 00.com. Bourlaschouwburg (Map pp176-7. Van Ertbornstraat 17) Seventeen-screen cinema complex near Centraal Station. www. Lou Reed and James Brown all played here.be. Buster (Map pp176-7. Groenendaallaan 394) Twenty four–screen monstrosity way to the north of the city. You’d have to be mad keen to bother with a game here. Napelsstraat 57.illusion. Still. THEATRE.com) to track down clubs. it eventually fell into disuse and was on the brink of demolition only a decade or so ago. %0900 260 00. UGC (Map pp174-5. There’s usually live sessions on Sunday. takes over Antwerp’s Sportpaleis (Map pp174–5) for one full night in late September. Waalsekaai 14) This cultural centre in ’t Zuid specialises in music. and a highly innovative programme is offered throughout the year.be. set against the backdrop of Barman’s hometown. hmidnight-5am Thu-Sat) Small cellar club on the edge of ’t Eilandje that’s done out in pristine white with a glass bar and laid-back lounge music. %0900 104 40. quality antiques. Smack in the heart of Antwerp’s St Andries fashion district. For more intimate shopping. For details on Red & Blue.be). Music is eclectic with a lean to house and drum’n’bass.be. It has two concert halls. De Filharmonie (www. resident and visiting DJs. %03 248 49 33.be). Tom Barman. Antwerp traditionally had two top competing football clubs. hnoon-4am) In the early ’70s this was the meeting place for the city’s free-thinking youth. This 2003 film was the directorial debut of dEUS front man. Also recommended: FotoMuseum (Map pp174-5.koninklijkballetvanvlaanderen. www . %03 248 28 28.be. Antwerp and Beerschot. www lonelyplanet. and more are breeding. The music’s great. The radical edge is gone. that stages live concerts on Tuesday (mainly jazz and rock’n’roll. %03 224 88 44. located in ’t Zuid. A week later there’s Laundry Day (www. it now screens a varied line-up of off-beat films. There’s also a popular café attached to the venue. but it’s still an immensely popular café spanning three floors with an Escher-like interior and a bastion of live jazz (from 10pm Monday to Saturday). Half a dozen clubs band together. admission €7 to €10) as well as jam sessions (Thursday from 8pm.laundryday. Flanders’ philharmonic orchestra. the marbled interior is sumptuous and the quality of the performances superb. Leopold De Waelstraat 2) One of the city’s most popular jazz venues. Pier 19 (Map pp176-7. In ’t Zuid.café-d-anvers. This party is legendary. %03 227 08 24. It follows 32 hours in the lives of eight interconnected characters. www. Studio Tokio (Map pp174–5) on Museumstraat in ’t Zuid. with nightclubs (above) that have produced some of the country’s most revered DJs. this is the after-club club. Recently returned to life thanks to determined community effort. see p201. and its impressive home – a purpose-built palatial grey building – harmonises perfectly with the area’s maritime architecture. Tickets generally cost €10 to €60. check out Luikstraat for the lineup of lounges/clubs/restaurants that are forever reincarnating here – at last count Stereo Sushi (Map pp174-5.partyguide. this unpretentious café features regular live concerts (from 5pm to 8pm most Sundays) by local or visiting bands. converting the left bank of the river into a one-night party bash in early September. theatre and workshops from non-Western cultures. Vlaamse Opera (Flemish Opera House. Shopping Antwerp has something for every shopper – gourmet chocolates. Crossroads Café (Map pp174-5. Frankrijklei 3) A stunning building and a fitting place to hear a performance by the highly regarded Koninklijke Vlaamse Opera (Royal Flemish Opera). Tickets generally cost €10 to €20. %03 288 78 61. Trance and experimental electronica are big – check out Noctis (www.fotomusuem. It’s located east of Centraal Station in Borgerhout. Tram 10 or 24 stops out the front.194 E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A n t w e r p Roma (Map pp174-5. Waalsekaai 25. The city lives on party time.busterpodium. Metropolis (%0900 005 55. Koninklijk Ballet van Vlaanderen (Map pp174-5: %03 234 34 38. Mechelsesteenweg 8. www.50-10) The city’s chief exponent of the blues. %03 233 66 85. Koningin Astridplein 23-24) Classical music concert hall located next to Centraal Station.be. Illusion (www. The pedestrianised Meir is first cab off the rank for most people – after Centraal Station’s diamond shops.antwerpisburning. DANCE & OPERA deSingel (Map pp174-5.30am Fri & Sat) Well over a lonelyplanet. a suburb that’s chiefly home to Moroccan immigrants. dance. An impressive calendar of events includes at least three artists or groups performing weekly. Verversrui 15. Desguinlei 25) This is the city’s chief venue for classical music. Attracts a 25 to 40ish crowd.desingel . Café Local (Map pp174-5. This company also commonly plays at a second venue. Take bus 720 from Franklin Rooseveltplaats.noctis. so come early if you want to get your foot in the door. Turnhoutsebaan 286) Antwerp’s last old cinema and concert . the building’s majestic façade is unfortunately diminished by the mirrored monstrosity built next to it in the 1960s. world-class diamonds. house and drum‘n’bass until well into the next day. www. One of the best known is Antwerp is Burning (www. plays here. It’s now home to Het Toneelhuis theatre company. A good way to taste the scene before even hitting Antwerp is to catch Anyway the Wind Blows. Kaaiman (Map pp174-5.be). www.defilharmonie . Antwerp. admission €2. Het Paleis (Map pp176-7. NIGHTCLUBS Antwerp’s club scene begins with smooth lounges featuring in-house DJs and ends with high-octane house parties. It takes over a huge field on the Linkeroever. Many of Belgium’s top DJs started here. www. Every Friday night in July and August the club puts on Free Vibes.crossroadscafe . Komedieplaats 18) Beautiful old theatre with a rounded façade topped by statues of nine muses. Westkaai 16) The Royal Flanders Ballet. high-profile designers and streets lined with brocante shops. Koningin Elisabethzaal (Queen Elisabeth Concert Hall. and a host of parties that see summer out with a bang. see boxed text (p188) and for La Rocca. The eight all end up at a party one summer night. trance. a trance odyssey. Café Local was once known for its techno parties but these days it prefers the sounds of salsa and global grooves. This so-called Quartier Latin is home to some of the city’s most EASTERN FLANDERS EASTERN FLANDERS hall. tram 7 (direction Mortsel) stops at the front. Map pp176-7.com decade old and still going strong. techno. It’s small. Zuiderpershuis (Map pp174-5. Throughout the year check out Partyguide (www. %03 235 04 90. Frankrijklei 53. h10pm-late Fri & Sat) Alternative types flock to this small club occupying a converted redbrick garage in ’t Eilandje. %03 242 93 00. this party with an unlikely name sees seven stages set up on and around Vrijdagmarkt and Oudaan. There’s also a free concert at 8pm most Mondays. Melkmarkt 15.be.be. Dancing starts when the streetlights go out.com .be).be. It dates from 1928. hfrom 10pm Tue-Sat) A long-time favourite. and is rarely visited by tourists. 8am-6am Sun) Down near Centraal Station. Kammenstraat 36-38) and see boxed text (below). this legendary club does funk and house. Kaasrui 1. The scene melds permanent with one-off in a mix that holds both mainstream and alternative. with 50 DJs pulsing throughout the day and into the night. %03 248 28 28. Built in 1907. is the nation’s only classical dance company. Tue & Sat. Theaterplein 1) This venue is an ugly cement eyesore built in 1980 and commonly called the Bunker. h11pm-7. Café d’Anvers (Map pp176-7. h6am-2pm Mon. LIVE MUSIC Café Hopper (Map pp174-5.be).zuiderpershuis. just off the Grote Markt. Brouwersvliet 19. free admission) when anyone can take to the podium. and in the ’70s was a popular venue for international artists – AC/ DC. Alternatively.cafélocal. www.

%03 227 03 90. Go for a fresh fruit and veg juice at the upstairs bar. without red carpet or fanfare – like so much in this modest little country – but the ideas of the country’s designers are keenly watched by fashion houses the world over.30pm Mon. and opened this. Appelmansstraat 5-9) A top-rate chocolate shop. located on the edge of the diamond district near Centraal Station. But despite big turnovers. who graduated from the Royal Academy in 1980 and set up in Paris soon after. %03 226 50 01. Designers from Antwerp have been avant-garde leaders since 1987 when a handful of graduates from the city’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts loaded a truck with designs and sped over to a showing in London. Marina Yee is the least known of the Six and. %03 231 26 60. Also see boxed text. Véronique Branquinho. This shop sells more than 200 types of jenever. %03 232 36 88.25) or a suikerbrood (sugar bread). her flagship store. %03 233 66 16. The group’s unofficial seventh member is Martin Margiela. Schuttershofstraat. Pierre Marcolini (Map pp176-7.modenatie. %0485 50 48 80. Ann Demeulemeester’s designs are timeless. For more options. Try its rye-andraisin bread (€2. Dirk Bikkembergs and Marina Yee – and. Schuttershofstraat and Korte Gasthuisstraat are the best places to start. Brocante (bric-a-brac) traders have taken over Kloosterstraat and Oever (south of St Jansvliet. Margiela’s clothes are conceptual with subtle details. Kammenstraat 36-38) The place to collide with youth culture. %03 226 92 92. Het Modepaleis (below). Nationalestraat 16) Headquarters and shop of Dries Van Noten. Temmerman (Map pp176-7. But since opening a store in Brussels’ designer heartland (p114) she’s now much more accessible.com . Het Modepaleis (Map pp176-7. %03 470 25 10. has a shop in Brussels (p114). Belgian designers also have a strong sense of place – instead of reaping rewards by moving to Paris or Milan. The Royal Academy continues to spawn designers who have made names for themselves – Raf Simons. but markedly different from each other. and is across the street from a pub that’s similarly obsessed. Philip’s Biscuits (Map pp176-7. Korte Gasthuisstraat 3) Famous artisan chocolaterie. It’s teensy. costs €4. To see some of these names head to the shop that first waved Belgian fashion to the world. Del Rey (Map pp176-7. but already a part of the international scene. Nationalestraat 73) One of the newer set of Antwerp designers. Those after diamond-shaped chocolates or Antwerpse handjes (see boxed text. many of the nation’s designers have remained independent of large fashion houses. Episode (Map pp176-7. hTue-Sat) Sweet shop with a tiny café. She opened this shop in 2005. %03 233 29 37. The best known of the Antwerp Six is the bald and bearded Walter Van Beirendonck – he has designed outfits for rock supergroup U2 and is definitely wild and futuristic. Belgium is often regarded as one of fashion’s intellectual breeding grounds. This department-sized store woos the young with retro labels and urban scrawl. you’ll find soft women’s wear designed by Dirk Van Saene and other selected friends.30am-5. Map pp176–7). Walter (p198). preferring to call the shots themselves. Stocks big-name internationals as well as all the local designers. h10. Van Beirendonck’s latest collections are on show at his shop. five of the Antwerp Six set up in their home town and three still live there. including Branquinho and Van Noten. or groove to the sounds of the in-store DJs. Kammenstraat has streetwear stuff. %03 233 15 38. %03 226 07 91. located in a distinct. De Vagant Slijterij (Map pp176-7. And there’s no shortage of shops handling designer gear. merging clubwear with post-modern ideas about everything from bio-technology to aliens. BEER & JENEVER Den Dorstvlegel (Map pp176-7. The following shops open from around 11am to 6pm. %03 227 08 24. with collections by Ann Demeulemeester. Wed & Fri. part art. Louis (Map pp176-7. although there are also a few French names and one Belgian (Dirk Bikkembergs). Goossens (Map pp176-7. %03 232 60 56. Nationalestraat 76) Highly successful Ypres-born designer who sells internationally. and all are closed Sunday.com E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A n t w e r p 197 AT THE CUTTING EDGE Mention Belgium in the right circles and the immediate word association will be ‘fashion’. Komedieplaats and Leopoldstraat are the streets to go hunting. He uses the body as an exhibition space. so you’ll probably have to join the queue on the street. A word of warning: Saturday afternoon’s crowds make browsing hard. Walter Van Beirendonck. 10. Bernhard Willhelm and Jurgi Peersons are a few. see p113). Lange Gasthuisstraat 11) Fantastic location – an old bank building with a gorgeous stained-glass cupola – for this large boutique. lonelyplanet. too. Lombardenvest. In 2006 Bikkemberg launched the Bix – the first professional football boot to be designed by a fashion house. Despite occasional bursts of colour. her creations were hard to find. a pair sells for a cool €320. CHOCOLATES & SWEETS Burie (Map pp176-7. often crafted in black. which specialises in Italian designers. Martin Margiela. Oude Vaartplaats 12. for details see Modenatie (www. Lombardenstraat 4) Great introduction to various Belgian players.30am4pm Sat & Sun) Excellent beer shop. %03 233 20 93. %03 232 98 72. Sampling is done at the neighbouring degustation salon. too. %03 216 01 33. Belgium’s fashion industry is worth millions. Schuttershofstraat 13. 19thcentury.com). His fashions are a favourite among the clubbing crowd. Their ideas were collectively daring. Verso (Map pp176-7. With designers from Brussels now picking up the slack (see boxed text. The talent hasn’t ended there. Also visit the Vrijdagmarkt (see p198). Coccodrillo (Map pp176-7. %03 226 35 60. Annemie Verbeke (Map pp176-7. He. If fashion’s your passion. Huidevettersstraat and Schuttershofstraat for designer gear. where an espresso. see Markets (p198). What happens here is done relatively quietly. Ann Demeulemeester (Map pp174-5. p180) will find them here. exquisite pastries and biscuits beckon from sumptuous displays. h11am-6pm Mon & Wed-Sat) A shop selling strong alcohol is called a slijterij in Flemish. Véronique Branquinho (Map pp176-7. Labels Inc (Map pp176-7. turning old clothes inside out to make something unique and producing works that are part fashion. They were soon labelled the ‘Antwerp Six’ – Ann Demeulemeester. Steenhouwersvest 34a) Vintage clothes with bottom-line prices deck out this cavernous shop. Louis (opposite). Here. Made from kangaroo leather. Belgian fashion has never looked back. Fish & Chips (Map pp176-7. His colourful bohemian clothes are sold in more than 500 shops around the world. Schuttershofstraat 9a) No-frills shoe boutique that’s an institution in Antwerp. Jurgi Persoons. Women’s and men’s EASTERN FLANDERS EASTERN FLANDERS BROCANTE lonelyplanet. For years this little shop has been known for the intricate marzipan and chocolate sculptures displayed in the window. Reyndersstraat. a few years back. Dirk Van Saene. FASHION & ACCESSORIES The heart of Antwerp’s fashion quarter is St Andries. Aalmoezenierstraat 4) End-of-line designer wear – including pieces by Belgium’s big names – are sold in this famous little backstreet boutique at prices that won’t send you bankrupt. domed building in the heart of St Andries. thanks largely to them. Head to Nationalestraat. Huidevettersstraat 38-40) Join the queues at this Belgian high flier (for more information. her collections are usually monochrome based. Korte Gasthuisstraat 31) One of the city’s best bakeries. Dirk Bikkemberg left Antwerp for Germany and his designs can now only be found at Verso (below) in Antwerp or L’Héroïne (p138) in Bruges. Véronique Branquinho and Raf Simons. Dries Van Noten. Dries Van Noten is the group’s commercial leader. But he also recently surprised the fashion world with a childrenswear collection for high-street chain JBC that has branches across Belgium and Luxembourg. plus one praline and a biscuit. %03 234 34 14. Her shop (opposite) in ’t Zuid in Antwerp is the best place to explore her creations. time a visit for early September when a 10-day event known as Vitrine takes over the city. provocative and extreme. opposite. ANTIQUES Antwerp deservedly has a fine reputation for antique shops.15. She’s known for her clas- sic tailoring skills. The tourist office publishes a booklet Antwerp Fashion Walk (€3) containing five self-guided tours of the area and a rundown on many of the designers. but buyers love his Antwerp flagship. Steenhouwersvest. A mouth-watering assortment of pralines (filled chocolates). Verlatstraat 38) Demeulemeester’s shop in ’t Zuid stocks her complete line of men’s and women’s clothing.196 E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A n t w e r p exclusive shops. p114). Korte Gasthuisstraat 11) Exclusive biscuit shop specialis- ing in speculaas (cinnamon-flavoured biscuits) and peperkoek (honey cake). until recently.

