Belgium

Belgium

Visé Belgien

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Sheila in Front of the “Siftskirche” in Visé in Belgium. The church was founded 779 by princess Berthe, a daughter of Karl The Great (Charlemagne).

1106 “Salier” King and emperor Heinrich V. suffered a complete defeat at the bridge over the “Maas” river at Visé in the “Investiture Controversy”. The Long controvery with the curch and Pope ended with the “Wormser Konkordat” 1122. Heinrich died 1125 after many wars  without male heirs which ended the rule of the “Salier” dynastie  and started the rule of the “Staufer” with nephew Friedrich as heir. Heinrich’s bones are burried in the “Dom zu Speyer”.

The Stiftskirche was destroyed in WW I. by the German troups by a fire and rebuilt after the war. It keeps relics of Holy Hadelin which were saved by attentive inhabitants of Visé and hidden. 1940 they were hidden again in Liege during WW II. There is a war Memorial not far from the church. The relic is in a bust of Holy Hadelin which also carries a stamp of  Wittelsbacher bishop and ruler Maimilian-Heinrich von Bayern bishop of cologne and belgium Lüttich / Liege, the only Wittelsbacher bishop of Cologne who was really pious and who had no mistresses.

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I had a good ice cream in the lovely town close to the church.

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La Grand-Place, Brussels

The Grand Place or Grote Markt (Dutch) is the central square of Brussels. It is surrounded by guildhalls, the city’s Town Hall, and the Breadhouse. The square is the most important tourist destination and most memorable landmark in Brussels, along with the Atomium and Manneken Pis. It measures 68 by 110 metres (223 by 360 ft), and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Royal Palace of Brussels

The Royal Palace of Brussels is the official palace of the King of the Belgians in the centre of the nation’s capital Brussels.

However it is not used as a royal residence, as the king and his family live in the Royal Castle of Laeken on the outskirts of Brussels. The website of the Belgian Monarchy describes the function of the palace as follows: “The Palace is where His Majesty the King exercises his prerogatives as Head of State, grants audiences and deals with affairs of state. Apart from the offices of the King and the Queen, the Royal Palace houses the services of the Grand Marshal of the Court, the King’s Head of Cabinet, the Head of the King’s Military Household and the Intendant of the King’s Civil List. The Palace also includes the State Rooms where large receptions are held, as well as the apartments provided for foreign Heads of State during official visits.”

The palace is situated in front of Brussels Park. A long square called the Paleizenplein/Place des Palais separates the palace from the park. The middle axis of the park marks both the middle peristyle of the palace and the middle of the facing building on the other side of the park, which is the Palace of the Nation (the Belgian Federal Parliament building). The two facing buildings are said to symbolize Belgium’s system of government: a constitutional monarchy.

EU parliament in Brussels

The Espace Léopold is the complex of parliament buildings in Brussels (Belgium) housing the European Parliament, a legislative chamber of the European Union (EU).

It consists of a number of buildings, primarily the oldest, the Paul-Henri Spaak building, which houses the debating chamber and the President’s offices, and the Altiero Spinelli building which is the largest. The buildings are located in the European quarter in the east of Brussels, with building starting in 1989.

The complex is not the official seat of Parliament, which is the Immeuble Louise Weiss in Strasbourg, France, but as most of the other institutions of the European Union are in Brussels, Parliament built the Brussels complex in order to be closer to their activities. A majority of the Parliament’s work is now geared to its Brussels site, but it is legally bound to keep Strasbourg as its official home.

Drinking Kwak in Bruges

Kwak is an amber, 8,4% abv Belgian beer, brewed by the family-owned Brewery Bosteels in Buggenhout, Belgium. It is named after an 18th century innkeeper and brewer, Pauwel Kwak.

As with other Belgian beers, Kwak has a branded glass with its own distinctive shape. The Kwak glass has attracted attention because it is a round-bottomed, hour-glass shaped glass that resembles a stirrup cup or ‘yard of ale’, which is held upright in a wooden stand—rather like a piece of old scientific apparatus. The brewery claims the glass was designed by the innkeeper Pauwel Kwak in the early 19th century for coachmen who would stop at his coaching tavern and brewery named “De Hoorn” though the beer and the glass were launched in the 1980s.

Bruges (German: Brügge) is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium. It is located in the northwest of the country. The historic city centre is a prominent World Heritage Site of UNESCO.

Trenches of Death, Diksmuide

Travelling in Belgium while my son-in-law was doing the reconnaissance for a taking a school trip from Canberra to Europe to look at Australia’s participation in the World Wars, the ducks hung out in the Trenches of Death for a while.

Ieper

After a hard day walking around war museums and cemeteries, a beer and a snack were necessary. This stop was in the main square of Ieper.

Manneken Pis in Brussels

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