Van Straelenstraat 8) buses is from this office near Franklin Rooseveltplaats.198 E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A n t w e r p collections. Make sure you know in which direction you’re heading. An extra €2. one of the lucky survivors and home to a little museum devoted to life before the great transformation. TAXI Taxis wait at Groenplaats. Taxis cost about €10 one way.50 per half-/full day. Ghent (€7.com in ’t Zuid on the Gedempte Zuiderdokken. Be aware of trams and their slippery tracks.30am-5. www.50 is added to fares between 10pm and 6am. h6-11am Fri) The city’s oldest antique flea market has been operating on this square every Friday morning since the 16th century. These kiosks are generally open 8am to 4pm weekdays (also 9am to noon Saturday at Groenplaats). Motorists are used to throngs of cyclists and. Public transport generally runs from about 6am to midnight. %03 204 20 40). The tiny. Noorderlaan 32). The tram network is well established with routes as far out as Hoboken. Korte Gasthuisstraat 23) Noted Antwerp jewellery designer. as well as in showrooms along nearby Pelikaanstraat. and hourly trains to Bruges (€12. Centraal Station (Map pp176-7.20 (or €1. %03 213 26 44. see p192. Antwerp airport (%03 285 65 00. Getting Around TO/FROM THE AIRPORT Bus 16 connects Antwerp airport with Quellinstraat (20 minutes). Feel free to throw in an English bid if you see an irresistible antique – the dealers will readily accept it.%03 290 49 62. More picturesque is the polder village of Lillo. Appelmansstraat 33a. Nico Taeymans (Map pp176-7.be in Flemish). %0800 155 55. a new outfit barnacled to the side of the cathedral. stand on the riverside Zuiderterras promenade in Antwerp and the cranes you can see in the distance are just the beginning of the world’s fourth-largest port.50. is 2km southeast of Centraal Station. which run underground along the main drag – Diamant (under Centraal Station) to Groenplaats – before continuing under the Scheldt River to surface on the Linkeroever.antwerpairport. A great place to park is on the covered riverside quay (in the Zuiderterras hangar) near the city centre. Also recommended: Delvaux (Map pp176-7. Hoveniersstraat. The people of Lier also have a less-charming nickname – see boxed text (p215). EASTERN FLANDERS EASTERN FLANDERS DIAMONDS lonelyplanet. But massive transformation of the surrounding farmlands and polders in the 20th century.be) services a very limited number of flights to London City. Berchem. as well as to Liverpool and Manchester via London City. two-line premetro simply consists of above-ground trams that dive underground. also 10am-5pm Sun Apr-Oct) Watch workers cutting diamonds and ogle the huge range of stones for sale. and ensure you double lock your bike as theft is common. AIR CAR & MOTORCYCLE Four kilometres southeast of the city centre in the suburb of Deurne. Deurne and Mortsel. and bus 23 runs to Franklin Rooseveltplaats. plus a hip café. The northern section is for paid parking but the southern end (and all the open-air parking next to it) is free. Walter (Map pp176-7. Hopland 6) Fashions by Belgium’s most accessible designer. A single ticket (valid for one hour) bought at De Lijn’s information office costs €1. %03 231 81 41. the latter belonging to petroleum refineries.5km from the old city centre. cosmetics and accessories. another station. outside Centraal Station and on Koningin Astridplein. Plantin-Moretuslei 62). 5 and 15. trams and a premetro (a tram that runs underground for part of its journey) is run by De Lijn (%070 220 200. Pardaf (Map pp176-7. railway lines and industrial estates. The entrance is opposite Fortuinstraat.30. see p182. 45 minutes) and Lier (€2. Getting There & Away BUS The arrival and departure point for Eurolines (Map pp176-7. 35 minutes). Towards the end of the 19th century. see boxed text (p183). Groenplaats and on Franklin Rooseveltplaats (all on Map pp176–7). From here. including the annihilation of whole villages. Otherwise E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A r o u n d A n t w e r p 199 call Antwerp Taxi (%03 238 38 38).50 on the bus). with sales going down in fast guttural Flemish. the nearby Kattendijkdok was constructed and from there the port has soared. Diamondland (Map pp176-7. full-day rental here means 24 hours. TRAIN Antwerp’s main train station. In 2005 King Albert II opened the port’s latest expansion. Leuven (€6. %03 232 60 40. trams and premetro.be in Flemish & French. % 03 229 29 90. Napoleon initiated this expansion with the creation of two huge docks – Bonapartedok and Willemdok. Vrijdagmarkt. LIER pop 32. 45 minutes) and Mechelen (€3. AROUND ANTWERP Pick up any tourist map of Antwerp and a few small blue patches in the northwest corner will indicate Antwerp port. Its nickname comes from Pallieter.800 The small town of Lier. For details on the city’s main food market. The easiest central parking garage to access is the 24-hour underground car park at Groenplaats. Vogelmarkt. Everything is sold by auction. h9.com . Komedieplaats 17) Belgian leather handbags plus accessories. sits 17km southeast of Antwerp near the confluence of two rivers – the Grote and Kleine Nete. For details on Centraal Station. For information on services.antwerpbikes. For more information on the history of diamond trading in Antwerp. St Jansvliet. %03 218 94 96.delijn. MARKETS Vrijdagmarkt (Map pp176-7. Handy premetro trams include 2. or Pallieterstad as it’s also known. has seen the port grow from a prosperous medieval harbour based around waterways (now filled in) in the heart of the old city centre to a giant that stretches to the Dutch border. Note. docks and warehouses. 15 minutes). 70 minutes). The same tickets can be used for buses. www. Deurganckdok. Alternatively buses 6 and 34 go to Steenplein near the Grote Markt. car-assembly plants and petrochemical industries. two blocks west of Centraal Station. Lijnwaadmarkt 6. a jovial character invented by local writer Felix Timmermans. Both stad (city) and streek (regional) buses leave from one of the city’s main bus hubs. and Avis (Map pp174-5. Likewise. Believe us – these areas are just the tip of the iceberg. Van Beirendonck’s styles sit mighty comfortable here. www. BICYCLE Antwerp is cycle friendly. National connections from Antwerp include IC trains every half-hour to Brussels (€6. www. PUBLIC TRANSPORT A good network of buses. see p317. There’s also a nachtlijn (night bus) service on weekends. 3. h7am-3pm Sun) Weekly brocante market on a small square close to the river. In summer bikes can be hired from Rent A Bike (Map pp176-7.to 20-minute walk to the Grote Markt. %03 232 02 47.80. As many bus (and tram) routes start at one side of the city and finish on the other. although there aren’t heaps of cycle paths. 65 minutes).30pm Mon-Sat. There’s also free parking lonelyplanet. Free public transport maps covering the city centre are available from De Lijn ticket and information kiosks – the most useful are located at the premetro stations Diamant (below Centraal Station). the best way to explore this area is on a Flandria boat trip (see p187). is about 1. Without your own car. the square between Vlaamsekaai and Waalsekaai. Gemeentestraat 8) Huge townhouse full of secondhand clothes for women and men.20.40. it’s possible to be on the right-numbered bus (or tram) but travelling in the wrong direction. from €6/8. Franklin Rooseveltplaats and Koningin Astridplein. Hasselt (€9. It wasn’t all that long ago when the city’s port did cover a relatively small area.10. a dagpas (day ticket) is €5 (€6 on the bus) and a 10journey lijnkaart (network card) is €8 (€10 on the bus). %03 233 86 62.h9am-6pm). Vestingstraat and Appelmansstraat. %03 231 82 18. it’s a 15. Rommelmarkt (Map pp176-7.eurolines. doubling the port’s holding capacity to 12 million containers. which also has an office at Antwerp airport (%03 213 79 60). These docks are now the focus of ’t Eilandje district – it’s between them that the new MAS museum is being built. St Antoniusstraat 12) This former garage on a quiet backstreet looks more like an exhibition space than somewhere to buy clothes. CAR & MOTORCYCLE Car-rental companies in Antwerp include Budget (Map pp174-5. Olivier Strelli (Map pp176-7. Tours through the port are surreal – a maze of cranes and loading yards.be. Diamond and gold traders line up inside the newly expanded Centraal Station. 15 minutes). the city can be safely navigated by bike.

lonelyplanet. Hang around for the hour if you want to see the side figures donging the bells. as well as St Margarethakerk at the heart of the community. Florent Van Cauwenberghstraat 45. The chef learnt his stuff at Villa Lorraine. decided to make Mechelen her permanent residence.larocca. www. Mosdijk 1-6. For an authentic taste of Flanders minus any tourist hype. Getting There & Away Lier is well connected on the regional train circuit.50/1. When Margaret died in 1530. It’s flanked by the peaceful river and has spacious rooms. p215). Its close proximity to Antwerp (just 17km away) means it’s regularly frequented by Antwerpenaars.30pm on Monday from June to mid-September. mains €20-30. making it a popular day trip from Antwerp. Netelaan 6. h10am-noon & 2-5pm Mon-Sat) was gradually built from the late 14th to early 16th century. one of Brussels’ top restaurants.com E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • M e c h e l e n 201 Entertainment History Lier’s biggest music event is the Jazzkroegentocht (www. Mechlin in English) sits equidistant between Antwerp and Brussels – or just 20km from either – and is completely overshadowed by both. The marvellous timepiece contains a central dial surrounded by 12 smaller dials each conveying bits of information. in the basement of the town hall. hlunch & dinner Tue-Sun) Likable eetkafee with organic produce and a good range of wholesome vegetarian meals. including a palace (now used as a courthouse). the tourist office has details. Mechelen went on to become the country’s religious capital and is home of the primate (archbishop) of the Catholic church. a nobleman from King Pepin’s court in France who settled and eventually died here in 775. hlunch Tue-Fri. De Werf (%03 480 71 90. via Aarschot to Leuven (€5.70. De Oude Komeet (%03 488 21 56. A statue in her memory now stands at the edge of the Grote Markt. In the pavilion next door is Zimmer’s studio and another of his works – the astronomical Wonder Clock that featured at World Fairs in Brussels in 1935 and New York in 1939. hfrom 10am) At the rear of the begijnhof.be).be. h2pm-2am Tue-Sun) Small bar on a square next to the river. 9am-noon & 1.hofvanaragon.30pm Sat & Sun Oct-Mar) Tourist office newly located just off the corner of the pedestrianised Grote Markt. In 1506 her step-granddaughter Margaret of Austria. Mon-Fri only Nov-Mar) is in the heart of town. Bus 55 goes to Mechelen.000 Mechelen (Malines in French. It’s possible to climb the tower (514 steps. cross the river at Zimmerplein to reach the Timmermans. Sights It’s impossible to miss St Romboutskathedraal (Grote Markt. Zuster Agnes (%03 288 94 73. Belgium’s world billiard champion. Margaret of York. Kurt. There’s also a garden terrace. this modern restaurant does a very limited range of dishes marrying world flavours.inenuit mechelen.Opsomerhuis (%03 800 05 55. betterknown Flemish cities.60.30pm Mon-Fri. This former 14th-century tower. Trains run every halfhour to Antwerp (€2. it has long been bypassed by tourists doing the hop between the bigger. To explore Lier’s central waterways. date from the 17th century. But even with this influx. 20 minutes). Schapenkoppenstraat 16. The tourist office (%03 800 05 05. Sleeping & Eating Hof van Aragon (%03 491 08 00. and attracts billiard buffs from afar. h9am-12. a night of unremitting live jazz held in cafés around town in early November. including billiards (€4/5 per hour per small/large table) and pool/ snooker (€6/7 per hour). cinnamon and flour. Mister 100 (%03 489 11 16. admission €1. Mechelen’s a must. MECHELEN pop 77. threecourse menu €33. In&Uit Mechelen (%070 22 28 00. Close by is the town’s most famous sight – the Zimmertoren (%03 800 03 95. h9am-noon & 1-6pm Apr-Sep. were constructed. Antwerpsesteenweg 384. the capital was moved to Brussels and Mechelen never regained the spotlight. which are among Belgium’s oldest. and many elaborate buildings. 10am-4. s/d from €60/70.be. a gueuze-style lambic beer. But recent revamping means it’s now ringing its own bell and. was appointed governor and her glamorous court became one of the most famous of its day. For a sweet treat try a Liers vlaaike sold in any bakery. and students come from far and wide to learn the art. In 1473 Charles the Bold chose Mechelen as his administrative base and the town became the thriving capital of the Burgundian Low Countries. mains €14-20. 30 minutes). Werf 17.be in Flemish. These fat little tarts are a mix of syrup.com . It attracts an arty crowd and is a good place to try the local Lierse Caves. The creamy-toned St Gummaruskerk (Kardinaal Mercierplein. his widow. was converted into the Centenary Clock in 1930 by a prosperous local Lodewijk Zimmer.30am-4. dinner Tue-Sat) A great restaurant serving excellent French/Flemish cuisine. 14th-century belfort (belfry). n) Those into old-world style will find this well-established hotel-restaurant the pick of Lier’s accommodation scene. particularly writer Felix Timmermans (1886– 1947). La Rocca (www.200 E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • L i e r Lier is a tranquil and typically Flemish provincial town. From Zimmertoren. This museum is devoted to local 19th.30-5pm. the daughter of Maximilian I. h10am-noon & 1-5pm Tue-Sun). The carillon master is Jo Haazen.30pm Oct-Mar). Grote Markt 28. The cathedral is topped by the country’s heaviest carillon – appropriately enough considering Mechelen boasts the world’s most prestigious school of campanology (bellringing). It’s now run by his son. at the heart of which sits its refined stadhuis and adjoining turreted.30pm and 3.be in Flemish. once part of the town’s ramparts.25. there’s an AD Delhaize (Eikelstraat 26) supermarket with entrances on Grote Markt and Eikelstraat. but very discreet. the town is never uncomfortably crowded on weekends. or a charming little place to hole up for a night. Like Ghent. The town’s history is surprisingly rich. a charming cluster of cottages founded in the 13th century. and he plays the 49 bells (that date from the 15th to 18th centuries) for an hourlong concert at 8. admission €1.be. Most of the houses. Florent Van Cauwenberghstraat 18. Timmermansplein 2.lier. Café St Gummarus (%03 489 05 15. adult/child Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet. The train station (%03 229 55 03) and adjoining bus station (%070 22 02 00) are 1km northeast of the Grote Markt. considering the town is home to the country’s heaviest carillon. and have been made in Lier since the 18th century. 10. corner hotel that offers modern rooms with rich colour schemes and spacious bathrooms. €5) at certain times. Although Charles was killed in battle in France four years later. Sister Agnes is a modern wok brasserie and well-hidden local favourite offering intimate interior dining or outdoor tables overlooking the town’s mascot – those sheep. It’s due to this tower that the residents of Mechelen are nicknamed Maneblussers (see boxed text. mains €14-18. h11am9pm Tue-Sun) Huge billiard salon set up by Raymond Ceulemans. Very cosy – just 10 tables – with attentive service. hotels and fashionable shops are drawing visitors and locals alike. such as the ages of the moon and the signs of the zodiac. whose carillon chimes melodiously every quarter of an hour. For its size.30. 97m-high tower that was completed in the middle of the 16th century and in fine weather can be seen from Brussels.30pm Fri-Sun) Legendary nightclub celebrating its second decade in 2008.30am-5. It was founded in the 8th century as a place of worship for St Gummarus. 45 minutes) and to Mechelen (€2. Go along Schapekoppenstraat (Sheep Heads St) to the monumental portal announcing the entrance to the begijnhof. Hallestraat 2.hotelflorent. The church’s most important treasures are its 16th-century stained-glass windows. Antwerpsestraat 146. This robust cathedral features a gigantic. s/d €70/90) Relatively new. admission free). The town has a smattering of interesting – and unique – sights. and he’s impressed the locals. and 2pm to 6pm on Sunday from May to October. Zimmerplein. Converted to Christianity by 8th-century evangelist St Rombout. hfrom 11. Hotel Florent (%03 491 03 10.70. Grote Markt 57. All kinds of games are available. hop on board a former eel-fishing boat.30pm & 1. topped by a rococo cupola (the tower was rebuilt in the 18th century after being struck by lightning). h9. Information ATM (Grote Markt 27) Attached to the KBC Bank. Newly pedestrianised areas and a new generation of B&Bs. 15 minutes). The elegant tower is a mix of Gothic and baroque.30pm on Saturday. Science.50 per adult/child) depart from the quay at the begijnhof’s back entrance at 2.30am-3. hThu-Mon) Located in a big townhouse at the end of one of the main shopping streets. Mechelen is overly endowed with churches – testimony to the town’s rich religious EASTERN FLANDERS EASTERN FLANDERS Central Lier is dominated by the Grote Markt. 9. www. Sights €2/1. Cuistot (%03 488 46 56. For self-caterers. Lively student bars and cheap pitta/shwarma (doner kebab) places coexist on Eikelstraat and Zimmerplein. www.and 20th-century writers and artists. www. mains €2029. literature and the arts thrived.lier.30pm Sat & Sun Apr-Sep. Diest (€5.30-5. artist Isidoor Opsomer (1878–1967) and sculptor Lodewijk Van Boeckel (1857–1944).30pm Mon-Fri. the call is being heard far and wide. Forty-minute trips (€2.

many Jews boarded trains in the hope of safety.......24 B3 Grand Café Lamot. Austria and Poland.....dusktill dawn.... the date when Jews were forced to start wearing a yellow Star of David as identification.000 of them were gassed upon arrival at the camps and only 1400 returned... Over the next two years.... This well-established work- shop is one of the few places in Belgium where you can see contemporary tapestries being woven and antique ones from all over the world being repaired...... adult/child €6/2)..13 B3 ed ard Pa Huidevettersstr 12 e trj Va rke n 21 Standonckstr sstr 19 cluding a 17m-long train table complete with working engines and a model replica of the battle of Waterloo...... a wooden dummy carved in 1647.. n Be20 B3 Toko Karachillio. small studio s/d €40/50. dm/s/d €16.....(see 4) Va 19 C2 Market. Trainspotters must time a visit to De Mijlpaal (%015 41 65 68. The season runs from about mid-April to late June and during this time restaurants put asperges high on their menus. n 4 pga 7 INFORMATION ATM KBC Bank....22 B1 Café Den Akker......50.. www...... %015 55 70 E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • M e c h e l e n 203 To Planckendael (3km). It’s impossible not to sleep well in an environment like this.. Tapestry lovers must tour De Wit Royal Manufacturers (%0475 52 29 05..30am on Saturday..... although several thousand children hidden by the Resistance in Belgium made it through the war... The Joods Museum van Deportatie en Verzet (Jewish Museum of Deportation & Resistance.14 B3 De Graspoort..000 Jews were sent from the Nazi deportation centre in Mechelen...... www.15 B2 De Kok & De Proever. in- Mechelen’s biggest annual shindig is the Hanswijkprocessie (Procession of Our Lady) in which thousands dress up in medieval-style garb and parade through the town at 3pm on the last Sunday in May....... being hurled into the air from a blanket. Hotel Vé (%0479 49 66 82......... Zandpoortvest 70... Schoutestraat 7.... Children and babies welcome...... with about 500 of the country’s 600 Roma deported to their deaths.202 E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • M e c h e l e n lonelyplanet.. s/d €128/154..........com.... often presented as a soup or gratin.dewit...com ....... Munstr 20 Sc ὈὈὈ ὈὈὈ en Zie Bl t ete Oliv Botermarkt str k dstr Borz estr haa l str Voo Leegheid Zakstr Hallestr 2 ee hon chstr t es rsv ste zu art Keizerstr r er st Beff Bl uw To Speelgoedmuseum (200m). In the summer of ‘42 the Nazis called for volunteers for labour camps in the east.. 15...com..... h10am-5pm Tue-Sun).. only to be transported to death camps......21 C2 Brouwerij Het Anker.000 Jews were living in Belgium (mainly in Brussels and Antwerp) on 27 May 1942.novotel.... Festivals & Events str ode Mer De Zan dpo ortv e tr ns gij ne Be w ou str Ko str Vr 10 Mils La (%015 29 49 10.... the town’s municipal museum..... EASTERN FLANDERS Heem Kan C rtstr 22 nn 1 300 m 0. Dusk €100.2 miles To Lier 14km) Stassa Sint-Katelijnestr B To Joods Museum van Deportatie en Verzet (150m) G de To Fort A Breendonk (12km).. h10am5pm Sat-Thu. The museum is best toured with a guide – phone an hour or two ahead to arrange an English-speaking tour. Leuvensesteenweg 30. h10am-5pm Tue-Sun) is chock-full of games and toys. Another home-grown speciality is witloof (chicory). Novotel (%015 40 49 50. admission free......... which occupies a big grey building directly opposite the Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk (Church of Our Lady)..cicb. Leuven (25km) Leu ven seste enw eg About 57. Bus 4 from the train station stops out the front. www.....12 B2 Novotel...........com. Korte EATING De Cirque. Its discreet location on the Vismarkt in the heart of the town’s riverside nightlife area is another big plus.. large studio €50/60) Family home with a separate holiday cottage tucked away at the back of the garden.......hotelve..... %015 29 06 60........ Ha3 C1 Lamot Heritage Centre....... www... Nekkerstraat 21.80.... the town’s mascot.. such as Auschwitz.. cstr Pennin 11 D4 Van Beethovenstr De Zandpoort.... B&B Buggenhout (%015 20 97 21.mechelen-hostel Eating . looking not only at history but where Flemish society is bound....... this is Mechelen’s most spunky new address..2 C2 SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES De Wit Royal Manufacturers....... both with cooking facilities.... fran. Boat to Planckendael (500m).....be.... i) Turn the age-old grey handle to ring the bell at this delightful B&B.. 6 C2 St Janskerk. It tracks back in time to when Continental Europe’s first train journeyed from Brussels to Mechelen...... Frederik De Merodestraat 65... Its 36 rooms – all done in sombre brown..9 B2 str 13 10 C3 16 B&B Dusk till Dawn.ronny@skynet ...... There’s a 1½-hour tour at 10... Onze Lieve Vrouwestraat 81.. is kept in Museum Hof van Busleyden (%015 29 40 30..... an essential railway museum on the outskirts of town.be... juicy and soft....6/29/45. ai) Located in a former fishsmoking factory (there’s not a whiff to remind overnighters of its former occupation)..... Antwerp (24km) No EASTERN FLANDERS MECHELEN Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet.. including the white sandstone St Janskerk (Klapgat)... www ........ adult/child €2/free...........23 B3 De Gouden Vis.50/3................... The real mascot.......... www. r €159. Vismarkt 14..... D Di en ckerstr De De unn g eg Jod Fr ed n o Geze llelaa beemd h2-6pm Sat May-Sep). ni) Mechelen is right in the heart of Belgium’s asparagus-growing belt and the 22cm-long ‘fat white’ from here are considered by gourmets to be the best – smooth...be.... admission free)....com history...17 C2 Fish Shops..... Belgium’s small Roma (gypsy) population suffered similarly.. De Nekker (3km) Zw Grote Markt 8 1 Bla Hotel Vé. In parts it’s dark and old fashioned but the collection is impressive............16 B3 D’Hoogh.... The Speelgoedmuseum (Toy Museum.. These camps were designed specifically to rid Europe of people considered undesirable according to racist Nazi doctrine......(see 4) k To De Mijlpaal (250m).... Van Beethovenstraat 8... paintings and furniture..... opened to rave reviews in 2006.8 B2 3 Kla ick Oude Begg aar den Wolle mark Ni eu we Str zon aatje der Eind e 9 Sint Ja nstr 6 er str str 2 5 ute t B V 3 en rd aa st an Hoey r Scho Guid str en ik str jle str 75... HOLOCAUST IN BELGIUM ders Augustijnen Korte Ridderstr Lange Heistr e Lang erstr Ridd Haze r lst pe ipstr Sch str te Kor hipstr Sc Meysbrug Berthou L an en ed eli ridla O Ast Ka ge ingin kt Leermar Bruul n La Kon laa DRINKING n Borrelbabbel.be in Flemish. can only be visited by prior arrangement (ask at the tourist office).... Splayed in front of the stadhuis is a statue of Op-Sinjoorke...........5 C1 f Op-Sinjoorke Statue..4verwB3 er Museum Hof van Busleyden. None of the Jewish children deported survived..... Technopolis (3km) ene gh Dijle Hansw Ra Graaf van Egmontstr erg nb str iza str uw ple str Gr oe Nie Ra ve e ns tr in enstr ng a first in Flanders.. Goswin de Stassartstraat 153.. It occupies a high-Gothic-style mansion built during Margaret of Austria’s rule and is full of historical bits and pieces...... spic-and-span youth hostel next to the railway lines... Check with the tourist office to find out what’s on at the new Lamot Heritage Centre Sleeping s en Nieuwwerk t nve s t 17 15 14 18 Vismarkt Na uw str 4 Ad SLEEPING 23 eg 24 em B&B Buggenhout........... Inside awaits a muted world of subtle colours and discerning décor........ It movingly tells the Belgian chapter of Jewish persecution in WWII (see boxed text......be. Van Beethovenstraat 1............. impeccable studios. 1 C2 In&Uit Mechelen.. This place is B&B Dusk till Dawn (%015 41 28 16. www.. opposite) and chronicles the resistance movement that sprang up. De Zandpoort (%015 27 85 39.. admission €2.18 B3 Grand Café Lamot.. adult/child €5...... including bells.. Dawn €130.. 10am-1pm Fri) is housed in a former Nazi deportation centre.7 C1 St Romboutskathedraal. 0 0 rkt ma ren plein st ere nle en Ijz str str ok 11 Lo u Schutter svest To Train/Bus Station (400m) ijkst r To Train/Bus Station (300m)... Visitors are welcome.. 25.. naiw) Brand-new hotel in a modern nondescript grey-brick building smack bang in the town’s newly revitalised riverside quarter...lamot-erfgoedcentrum.... Many had sought refuge here after the outbreak of WWII and Nazi persecution in their home countries of Germany... Modern.. Straatje zonder Einde 3. grey or beige – range from cosy (the cheapest) to luxe.. Some......... It contains two cosy.

dinner Mon-Sat) Its romantic interior. along the Leuven-Dijle Kanaal. held during the morning.5%) is dark with a rich flavour of caramelised malt and hops. per hr €1. cells and dark dank corridors have all been preserved. among a host of other critters. Exhibits include bonobo (dwarf chimpanzee from central Africa) and koalas. which transforms into one enormous open-air terrace for socialising and drinking in fine weather. h10am-7pm Jul-Aug. skip or jump from Brussels (25km). It’s owned by the same chef as Toko Karachillio. hlunch Mon-Fri. h11am-11pm) Has one terminal.be. access is more difficult – from Mechelen take the train to Willebroek (€2.50. it’s worth inquiring about a B-Dagtrip (see boxed text. Vismarkt 11). adult/ child €16/11. less than half survived. Technologielaan. with free access. Blusser (5. Fish shops (Vismarkt) For self-caterers. The torture room.70. 10am-midnight Sun) Internet access. it’s still as pretty as a picture. Leuven is also Belgium’s beer capital. Some 25. That said. Drinking The revitalised riverside quarter based around Vismarkt and Van Beethovenstraat is the city’s chief nightlife zone. most notable are the few sculptures by Constantin Meunier (see p87). De Graspoort (%015 21 97 10. 3pm daily Oct-Mar). 3pm Sat & Sun Apr-Sep. Boats (€5/4.50.30pm Mar-Apr & Oct. Guido Gezellelaan 49) Mechelen’s local brewery is located in the heart of town and has a rambling brasserie serving the brewery’s four beers. 25 minutes one way) leave daily from July to August. It opened in 2000 and has been a runaway hit among school kids and families ever since.inenuitleuven. Light and trendy. Political prisoners were held here and. The park has a respected breeding programme and koala births always make national news. 15 minutes) and Brussels (€3. Cross the river to reach Grand Café Lamot (%015 20 95 30. It’s the place in town for a shot of jenever and also good for any local beer. menus from €27. ties for the guys) if you want to blend in with the well-heeled locals at this Michelin-starred restaurant. adult/concession/child €9/8/6. and a section of the fort has been turned into a museum. pasta €12-16. scoured part of the façade).800 Picturesque.60.technopolis .50 per adult/child. artists and nobility – but were added as an afterthought in the mid-19th century.30pm Sat & Sun). Vismarkt 8. Bike rental costs €8 per day. 10am-5pm Sun Apr-Oct) Tourist office newly relocated around the side of the stadhuis. Many of the enclosures are innovative but others. Grand Café Lamot (%015 20 95 30. The centre is about 3km from Mechelen train station – take bus 282 or 283 (every 30 minutes. This flamboyant late-Gothic structure resembles an overblown wedding cake full of terraced turrets.com Toko Karachillio (%015 34 60 12.45pm Jan-Feb & Nov-Dec) is located about 3km southeast of Mechelen.planckendael. More of Meunier’s work is located in Minderbroedersvest. creative air.20. Adegemstraat at Mechelen’s smallest pub. 4. 10 minutes). free admission. but is well known by locals for its seafood and vegetarian meals. There are IC trains every half-hour to Antwerp (€3. hides behind a 17th-century façade. veggie and Belgian fare make up the sizable menu. There’s also a lounge bar on the 1st floor. Even in summer. almost devoid of décor. 10am-5. h9ammidnight Mon-Sat. too) and includes several hundred permanent exhibits – from wind and water play to invisible or hair-raising feats.30pm). Oude Markt 52.be.204 E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A r o u n d M e c h e l e n lonelyplanet.com . hfrom 9am). In WWII it was converted into a Nazi concentration and deportation camp. 3. By car. Market (Grote Markt. This brasserie.30pm. www. h8am-10pm Mon-Fri. If you’re coming by train.be.30am-5. The 236 statues represent prominent locals throughout the ages – scholars. 15 minutes). which depart every 30 minutes from Hanswijkvaart 13 (at the Como Bridge behind Mechelen train station). Leuven (Louvain in French) is the chief town of the province of Vlaams-Brabant. and the buildings that survived are well worth seeing. It’s tucked away at the end of an alley. Incredibly. There’s not all that much to see inside. 10am-6pm May-Jun & Sep. Grote Markt. less frequent on weekends). Van Beethovenstraat 8. p208). Bikes can only be rented from De Nekker (%015 55 70 05. Almost next door is the equally pleasant Café Den Akker (%015 33 10 78. The other main edifice is St Pieterskerk (St Peter’s built in 1906 as an outlying defence post for Antwerp. shoehorned into a corner of a lovely square behind the cathedral. adult/child €6/5. candles and lanterns. Its heart is the Grote Markt and immediately behind it the Oude Markt. It’s designed for ages six to 96 (although toddlers love it. the stadhuis survived relatively unscathed during the wars (although a bomb. and there’s another statue. from where it’s a 20-minute walk. last visit 4. h9. mains €10-18. from 3pm Sun) This rustic place fills up quickly. h9.25km south of the Grote Markt – just head straight up Hendrik Consciencestraat or jump on bus 1. 10am-4. attached to the recently renovated Lamot Heritage Centre. hMon-Sat) Since opening a few Borrelbabbel (%015 27 36 89. with creamy- lonelyplanet.30am-5pm) sets out to amaze through edu- cational but fun interactive experiences. otherwise a normal pub. Pater Damiaan. just off the E19 motorway (take the MechelenZuid exit – it’s well signposted). The family-owned establishment brews once a week but visits are open only to groups of 25 or more. Willebroek. Jan Stasstraat) About 12km west of Mechelen is Breendonk Fort Sights (%03 886 75 25. D’Hoogh (%015 21 75 53. intimate and lively… Leuven is yet another fabulous Flemish city. Naamsestraat 1. hfrom 11. hMon-Sat) Bistro. Toko has remained one of the toasts of the town. it’s halfway between Brussels and Antwerp. www. Try to time your visit when it’s not overrun with screaming kids (it’s worth ringing to find out how many schools are booked in that day). of the 3456 prisoners who passed through. it attracts a chatty mix for its quick. h9am-5pm Mon-Sat. snacks and homemade frites.breendonk. www. was part of a former brewery and the big brass brewing cauldron is still there for all to see. with a prime terrace location. hfrom 9am) Newest kid on the riverfront. Alternatively. mains €2946. It’s an ancient capital – the home of the Dukes of Brabant Church. Fort Breendonk E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • Le u v e n 205 since 1200 – and in medieval times an important cloth trading centre. delicate statues. De Gouden Vis (%015 20 72 06. are depressingly small. Van Beethovenstraat 8. 9am-9. including recipes with local beer-based sauces. In&Uit Leuven (%016 20 30 20. Leuvensesteenweg 582. Seasonal produce and hormone-free meats are the mainstay of the Flemish cuisine.be. Brouwerij Het Anker (%015 20 38 80. a provincial sports/ recreation centre 3km from town. Getting There & Around Mechelen’s train station (%02 528 28 28) and adjoining bus station (%070 22 02 20) are 1. Barak Telecom (Tiensestraat 24. and on Saturday and Sunday from April to June and September. mains €15-18. Brandstraat 57. h10am-5pm Mon-Sat. this place chills to the bone. and again it’s just a hop. particularly the bird cages. Planckendael can be reached by boat (%015 43 22 65). IJzerenleen 35. but on a more serious note. Begijnenstraat 28. Mechelschen Bruynen (6%) is the brewery’s oldest with a recipe dating to 1421. Café Apero (%016 22 37 76. Nekkerspoel-Borcht 19. and Gouden Carolus (7. Grote Markt 19. EASTERN FLANDERS EASTERN FLANDERS 43.30am Mon-Sat. four-course menu €48.4%) is a standard lager. hfrom 5pm Thu-Mon) It’s generally standing room only years back. playful and contemporary cooking. The fort is just off the A12 highway linking Antwerp–Brussels and is well signposted. Wok. Also recommended: De Cirque (%015 20 77 80. Without your own vehicle. hSat) Fresh produce. The cuisine fuses French/Belgian classics. giving the city an upbeat. mains €14-18. serving well-priced pasta dishes. home to the internationally known red-label Stella Artois. De Kok & De Proever (%015 34 60 02. every 30 minutes) from Mechelen bus station. Nauwstraat 7) is a happening café that draws an eclectic late-night crowd. Orientation & Information Central Leuven is easily covered on foot. where he had a workshop. 5 or 7. Planckendael This much-loved 40-hectare animal park (%015 41 49 21. Post office (%016 22 30 51. in Brusselsestraat.000 students – more than a quarter of the town’s population – zoom around by pushbike here. The terrace overlooks the new Lamot Heritage Centre. mains €15-23. which failed to explode. Nieuwwerk 2. LEUVEN pop 89. Triple Toison d’Or (7%) is a blond beer spiced with herbs. 2. fancy stonework and colourful flags. Today it boasts one of Belgium’s most ornate town halls and is Flanders’ oldest university town (see boxed text. focaccia €7-9.30. htours at 11am & 3pm Mon-Fri. Note the pure Art Nouveau window. AROUND MECHELEN Technopolis The Technopolis (%015 34 20 01. p324). Leuven suffered heavy damage in both world wars and the city centre has relatively few remains of early times. take bus 284 or 285 (€0. and allow two to three hours. hlunch & dinner Mon-Fri) Requires formal attire (yep. Grote Markt. www. and a big yahoo at that. Leuven’s main sight is the 15th-century stadhuis (town hall. toned décor.

. Behind the town hall is the 14th-century Lakenhal (Naamsestraat) where cloth was traded centuries ago...... Naamsestraat 20..... The imposing Universiteitsbibliotheek (University Reference Library. The restored. the last nun left in 1999..... each named after a woman and where linen sheets sprayed with lavender awaken the senses............. There’s a good bar..... Construction started in 1425..dewerf-leuven . It’s more like a cheap hotel than a B&B....(see 19) TRANSPORT Bus Station.. and it’s child friendly (free cots and highchairs). brunch €25) is taken on big tables in a room lit by stained glass at the rear of the shop......... www.. among other things................ %016 32 46 60........... another late- Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet... who spent much of his life in Leuven. Onze Lieve Vrouwstraat 22.10 A2 Hotel Professor.. FriSun from €155.. Visit the church...30pm Mon-Fri) Casual.. It opened as a four-star hotel in 2003. hnoon-2pm & 6-8....(see 4) Treasury..... Bouts painted this between 1464–67 and it is considered to be one of the period’s masterpieces. folk and tropical music – are staged on the first four Fridays in July at diverse locations around Leuven.........9 C2 SLEEPING B&B De Werf. n) ‘Simple but beautiful’ – that’s the motto at this guesthouse.. www............. ste €95. Lukemieke (%016 22 97 05. n) Just skipping distance from the Grote Markt.be.. this nondescript hotel has just E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • Le u v e n 207 eight simple rooms (No 5 is the biggest).. It boasts two triptychs by Flemish Primitive artist Dirk Bouts (c 1415–75).. this is one of Europe’s biggest ‘field’ rock festivals. B&B De Werf (%016 23 73 14....beleuvenissen. Bondgenotenlaan 20.... broad landscapes and static.....be........ Theaterhotel (%016 22 28 19... and they were carted off again during WWII and saw the war out in a salt mine...3km) L erik tr Fred Schapenstr Dilje Zwarte Zusterstr str en tens Ravenstr M 27 iotstr Prela 9 INFORMATION Barak Telecom...... courtyard....... St Jan de Doperkerk (h1.....be..... mains €9-13) All-time student favourite. Fri-Sun €89/109.. The tower rising in the rear breaks the façade’s symmetry and houses a carillon... Martelarenlaan 11a.be. this relatively new hotel is Leuven’s most atmospheric address... mains €9.. 17 A2 Het Munthuis. It’s shoes off to enter the six rooms. i) Three rooms located above a rustic café (right) overlooking a charming tree-lined square and with a handy central location.........1 Café Apero......... The museum is closed until 2009 due to major expansion and renovation..7 B2 St Pieterskerk... The Museum Van der Kelen-Mertens (%016 22 69 06............18 B2 Imanus.... Inside...... niw) Hidden on a small cobbled street in the old city centre... The Martyrdom of St Erasmus records the gory death of the patron saint of mariners............. internet access (per hr €2) and a conscious effort to be green (composting and recycling). dm/s/d €19..... A dagschotel goes THE AUTHOR’S CHOICE Jeff’s Guesthouse (%016 23 87 80.30pm Tue-Sun Apr-Sep)..... Pull off a serviette from a kitchen roll........... Klapstukfestival (www...... Takes over paddocks in Werchter north of Leuven for four days over the first weekend of July...21 B2 Match...15 B2 M 18 Hogeschoolplein 24 25 Colle Va nd ra Parij sstr ld 7 sest Tien tr Oude Markt 6 19 26 tstr 1 Mun L str eopo ye vo Sa 11 Zeels 2 Grote Markt 4 15 st seve 2 an tenla 22 5 geno Tien O L Vrouwstraat 17 str Bond 12 16 13 Diestse 8 ol an op sla Smoldersplein lse s 3 tr Le he ut r ec Bo selstr 14 Dies r sst str R 28 29 Train Station Martelarenplein tsestr en c ijs D To Provinciaal Recreatiedomein Kessel-Lo (1km) els tr ols ho art rk To Mechelen (25km) C ὈὈ ὈὈ Di Brus Vissersstr Vismarkt Va tr lses 1 To Brussels (25km) B M Lei 300 m 0.....stuk............vjh ..... No room has more than six beds....... somewhat sober houses are now a university residential quarter..........13 D1 Klooster Hotel..... small beds and soothing décor.4 Post Office... s/d €30/45....2 miles enlaan A che Me lje Di To Silo (600m) sst To Chess Cafe (500m) Martelar 0 0 LEUVEN B2 A2 A1 A2 C2 SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES Lakenhal....... snacks €4.............. a Unesco World Heritage site..kloosterhotel . and there are showers and toilets inside each room........ for wall-to-wall eateries – everything from gastronomic to student fare rubs shoulders and nonchalantly complements each other.........................28 D1 Eurolines........... closed Mon mid-Oct–mid-Mar).60/24/48......30- Gothic structure..........24 B2 DRINKING Cafés.....14 A2 Theaterhotel....206 E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • Le u v e n lonelyplanet. d with bathroom & view €90.. while Het Laatste Avondmaal (The Last Supper) shows the purple-clad Christ surrounded by his disciples in a typical Flemish dining hall.... www......... the same year that the university was founded.22 C1 Rossi.... BeLEUVENissen (www.... but no-one minds – chill out looking at the wacky décor.... Hogeschoolplein 5....12 A2 EATING De Werf........ It was founded by the Beguines in 1232. Savoyestraat 6) holds...............com ... Klooster Hotel (%016 21 31 41....... mixing the Biblical theme with contemporary Gothic architecture... It occupies an historic building that did time as a cloister. it’s the church’s treasury (adult/student €5/2.............com.. s/d €65/80) Above a corner cocktail bar in the city centre.rockwerchter...be) Free concerts – jazz. a vast collection of religious art from the 15th to 18th centuries.... r Mon-Thu from €205. Take heart on arrival – the rooms are nicer than the mundane ground-floor bar would suggest... Spacious and free of clutter..... wraps... De Werf (%016 23 73 14.....jeffsguesthouse... Further afield you’ll find local favourites....2 Gobelijn.. Eating Take to pedestrianised Parijsstraat or Muntstraat............. or the area around the stadhuis... The cobblestoned Groot Begijnhof...20 B3 Market............. but the church never reached full throttle as unstable subsoil forced the builders to abandon a 170m-high tower..6 A2 Museum Van der Kelen-Mertens.. Breakfast (€8.... Until then a representative sample of its collection will tour temporary sites around town – ask the tourist office for the current location.. this discreet hotel offers huge bathrooms.. drink out of pink plastic tumblers and try to get your lips around one of the house specialities..com M str er Th ia ar r sst liu sa Ve ints Naamsestr To Groot Begijnhof (500m).. though most of the houses date from the 17th century when around 300 Beguines still lived here......... The panels have a lively history: they were sold off several times and ended up in Germany. d without bathroom €80.. Campus (1....... Sleeping Jeugdherberg De Blauwput (%016 63 90 62................ whose Gothic façade hides an elaborate baroque interior.....50 incl entry to the Museum Van der Kelen-Mertens) that most people come to see.... It’s now used as the official headquarters of the university.. www..5 es ias tr at Hooverplein Deber 3 tr Sta Jan tr 21 str tr ns se ns 10 a Vl 20 Ra us ele ng mi ds str Pen jsstr aat Kor test r r gst We irin Pari erk tr ns ve Bo ga Mgr ar de Ladeuzeplein n gebe 23 rg St Antoniusberg Jeugdherberg De Blauwput..... Festivals & Events Werchter (www..3 In&Uit Leuven..11 A2 Jeff’s Guesthouse....8km).........26 B2 ENTERTAINMENT At the Bebop............19 A2 Lukemieke. s/d Mon-Thu €129/149... EASTERN FLANDERS were returned to Leuven after WWI as part of the war reparations package... www........ Kortestraat 2..... However.27 B2 De Blauwe Kater.. the pervading theme is Mediterranean – sand-coloured walls with Venetian stucco and a Moroccan lounge with lanterns and rugs....................29 D1 Jeugdherberg De Blauwput....(see 10) Delhaize...... they uis Lo EASTERN FLANDERS 2-5pm Sun....... unmoving figures were his passion....... Hogeschoolplein 5.. Book room No 7 to live like Mother Superior....... Hotel Professor (%016 20 14 14... The service is not fast... Vlamingenstraat 55............. highlights include an elaborately carved stone rood screen and an equally impressive wooden baroque pulpit....... it again burnt down in WWII and was rebuilt yet again....... Strictly controlled paintings with rich.theaterhotel.. with a big terrace occupying a quiet tree-lined square on one of the town’s backstreets......8 A1 Stadhuis.(see 13) ὆ 4...(see 8) Universiteitsbibliotheek... is secured behind large walls near the Dijle River to the south of the city centre. and maintains serenity and ties to its earlier life with understated furnishings and subtle details..... Meerdaalwoud (8.... 25 A2 Domus.. Breakfast (€5) is taken downstairs in the café.......be) Month-long international contemporary dance festival from mid-October..... All in all it’s a gem.. Rebuilt from the charity of 400American universities.. hidden above an oliveria (shop selling olive-oil based products) just metres from the Grote Markt.be) Together with Glastonbury (England) and Roskilde (Denmark)....... fax 016 29 14 16.............. a one-minute walk behind the train station... friendly vegetarian eatery that has been around for donkey’s years and still draws locals to its out-of-the-way location..........16 A2 Greenway Foods...23 A2 't Galetje.. niw) Modern HI-hostel with spunky décor and good vibes...... Begijnhof Congreshotel (700m).... Monseigneur Ladeuzeplein 21) was rebuilt in Flemish Renaissance style after a fire raged through it during WWI.

The Oude Markt literally hums with terrace cafés where students hang out until the wee small hours.500 The ancient town of Diest has been saved from mediocrity thanks to its begijnhof. with its trellised grapevines.50. There are frequent connections to Brussels (€4. 45 minutes) and Liège (€9. such as the rowboats. the town’s best-known artist. Princes from this ruling Dutch family were the lords of Diest from 1499 to 1794 – Philip. This little Italian eatery is hugely popular. and Louvain-la-Neuve took M to Z! for €9.70. At the Bebop (%016 20 86 04.70. there’s also an information office here. Its history. Note the 15th-century painting Het Laatse Ordeel. the child’s peuterschotel costs €5. some of the well-preserved buildings date to this time. Information Main tourist office (%013 35 32 74. Belgian students. hMon-Sat) Best sandwich bar in town. Chess Cafe (%016 22 28 88.silo. Muntstraat 20. closed Sun Oct-Feb) In the basement of the stadhuis. admission €1. mains €17-20. the university became a bastion of Flemish Catholicism and these days is still at the heart of Flemish thinking.208 E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • Le u v e n lonelyplanet. Grote Markt 1. In response to suppression by French and Dutch rulers during the 18th and 19th centuries. h8am-10pm) for €10 per day (deposit €150).com .30. Tiensestraat 44) The place to join summer ice-cream queues. DIEST pop 22. As small towns go. these are large. 15 minutes).be. from where it’s a 15-minute walk. Delhaize (Wieringstraat 31) Supermarket. www. A splendid baroque portal marks the begijnhof’s main entrance. private gardens). Tourist office (Kerkstraat 21. Antwerp (€6. the heated swimming pool and the mini-cars. Wok à volonté for €18 – pick your ingredients from the self-service buffet bar and watch the team sizzle and spice your meal with beer-laced sauces. The St Katharinabegijnhof is at the far end of Begijnenstraat. one of the best-preserved examples in Belgium. a huge church. Martelarenlaan 11a. Also recommended: Imanus (%016 29 10 82. it seems. head to Provinciedomein Halve Maan (%013 31 15 28. Sun only mid-May–mid-Sep). together with its association with the House of Orange-Nassau. the Stedelijk Museum (%013 35 32 70. combination ticket for Stedelijk Museum plus Religious Art Museum €2. Mechelsestraat 35) Cartoon shop tucked away on a backstreet. h2-5pm Jul-Aug. hdinner Tue-Sat) Ten tables. see boxed text. 2-5. Match (Bondgenotenlaan 50) Supermarket. Lier (€5.be) buses and De Lijn (%016 31 37 37) local buses depart from the big new red bus station to the right as you exit the train station. p215).50-12. is great in summer. believed to be a work of Gerard Brunen.tourisme diest. and is also great for kids and babies. In one of those typically Belgian scenarios. Meerdaalwoud Brussels has the Fôret de Soignes at its doorstep. Leuven has the Meerdaalwoud. hlunch & dinner. a 10-minute walk from the Grote Markt. hclosed lunch Sat) The table reserved for chess players at the back of this buzzing wok eatery provided the restaurant’s name. take bus 2 or the train to Kessel-Lo. Also worth seeking out are the two Besloten Hofkens (literally. Its aura is charmingly authentic and most of the houses still display religious statues in the alcove above the door – a means of identification at a time when street numbering didn’t exist. Created by the Beguines.25. Italian/Belgian cuisine is the go. Shopping Gobelijn (%016 23 55 86. Vaartkom 39. h10am-noon & 1-5pm Mar-Sep. Buses 1 and 2 shuttle to the Grote Markt. Naamsestraat 17. This deciduous and conifer forest covers about 50 sq km to the south of Leuven and offers pleasant walking and cycling paths. Parijsstraat 12. For more. Eurolines (www. Leopoldvest EASTERN FLANDERS EASTERN FLANDERS Within a century of being founded in 1425. smoky taste) or ConDomus (5% alcohol and bitter flavour). Fonteinstraat 1a. Tiensestraat 8.30. great value and as authentic as they come. Holsbeeksesteenweg 55. From Leuven. pasta dishes and noodles are the mainstays. it replaced an older Romanesque church. www.50.com Getting There & Around THE KUL produce. h10am-noon & 1-5pm Mar-Sep. sandwich lonelyplanet. There’s also now a direct line to Brussels airport (€3. Only a few still exist in Belgium. glass-covered wooden frames containing religious bits and pieces and hung on the wall as decoration. hTue-Sun) Old-fashioned ale house attached to a rambling brewery where several tasty beers are brewed – try the Nostra Domus (amber beer with 5. It’s located in an old grain silo in a semi-industrial and somewhat unloved part of town. And we’re not talking lager louts here – these are young people having a good but respectful time. Leuven’s modern train station (%016 21 21 21) is 800m east of the Grote Markt.be. mains €7) Bright green décor immediately tells you this place is vegetarian – bio (organic) burgers. Drinking & Entertainment AROUND LEUVEN €2. Small but rich. built from a distinct rusty-brown iron-sandstone cut from the Hageland hills. but admission is charged for other attractions. in the adjoining vaulted cellars. hFri) Sells fresh You’d be forgiven for mistaking central Leuven for the world’s biggest bar. It attracted famous academics and freethinkers. eventually forcing their French-speaking counterparts to set up a new Francophone university at the town of Louvain-la-Neuve. whose pride is a mon- strance embedded with 220 diamonds.5 per adult/child) or on the bus (€6/2). Provinciaal Recreatiedomein Kessel-Lo This 100-hectare recreational park (%016 25 13 92. have already learnt the national art of socialising with a long beer or two. in an alley off Naamsestraat. Tiensestraat 82) Popular atmospheric jazz café with occasional live gigs. is buried in the church here. Diest (€4. hFri & Sat) Hightech club that rates highly among Belgian clubbers.8% alcohol and a light. secondi €16. www. Diest sits just south of the Demer River in a rural corner of Vlaams-Brabant. the Katholieke Universiteit van Leuven (KUL) had become one of Europe’s most highly regarded universities. De Blauwe Kater (%016 20 80 90.atthebebop. The playground is free.be. The garden terrace. Language issues came to a head in the late 1960s when Flemish students protested over the absence of lectures in their mother tongue. closed Wed & lunch Sat) One of the classiest acts on this intimate restaurantlined street. Mechelen (€3. Market (Monseigneur Ladeuzeplein. Andreas Vesalius. Sights & Activities Smack on the Grote Markt is the 18th-century stadhuis. the eldest son of William the Silent. it’s decidedly pleasant and the people particularly good humoured – they’d E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A r o u n d Le u v e n 209 have to be with the nickname they bear (see boxed text. antipasti €7.50. home to the main tourist office and. Take the TEC bus 18 (direction Jodoigne). Constructed between 1321 and 1533.be.vjh. admission €1. It’s smack on one of the city’s main restaurant strips. h2-5pm Tue-Sun Jul-Aug. ’t Galetje (%016 29 22 24. however. Grote Markt 1. 30 minutes). 50 minutes). Het Munthuis (%016 29 29 41. 30 minutes).30pm Sat & Sun Apr-Jun & Sep–mid-Nov. If you’re travelling with kids. Standonckstraat 2. has been far from smooth. about 1km from the Grote Markt. Silo (www. Domus (%016 20 14 49. with disputes arising over both religion and language. The gent who runs it is a gem. and it’s certainly not a threatening environment. 15 minutes). sacks of onions waiting to be put away and garlic wafting from the kitchen. exotically carved koorgestoelte (choir stalls) and the Museum voor Religieuze Kunst (Religious Art Museum. 45 minutes). Sun only mid-Nov-Mar) At the begijnhof. this museum houses artefacts from the days of Orange-Nassau as well as a wealth of religious relics. the university then split its reference library in two – the KUL kept everything from A to L. mains €18. It houses the tomb of Prince Philip. Rossi (%016 62 48 48. Greenway Foods (%016 30 97 35. though now it’s home to ordinary folk and a few artists. Renaissance scholar Desiderius Erasmus and the father of anatomy. soups. Hallengang 1) Well-hidden little pub. Dominating the Grote Markt is St Sulpitiuskerk. closed Sun Oct-Feb). such as the cartographer Mercator. southeast of Brussels.50-4. p129. A dagkaart (day card) can be bought from the info kiosk (€5/1. About 300 Beguines lived here in the Middle Ages. Has jazz and blues performances on most Monday nights. It sports a solid line-up of Belgian and international cartoons. h9am-7pm) is east of Leuven and is one of the biggest playgrounds for kids in Belgium. Founded in 1252. no décor. held during the morning.eurolines. Bikes can be rented from Jeugdherberg De Blauwput (%016 63 90 62. down by a canal in a former industrial building.

but that’s the only gripe.210 E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • H a s s e l t Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet. h10am-5pm Tue-Fri. soups and yummy fresh-baked breads. Hasselt has been at the centre of the jenever industry since the 17th century and this beautifully restored 19th-century distillery houses a comprehensive and well-presented museum on the history of jenever and its distilling process. Oct-Apr free. closed Mon rest of the year. Hasselt is well and truly off the foreign tourist track.tonet@pandora. Gouverneur Verwilghensingel 70. adult/concession €3/1. Maastrichterstraat 65. 9am-4pm Oct-Mar). all completely different. 10am-6pm in school holidays) Day-care centre for children from 2½ to 12 years. this friendly and efficient hotel-restaurant is a stylish rabbit warren of rooms. h10am-5pm Sun Jul-Aug) is E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • H a s s e l t 211 a carillon museum in the tower of St Quintinuskathedraal. Market (Kaai. Getting There & Away Diest is on the railway line between Lier (€5. but it’s a one off in Belgium. To get there. including beautiful old furnishings. You’ll find them dotted around town. Events include a waiters’ race and distillery tours and. veer right (crossing the Demer) then continue down Statiestraat. 10am-5pm Tue-Fri. covers a large area immediately east of the town’s main ring road.75).plopsaland.100 The capital of Limburg province. It’s a bit of an institution in Diest. Well located on a quiet backstreet in the heart of town. Nero. 2-6pm Sat & Sun Apr-Oct). www. and great value to boot. all linked with the history of the town. from 1pm Sat & Sun Nov-Mar) exhibits decorative arts and religious relics. B&B Emily’s Place (%011 82 12 50. 1-5pm Sat & Sun Nov-Mar).be. During the jenever festival in October. Kerkstraat 8. huntil 6pm Tue-Sun) Ultramodern café with a strong emphasis on light healthy cuisine – juices. as well as produces 1000 bottles of jenever annually. take free bus H3 (direction Trichterheide).50/1. is firmly entwined in the day-trip circuit for shopaholic. a pancake made from a herb known locally as boerenwormkruid (tansy). which leads to Demerstraat and eventually the Grote Markt. Gildenbier. 1-5pm Sat & Sun Nov-Mar). Just one spacious room is on offer in this delightful family home. adult/concession €1. adult/concession €3/1. this is one of the most characterful accommodation options in the area. the town’s main cathedral. appropriately titled Plopsa Indoor (%011 29 30 40.com WORTH A TRIP Scherpenheuvel is to Belgium what Lourdes is to France. 10am-2pm Sun.emilysplace . Hasselt has been spruced up with huge murals of popular comic-strip characters. Gasthof 1618 (%013 33 32 40. to pray for healing miracles and to pay homage to a tiny. Koning Albertstraat 11.be.be. This recreational park Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet. the centre of pagan worship. admission over/under 1m €14/5. with shared bathroom facilities. admission free. In&Uit Hasselt (%011 23 95 40. breakfast is taken either at the family’s dining table or on the terrace and. 1. Attached to the hotel is the popular and folksy Herman’s Eetcafé.be. As always the bull’s-eye is the Grote Markt.25km north of the Grote Markt. ste from €110/155. www. HASSELT pop 69. This museum occupies part of a former abbey and has been tastefully renovated to allow (partial) illumination by natural light.com . www. The basilica is about 6km west of Diest. a) Two blocks from the Grote Markt. Here. Lucky Luke and Jommeke. www.5km east of the town centre on the outer ring road – from the train station. ensconced in an enormous domed baroque basilica (h7am-7pm May-Sep) built in the early 17th century. marthe. The buffet breakfast is excellent. closed Sun Nov-Mar) Newly revamped tourist office next to the stadhuis. Sleeping The dearth of overnight visitors is reflected in Hasselt’s lacklustre hotel scene. Kids and babies are welcome. see p80) from the visiting jenever brotherhood. it’s a feast. zany rooms. Located about 100m from the church on the road to the begijnhof – you can’t miss the striking red-and-black décor. in) Best address in town. From the train station. The Stedelijk Beiaardmuseum (%011 24 10 70. mains €10. 10am-6pm Sat. h10am-5pm Tue-Sun Apr-Oct. all at normal retail prices. admission May–mid-Sep €3. Gasthuisstraat 11. Fruitmarkt. Refugiestraat 23. Zonhoven. the largest in Europe. This modern town acts as the workaday centre for the agricultural lands surrounding it – the soils here are well suited to fruit growing. It’s opposite the Japanse Tuin. The Middle Ages ambience is its draw. 8km from Hasselt and close to the Bokrijk Openluchtmuseum. Huis van het Kind (House of the Child. waterways topped with swan-shaped boats and a playground.jenevermuseum. www. And if you’re travelling with kids. Fashion followers shouldn’t miss the Modemuseum (%011 23 96 21. Schaffensesteenweg 55. hWed) Located behind the town hall. and includes a big pool. At the end of your visit. a little guy lying on a cow pours liquid from a leaking barrel to a gang of delighted pigs. It’s also a good place to buy. s) With your own transport. but more riveting are the many temporary exhibitions. h1-6pm Wed.lodge-hotels. 15 minutes). EASTERN FLANDERS EASTERN FLANDERS 48. About 1. tasty Diestse cruydtcoeck (€3. www. h9am-9pm Apr-Sep. %011 23 98 60. turn left out of the station building. the fountain spurts jenever rather than water. snacks €3-6. Hasselt and its sister city. s/d €85/120. daily in school holidays). adult/concession €3/2. The train station is about 1. but don’t expect architectural grandeur – this place pulses with people and terrace cafés. Sleeping & Eating B&B Tonet (%013 31 14 39. Pilgrims come to this tiny town from all over the country. bristling with shops and restaurants. with one of the country’s best jenever selections. Guido Gezellestraat 2. for a few short hours. h10am-5pm Tue-Sun.30. Gouverneur Verwilghensingel. Het Stadsmus (%011 23 98 90. They come in a variety of colour schemes. food-mad Flemish. Bikes can be rented for €7 per day. Witte Nonnenstraat 19.5km east of the town centre is the Japanse Tuin (%011 23 52 00. h10am-5pm Jul & Aug. mains €11-13) This is the only eatery in the begijnhof and is often full to bursting with coach loads of elderly tourists. s/d/tr €75/95/115. There are 20 rooms. particularly in May. The Lodge (%013 35 09 35. and the little man is presented with an article of clothing (Manneken Pis revisited. although it also bakes a seasonal. Kids already familiar with Plopsaland (see p148) will be thrilled to know Hasselt has a new indoor version. it’s well worth detouring here to explore the open-air museum of Bokrijk (see p212). La Bas (%013 32 30 32. all with different colour schemes and décor. The only such centre in Belgium that can be easily accessed by visitors travelling with kids. take free bus H3 (direction Trichterheide). and the town celebrates the white spirit with a two-day festival every October. Today the scene at the top of the hill is reminiscent of a sacred shrine in India – little huts outside the basilica glow with burning candles and colourful street stalls festooned with all manner of religious trinkets vie for the euros of visiting pilgrims. Lombaardstraat 3. %011 21 14 17. s/d €40/56. The permanent display features fashion from the 18th century onwards. Leuvensestraat 26. Kneuterweg 5. originally topped the hill and in the 14th century a wooden statue of the virgin was attached. h10am-6pm Mon-Sat. got together to establish this picturesque Japanese garden. The importance of jenever to Hasselt is symbolised by the Borrelmanneke (St Jozefsstraat) fountain. from neutral tones to busy florals. It’s also the unofficial jenever capital of Belgium. 30 minutes) and Hasselt (€3. The origins of this place extend much further back…a solitary oak tree. having been around since the days of B&W photos. in true Limburg style. restored castle. On a daily level. this food market is held during the morning. Depending on the weather.be. Hasselt’s user-friendly town centre.be. pop in to the museum’s café for a free shot of the ‘jenever of the week’. 10am-5pm Tue-Fri. The hourly bus 35 from Diest to Aarschot passes Scherpenheuvel (15 minutes). Sights A must see is the Nationaal Jenevermuseum (National Gin Museum. Run by an extremely welcoming woman. Hotel De Fransche Croon (%013 31 45 40. Festivals & Events Hasselt gets into two days of serious jenever drinking on the third weekend in October for the Hasseltse Jeneverfeesten. free jenever pours forth from the town’s Borrelmanneke statue (see left). a white-sand beach.be. Orientation & Information Hasselt sits just south of the Albertkanaal and is encircled by a one-way ring road. Some of the beds are a bit narrow.hasselt. This charming hotel occupies a small. Like Brussels. Itami. It’s especially busy on weekends. elaborately dressed statue of the Virgin Mary. h10am6pm Wed-Sun. and apple and cherry orchards burst into a mass of delicate white-and-pink blossoms in spring. Such sights may be a dime a dozen in India. Particularly enticing on a cold winter’s day. such as Suske & Wiske. serving well-priced local fare and Diest’s main beer. s/d/tr €35/50/75) Three bright.de franschecroon. but that’s all.10.

www . however. Fri-Sun r from €89. Fruitmarkt 24.radissonsas .30am-noon & 1-5pm Mon-Fri.com. 10am-4pm Sat & Sun Sep-Easter. in the Schatkamer (Treasury. www.be. hclosed Tue & lunch Sun) One of many restaurants in the pedestrianised quarter next to the church. Torenplein 8. a local chieftain commemorated by a statue in the town centre. h10am-6. adult/concession/child €10/8.30am-5pm Jul-Aug. A church has stood on this site for at least 1200 years. The museum.30-5pm). Hasselt has free city buses.212 E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • A r o u n d H a s s e l t Guesthouse Kattegatt (%011 21 44 21. Other buses. which has a kiosk to the left as you exit the train station.50/2. Due to its rich history.30pm Tue-Sat) Decorator’s shop and tearoom.bokrijk.com Hasselt is on two main railway lines and has convenient links in all directions. Zuivelmarkt 18. and is the last major settlement before the frontier with the Netherlands. On Sunday take the Genkbound train (10 minutes. is surrounded by forest that forms part of a larger public domain. marked Centrumpendel (or ‘CP’). Aug & Sun. Like Mons in Wallonia. the French armies of Louis XIV who set much of the town ablaze. most of what you see today is from the 14th to 16th centuries. s/d from €70/93. Zuivelmarkt and Fruitmarkt. 55 minutes). Next to the museum’s main entrance is Belgium’s biggest open-air kids’ playground (speeltuin in Flemish). Normans and. expected to finish in 2009. Also recommended: Panos (%011 22 22 59. running between the bus/train station and the Grote Markt every 10 minutes.hasselt. AROUND HASSELT TONGEREN THE AUTHOR’S CHOICE Bouchon (%011 23 45 74. Historians believe a place of worship existed here as early as the 4th century and that it was the first church north of the Alps to be dedicated to the Virgin. Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet. €5/4. Local bus information can be obtained from De Lijn (%070 220 220).50 Mon-Sat Apr-Jun & Sep.be.50. Despite these walls. Also use this entrance if you’re travelling with kids as the playground is next door. Stadhuisplein 9. salads and typical bistro cuisine. s/d Mon-Thu from €130/145. where you can get an overview of the museum via a seven-minute aerial film (screened in English). The train station (%011 29 60 00) is about 1km west of the town centre. the other is the weekly antique market that attracts buyers from far and wide. By car. Children and babies are welcome. The buildings – village churches. with just 14 rooms built around an atrium. Local people dressed in traditional garb are employed to tend veggie gardens and bake bread. a 19th-century mansion.be in Flemish. When this area was invaded by Roman troops in 54 BC. Sun only rest of year) shuttles through the museum and past the arboretum and playground. No eel-in-green-sauce to be seen here – this is inventive Flemish cuisine at its best. 50 minutes) and Diest (€3. adult/concession/child €2.70.30am-5pm Sat & Sun Easter-Sep) is in the town centre. held during the morning. Bokrijk has two entrances: the main gate is to the north and is marked by the Kasteel Bokrijk.hassotel. s/d/tr from €80/85/90. this hotel is centrally located and has a nondescript restaurant. Blue Olive (%011 72 72 70. mains €21-26. the easiest way to get there is by bus 1 from Hasselt train station. in the 17th century. pop 29.70. Zuivelmarkt 22. hTue & Fri) Food market. 9. Its Gallo-Roman museum is the finest in Belgium.50/5 Jul. h10am-noon & 1. the Bokrijk Openluchtmuseum (%011 26 53 00.50/2/0. 20 minutes). or there are IC trains further afield to Brussels (€10. They depart hourly (Monday to Saturday) and take 20 minutes. The following year Caesar’s troops fought back and conquered the area. Radisson SAS (%011 77 00 00. some of which remain. Congostraat 9. www. and the provinces of OostVlaanderen and West-Vlaanderen – as well as old townhouses from Antwerp. and the place to try a Hasselt speculaas. Hotel Portmans (%011 26 32 80. h10am-5pm Mon-Sat) behind the old stadhuis. the original locals (known as the Eburones) successfully ambushed the E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • T o n g e re n 213 Romans under the leadership of Ambiorix.10. It sits roughly equidistant between Flemish-speaking Hasselt and the Walloon city of Liège. hourly). These cinnamon-flavoured biscuits are devoured nationally. hdaily Jul & Aug. evoking yesteryear’s village life. which then became known as Aduatuca Tungrorum. Within a hundred years it was a thriving settlement on the road to Germany and was protected by enormous stone ramparts. Minderbroederstraat 12. possibly longer. but there are plenty of backstreet options as well. unlike Tournai. hip bistro-bar with lampshades that have to been seen to be believed. A small green train (adult/child €2. the basilica is now the subject of a decade-long excavation project. This was the first of three walls to surround the town. and has an impressive wine list. which graphically highlights the locals’ love of dining. which stops 500m from the southern entrance.50. www. all individually styled and each with a kitchenette with microwave. h8.50. Another way to move around is by horse-drawn cart (per 20min adult/child €3/2). cross through the old centre. it’s best to head to the main entrance (follow the signs ‘Kasteel & Museum’).naiw) This new top-ender occupies Eating Hasselt has a reputation for townsfolk who enjoy the art of good eating…and that’s in a nation of good eaters. 65 minutes) and Liège (€6. modern and spacious rooms. where pink and white magnolias burst into colour in early spring.com.com . Market (Kolonel Dusartplein. i) Well located just outside the inner ring road – a five-minute walk from the town centre – this little B&B/ brasserie has four pleasant. Tourists have been well accommodated during this lengthy process and only a part of the basilica is ever off limits at any one time.50/1. Free bikes are available from what’s called the Stadswachten (City Watch. subsequent centuries saw invasions by the Franks. ai) Friendly and efficient establishment in the heart of town. EASTERN FLANDERS EASTERN FLANDERS the only twin towers on Hasselt’s skyline and is impossible to miss.be. Inquire about weekend discounts.walputsteeg . ’t Pandje (%011 22 38 37. taken either on a pleasant shaded terrace or in the seductively dark and inviting interior. iw) Modern but unremarkable. little of its 11th-century origins are visible.30am-noon & 1-5pm Mon-Fri. take the N75 (direction Genk) and then the N726 (follow the signs ‘Park Midden-Limburg’). two streets lined with restaurants and hip brasseries. As for the basilica itself. bistro mains €14-21) Big.70. an ancient herberg (pub). are good places to start hunting. It’s spaced over 60 hectares and contains over 100 old buildings from several areas – the Kempen (east of Antwerp). 8. 15 minutes). Information The tourist office (%012 39 02 55. Haspengouw (in Limburg). St Jozefsstraat 10. Antwerp (€9. Sights & Activities Overshadowing the Grote Markt is the elegant Onze Lieve Vrouwebasiliek (Basilica of Our Lady. Using public transport.70. s/d €41/77. www. mains €17-26. Together with Tournai in Hainaut it has the honour of being Belgium’s oldest town but. If you’ve got your own transport. a pious 11th-century Head of Christ. lonelyplanet. Tongeren’s rich history is one of its presentday drawing cards. h10am-6pm Apr-Sep) is a nostalgic and enjoyable look at Flanders’ past. De Goei Goesting (%011 32 52 82. Tongeren has lots to show for it. Both the arboretum and the playground are free to enter. Local connections include to Tongeren (€3. Paardsdemerstraat 3. Wander along Ridderstraat to see an enormous mural entitled Hasselt Stad voor Lekkerbekken. 1¼ hours).500 The town of Tongeren laps at Belgium’s linguistic divide. Serves a good selection of pasta dishes. Maastrichterstraat 22) Good for a quick croissant or takeaway sandwich. chewy versions are still baked and sold. 8. dismantled and reassembled here since 1958 when the museum was established. Getting There & Around Bokrijk Openluchtmuseum One of Europe’s largest open-air museums. Belgian cuisine spiced with Mediterranean influences is prepared in an open kitchen and makes for delectable dining. hclosed 8am-noon Mon).tongeren. www. farmhouses and windmills – are all originals.katte gatt. The church’s most prized possession is Our Lady of Tongeren. the southern entrance is the first you come to when arriving either by car or public transport from Hasselt. Other treasures to keep an eye out for are the 16th-century Antwerp-made retable (screen) depicting scenes from the Virgin’s life and. Many buses circle the town on the one-way ring of boulevards that encompass the old centre. hlunch & dinner) Generally regarded as Hasselt’s best restaurant and newly relocated to the dining heart of town. Hassotel (%011 23 06 55. Within the forest is a splendid arboretum. they supposedly originated in Hasselt where the fat. a delicate walnut statue of the Virgin and Child from 1479 that is kept in a glass case and is paraded through the streets during the Kroningsfeesten (see p215). these buses are marked Boulevardpendel (or ‘BP’). Leuven (€6. situated 7km northeast of Hasselt.

.. He raised the alarm and townsfolk rallied to put out the blaze..... So the story goes.. www.8 B2 C1 B2 C2 B2 B2 C3 SLEEPING Ambiotel. in keeping with local history.. n) Two clean simple markt 2.....21 A2 B2 B2 B2 A2 B1 C2 B2 B2 B1 TRANSPORT Bus Station...... w) A modern youth hostel in an antique frame..... B&B Het Regulierenhuisje (%012 23 76 62. Babies and children are welcome.. if the previous exhibits are anything to go by...60... During the last event... Kielenstraat 15. 10am-6pm Sat & Sun) displays findings from the town’s Gallo- Roman and Merovingian periods.. The people of Lier are known as the Schapekoppen......... Walk through the site to see how towns have been layered like lasagne throughout history. www.... due to their reputation for being stupid. this B&B is a fabulous address...... St Ursulastraat 1.be..6 Onze Lieve Vrouwebasiliek.......17 r ePelgrim... But not all the nicknames are so endearing or complimentary. are located on the 1st and 2nd floors of the house next door to the owners. make-believe and role playing... Much of the antique trade goes on in the sprinkling of permanent shops dotted around this area – the tourist office’s free B ng str r rst de Rid el lpo 14 rve rs r tr rst be om ijn de der On Linde tr ts tr s ard ga un rstr W elstr Kog M 5 Sint Ursulastr Sint Jozefstr 11 l wa nje st a Ka Jek tr ers al ertw Alb 10 To Luik/Liège (18km) C 18 we tr s Put u Bro Sint M Plein str rina atha r rst ike Lu Stadspark de Motten 8 nw To Maastricht (18km) SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES Ambiorix Statue... Tongeren’s new Het Land van Ooit (Once Upon A Time Land.... the procession is performed on four days. studio per night €90..... Tongeren’s begijnhof is no longer an enclosed affair and is largely overshadowed in this part of Flanders by the superbly preserved begijnhof at Diest...... or ‘Extinguishers of the Moon’... p216)... or ‘Shovel Shitters’......... or ‘Pigheads’............ on the right....1 B2 Sch s en uw tr iders Elisabethwal De ng ns al rsga str ulen me eli m He Nie ele ionslaan Stat oldw p Leo utte eg Ki 21 17 2 Stadhuisplein 12 16 Ho tr 15 Grote Markt St T 3 Veemarkt 9 hters stric Maa Kloosterstr Regulierenplein 3 Ver w Pl 2 To Ruttermolen (5km).. Smack in the heart of town.... From here the names go downhill fast..4 Begijnhof.11 C3 Co r tr ὈὈὈ ὈὈὈ 1 Pie sst str 4 Graanmarkt pe nd ren 6 7 19 ru C oe 20 str en lariss M 13 tr str Eeuwfeestwal eld ierv tr Ed Jam inés Train Station Ma ast rich ter ste e INFORMATION Tourist Office. It soon became apparent that the ‘fire’ was simply the light of the moon casting an unusual reddish glow around the tower...... for families.... Still.. would you find ‘cobblestones’ referred to as kinderkopkes – literally ‘the heads of little children’? Maneblussers is the popular name for the citizens of Mechelen........... and originated during the 16th century when Spain ruled the region.1 miles Stationsplein A sse Ha EASTERN FLANDERS ὈὈ 0 0 TONGEREN have time out at the terrace café next to the climbing frames. there are also go-carts. will be open by the time you read this......... a five-minute walk from the Grote Markt.. It’s pleasantly sited in the heart of the begijnhof.. Ruttermolenstraat 20... There’s a shed for securing bikes at night... It comes from a local legend in which a 17th-century reveller had one-too-many at the pub and then thought the tower of St Romboutskathedraal....... Ambiotel (%012 26 29 50...22 D1 eg Belgians are good at laughing at themselves.... for example.... especially for travelling families. then turn left (direction Rutten)..13 Bistrot 't Verdict. Those travelling with young kids will delight at the Stadspark de Motten (Kastanjewal) at the southern end of town......vjh. the Gallo-Roman Museum (%012 67 03 32...... is wonderfully handy to Stadspark De Motten............. was on fire........ located dead centre in the antique area and charging accordingly..landvanooit... Sleeping Begeinhof (%012 39 13 70.000 people lined the streets to watch the venerated 15th-century statue of the Virgin and scores of participants clad in medieval-style garb parade through town. minigolf and boats.. 12 Basilik. The citizens of Diest are the Mosterdschijters (‘Mustard Shitters’).... Similarly.. Hardly surprisingly. EASTERN FLANDERS booklet A Round of Antiques details many of these outlets (mostly open Wednesday to Sunday). just to the northwest of town.be. while Tongeren inhabitants have what must be the nation’s worst appellation – the Schoepschijters........ s/tw €35/60.. www.. Regulierenplein 30....... Parents can Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet. hnoon-5pm Mon..com Immediately outside the basilica is a small open-air archaeological site containing the foundations of medieval buildings and a section of the 4th-century second Roman wall that once encircled the town.... s) With a car............. 18 Herberg De Jek Magis. and plans are afoot for an all-weather indoor pool in what was once a bakery..3 Archaeological Site.. per week €295/310/370.. Closed for renovation and expansion until early 2008.5 Gallo-Roman Museum. dm per person €16. it’s a pretty part of town and well worth a wander............. 9am-5pm Tue-Fri. each with bathroom... true to character.... Where else in the world.....be........ the origins of these last two seem lost in time – at least none of the locals we asked knew how the names came about but...... Tongeren’s antique and brocante market is billed as the Benelux’s biggest... This huge. Sint Truiden (20km) M int l S wa us ini The Kroningsfeesten (Coronation Celebration.. It’s part of an old mill located alongside the River Jeker and the welcoming family who run it have converted the old stables into three modern self-contained studios.214 E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • T o n g e re n lonelyplanet... or ‘Sheepheads’.......... about 900m from the train station. niw) An unremarkable address.. It has been going for nearly 30 years and today attracts hundreds of traders who take over Veemarkt (and most of Maastrichterstraat and Leopoldwal) every Sunday morning from about 5am – be here early if you’re seriously hunting antiques.... which comes from the Spanish señor (‘Sir’). Hence their nickname Maneblussers.15 De Mijlpaal . ALL IN JEST D 22 Elfde Novemb erw swal aternu Sch en e st 1 C al lte To Hasselt (20km) Festivals & Events rooms... The tourist office will have full opening hours and details.20 Tearoom Jovado.. adult/concession/child/family €5/4/2/10.... and the Flemish language is full of derisive expressions that hark back to the days of Breugel or beyond......9 C1 B&B Het Regulierenhuisje.. they had a good chuckle when the subject was raised.7 Stadspark de Motten..14 Bonita .... the city’s cathedral........... Ruttermolen (%012 24 16 24. Sat €85/110/135.... Vee- 200 m 0.. and has good rooms (maximum six beds)....19 Market...be...... E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • T o n g e re n 215 EATING AD Delhaize.... 600. from where it’s 1km along this road......... www. It’s 5km from Tongeren – follow the signs to Borgworm for 4km.. www..... Kids will love it – expect lots of fancy dress....10 A3 Begeinhof..kronings feesten....be) celebrates the town’s historic religious status – Tongeren is believed to be the first place of worship of the Virgin Mary north of the Alps – and takes place just once every seven years (next on 5 to 12 July 2009).16 Giardini Romano...galloromeinsmuseum.......... The hostel’s colourful café is fine for a snack. There’s a large aboveground pool for summer. those from Poperinge in West Flanders are nicknamed Keikoppen.be)... The people of Ghent are known as the Stropdragers because Emperor Charles V humiliated the rebellious townsfolk by forcing them to wear a strop (noose) around their neck...2 Antique & Brocaute Market.. extremely well-equipped playground is free... It’s a clone of the highly successful Land Van Ooit in the Netherlands but...... s/d/tr Sun-Fri €75/100/125...... it’s bound to be impressive.. Antwerp folk are sometimes referred to as Sinjoren....com .. There’s also a rustic little tavern here that makes a great pitstop (Herberg De Pelgrim..ambiotel........ this one takes visitors back into Roman times.. per weekend 2/4/6 persons €170/185/220.......ruttermolen .......... www........ and there’s even a street in Lier named Schapekoppenstraat..... the people of Antwerp were gentrified enough to receive this accolade. It’s about a three-minute walk from the Grote Markt and.. Due to the event’s popularity...

Grote Markt 31. Opposite the church is the tourist office (%011 78 12 88.‘Do the right thing with our content. sandwiches and pancakes. Bistrot ‘t Verdict (%012 26 42 24. mains €11-21) Big buzzing split-level brasserie hidden away in a tiny lane next to the basilica. ZOUTLEEUW pop 7900 The sleepy Brabant village of Zoutleeuw. 3-course lunch menu €38.50-9. snacks €4-10.80.70. In other words. hlunch Thu-Sun. De Mijlpaal (%012 26 42 77. For a bite or a slurp head to the local favourite. mains €9-17. we think it’s fair to ask you to use it for personal. More substantial fare can be had at Pannenhuis (%011 78 50 02. h8am-6.50. Liège (€3. dinner menus €38-51. r per person €34). The building dates from 1632 and is disgustingly quaint. Belgium’s most famous restaurant). h10amnoon & 1-4pm Tue-Fri. this is a great spot for a light meal or snack. The décor’s subtle. It’s popular with the locals and comes highly recommended. Once a prosperous medieval cloth-making centre.30pm Sat & Sun). 30 minutes) and Sint Truiden (via Hasselt. pasta dishes (€7 to €12) and Flemish staples. Great for a snack or meal at any time. www. dine in or take away.30pm Tue-Fri. Also recommended: AD Delhaize (Sint Truiderstraat 7. Maastrichterstraat 35. 10am-noon & 2-4pm Tue-Fri Oct-Mar). Stock up on pralines from Neuhaus next door before settling in. hFri-Wed) One of the first restaurants to bring ‘modern’ to Tongeren. 35 minutes). take bus 25 from Sint Truiden (direction Tienen. For details on getting to Sint Truiden. who knows his stuff (he worked for two years in Brussels’ Comme Chez Soi. it fell into decline along with that industry in the 15th century. 20 minutes. panini. In return. located next to the train station – bus 23A goes direct to Sint Truiden (€2. It’s now best known for the rich art collection housed in the turreted St Leonarduskerk (admission €1. Grote Markt 25. There’s also a tiny terrace in fine weather. 45 minutes). Hemelingenstraat 9-11.30pm Apr-Sep) are available from the tourist office (deposit €10). but there are no children’s bikes. mains €25. This B&B occupies part of a restored farmhouse with a beautiful rose garden and is situated alongside the 16th-century fortification walls. A few have baby seats. €5. h9am-6pm Wed-Mon) Old-fashioned café known for its freshly ground coffee and calorific cakes. pizza €7. 7km west of Sint Truiden. Giardini Romano (%012 23 04 85. non-commercial purposes only. access to this chapter is not digitally restricted. Bonita (%012 23 31 22. inventive Belgian cuisine (vegetarians aren’t forgotten) and a chef. dinner Wed-Mon) Backstreet bistro with subtle décor and a limited range of excellent Belgian dishes. It’s well priced. hWed-Sun) Snuggled into the begijnhof quarter. St Leonarduskerk was the only significant church in the country to escape untouched during the religious wars and invasions that swept this part of Europe between the 16th and 18th centuries. the staff friendly and the location superb. Maastrichterstraat 17. snacks €2. Bikes can be reserved in advance. h2-5pm Tue-Sun Easter-Sep). Getting There & Around Hourly trains depart from Tongeren’s train station (%02 528 28 28) for Hasselt (€3. sits on the edge of the Hageland wine-producing region. Brouwerstraat 9.’ . © Lonely Planet Publications.com © Lonely Planet Publications minutes). Magis (%012 74 34 64. 20 lonelyplanet. 8am-9. Free bikes (h8. This cheery little place churns out waffles. 1-5pm Sat & Sun Apr-Sep. mains €10-21. pancake or ice-cream. Prins Leopoldplaats 4.zoutleeuw. hclosed Tue evening Jun-Aug). Kloosterstraat 2. Market (Grote Markt. Stationstraat 44. every two hours). To get to Zoutleeuw. and offers salads (€7 to €9). De Cleyne Taefel (%011 78 43 43. Features strong colours. hTue-Sun) The place for a baguette sandwich.be in Flemish. Kids are most welcome. a good place to buy some of the local Hageland wine. a whitewashed restaurant serving typi- cal Flemish food. a) Long-established Italian restaurant with a pretty gaudy interior but superb fresh homemade pasta. Locals love the mocha tones and wood feel. To make it easier for you to use. Basilik (%012 21 33 24.30am-4.50-4. mass email it to everyone you know. mains €12-20. hlunch & dinner Thu-Mon) Small corner restaurant just down from the Ambiorix statue that does excellent Belgian/French cuisine. St Truiderstraat 25. Herberg De Pelgrim (%012 23 83 22. hThu) Held during the morning. please don’t upload this chapter to a peer-to-peer site. and its interior is adorned with many medieval art treasures.216 E A S T E R N F L A N D E R S • • Z o u t l e e u w EASTERN FLANDERS Eating Tearoom Jovado (%012 23 43 40. or resell it. mains €15-20.70. a huge Gothic structure that seems overblown in its present-day context at the heart of such a small village. De Lijn (%070 220 220) buses depart from the bus station. h9am-7pm Mon-Sat) Supermarket.50. Jan Menten. Piepelpoel 3. The best bet for overnighters is Hof ter Wallen (%011 78 03 43. see left. See the terms and conditions on our site for a longer way of saying the above .

where the Gilles (local men) take centre stage during carnival.217 © Lonely Planet Publications Hainaut & Brabant-Wallon With the exception of Waterloo. „ Carnival Capers The Gilles of Binche Waterloo (p223) Tournai Ath Pipaix „ History Buffs The battlefield of Waterloo (p225) Mons „ Dance Demons The avant-garde Charleroi/ „ Evocative Ruins The Cistercian abbey (p225) at Villers-la-Ville „ Dragon Slayers Mons’ La Doudou (p222) „ Art & Art Nouveau The Musée des Beaux- Arts (p219) in Tournai „ Steam Blower Brasserie à Vapeur (p51). The Boot is an extension of the forested Ardennes and contains a slab of Namur province. are the giants of Ath. Charleroi is a city on the edge – its heavy industry long gone and its future uncertain. included in this chapter for convenience. Move north into Brabant-Wallon and there’s Nivelles with its impressive Romanesque church. This area’s unappealing landscape gradually gets better the more you descend into the Botte de Hainaut (Boot of Hainaut). Nearby. to the north. this little corner of French-speaking Belgium is refreshingly ordinary. the great battlefield of Waterloo. The little towns of Couvin and Chimay are the focal points. Back in Hainaut. don’t miss Brasserie à Vapeur. or Tournai. the province’s capital. one of Belgium’s oldest settlements. both accessible by public transport. With good timing. Wallonia’s western provinces of Hainaut and Brabant-Wallon are largely overlooked by foreign visitors. Keep in mind that accommodation is thin on the ground in this southern quarter and advance planning might be wise in summer. Halfway between Mons and Charleroi is Binche. your own wheels and a passion for beer. a chunk of land that extends into France. too. Pipaix „ Big Weekend The giants of Ath (p222) BRABANT-WALLON (CAPITAL NIVELLES) Charleroi Binche Danses (p226) „ PROVINCES: HAINAUT (CAPITAL MONS). After the hubbub of the country’s more touristy spots. a steam-driven brewery close to Tournai. Close by are the haunting ruins at Villers-la-Ville and. Two cities in Hainaut make excellent exploration bases – choose between Mons. Villers-la-Ville „ LANGUAGE: FRENCH HAINAUT & BRABANT-WALLON HIGHLIGHTS .

.... 2-4pm Sat & Sun Nov-Mar) is loaded with re- Fri..... 2-5pm Sun Nov-Feb) is Belgium’s oldest... Some 257 steps lead up to it.30am-12...... 10am-noon & 2-5pm Mon...13 C3 Le Giverny.20 C2 m ee du R des Bouchers St Jacques 11 -O me de Q e de o Q sC R rt R m ar Da dil eC es R de Couvin Chimay Bourlers No tre Rd ae on our don ey art s ois Abbaye Notre Dame de Scourmont e n ch Q 23 Rd uB que -P Macon t Ja As Ea u Bl a Momignies m R Virelles Du ric To Dinant (25km) ) B St Botte de Hainaut To Paris (175km) RB Q Philippeville Q é ur Beaumont ut RC FRANCE 2 N5 Es rai urt Maubeuge B3 C2 B2 B2 t( ca RS y Pl Crombez Pl Verte ld er Train Station era nd Valenciennes SLEEPING Auberge de Jeunesse. 25pm Sun Nov-Mar) is housed in an airy building D To Ghent (36km) of Tournai’s skyline.. It was built to house a bell given to the city as a symbol of freedom by the king of France during one of Tournai’s bouts of independence......... parts of the World Heritage–listed cathedral are still off-limits to tourists due to major works to realign the towers..... 10am-noon & 2-4pm Nov-Mar) have long been the trademark ita 0 0 HAINAUT & BRABANT-WALLON 1188..... www...........1 miles dd C Q la t ld E19 To Lille (33km) Blv Ave Delmée du Rempart kh INFORMATION Internaute... dating from Sights de Information ligious bits and pieces...1 C1 Office du Tourisme.8 Charleroi e N6 Borinage in Cuesmes R ali ele HAINAUT & B R ATBHAUNMTB. due to the relative protection........ not nearly so weathered... Tournai (Doornik in Flemish) is decidedly pleasant. admission €2..... Grand Place.. Better still is the west façade...... h11am-midnight) Funky internet bar.. in 1521...WTAALBL O N ne SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES Beffroi..tournai ......... in Henry VIII’s time.... Together with Tongeren in Flanders.... national and international artists.30am-6pm Mon- The five towers of the striking but sober Cathédrale Notre Dame (Our Lady’s Cathedral..4 Cathédrale Notre Dame... after which it became an important tapestry-making centre.. Grand Place. festooned with carvings from the 14th to 17th centuries and. English....7km).. was then swallowed by the Hapsburg empire...... per hr €3.. admission €2.. The city.. whose enormous canvas La Peste de Tournai is a harrowing account of the plague of 1092.17 C3 Market.... The rest of its history is as chequered as Belgium’s – the counts of Flanders as well as the French..2 C3 Post Office..23 B2 des Brûly-de-Pesche 3 oy sn ue R Ma o i re uN d Blv Forges a RD Paris EATING La Tartine Quotidienne.. Other artists of note include R BRUSSELS OOST-VLAANDEREN Ronse St Martin............ it’s an enormous Romanesque affair but its fine proportions are difficult to appreciate as it’s encrusted by buildings on all but one side...10 Hôtel d’Alcantara.. 10am-noon & 2.... Worth seeking on the outside is the Porte Mantile...45pm Sat & Sun Apr-Oct. Tournai’s best-known artist..............45km) HAINAUT & B R ATBHAUNMTB.12 eL Eise Blvd nho uw D s So bre he Av 1 24 ien u Les Bois du Cazier erv Rd N55 N90 Ch Sc s Binche C3 C2 B3 C3 B3 es N on R St Brice To Camping de l'Orient (1. just 10km from the French border and 80km from Brussels.14 C2 Le Pressoir. Rogier Van der Weyden (also known as Roger de la Pasture) is also well represented. Inside. h10am-1pm & de Rédu s S it ion s As provincial towns in Wallonia go....... Tournai rates as Belgium’s oldest city.......... Spanish and Austrians have all had a hand in ruling it Mon-Fri. h8.. a Frankish dynasty that reigned in France........ pop 67..(see 16) Villa Bellini....... The impressive collection includes paintings and sculptures by local. Completed in the 12th century....19 B2 Super GB. its air is distinctly French and it offers a gaggle of great museums plus one of the country’s finest cathedrals..45pm lN Kortrijk 20 km 12 miles admission free................. h9. Office du Tourisme (%069 22 20 45. a two-tiered Romanesque archway adorned with carvings....7 Musée des Beaux-Arts.. Situated on the Scheldt River (known as L’Escaut in French)..........15 C3 Pl de Lille Lunch Garden..... 9.. it had a brief spell as an English city..... 2-4. but five years later was sold back to France.... Vieux Marché aux Poteries 14.....W A L L O N • • T o u r n a i 219 v sS s ge or Ge St R ar tin Sam née R ue rd Pe R l Ea ne on bau t 8 M de Rim 9 7 son res TRANSPORT Bus Station..30pm Wed-Mon Apr-Oct.WTAALBL O N aro de ad M Mons u ea ât du 200 m 0. considerably more enchanting is En ballon by Roméo Dumoulin (1883–1944)............218 HA I N AU T & B R A B A N T.. €2) tracing Tournai’s history. In the 5th century it was the relatively short-lived capital of the Merovingians.30am-noon & 2-5pm Apr-Oct......... 10am-noon & 2-4pm du Ottignies Butte du Lion A8 R Wavre Waterloo Walibi & Aqualibi Enghien N48 Ro ya le Halle N55 Scheldt E411 VLAAMS BRABANT designed by Art Nouveau architect Victor Horta.... l'H Internaute (%069 84 67 43.....30am-noon & 2-5pm Sat...... info@internaute. unlike Tongeren... admission €3.... Of the local works..21 C2 Le Pinacle..... Rue 2-6pm Tue-Sun Mar-Oct..24 D1 Enclos St Martin ois uP on all uB t éa rch 14 ne Pl de ter 10 an l'Évêché aL es s l d e 12 R èvre 18 d f R r 5 O Pl P E Pl St Pierre 21 22 19 Janson 20 Grand Place s lier 15 17 ape 3 R des Ch r 2 4 d'O ête Vieux Marché 13 RT 16 r 6 aux Poteries ie n ar Pl R G R Astrid Rd Fre DRINKING Le Bouchon.11 Hôtel Europe.30-6pm Sun) Catch the 20-minute movie (in English......... Mons (E42....300 R TOURNAI .............6 Musée de la Tapisserie.W A L L O N • • T o u r n a i HA I N AU T & B R A B A N T..... Clovis. 10am-noon & 2-5pm Tue-Sat........ h10am-noon & 2-5.. The Musée des Beaux-Arts (%069 22 20 43.be......... Pummelled by a freak tornado in 1999.. It started life as a Roman trading settlement known as Tornacum but..18 C2 Super Frites. Post Office (Rue des Chapeliers) St M over the centuries.... look out for those by Louis Gallait (1810–87)..be....22 C2 Le Relais du Mirroir. h9.16 C3 L’Écurie d’Ennetières...... the trésor (treasury.... Their most celebrated king.3 C3 de 1 E42 La Louvière ὈὈὈ ὈὈὈ ὈὈὈ Ὀ ὈὈὈ ὈὈὈὈ ὈὈὈ ὈὈὈὈὈὈὈ B Rond Point de l'Europe R s N5 he Sc e Canal du Ce n t r To Liège (75km) sel Le Roeulx E19 A54 us N6 A Sa HAINAUT To Kortrijk (25km) Villers-la-Ville E19 0 0 TOURNAI l'Athé Tourpes BRABANT-WALLON Q N60 N25 Vieux-Genappe Nivelles R de Pipaix E42 Soignies Charleroi -Br To Lille (18km) Ronquirères P Ath Leuze Ca nal Tournai Mon-Fri. Enclos ôp du Château 63........ Pipaix (12km).....5 Musée de Folklore..........9 Hôtel Cathédrale...30pm & 2-5.. it has little to hark back to these times..... Tournai’s 72m-high World Heritage–listed Beffroi (belfry... was born here in 465.. Wed-Sat.. In the early 14th century...

Information Maison du Tourisme (%065 33 55 80. Note the disgusting things preserved in bottles above the counter.hotelalcantara . Ex-Genesis guitarist. During WWII the American liberation campaign had its first victory here. Place Reine Astrid.50. h9. and the good facilities include a kitchen. head up Rue des Clercs to Mons’ World Heritage–listed baroque beffroi (belfry). Quai du Marché au Poisson 6. 9. Blvd Charles Quint 27. While away the evening on the Grand Place or Marché aux Herbes. following restoration. Rue St Martin 64. Once a year Mons (Bergen in Flemish) shakes off its workaday role as the capital of Hainaut to take on one of Belgium’s most riotous battles. Its attractive tiered design makes good use of the sloping terrain. dm/s/d €16. a 15th-century church of huge proportions and home to the Car d’Or. Square Franklin Roosevelt 12. Ruelle d’Ennetières. Le Giverny (%069 22 44 64. Kortrijk (€4. www. Rampe du Château 2. h9.com HA I N AU T & B R A B A N T. hlunch Mon-Sat. evoked the fable in more recent times with his song ‘Clocks – The Angels of Mons’. Families are welcome. one with authentic tiling. The next is June to September 2008. Sleeping & Eating Mons is stuffed with restaurants.europehotel. Hôtel Infotel (%065 40 18 30.200 Calling all dragon slayers.be. h11am-11pm Tue-Sun) Overlooking the cathedral.30pm Wed-Mon Apr-Oct. which employs some 8000Americans and NATO officials and is based 5km north of town. A few streets further west is the Collégiale St Waudru. Sights & Activities Ensure good luck by making straight to the 15th-century Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall) on the Grand Place where you’ll find a small iron monkey that beckons to be stroked. Two of the town’s principal museums. and this humble café will transform into Tournai’s most dramatic eatery. Le Relais du Mirroir (%069 21 10 79. Wed-Sat. Jeu de Fer World Championships Annual folkloric gathering held on the second weekend in September. To the Brits. Jacob Jordaens and French impressionist Edouard Manet. of course. which melds billiards with curling and boules (an outdoor game using big metal balls that’s popular in the south of France). h2pm-1am Tue-Sun) Atmospheric pub with an enormous fireplace and a billiard table out the back. lunch Sat & dinner Sun) Down by the river. but the location warrants the name. h9am-7pm Apr-Oct. Rue Neuve 8) and the Musée du Folklore (%065 31 43 57. held every three years.30pm Sun Nov-Mar) Don’t miss the 15-minute video (in English) introducing the town. 2-5pm Sun Nov-Mar). hlunch Tue-Sun. Auberge de Jeunesse du Beffroi (%065 87 55 70. h2-7pm Tue. pop into the restoration room to see revamping techniques. who painted the serene Argenteuil. s/d €50/65) Few cities in Belgium have THE AUTHOR’S CHOICE Super Frites (%069 21 60 66. in French.50/2.60/29/42) Modern and pleasant hostel around the corner from the Musée des Beaux-Arts. www.be.WTAALBL O N tional tapestry festival. hSat) Food market held during the morning. www. dinner Fri) Arguably the city’s best restaurant. The late18th-century clock collection gets a big tick.ibismons. the Musée des Beaux-Arts (%065 40 53 06. admission €2. but is light on accommodation. 30 minutes). Rue St Jacques 15. this tavern is great for a cool beer on a shady terrace during a hot afternoon. frites €3. 3-course menu €24. 11. Villa Bellini (%069 23 65 20. s/d/t €68/68/80) Chain hotel with a handy location opposite the train station. hlunch & dinner) Tiny friterie (chip shop) whose frites (fries) are by no means super. www. Thu. Also recommended: Hôtel Europe (%069 22 40 67. MONS pop 91.com .220 HA I N AU T & B R A B A N T. A lovely eating space and great classic French food. including religious brocante (bric-a-brac) and old posters. light meals €8. pasta €8-12) Pleasant interior and good Italian fare. p222). Steve Hackett. hlunch daily. It’s family friendly. Drinking & Entertainment Tournai’s nightlife hubs are Quai du Marché au Poisson. a black-domed gilded affair standing amid gardens from where there’s a good rooftop view. 9am-6. both lined with informal cafés. menus from €40. Rue d’Havré 32. and this museum contains a handful of enormous works from that time as well as contemporary pieces. and the inner courtyard has a bend-over-backwards belfry view. There are regular trains to Mons (€6. Vieux Marché aux Poteries 1.30am-9pm Sun) Self-service cafeteria. The Musée de Folklore (%069 22 40 69. It’s a 20-minute walk from the train station – take bus 4 (direction Baisieux). quiches and sandwiches. Super GB (Rue Tête d’Or 669. Grand Place 22.30am-12. Rue Tête d’Or 669. Grand Place 46. the Lumeçon (see boxed text. The museum also keeps a jeu de fer table (see below) for posterity. the nearby Place St Pierre and.laj. Brussels (€10.50) Part of the huge Aqua Terra swimming complex. s/d from €105/116.hotelcathe drale. Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet. camp sites per adult/child/tent €3/2. hclosed Mon. see p51. one hour). This discreet four-star abode has attentive service and 15 well-priced. Wed-Sat. www. h9am-9pm Mon-Sat. From the Grand Place. Bus W stops out the front. though you may need to don sunglasses before entering your room. Hundreds of participants gather on the Grand Place to contest this so-called ‘game of iron’. one hour). two local breweries in nearby Pipaix. Place St Pierre 2.70. Eating La Tartine Quotidienne (%069 23 35 88.30pm Wed-Mon Apr-Oct. Vieux Marché aux Poteries 2. restaurant and bar. dinner Wed-Sun) Occupies a renovated old building in the river quarter of the city and does affordable French cuisine. Rue Neuve). www. Hôtel Cathédrale (%069 21 50 77. Also recommended: Lunch Garden (%069 54 57 46. admission €4. In the 15th and 16th centuries Tournai was one of Belgium’s most important tapestry-making cities. 40 minutes) and Ypres via Kortrijk (€7.be.30pm & 2-5.30pm Mon-Sat. n) Comfortable hotel close to the river. mains €15-23.30pm & 2-5. On the top floor. 10am-noon & 2-5pm Mon.30am-12. the Grand Place. Just footsteps from the Grand Place. a gilded chariot from 1781 that’s festooned with cherubs. h3pm-1am Tue-Sun) Tiny pub with a nautical theme and patrons who cling like barnacles to the side of the bar. admission €2. 2km from the train station. dm/s/d/f €17/30/44/74.50. s/d from €75/85) Not the most expensive hotel in the city but certainly the most charming. Hôtel d’Alcantara (%069 21 26 48.be. p222). Grand Place 26.30am-6. Auberge de Jeunesse (%069 21 61 36. Since 1967 Mons has been home to the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Powers in Europe (Shape). mains €12-15.be. Festivals & Events Triënnale de la Tapisserie (%069 21 64 34) Interna- Sleeping Camping de l’Orient (%069 22 26 35.W A L L O N • • T o u r n a i Pieter Breughel the Younger. L’Écurie d’Ennetières (%069 21 56 89. 10am-noon & 2-5pm Mon. modern rooms set behind a pleasant courtyard. Vieux Chemin de Mons. For the rest of the year this outwardly humdrum town is simply a likeable place. Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet. Decorative arts is the theme of the Musée François Duesberg (%065 36 31 64. Tapestry lovers should not miss the Musée de la Tapisserie (%069 84 20 73. s/d from €75/85) Respectable midrange hotel with modern décor. tucked away next to the cathedral and serving innovative French cuisine. Quai du Marché au Poisson 23. a legend that arose in 1914 based around a host of heavenly archers. and free parking.laj. Market (Place St Pierre. built on a hill.be. Hôtel Ibis (%065 84 74 40.be. Rue de Paris 7. Down a beer and frites on the terrace while storm clouds brew behind the city’s trademark towers. pizza €7-10. 2-5pm Sun Nov-Mar) is a rabbit warren of fascinating relics from Tournai’s past.pays demons. ni) Modern hostel located at the base of the belfry.WTAALBL O N HAINAUT & B R ATBHAUNMTB. It used to carry the remains of St Waudru during La Doudou (see boxed text. and where no two chairs are alike. HAINAUT & B R ATBHAUNMTB. Getting There & Away Tournai’s train station (%02 528 28 28) is 900m from the heart of the city. www. this refined restaurant occupies an old bakery and has two sections. and dotted with interesting sights and more than its fair share of great eateries. plat du jour €5. Mons is associated with war – it was here that the battles that marked the beginning and end of WWI for the British were fought.W A L L O N • • A r o u n d T o u r n a i 221 Le Pinacle (%0475 83 49 65. h8am-8pm) Supermarket. menu from €45. the Grand Place. Rue des Bouchers St Jacques 2. Historically. Mons is often best remembered for the Angels of Mons. Le Bouchon (%069 21 54 36. dinner Fri) Rustic café doing salads.hotelinfotel.be. located opposite St Waudru church. Le Pressoir (%069 22 35 13. hotels right on their main square – it’s worth suffering this hotel’s drab décor for its sublime spot. Sat & Sun).80.30. are expected to reopen by the time you read this. www. mains €13-20. Place St Pierre 15. AROUND TOURNAI For details on Brasserie à Vapeur and Brasserie Dubuisson. The ivyclad courtyard out the back is perfect in summer. Réduit des Sions.

daughter of Itte the abbey’s founder.80. 22-24 Feb 2009) is known as Cwarmé and it’s held over several days from the Saturday before Shrove Tuesday. Among these former coalfields is the Maison Vincent van Gogh (%065 35 56 11. see p257. www . 20-22 March 2009).25. it’s a must. This classy little place does French/Belgian cuisine in style. there’s the three-day Laetare at Stavelot (www. wood-panelled bistro HAINAUT & B R ATBHAUNMTB. The house accommodates reproductions of his work.30am-12. Belgium’s most bizarre carnival celebration and recently World Heritage listed.100 The ancient town of Nivelles (Nijvel in Flemish) grew up around its abbey. This unappealing sprawl of factories. baguettes €2-2. a legendary battle between good and evil in the form of St George astride his black horse against a 9. and. local students revived tradition soon after WWII. GB Express (Rue d’Havré 16) Supermarket. Successively altered and repaired (some 19 fires over the centuries as well as WWII bombing) means it’s now a hotchpotch of styles. Whatever its origins. Bringing up the rear are the highlights. Legend has it that this festival dates back to the 16th century when the principality’s Prince Abbot forbade local monks from taking part in festivities. is famed throughout Belgium for its Procession of the Giants.30-6pm Sun-Thu. 2-6pm Fri & Sat). a few kilometres southwest of central Mons. held on the last weekend in August. NIVELLES pop 24.20/2. it begins with the morning’s Procession du Car d’Or. great extendible wooden pincers that fly out and grab bystanders around the throat. opposite). stomp around to the ominous beat of drums while wearing strange green-eyed masks and shaking sticks to ward off evil spirits. 2-6pm Sat & Sun Apr-Sep.60.50. too.50.be.be. So the story goes. really – or watch from the sardined sidelines. Rue Saint Moustier 10.com HA I N AU T & B R A B A N T.70. masked characters who wander around wielding hapes-tchâr. the Chinchins. The rituals surrounding it date back hundreds of years and the Gilles’ costumes. Dig around down the end of a cobbled alley to find it. hlunch & dinner TueSat) Relatively new addition to Mons’ range of fabulous eateries. half-laugh noises while stuffing confetti down women’s clothes. Rue de Charleroi 25.40/2. 25 minutes). Otherwise. get a feel for what it’s about at the Musée Internationale du Carneval et du Masque (%06 433 57 41. are thought to be modern-day interpretations of the elaborate. h3-5 Feb 2008. Brussels-bound trains from Mons stop in Ath (€3. Rue de Pintamont 18.30.30pm & 1. including enormous ostrich-feather headdresses. founded in 648. h9. mains €28-32. menus from €30. Ave St Pierre 17. The Office du Tourisme (%067 84 08 64. Rue du Pavillon 3.40. On Shrove Tuesday local men. served in just one small room (or on an even tinier courtyard). Sel & Sucre (%065 59 05 07. hlunch & dinner Tue-Sat. h9am-10pm) Pumps out enormous filled baguette sandwiches. h6am-2pm Fri & Sun) Fresh produce. From here things get messy as the crowd is pelted with oranges to bless the forthcoming summer. The focus is Sunday’s parade. but it’s impressive nonetheless. on the dragon’s side. some diable (devils). a 7th-century female miracle worker and the city’s patron saint. 40 minutes. Inca-inspired dress worn by courtiers at a feast to honour Emperor Charles V in 1549. Carnival at Malmédy (www.ducassedemons. for the old wooden chariot that is used HAINAUT & B R ATBHAUNMTB. it’s Brabant-Wallon’s main town and. taking months of preparation and involving strict rules of conduct.laetare-stavelot. Steeped in religious traditions. h10am-noon & 1-6pm Tue-Fri. It’s also an easy day trip from Brussels (30km away). 15 minutes).be) is Mons’ biggest annual shindig. From Mons’ bus station take TEC bus 20 (€1. where the young chef is noted for his spontaneous cooking. every 30 to 40 minutes). Rue de la Coupe 23. Locals batten down the hatches and visitors come prepared for a bruising at Binche (www . AROUND MONS The area between Mons and Charleroi is known as the Borinage. 10 minutes. menu gastronomique €75. Held on Trinity Sunday (3 June 2007.carnavaldebinche. Grand Place 1.be.WTAALBL O N lonelyplanet. The Maison des Géants (%068 26 51 70. if nothing else. and accompanied by local lads laden with baskets of oranges. in French. Sandwicherie Henri (%065 36 18 68. mains €20-30. But the jamboree’s highlight comes at lunchtime on the Grand Place with the Lumeçon. Also recommended: Camping du Waux-Hall (%065 33 79 23.malmedy.222 HA I N AU T & B R A B A N T. 700m from the Grand Place. Rue de la Coupe 7.com . TEC bus 22 goes to Binche (€3. admission €2. Rue de Nimy 6. these exceedingly useful implements were originally designed to feed lepers. really. known as Gilles. hclosed Wed & dinner Sun) Refined establishment serving seasonal French/ Belgian haute cuisine. see p258.30am) Long. which is dominated by the Haguète.W A L L O N • • N i v e l l e s 223 CARNIVAL CAPERS Known locally as La Doudou. Carnival is a fabulous way to experience Belgium’s love of folklore and pageantry. you’d probably make amends without asking too many questions. h3-5 Feb 2008. h1-3 March 2008. 45 minutes). hourly). La Cinquième Saison (%065 72 82 62. based around the fourth Sunday in Lent.50. 21km northwest of Mons. If you’re around at this time. Grand Place 29. festivities trace back to the Middle Ages and include goings-on that defy modern imagination.4m-long wickerwork dragon. and today the festival’s big event is a colourful street parade full of floats and oompapa bands. Getting There & Around Mons’ train station (%02 528 28 28) and neighbouring TEC bus station (%065 38 88 15) are at Place Léopold. 1-5pm Sun) is housed under the arcade just off the main square. Look out. some of them 150 years old.be. a grim little town that bursts into life once a year for one of the world’s most unusual carnivals (see boxed text. Lesser characters include St George’s sidekicks. 30 minutes) and Tournai (€6. Devos (%065 35 13 35. After lunch the Gilles slow dance through town. Charleroi (€5. The Collégiale Ste Gertrude is Nivelles’ only sight. Regular connections include to Brussels (€7. paraded through town in time-honoured tradition. h9am-5pm Mon- Sat.tourisme-nivelles. mains €1520. chimneys belching black smoke and old slag heaps was Belgium’s industrial powerhouse up until the decline of the steel and coal industries in the 1970s. Even King Albert and Queen Paola turned up in 2006. Join the crowd as it surges forward to grab sheaves of brushwood from the 200kg-dragon’s tail – life-threatening stuff. No matter how tempting. About 35km northeast of Mons. hyear-round) Camping ground just outside the town centre on the road to Binche. The Haguète immobilise bystanders.) To top it off. 22-24 Feb 2009). Good also for some lesser-known regional beers. Sixteen kilometres east of Mons is Binche.WTAALBL O N LA DOUDOU L’Excelsior (%065 36 47 15. but if you were caught around the throat by a pincer-wielding figure wearing a pirate hat stuffed with ostrich feathers and draped in a blood-red cape. the Blancs Moussis. Van Gogh lived in this house in 1879 and was inspired to start seriously drawing after watching the local miner’s toil. whoever said Belgians were boring? that faithfully reproduces Belgian classics. (For information on the town of Malmédy. including a lavish oak-and-marble pulpit. hfrom 9. Free public minibuses (h7am-9pm Mon-Sat) shuttle every 15 minutes between the train/ bus station and the Grand Place. makes a pleasant and convenient pit stop en route to the ruins at Villers-la-Ville. From Mons. This Rhineland Roman–style church was built in the 11th century as the abbey church and is named after the first abbess. dangling smelly dried herrings in people’s hair and beating up bystanders with dried pigs’ bladders! (For information on the town of Stavelot. Ath. h10am-6pm TueSun). 3-course lunch/dinner menu €17/35. The local people reacted by wearing white costumes recalling the Benedictine’s habit. admission €2. 10am-noon & 1-5pm Tue-Fri Oct-Mar) intro- duces their world.maisondesgeants. don’t hurl one back – it’s a gift! Despite what you may think. www. lunch Sun) Modern little resto just off the Grand Place.W A L L O N • • A r o u n d M o n s lonelyplanet.be. Enormous World Heritage–listed models with biblical and folkloric connections wind through town to the Grand Place. in the village of Cuesmes. For what? Who knows.) Now. decked out in all their finery. The church contains fine sculptures by 18th-century artist Laurent Delvaux. 18 May 2008 and 7 June 2009). Market (Marché aux Herbes. and is still presided over by a magnificent and unusual church. adult/child €6/3. a brotherhood of local men clad in white cloaks and capes and each sporting a mask with an extravagantly long red nose. which sees the remains of St Waudru. then force them to their knees and make them demand forgiveness. These characters emit sinister half-grunt. camp sites per adult/child/tent €3. where two of the giants wed. La Ducasse (www. and the event has made it onto Unesco’s World Heritage list. carnival in Binche is actually a serious celebration.

%02 384 31 39. Ask either the bus driver or the Waterloo tourist office for a bus timetable. Rising behind the visitors centre is the Butte du Lion (Lion’s Mound. around most of the sights and back to the capital. His strategy was to prevent his opponents joining forces. died. An audio-guide takes you around. Napoleon knew he had to attack swiftly and decisively against such an alliance.000 were lined up on a ridge facing south.30pm Le Pain Quotidien (%02 354 59 90. and by the HAINAUT & B R ATBHAUNMTB. This place is slated to be du Lion 252. The crypt. Painted by Louis Dumoulin. After visiting Musée Wellington. moving round to the west to a farm at Hougoumont that was vital for the defence of Wellington’s right. Believing them to be fleeing.WTAALBL O N lonelyplanet. At 11.com . It was a desperate last-ditch effort – the guards had to slog uphill through mud churned up by the cavalry’s previous attempt and were mown down by the opposing infantrymen from their protected high-ground position.30pm AprSep. Bus W runs every half-hour from Brussels and stops outside the Waterloo tourist office/Musée Wellington (40 minutes). Napoleon’s 72. 10am-5pm Oct-Mar). a 40m-high mound marking the site where the allies’ William of Orange (who became King William II of the Netherlands) was wounded.15pm Wellington stirred his men into a full-scale advance and within minutes the ninehour battle that cost the lives of 15. Tours can be arranged at the small office inside the church. in the village of Waterloo.museewelling Eating ton. Dutch and Germans began assembling in Brussels in April. but in fact just 6km away and moving in fast.50/2/3. Napoleon quickly reignited his peoples’ passions. The Duke of Wellington’s allied force of British. www. www. It’s one of Belgium’s main tourist attractions. 20 minutes) and Charleroi (€3. but not impossible. adult/ child €2/1. weapons and personal effects. where a clutch of sights compete for the attention of visitors. Reactions to the various sights are generally divided into two camps – history and war buffs find it exciting. 7am-4.be. though this will change once the site’s €20 million facelift. Route du Lion 315. The emperor’s defeat spelt the end of France’s military prowess in Europe and of its rule in Belgium. Chaussée de Bruxelles lonelyplanet. 10am5pm Oct-Mar).30am-6. h9am-1pm Mon & Tue. By early evening. catch bus W to the vicinity of the visitors centre.com HA I N AU T & B R A B A N T.70. Chaussée de Bruxelles 147.30pm Saturday and Sunday. the Dernier Quartier Général de Napoléon (Napoleon’s Last Headquarters. %02 384 67 40. it dates from 1912 and is one of the world’s last such panoramas. and chose Brussels as their base. www. which now accommodates some relevant memorabilia.30am- 139. It’s diagonally across the road from the tourist office. and 2pm and 3. For armchair travellers. The help- ful staff will know the state of play regarding the facelift – what’s open and what’s not. h9. It was St Bernard who ruled that his followers should settle in a beautiful location in a peaceful valley. an archaeological site and the treasury can all be visited. The local Office du Tourisme (%071 87 98 98. just 1500m apart. Wellington’s force of 68. The major European powers declared war. The community flourished. Grand Place 7. with hundreds of thousands of visitors coming each year to look out over the plains from the Lion of Waterloo – the site of the battle on 18 June 1815 that changed the course of European history (see boxed text. backed by a Prussian army commanded by Marshal Blücher. Nivelles is on the Brussels–Charleroi railway line. a confrontation that also proved indecisive.70. h9. Chaussée de Bruxelles 218. where he’d been imprisoned following his abdication the previous year. 10am-5pm Oct-Mar). h10am-5pm Apr-Nov. Route good. he turned his attention to Wellington.be.30am-6. Chaussée de Bruxelles 66.waterloo1815.waterloo-tourisme. whose troops were assembling at Waterloo.50. The Brussels–Charleroi bus 365 passes by every two hours – ask for details at the Waterloo tourist office.000 men had an uphill battle. Opposite the Waterloo tourist office is the Musée Wellington (%02 354 78 06.WTAALBL O N HAINAUT & B R ATBHAUNMTB. is completed. The last sight. 1-5pm Nov-Mar) is 4km south of the visitors centre in Vieux-Genappe. This ticket will get you to Waterloo. adult/child €2/1.20. VILLERS-LA-VILLE p103) before setting off to the main cluster of sites south of Waterloo village. to get around without your own transport (for more details. Every year or five (there’s no set schedule). It’s usually possible to climb the 226 steps to the massive bronze lion at the top. Rue de l’Abbaye 55.30am-6. Tours are held at 2pm Monday to Friday. At sunrise on Sunday 18 June the two armies faced off.30pm Apr-Sep. h9. well-priced restaurant. the start of the battle was delayed to allow the ground to dry out. Belgians. telephone the tourist office in advance. adult/child €5/2. breakfast €7. constructed soon after the battle at a time when the Dutch ruled Belgium. www.50.W A L L O N • • V i l l e r s . pop 9400 Getting There & Around Catch TEC bus W (Map pp76–7) from Ave Fonsny at Brussels’ Gare du Midi. It contains well laid-out exhibits. Alexander Gordon. Overnighters will find Hôtel du Commerce 6. Next to the visitors centre is the Panorama de la Bataille (Battleground Panorama. 10am-6pm Wed-Sun) occupies a small building next to the ruins.000 men was over.l a . The first stop is generally the visitors centre (%02 385 19 12.30pm Mon-Sat. to break through Wellington’s centre. mains €14-18.000 Waterloo lies 18km south of Brussels in Brabant-Wallon and is easily visited on a day trip from the capital. Napoleon ordered his Imperial Guards. Wellington spent (%067 21 12 41. 10am-5pm Sat & Sun Dec-Mar). some 5km south of Waterloo centre.30pm Apr-Sep. Vieux-Genappe. The most important sights are spread over several kilometres. Despite defeat at Trafalgar. announced in 2006. h10am-6. h9. Brace the cold to see this slice of history. and there are hourly connections to Brussels (€4. Sights & Activities the eve of the battle in this old inn and it was here that his aide-de-camp.be. The ruined Abbaye de Villers (%071 88 09 80. On 16 June he struck the Prussians at Ligny. 20 minutes). The church’s history is so varied that it’s well worth taking a 1½-hour guided tour (admission €5). admission €2. menu €27) has basic rooms and a torn down as part of the site’s facelift. the army’s best soldiers. others may wonder why they came. h7am-6.000 men – a force larger than either opposing army – took Charleroi and continued towards Brussels. h9. fax 067 84 17 04. it awaits discovery in a forested dell and is unquestionably Brabant-Wallon’s most engaging site. Villers-la-Ville. the famous battle is replayed on the battlefield at Waterloo – check with the tourist office for the next re-enactment. such as his camp cot. a defensive position just south of the capital. At 8. h10am-6pm Wed-Mon Apr-Oct.30pm Apr-Oct. Women carting baskets of soil took two years to build the impressive mound. Opposite the Panorama is the Musée de Cires (Wax Figures Museum. Napoleon spent the night before the battle at this former farmhouse. Napoleon was forced to abdicate and spent the rest of his life in exile on St Helena.V i l l e 225 THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO On 1 March 1815 the legendary French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte landed in the south of France after escaping from the island of Elba. adult/child/concession €5/3/4. From here proceed to the battlefield. The abbey was founded in this isolated spot by a small religious community – an abbot and a handful of monks – in 1147.30am the French attacked.30am-6. Route du Lion 254.W A L L O N • • W a t e r l o o to carry Ste Gertrude’s shrine in the town’s age-old annual procession (late September or early October). adult/child/concession €5/3.30pm Apr-Sep. Due to heavy overnight rain. Napoleon detached a force to meet it and at 2pm he sent a massive wave of infantry to attack Wellington’s left. and by 1pm Napoleon had word that the Prussian army was not routed. 10am-5pm Oct-Mar). see opposite). making it tedious. adult/child/concession €4. with an underground memorial to be built instead. including battle plans. being driven out of Russia and the dissolution of his empire. with the Prussians arriving to the east. 10am-5pm Wed-Mon NovMar) has no equal in Belgium. WATERLOO pop 29. Many of the displays have both feet firmly in the 19th century.224 HA I N AU T & B R A B A N T. Sun) Good for an informal bite (see boxed text. s/d €35/65. About 15km east of Nivelles (and 25km south of Brussels).35/4. %02 384 24 24. 10am-5pm Oct-Mar). The assault failed. At 4pm the French cavalry charged Wellington’s centre but were unable to break through the infantry formations. The train station is a 10minute walk from the town centre.80.30pm Apr-Sep. if you want to be sure of an English-speaking guide. The best place to start a visit is at the Office du Tourisme (%02 352 09 10. a dreadful waxworks museum with 50- year-old mannequins that should be melted. opposite).villers. Waterloo – The Hundred Days by David Chandler is an illustrated account of this decisive battle. ask the driver for a day card (€6). On 15 June he crossed into Belgium with 130. a domed building with an elevated gallery containing a circular painting (110m in circumference) of the battlefield.be.</